Quester Tarot: The Journey of the Brave by Patricia Beattie and Mike Giddens
Review by Valerie Sim-Behi

This is part of a larger article on Tarot and the Shaman

This is another deck from which I had seen a few beautiful card images such as New Life [pictured on right], which led me to believe that I would love the deck... I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This deck is literally a "Where did that come from?" creation. Combining indigenous American culture with the Tree of Life as found in the Cabala is not a combination that I see either Native Americans or cabalists appreciating. The fit is forced and neither original benefits from the merging. In addition to that, the court cards are associated with the astrological signs for their element, though Ms. Beattie does not explain precisely how this correspondence works. What results is chaotic at best.

The Minor Arcana are as follows: Wolf/Fire, Bear/Water, Eagle/Air, and Buffalo/Earth. All of the animals are shown "posed" in much the manner of the humans in the Rider Waite deck and clones. Such posing frequently does not translate well as typical of animal behavior and posture. Further confusing the issue are the book’s traditional meanings for the cards which do not well define or describe the animal illustration on the corresponding card.

The art is beautiful and the palette is vibrant.  Had it not been, I would never have purchased the set. But even beautiful art can not hold your interest when the subject matter is so mangled.

When you add to all of the above the fact that the cards are thick, large, hard to shuffle and fragile at the corners, I see little to recommend this deck to anyone. It attempts to do too many things and ends up not doing anything particularly well. It is not good Tarot and it certainly does not lend itself to shamanic studies.

See additional card images here.

You can read another review of this deck by Michele Jackson here.

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

Quester Tarot
Written by Patricia Beattie; Illustrated by Mike Giddens
Publisher: Harper-Collins
ISBN#: 1-86204-550-X

Valerie Sim-Behi is the founder and moderator of Comparative Tarot, an email list devoted to studying cards of different decks  in comparison to each other.   She has worked with the tarot for over 30 years.  Valerie created a spread that will appear in the book accompanying the Victoria-Regina Tarot by Sarah Ovenall, and has written various articles, including one on the Comparative Tarot method that will be published in Llewellyn's Tarot Calendar 2002.  You can visit Valerie at the Comparative Tarot websiteValerie wants to offer special thanks to Leah Pugh, Scanner Goddess for this series.

Review © 2001 Valerie Sim-Behi
Page © 2001 Diane Wilkes








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