Tree of Life Tarot                                       Review by Michele Jackson

This deck was designed as a study aid for learning the Qabalistic and Astrological associations in Tarot. Rather than depict scenes or even pips, each card is illustrated with a glyph of the Tree of Life. The Major Arcana have a large diagram of the ten sephiroth. The sephiroth are represented by empty circles (Daath is not always represented). The path applicable to the card is drawn in (in the appropriate color) and the two sephiroth thus joined are also colored in. Each applicable sephira's planetary glyph is filled in as well. The upper right hand corner of the card shows the card number; the upper left corner, the card's astrological correspondence. The bottom right corner shows the letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the letter's number and it's name. The card's name in English and in German is centered on the bottom of the card.

The Minor Arcana show a zodiac wheel with the signs drawn in. A small glyph of the Tree of Life, like the ones depicted on the Major Arcana, is in the center of the Zodiac wheel. The applicable sephira, as well as the signs corresponding to the suit's element are colored in the appropriate color for the element: red for fire, blue for water, yellow for air and green for earth. The planet assigned to the card is shown on the outside of the zodiac wheel in position next to the appropriate sign. The symbol for the suit's element is in the upper right corner of the card; the card's number is in the upper left corner. The card's name and a short interpretation (usually one word) are on the bottom of the card, again in English and German. The Qabalistic assignments are based on Aleister Crowley's Thoth, vice the Waite deck. The court cards are also named as Crowley's: Knight, Queen, Prince and Princess. The court cards show the four letters of the Tetragrammaton in the center of the zodiac wheel, vice the Tree of Life. The appropriate letters for the court card are colored in.

The planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have been included, with Uranus assigned to Chokmah, Neptune assigned to Binah and Pluto assigned to Kether. My minor complaint with the Minors is that rather than just color in the appropriate sephira or letter for the court cards, the appropriate symbol and all of the ones preceding it are colored in. I guess this was to make the cards more visually attractive or easier to differentiate, but it seems unnecessary.

The little booklet that comes with the deck does a good job of describing the cards. A quick and dirty overview of the Tree of Life is provided, but those not already familiar with the system will need an additional reference, as the booklet only lists the sephiroth and identifies the other symbols used. Short interpretations are provided for the Major Arcana, the Aces and the court cards, but since the 2 - 10 have brief interpretations on the cards, no further interpretations are provided. One spread, "The Mindmirror," is provided. It is also based on the Tree of Life, but the reader is referred to the book "Mindmirror: Close Encounters with Your Self," for further information.

I recommend this deck for those who are studying the Tree of Life and its correspondence with the Tarot. Although the deck is not illustrated in the typical manner, it could certainly be used for readings as there is enough symbolic information on each card to interpret for those familiar with the Tree of Life and Astrology.

See more cards from the Tree of Life Tarot

Tree of Life Tarot
ISBN: 3-905017-15-6
Available from US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT, 06902, (800) 544-2637, Fax: (203) 353- 8431

Images Copyright 1983 AGMuller

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson