Kabbalah Tarot of Love by Miss Persephone
Review by Morwenna Morasch

About three months ago, a Japanese bookstore opened in my neighborhood. Actually, it is some sort of "mail order central," operated from the proprietorís living room Ė but I still asked if she could get tarot decks from Japan for me. This week, my long-awaited order finally arrived, and Iíd like to share my joy and present you with my instant favorite: Miss Persephoneís Kabbalah of Love Tarot. 

It is a Major Arcana deck, and Iím sorry the accompanying book is in Japanese, because the name is a mystery to me: Art and symbolism make it a Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) clone, though a very pretty one. To me, there are no indications for an explicit qabalistic approach in the cards, so obviously, it must be in the book... Also, the love aspect of the title remains mysterious. 

The cards are oversized and measure 15 x 8.5 cm. They are printed on good cardstock, but donít shuffle too well, since the gilded backs are a little rough. The backs are black ornaments on heavy gold and are reversible. The artwork is done in muted colors with pastels or crayons, and it follows the RWS original very closely. Some cards are even stripped of details some more, e.g. pomegranates donít seem to be essential to the artist, as they are missing as well in the High Priestess and in the Empress card. The Empress is also less of a fertility symbol, being neither obviously pregnant nor surrounded by crops.

An interesting change has been made with the Magician, whose pose is reversed from the RWS with the wand in his left hand and the right pointing to the ground. Probably because he is not stretching his arm upward like his counterpart does and because of the dark blue robes he is wearing, the whole figure evokes more of a tranquil impression, as opposed to dynamic action or even "showing off." He doesnít wear the Ouroborus belt, but the flowers framing the card do remind me of the shape of the coiling snake. However, the artist is either not familiar with the symbolism of the roses and lilies in the RWS deck, or a narcissus has a similar meaning in Japan. 

In the Lovers, the couple is not facing each other. They look to different sides, while at the same time expressing a dialogue with their body language. The situation depicted is the crucial moment when Eve is about to hand the apple to Adam, so it is more than just a hint towards the decision aspect of that card. 

The book, a paperback of 200 pages, starts with a general introduction to the tarot and has illustrations from different (European) decks like the Medieval Scapini or the Tarot of the Old Path ,which it seems to compare. The second chapter deals with the meanings of the individual cards and their reversals. Part three is devoted to practical reading lessons, like a step-by-step explanation on shuffling, and several spreads and reading examples. The book is very well illustrated, but unfortunately, I canít comment on the content! 

The deck has all the limitations of any Majors-only pack. Apart from that, it is very attractive and recommended for collectors as well as people who like the RWS symbolism, but seek a version with a pleasant color scheme.

See more cards from the Kabbalah of Love Tarot here.

You can order this deck from Sasuga Books. European customers might try info@kpressbookshop.de .

Kabbalah Tarot of Love by Miss Persephone
ISBN #: 4-88273-021-9

Morwenna Nadja Morasch's first encounter with the tarot took place 20 years ago, when she bought Ferguson's Tarot of the Witches in a novelty store out of curiosity. She was immediately hooked and presently owns a collection of about 60 decks. Morwenna has taken classes with two excellent German teachers, Pekny and Banzhaf, and also studies astrology. Spiritually, she follow a Witch's path with a close relationship to the Faerie folk, and is presently contracted to write a book linking faerie magic with the Tarot, to be published in Spring, 2003. View Morwenna's private homepage here.

Review © 2002 Morwenna Morasch
Page © 2002 Diane Wilkes