Barnes and Noble Tarot Deck and Book Setbn216.jpg (19503 bytes) Tarot, An Easy to Follow Illustrated Guide to the Mysteries of the Tarot            Review by Lisa Rush
ISBN 076071004X  by Jonathan Dee  Illustrated by Shirley Barker

This deck was a Christmas gift from my husband who is a non-tarot person. He had no idea if I would like it or not (and I loved it!), but for only $10, the quality of the cards wasn't compromised. The cards are not waxed, and  for their size (2 3/4 in  x 4 3/4 in.) they shuffle easily. The cards' numbers are at the top and suits at the bottom, with a plain white 5/8 inch border.  The card backs are six curved and woven wands with a budding flower facing upward in the center so that you can tell if they are reversed. This 78card deck is packaged in a plastic well that holds the deck and book, with a sliding cover that allows the cards to show through.

The LWB is a beautiful, hardbound 64 page book with a picture of the Moon and  Star cards on the front. It offers reversed meanings, how to interpret  multiples of the same numbers, and an array of several layouts. It also includes how to tell timing.   One method is by counting backwards from the last card you lay.

There are some interesting differences from the Rider-Waite symbolism. In  the Majors, there is a monkey on The Magician's table; The Chariot's sphinxes are looking over their shoulders and facing each other; Strength has no garland of roses; The Devil, a goat head with an eye on its forehead and spiraling horns, has the man and woman chained to it by their hearts; and The Tower had seven tiers and five barred doors in its base. In the minors, the pips are illustrated: cups and swords court cards have white auras around them; all of the cups have auras around them; and the pentacles all have vegetation in them showing the growth stages in plants from ace as a sprout to ten being a full grown plant. The art work is watercolors and block print, similar in style to the "Tarot De Marseilles".

Since the minors do not show characters and action, some working knowledge of what their key words are is necessary to enjoy this deck. I wish there were an author's and artist's bio to accompany the book so that readers could know what inspired the cards' meanings and the artist's style, choice of colors, and medium. I enjoy reading with this deck and the book is a wonderful teaching reference. This deck was commissioned by the bookseller. It may be hard to find as it was available at Christmas and I have not seen it on the shelf since then. If you find it, don't pass it up! Lady's Love, Light, and Laughter,

Lisa Rush, CPTR
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