Analytical Tarot Deck - Review by Michele Jackson
This is a handmade deck. It consists of 78 cards, plus a cover card and a card that explains the card meanings and correspondences. The cards measure 2 3/4" X 4 1/2". The Major Arcana have the traditional names. Strength is VIII and Justice is XI. The Fool is numbered XXII. The art is rather interesting. Most of the cards show a shrouded figure with no facial features. The bodies are smooth and flowing and remind me of cartoon ghosts. Most seem androgynous. Interestingly the one card where the figures have eyes is the Moon which has the title "Deception." Some scenes are based on the traditional - the Magician has the four suits on a table before him/her, and the High Priestess has a book -- but she is part of a craggy mountain. Some of the symbolism is intriguing. The Hierophant has a ball and chain, and the Devil has the same ball and chain in it as well. The Lovers card shows a single figure walking down a divided road. Plants are featured in several cards, with the figures seeming to sprout from them (Magician, Wheel of Fortune and the Star), or as the main character in the scene (Death and Temperance). The colors are muted for the most part, and the scenes only take up about 3/5 of the card with most of the remainder devoted to a large lower border. The border has the card name and number. There is also a corresponding letter and a keyword. At first I thought that the letters might be the English equivalent of the Hebrew letter assigned by the French (A = Magician, B = High Priestess, G = Empress...), but this broke down in a few places. I asked the deck distributor, but the artist is deceased and the distributor does not remember from which alphabet the letters are derived.
The Minor Arcana are pips and so are the court cards. They all depict the suit symbol in the upper left corner, a key word for the suit in the upper right corner, the suit's element in the lower left corner and the corresponding symbol from playing cards in the lower right corner. The card number and a keyword are in the center. The keywords are the same as those assigned to the Major Arcana. The backgrounds are colored by suit - Pentacles are green, Cups are turquoise/blue, Swords are pale blue, and Wands are yellow. The court cards are numbered 11 through 14 and have the court name written sideways along the right side of the card. They do not depict any scenes. The backs are yellow with a repeated pattern.
There is no little booklet for this deck. There is a sheet that repeats the information on the explanatory card, and describes the Celtic Cross spread. I would have liked some explanation of the symbolism, but there really is no need for a book of card meanings, since the system is very simple, using a combination of the keyword and suit to determine meaning. The Magicians and all of the cards numbered one have the same key word. The High Priestess and all of the cards numbered two have the same key word, etc. While I could create a table to lay it all out, the distributor's website does this already. You can see that information here. The deck comes in an inlaid wood box.
I recommend this deck primarily for collectors. The decks are numbered. I have made a few decks and own quite a few others, but I was amazed at the perfect sizing of these cards. They are just like a machine-produced deck. I asked how this was done. The cards are printed out front and back, matched and joined, and then sent to a professional printer for laminating and punching. The cards are thinner than most, but they shuffle easily and look great. The deck is also rather inexpensive for a handmade deck - only $62.50 plus shipping.
See more cards from the Analytical Tarot Deck
- Analytical Tarot Deck
- Mindpower Gallery
- 417 Fir Avenue
- Reedsport Oregon, 97467
- You can order this deck here.
- You can see all of the cards and learn more about this deck here.
Images Copyright Georg Hess