The Chinese Tarot Deck - Review by Michele Jackson

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

This deck is an art/cultural deck. Chinese myth and folklore have been applied to the Major and Minor Arcana. The art is quite beautiful. The Majors are fairly standard with only two changes noted: The Hanged Man is The Hanged Ghost and Judgment is Confucius. The suits are Swords, Staves, Cups and Coins. The Court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page. This deck is not a reworking of Pamela Colman-Smith's work in Chinese style. The artist did try to illustrate "traditional meanings," but the results are sometimes hard to interpret based on the scene alone. What looks like a man dancing joyously to me in the Five of Coins is described as "a corrupt official." The Three of swords shows a young girl balancing a Sword between two others. This is interpreted as "Absence, Sorrow, Disappointment, Strive." I don't get that from viewing this scene.

The little booklet that comes with this deck is rather skimpy. A one sentence description of the scene in the card is provided, followed by short upright and reversed interpretations. The Celtic Cross is the only spread provided. There is probably a lot more to the symbolism than is described in the book. In some cases, hints are given like "the plum signifies happiness", but I would bet that there are many more subtle symbols in this deck that we, as westerners, are not aware of.

I recommend this deck for collectors and those interested in Chinese Culture. The art is really beautiful and the deck is worth buying for that alone.

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

The Chinese Tarot
ISBN: 0-88079-373-2
Published by US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT, 06902, (800)544-2637, Fax: (203) 353- 8431

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Images Copyright 1989 US Games Systems Inc.

Review Copyright 1997 Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes