The Simplified Tarot

The box for this deck proclaims it "The Easiest Fortune Telling Tarot Ever". While I would not agree with this assessment, the deck is different in several ways. First of all the cards are small - 2" X 3 1/3". The scenes are simple line drawings without color. The style puts one in mind of political cartoons in the newspaper. The people have large heads, which are out of proportion to their bodies. The Minors are pips. Some of the scenes on the Majors are decidedly non-traditional. The Magician is called The Juggler and depicts a bearded gentleman in a strange cap playing a shell game with a duck replacing the traditional pea. The Devil shows a well dressed gentleman in suit, tie, overcoat and walking stick, with horns and hoofed. Strength is 11 and Justice is 8. The courts cards are King, Queen, Knight and Knave.

The little booklet that comes with the deck provides a fairly robust history of the Tarot as these booklets go. The writer seems well versed in the history of the Tarot, referring to the trionfi, Alliette and Crowley. For a more comprehensive explanation of the cards he refers the reader to Alliette, Oswald Wirth and others. The author states that compared to systems such as Crowley's, this deck is "simplified". The interpretations are short and predictive in nature. They seem somewhat superficial and are often non-traditional. Here is an example: Knight of Swords warns you to be wary of men riding.

Despite the name, I would not recommend this deck for beginner's looking for an easy starter deck. While this deck may "simple" compared to Crowley, the absence of scenes on the Minors coupled with the non-traditional interpretations do not bode well for the beginner. I would recommend this deck for collectors and experienced readers looking for something different.

See more cards from the Simplified Tarot Deck

The Simplified Tarot Deck
Publisher: US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT, 06902, (800) 544-2637, Fax: (203) 353-8431

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson