The Starter Tarot Deck                                                                                Review by Michele Jackson

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

I am told that some telephone 900 psychic lines recommend this deck for their "psychics" and that, consequently, many stores have difficulty keeping this deck in stock. I seem to see it in stores pretty regularly, so I don't know how true that is. If it is true, the reason is obvious - the interpretations are written on each card. Upright interpretations on the top, reversed on the bottom (upside down of course). The art is uninspiring. The Major Arcana look like a black and white version of the Marseilles that was colored in with those cheap waxy crayons. You know the ones I'm talking about - Brand X. The Minor Arcana are rather crude drawings which appear to have been colored with the same cheap crayons. Some of the Minors appear to be based on P.C. Smith's work, but others are original. The artist appears to have tried to convey the meaning of the card in the scenes, but some attempts were less successful than others. The Nine of Swords comes to mind. It shows a boat with nine men with swords raised as they sail by a castle. They look like they are raising their hands in tribute or in a victory cheer to me. The interpretation on the card is pretty much what you would expect for the Nine of Swords: "Misery. Concern. Quarrel. Unhappiness. etc., etc. etc." I don't see the connection between the scene and the card, but maybe it's just me. There are mountains in the background of each scene and if you lay the suit out in numerical order, you will find that they are all connected into one continuous scene. Cute, but rather useless.

The little booklet that comes with the deck is a fold-out sheet that provides a brief history of Tarot, some information on each suit and the Celtic Cross Spread. No interpretations are provided as they are already on the cards themselves. These are not the one or two word interpretations we see on Thoth or Tarot of the Spirit, rather they are pretty much the type of interpretations you get in most little booklets.

I have had some personal experience with this deck. A couple of years ago, my daughter displayed the slightest flash of interest in Tarot one day, and the next time I went out, I bought her this deck. Suffice it to say I found her playing solitaire with it a few weeks later.

I recommend this deck for collectors. Beginners might find the meanings written on the cards useful, but at some point you have to learn them for yourself.

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

The Starter Tarot Deck
ISBN: 0-88079-357-0
Available from US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St, Stamford CT, 06902, (800)544-2637, Fax (203)353-8431.

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This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson