Halloween Tarot - Review by Gavin Pugh

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The Halloween Tarot is a theme deck and is based on the Waite Smith tarot. I do not think of it as a clone, more as possessed by the spirit Halloween, the ghost being Caspar.

The images are chosen from various aspects of horror and Halloween, even picking the German tradition of vegetable people to fill in the gaps. Most cards do stick to the image depicted by Waite, but some veer off. The Lovers, my soul card, comes across a bit differently. My idea of love may come with a window in it, but not Count Dracula coming up the drainpipe.

The Five of Pumpkins is a good illustration of the similarities and differences. The Waite Deck has a depressing tone, with the image of beggars walking under the church window, but when it is "Halloweened," it gives the images of children a lighter outlook by replacing beggars with children and a disability with a dropped bag of candy. The sense of material loss is lessened but the feeling is still there.

The Major change in this deck is the change of suit names. Wands are Imps; Pentacles, Pumpkins; Swords are Bats; and Cups are Ghosts. This allows for the elements to be animated and become part of the scene. The court cards are greatly enhanced as the elemental balances can be illustrated and are easier to interpret. Am I the only one that finds Court Cards difficult?

The swords suit in the Waite-Smith Tarot are a serious and oppressing suit, but under the transformation of Halloween they are easier to swallow. The strength of this deck is that the creators do make the cards more fun and easier to interpret by using the symbolism of Halloween, but still retaining more archaic references.

The artwork is in cartoon style which is great to look at. It's good for collectors, but also packed with meaning, so there are lots of symbols to work from.

Because of its Waite connection, anyone familiar with this deck or other Waite-clones would be able to pick it up and use it. I think owning it would enhance your outlook on some cards.

To see more cards and read other reviews of this deck, click here and here.

Halloween Tarot
Artist: Kipling West
Book by Karin Lee

Publisher: US Games Systems, Inc.


Deck: 0-88079-965-X
Book: 0-88079-989-7

If you wish to purchase this deck, click here.

If you wish to purchase the deck/book set, click here.

Gavin Pugh is the Guest Moderator for Halloween Tarot on Comparative Tarot.  He also selects the "Best of" Comparative Tarot and publishes an e-mail newsletter for that e-list.   He has recently begun to moderate an e-list of his writing called All78Degrees.  

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