crow.jpg (11956 bytes)Crow's Magick Tarot Deck        Review by Michele Jackson

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Many of the cards in this deck succeed in fulfilling the little booklet's promise to "Travel to another world and time while discovering treasures- and unearthing omens." The art appears to be computer-generated, and consists of primarily animals and imaginary creatures on a black background. It has sort of a "cyber-medicine card" look. A large percentage of the creatures are winged - mostly birds, though there are also bats, beetles and the occasional winged human.  My first impression of the art was that it had a "clip-art" look, but when I looked at it again, I was more impressed. The artist used color, shadow and shading to her advantage. The style is original for the most part, though Pamela Colman Smith gets a nod in the Three of Swords, and the Eight of Coins seems to be an advertisement for Londa's other deck and Stuart Kaplan.

The cards measure 4 3/4" X 2 5/8". The Major Arcana have the traditional names. Justice is VIII and Strength is XI. The suits are Swords, Wands, Cups and Coins. The court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page. The card number, name and a two word meaning are on the bottom of each card. The astrological sign or signs associated with the card are in the lower left border. Some of these assignments are non-traditional because the artist chose not to include the planets, just the signs. The two word meanings on each card are "traditional" for the most part, though there is an occasional divergence, such as "Dazed, Confused" for the Nine of Wands. Beginners and those who have difficulty with the court cards may find the meanings helpful. Actually, the meanings are probably necessary, since it is difficult to glean the meanings from the images themselves. Though the images attempt to convey a mood for each card, the artist is more successful at conveying a mood with the deck as a whole than she is with individual cards. The Minors are little more than pips decorated with creatures of various types. The Majors tend to feature a central creature of some type, surrounded by geometric shapes (referred to in the little booklet as "geometric spirits"), and things from nature such as foliage, lightening, planets and stars. The back features two birds.

The little booklet that comes with the deck has a one page introduction, followed by upright and reversed meanings for each card. The meanings are fairly traditional, though a few such as "A work of art," for the Queen of Swords are idiosyncratic. The Celtic Cross Spread is given. I would have liked to see some explanation of the astrological assignments used. Some are fairly straightforward. The Fool is traditionally associated with Air and the card has the glyphs for the three Air signs. Others are rather puzzling - each court card has all three signs for its element, though in different order. However, two of the court cards in each suit have the signs in the same order. In Swords, it is the King and Page; in Wands, it is the King and Queen; in Cups, it is the Knight and Page and in Coins, it is the Queen and Page. Why? The Minor Arcana's astrological assignments are apparently based on the Golden Dawn assignments (see Wang's Qabalistic Tarot, pg. 51), except for the Ace, which features all three signs for its element.

I recommend this deck for those who are looking for something different. Those interested in Shamanism, animals and nature will probably find this deck attractive, as might those who like computer generated art. The unique style makes the deck interesting for collectors. The meanings on the cards make this deck usable right out of the box.

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

See more cards from the Crow's Magick Tarot Deck

Crow's Magick Tarot Deck
ISBN: 1-57281-068-8
Available from: US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford, CT 06902, (800)544-2637, Fax (203)353-8431

Images Copyright 1998 US Games Systems

This page is Copyright 1998 by Michele Jackson