Hanson-Roberts Tarot by Mary Hanson-Roberts
Review by Kim Huggens 

If you would like to purchase this deck, click here.

If you would like to purchase the companion book for this deck, click here.

If you would like to purchase the deck/book set, click here.

It isnít often that I find myself buying a Tarot deck twice, but the Hanson-Roberts deck is one such deck.  I originally bought it because it was one of the first decks I saw images of, and it held much sentimental value for me.  Around six months after buying it, however, I met a girl on the same A-level course as me, who had an interest in Tarot but could not physically shuffle normal sized decks due to her tiny hands.  I decided that she needed the Hanson-Roberts more than me, and its size was perfect for her, so I gave it to her as a gift.  The problem was, I loved that deck so much that I had to buy it once again for my own collection!

One of the distinctive features of this deck has already been mentioned: its small size.  Unlike most decks, this one is around the same size as playing cards, and thus it is a delight to all those who, like the girl above, and me, have great difficulty shuffling and handling most of the decks available today. I have found it to be the easiest deck for children to handle as well; the artwork also has a child-like, vivid, and relaxed quality which children enjoy.  Because the cards were created with colored pencils, this deck is wonderfully open and simple, making for a very honest reading, with easily accessible answers. 

The actual pictures on the cards themselves are almost the same as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, though the style of art gives this deck a distinctly different 'feel', and makes it a beautiful alternative for those who, whilst being able to interpret the images in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, find the artwork itself flat or bland, color-wise. 

Another delightful feature of this deck is that its images are very easy on the eye, with no 'strange' occult symbols, nor does it have any distinct link with a particular religious tradition, so it is perfect for those who regularly read for others who are not familiar with Tarot or any kind of occult philosophy.  I have still to come across somebody who does not find this deck gentle, and have discovered that it has a certain appeal to people of all ages, whether it be your octogenarian granny, or your 10 year old sibling!  True, it may not be the ideal deck for those who desire occult depth in their readings, or for those who are accustomed to decks such as the Crowley-Thoth, but otherwise I would recommend it highly to most people, especially those who are just starting out.

Finally, the images in this deck are such that the meanings in each card are easily accessible by just looking at the pictures: It is virtually unnecessary for one to memorize all the book meanings, and instead one can rely on what they see in the cards, making interpretation a lot less daunting for the beginner and a lot more relaxed for the advanced reader.  Really, this deck is a joy to look at and read with, and it certainly takes the difficulty out of shuffling and interpreting, two of the things that beginners complain about ("Remembering the meanings is so hard!").

Overall, a wonderful deck, and a treasure for any collection of decks.  And for those who like the look of this deck, there are the Universal-Waite and Whimsical Tarot decks by Mary Hanson-Roberts also available and just as delightful.

If you would like to purchase this deck, click here.

If you would like to purchase the companion book for this deck, click here.

If you would like to purchase the deck/book set, click here.


Kim Huggens is an 18 year old Pagan, studying for a Philosophy degree at Cardiff University.  She has been studying Tarot heavily since the age of 9, and currently lives with her wonderful boyfriend, Simon, in Cardiff.  She also enjoys writing and collecting Tarot decks, and currently has around 110 in her collection.


Review © 2003 Kim Huggens
Page © 2003 Diane Wilkes