The Transformational Tarot
(This review has been revised as a result of receiving a copy of the book written for this deck)
The Transformational Tarot Deck has 100 cards, 27 Major Arcana and 72 Minors.

The new Majors are:

22 - The Master
23 - Galactic Force
24 - The Androgyne
25 - Mystical Life
26 - Transcendent Mind
27 - Universalized Will
The New Minors are court cards for each suit and are:
15 - Teacher-Student
16 - Reformer
17 - Oracle
18 - Sage
All other cards are the standard Tarot Majors and Minors. The suits are Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles. The Court Cards (aside from the new additions) are King, Queen, Knight and Page. The art is only fair, with the scenes done in simple line drawings which remind one of the PoMo (Post Modern) Tarot in style, though they are not as crudely drawn. There are some cards which are very well done and attractive, primarily in the Majors, but for the most part I found it unexciting. The colors are primarily pastels and the scenes are similar to the Waite-Smith deck for the most part. Each minor card has a border, differentiated by suit. Wands has a sort of ribbon border in red and orange, swords have a spiral border in yellow on a lavender background, cups have an art nouveau style border in pink, green, blue and sky blue and pentacles has a border of vine leaves and stems in green. The card quality is fairly good. The cards are rather thin, but they are well coated with a coating similar to that of Voyager. There are some metallic gold touches in the art as well, not enough to be especially eye-catching, but just enough to add some interest.
The book that accompanies the deck/book set is very interesting. The author, Shirley Gotthold takes a numerology based approach to Tarot. The book is divided into ten chaptesr, one for each number from 1 through 9 and a chapter for the Fool. Gotthold has some non-traditional views, but they do provide food for thought. She draws from a wide variety of sources both esoteric and exoteric and presents the Tarot as a tool for self understanding. In my opinion, the extra cards do not add substantially to the deck as the majority of them represent concepts already covered in other cards if one uses a more traditional set of interpretations. They do fit well in Gotthold’s system, however and make for some interesting permutations and relationships.
The entire deck/book set is of a very high quality. The cards are separately boxed in a two piece box lined with a card on the bottox. The book is also well put together and comes with a separate 12” X 18” full color chart of the cards (sans The Fool), laid out in a pattern that reveals some of the numerological relationships. I would recommend this deck for those who have some knowledge of or an interest in numerology. While this is not the only basis for Gotthold’s interpretations, it is the framework upon which her other concepts are built. I would also recommend this deck for those who are looking for a non-traditional approach which includes psychology and New Age concepts, as well as traditional esoteric Tarot thought. I find some of Gotthold’s ideas tenuous, but others are interesting and could be explored further.
Excerpt
The Androgyne (24=6) Melds Body and Soul, Wisdom and Love, Male and Female, in Orderliness and Wholeness
The card of the Androgyne(24=6) completes the pattern that began with the card of the Lovers(6), for it was through the Lovers that we explored the masculine and feminine principles involving duality. We then moved to the sixes(6) of the four suits, where we were asked to harmonize those two principles in our daily lives. Next came the Devil(15=6), who as Great Teacher, set before us the lessons that required us to bring our inner intent into practice in our daily lives. The Teacher-Student(15=6) cards of the four suits showed us where to find, and how to use, the resources that would help us make good use of those lessons for ourselves and others. Now the Androgyne(24=6) brings the final coming together of the various dualities into a complete whole.
As always, the numerical combination is a valuable key to our understanding of the card itself. We see a two next to a four that equal six. The two represents all the dualities that now make use of the quality of four - the quality of stability and security - to provide a solid basis that equals six, the number of harmony and Christ-force. Put together in this way they inform us that the integrated Androgyne(24=6) encompasses all of the possible permutations concerning duality in a way that establishes whole and complete power so that there is a sense of harmony with the Divine Purpose. And the Divine Purpose as it relates to the numerical quality of six, is service, humanitarian activity that harmonizes the experiences of life with the intent of the Supreme Being.
The Transformational Tarot412 Trevethan Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
831-429-6489
fax: 831-429-6484
foolscap@cruzio.com

See the cards from the Transformational Tarot deck

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson