Tarot of the Tailors by Marie Cooley and Payne
Review by Michele Jackson

Let me begin by saying that Tarot of the Tailors is not a Tarot deck, despite its name. It has 21 cards, vice 22, and none of the cards bear any resemblance to traditional or even non-traditional Tarot decks. That said, I decided to review it anyway because two truly wonderful friends gave it to me and because I haven’t done a deck review in such a long time.  

This deck calls itself a “Divination Device” and that is an apt description. The 21 cards are all related to some aspect of tailoring. Examples include: 

 “The Perfect Trim” described as “A powerful card that can make or break any project. Right side up, The Perfect Trim will lead you to all other aspects of your project. Upside down, don’t start a project until you have found The Perfect Trim, as it will forever elude you if you don’t have it now.”

 “The Impossible Pattern” – “This card deals with the planning and concept stage of a project. Right side up it warns us to temper creativity with common sense. Upside down, beware an idea that seems easy, but may turn out to be deceptively difficult.” As someone who learned to sew at a fairly young age, I can say I have been there on this card. 

And “The Horrible Bride: Facing up, this card tells us to beware of advice from others – whether solicited or not. Facing down, be careful not to be talked into an ill-advised project. Rely on your own best judgment.” 

Instructions for use say, “…shuffle well, face down. Choose 4 or 5 cards and place them in front of you…. Turn your cards face up and see what they have to say to you.” 

The cards measure 2 ¾” X 5 1/8”. The illustrations are all black and white and appear to be taken from Dover books or old engravings. The images are quite simple and consist of a central item with a black border and the card name in the bottom in a black border. The card stock is uncoated and about the same thickness as an index card. The deck has a small booklet and comes wrapped in a piece of paper tied with ribbon. The deck and booklet are hand made. Overall, this deck is rather whimsical and fun. My friends picked this deck up at a Belly Dancing Convention and it appears to be a promotional item for a custom corset shop. The website for the deck is here. I spoke to the deck creator and she states she is having them professionally printed for sale at about $12.00 per deck. The new version will not have the booklet – the instructions will be printed on a single folded sheet. The cards will be coated and the packaging will be similar to the hand made version. They should be available from her website sometime in May or June 2003.  

NOTE: The deck is now for sale for $15, and a card has been added so that there are 22 cards, like the tarot. You can purchase it here. -- Editor

I would recommend this deck to hard-core collectors or to tailors and/or seamstresses. It is not a Tarot deck and is interesting primarily for its theme and curiosity.

Tarot of the Tailors
Designed by Marie Cooley and Payne
Images © 2002 Fitting Room Press