adrian.jpg (13387 bytes)Adrian Tarot Deck            Review by Michele Jackson

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The first thing one notices in this deck is that the art style rather unique, even for computer generated art. The combination of fantasy and reality is a bit disconcerting and the overall feel of the deck is dream-like. Each Major Arcana image has a large central figure. The figure is usually superimposed on, or somehow combined with, an object or objects. A linear design is superimposed on the person and objects. The card name in German and English, along with the card number and its corresponding letter from the Tree of Life, complete the image. That was my first impression. If you lay the Major Arcana out in two Tree of Life formations, you will find that the backgrounds make up the images of the man and woman in the Lovers card. Any one card viewed by itself appears to be on a hazy and muted background, but when laid out in order, the backgrounds reveal another scene. The same underlying theme occurs in the Minor Arcana. The art is excellent. The images look like photographs of people, yet closer examination reveals that if they are in fact photographs, they have been heavily manipulated. They have a molded plastic look, with undefined hands or feet in some cases. The background colors are soft and muted. There are no defined borders. The backs are black with a linear design.

The cards measure 5 1/4" X 2 5/8". The Major Arcana have the traditional names. Justice is VIII and Strength is XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Disks and Swords. The Minor Arcana cards are pips, and each has a key word meaning in both English and German. Most of the meanings are one word, but some are longer. The court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page. The key word meanings are fairly traditional. In the Rohrig deck, the Five of Wands says ,"Strive." I always thought it was a misprint form Crowley's "Strife," since all of the other key words were identical to Crowley's. This deck has the Five of Wands as "Striving." So, maybe that is the proper translation.

The little booklet that comes with the deck favors an intuitive approach to reading. It advises that one look to the book only after all of the visual clues to the card's meaning have been exhausted. Several spreads are described, including the Celtic Cross, a four card spread called The Cross, A Tree of Life Spread, The Relationship Pattern Spread (seven cards), The Blockade Spread (five cards), The Decision Draw (seven cards) and The Astrological Circle. Not bad for a little booklet. Descriptions of the imagery of the Major Arcana and an upright meaning are given. The Minor Arcana are treated the same way. Here, however,  we find that in some cases the linear designs are meant to provide information about the card's meaning. The layout of the suit symbols and the colors used are meant to be evocative of the card's meaning, but in my opinion, the card meanings would be difficult to decipher based on the imagery alone. As little booklets go, this one is good. There is a full length book available for this deck in German, but until it is translated (if ever), the little booklet provides a good description of the deck.

I recommend this deck for those who are looking for a change. It would make a good second deck for those times when you want a different view than provided by your every day deck. The card meanings on the Minor Arcana make this deck readable right out of the box, if one is familiar with the meanings of the Majors and Court Cards. Collectors will love the unique artistic style. Highly recommended.

The Adrian Tarot Deck
Publisher: AGM AGMuller
ISBN: 3-905219-03-4
Distributed by US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford, CT 06902, (800)544-2637, Fax (203)353-8431

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Images Copyright 1997 AGM AGMuller

Review is Copyright 1999 by Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 by Diane Wilkes