Andar Tarot by Anne Hutchings; Text by Darlaine Foley
Review by Diane Wilkes

This self-published Majors-Only deck consists of 22 cards copied from oil paintings that were approximately the same size.  The initial deck was a gift from Anne Hutchings to her friend Darlaine Foley, who then wrote the booklet as "an expansion of Ms. Foley's thoughts on the interpretations provided by Ms. Hutchings and her own personal philosophy."

The broad brush of the artist belies an ability to create some very powerful cards.  The very pregnant Empress has an earthy, yet faery quality that creates a brooding, broody mood.  The Chariot rider reminds me of Thor or Loki, a God of great strength and presence.  Justice is VIII in this deck, and she's a warrior with her back against the wall, ready to fight for equity if necessary.  Strength (XI) shows a woman and beast determined to tame one another; you can just feel the fur fly.  The Tower is a house of cards, destroyed by the jagged bolt of lightning that comes from above.

At other times, the vision exceeds the artist's grasp, and you sigh for the great concept that gets marred in translation.  Judgement shows a phoenix rising from the fire, but the animal looks a bit like a dragon, with a touch of chicken.  The High Priestess (another Warrior woman) is powerful, but her face reminds one of Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie--pre-makeup.

This is a multi-ethnic deck, with a woman of color in the World card and what looks like a person from India on the Star.  The Fool's face is green--perhaps he comes from Mars?

The cards don't have borders and measure 5" x 3" in diameter.  They are clearly hand-cut.  The colors are deep and intense, and you feel as if you're handling real artwork when you hold these cards.  Perhaps this is because of the matte finish and the heavy paper-stock they're printed on, but they are a tactile delight.  The backs are ivory and black, and reversible, with the deck title printed on them in a circle.

The set comes wrapped in ivory paper, but you need to open the deck carefully, as the packaging is not really re-usable.  It comes with a 14 page little white booklet (LWB) that explains how the deck was created, along with some dubious history (the tarot deck is not a precursor of the modern playing card deck, and it's highly unlikely that tarot "may have evolved from the ancient Egyptian Book of Thoth").  There are also upright and reversed card meanings and a version of the Celtic Cross.  Many of the card meanings are traditional, but there are some unusual interpretations, as well, such as: "Possible sickness or overindulgence in decadence" for the Chariot reversed.

I recommend this deck highly for tarot collectors and tarot enthusiasts looking for something different.  The very reasonable price makes this deck an excellent purchase for new collectors who want something rare and unusual, but are hesitant to spend a lot of money.

Click here to see more images from and get ordering information for the Andar Tarot.

Andar Tarot
Anne Hutchings and Darlaine Foley
Self-published

Images 2001 Andar Productions
Review and page 2001 Diane Wilkes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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