The Universal Tarot Professional is a another edition of the Universal Tarot, printed with black borders and at a huge size - 3.5 by 6.6 inches. The 78 large size cards makes it ideal for use in study groups or for the short-sighted!
This is a deck that is a little redundant to review as it is another Universal and somewhat clone deck. However it has enough interest and strong points to me that I felt it deserved a review! This deck was created by Roberto De Angelis the same creator of the Universal. This deck follows the suit of the Universal as far as the Major Arcana are the same with Strength at position 8 and Justice at position 11. Typical court cards at Page, Knight , Queen and King. Artwork is the same.
This deck is marketed as the Professional Edition that is sized so clients can easily see them and to give them a wow factor. The decks come in a very sturdy large glossy black box. This is a very thick cardboard box that will stand up to major shelf wear. It is meant to stand upright and has a cap on the top that you remove to get to the cards. I believe the box is nice enough to display should you choose to even to clients. It has the Empress on the front with the words “professional edition” and the back of the box shows the back of the cards prints, which are two wheels with an 8 pointed shape. The colors are dark and rich and they are fully reversible. Deck comes with a pretty standard little white book.
The difference first of all is the huge size of the cards. I measured mine in at 3.5” by 6.5”. Regardless of the large size they are not hard to do a traditional shuffle if you lay them side by side because the cards themselves are thin. The thin stock is sturdy but flexible. They have some shine but are not glossy. I actually like the slip and feel of these cards a lot when I am working with them. The greatest part is that with the cards being a large size they are very easy for all to see. I find that I actually use this deck for professional readings quite a bit. Clients tell me they love that they can see all the details without feeling like they need to handle or pick up my cards (Something that can make others nervous). I also enjoy that if you are giving a reading with more than one sitter, all sitters in the party can see these clearly. If you are doing a reading at a fair or other event these cards will certainly catch the eyes of passer bys. However keep that in mind if the reading needs to be private! As mentioned these cards would also be excellent for teaching as they would be very easy for students to see. I also find that a couple of my clients who struggle with eyesight and can have a hard time seeing the details of my other decks love this.
The cards themselves have good coloration, done in pleasing watercolors. They are not overly dark or light so I find I can use these in any light setting. Also the colors work well with being able to see all the details in the cards clearly. The borders of this deck are fairly thin and black. I really enjoy this because to me when I am reading the borders simply fade away and don’t distract me. Each border gives the suit or name of the card in several languages. Minors are normal numbers and majors are roman numerals. I do like the artist’s renditions of several of the cards in particular as follows:
2 of Cups – This is always a difficult card for me because I equate it with love, lovers, union. However in most RWS decks both the figures then to look very angry to me! In this deck the woman is clearly smiling and looks pleased. The man looks at her in a serious way, his head seems to be cocked a little to the side. The lion gives this card a bit of seriousness. I see this and wedding vows come to mind. Lovely card.
Queen of Pentacles – This Queen I always think of as a mother. Kind, loving, generous and nurturing. This card really brings that forth I feel. We see a woman gazing lovingly at her pentacle. It is cradled gently and securely in her hands both top and bottom. She is draped in a loose tranquil blue gown that makes me think of someone calm and balanced. Her feet are bare and in contact with the earth. This card to me embodies what I feel of the Queen of Pentacles.
The Moon – This has always been a favorite card of mine. This card makes me think of someone who is having trouble facing their fear. Holding themselves back, afraid of success. Afraid to look issues in the eyes and overcome them. The man in the moon on this card feels like someone who won’t look at you. The face is slightly pinched like someone being very stubborn, refusing me. The crustacean which represents deepest fear is purple, I like that color usage as I feel the card itself is very spiritual in nature and purple is the perfect reflection of that.
The Tower – This card is interesting because of course we don’t want to see the tower. However what I love is this card is dark and frightening but there is very strong color use in this card. It just jumps out and grabs you the colors seen. Reds, Greens, Oranges and Yellows. Interestingly when I look at this just color wise: On the left man looks down and to the left (past) I see the red cape making me thing of strong passionate energy, lust, anger, power. In middle (present) of the card I see the lightening and fire, yellows and oranges colors that make me think of strong energy, mental energies, over thinking, fast movement. To the right (future) the woman looks to the right I see her dress is vivid green, a color I associate with rest, rejuvenation and healing. This process to me feels like the Tower..what leads up to a disaster or bad situation and the aftermath when you pick up the pieces.
All and all this is a great deck. I find myself pulling it out when I am teaching people about the tarot, while I am in readings with various clients and even when I am just reading for myself. It is also great to study with. I would recommend this deck without hesitation and feel it has a tremendous value for all readers beginning, advanced and professional.