angel12.jpg (19728 bytes)The Angels Tarot - Review by Michele Jackson

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This deck/book set, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and Robert Place, attempts to connect two topics, that were probably better off left to themselves: Angels and Tarot. While there are several angels in the Major Arcana of most tarot decks, this deck goes much further replacing all of the Major Arcana with Angels, Virtues or other beings. Each Major has the number on the top of the card, and the name of the card on the bottom. Under the name is a short sentence which give you a clue as to which card the being is supposed to represent. For example the bottom of the card that represents the Fool is named Adamel and under the name it says "The Fool who attained knowledge". The art is good. It is detailed and the colors are deep. The detailing gives the cards the look of colored engravings. The suits are Diamonds, Hearts, Clubs and Spades. The court cards are Lady, Knight, Queen, and King. The Minors are pips, and are difficult to tell apart as each suit is represented by a cherubic face in a configuration of wings. An attempt has been made to shape the wings like the suit they represent, though the clubs and diamonds take some imagination to recognize as such. While the Majors are interesting, the Court Cards and Minors are little different from those found in a deck of regular playing cards.

The book that comes with the deck is small, and consists of 114 4"X6" pages. Chapter One provides a history of the Tarot and some background on its use. Chapters Two and Three discuss Angels. Chapter Four contains some reading advice which tries hard to sound spiritual, but which ends up sounding very "New Age".Six spreads are provided including the Celtic Cross, a Yes/No spread and some others. Terms like "work on the inner planes" and claims like "The Angels will work with you through the cards...", or "You may have a special Tarot Angel who oversees your work with the cards." give me the impression that this deck is trying to take advantage of the popularity Angels are enjoying just now. Chapter Five discusses the Major Arcana. A paragraph or two of background information on the being that is one the card is followed by an interpretation. The last chapter discusses the Minor Arcana. A brief section on numerology and the meanings of the suit is followed by one sentence interpretations for each card. The Minor Arcana have been short changed in both the art on the cards and the write up in the book. This theme would probably have worked better as a Majors only deck anyway. The deck and book are packaged in a sleeve. Once you have opened the cards for use, check the box carefully on subsequent uses as the cards have a tendency to slide into the back of the sleeve unnoticed. My advice is that you store the deck in a separate bag or box if you intend to use it regularly.

I recommend this deck for those interested in Angels and for collectors. I do not see this as a serious all-purpose deck. Its focus is too narrow and it is very non-traditional.

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The Angels Tarot
ISBN: 0-06-251193-9
Publisher: Harper San Francisco $30.00

Images copyright (c) 1995 Robert Place

Review Copyright 2000 Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes