The Guardian Tarot by Jeff Minkevics

Review by Chris Asselin


This deck features angels, or rather, Guardians.  They are winged figures.  Not the blond hair and blue-eyed ones in flowing white robes that one tends to see.  But guardians of all sorts.  There are no "humans" in this deck.  Their faces aren't particularly unhappy or scary, but neither are they joyous or happy.  The skies are often dark and the pictures paint a dark picture.


Many cards take place against the backdrop of night or dusk.  Even the cards which take place during the day, much of the back ground is a hazy expanse.  I love this as it allows me to un-focus and feel, rather than possibly be distracted by some objects in the distance.


There is virtually nothing that accompanies this deck other than a card which shows the Celtic Cross spread on one side, and, on the other, a quick reference providing meanings.  I would have liked to know more about the artist and what he has to say about the deck, but alas, no.  Don't let this keep you from getting the deck, however.


I came across this deck while at a tarot conference in Calgary that was organized by the Canadian Tarot Network.  The group was wise to have a vendor that sold tarot merchandise, as I have noticed that many tarot readers are also tarot-holics. I am part of that group of people that cannot resist a deck and, when something new and interesting comes along...enter:  The Guardian Tarot.


It caught my eye immediately, as it was not a deck that I knew about or had seen before, so it really stood out.  Upon talking to the vendor, who owns a local shop, I was told that the deck was done by someone local to Calgary and that it was done as part of his graduating project in an art program.


I was able to contact the creator of the deck, Jeff Minkevics, and have been told that he is a Graduate of Alberta College of Art and Design where he majored in Drawing. 


Each card was done as an individual painting, 36" x 40" on foam-core and treated board, and the creator drew inspiration from old medieval tapestries and illustrations.  It was quite an undertaking.  2100 hours worth of studio time was logged, both for painting and for pre-production work.


Three of my favorite cards from this deck are The Fool, Death, and the High Priestess (at top).  The background of the Fool card shows an empty, hazy expanse, as I mentioned earlier.  This makes stronger the idea of The Fool heading out into a great nothingness from which many great things start.

The Death card shows a "fallen" Guardian.  Its wings have been clipped and s/he is earthbound in a old barren forest.  Before him/her is a tree stump, but a new bud grows from it.


Lastly, The High Priestess.  She sits quietly upon her throne, but looks like the knowledge she carries has become a weight upon her shoulders, and sits slightly bent forward, slightly worn.


The card backs are not reversible, and show a pentacle in the center with the four symbols of the elements in each corner.  While the card fronts are glossy, the backs are matte.  The card stock is a little thinner than average, but are fine.  Each card is 3 x 4.  The only thing Im was not overly happy with was the large borders on the Minor Arcana.


Any person who has worked with the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) deck can use these cards.  The cards showcase the artist's own work and his vision of the cards, but the distinctive influence of the RWS can be seen here.


I find the darkness in this deck appealing, in that I don't find it comes off a "Goth-y", nor boring nor typical.  The world that these guardians live in is dark and somber and fits the feelings and expressions that the creatures in the cards show.


You can purchase the deck directly from the artist here.





78 cards



Reversible Backs



Strength VIII, Justice XI



Color Images



Standard (RWS) Titles of the Major Arcana



Traditional (RWS) Suits (Rods/Wands, Cups/Chalices, Swords, Pentacles/Disks)



Traditional (RWS) Golden Dawn Suit-Element Attributions



Standard dimensions (approx. 4 3/4" X 2 3/4")                  



Slightly smaller than standard (approx.  2 1/2" x 4 1/2")                                         



Larger than standard                                             




Chris Asselin is a confirmed Tarotholic living in Toronto Canada with his partner Tony, and two cats.  Chris bought his first deck almost 15 years ago, and the rest is history.  He is both a member of the American Tarot Association and the Canadian Tarot Network, and recently acquired his Certified Tarot Reader level with the latter.

Images Sanctuary Studios
Review 2004 Chris Asselin
Page 2004 Diane Wilkes