Wise Gal Tarot - Review by Michele Jackson

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I was in a funky little store called Babbette Schwartz when I saw this book/deck high up on a shelf. The title immediately caught my eye. The cover was kind of campy with a woman wearing Bindi, five earrings, and eight rings looking at a crystal ball and three cards. I took it down and flipped through it. I was rather disappointed to find that the slim volume described several means of divination including dowsing, palmistry and pyromancy (reading fire), among others. Quite a bit to try to cram into 61 pages. However, there was a full 78 card deck included, so I bought it anyway.

The cards are in the back of the book on perforated cardboard. When punched out, they measure 1 3/4" X 3 1/4". The backs are reversible. The art is rather crude, but colorful. The Major Arcana and Court Cards are illustrated, but the pips show a suit symbol, suit name, and brief card meaning. The Hierophant has been renamed the Teacher; the Wheel of Fortune is called The Wheel of Life; The Hanged Man is called Suspension and Death is called Change. The Suits are called Wands, Cups, Pentacles and Swords on the Court Cards, but are called Spirit, Emotions, Mind  and Physical, respectively, on the pips. Justice is eight and Strength is 11. Fourteen pages of the book are devoted to Tarot, not counting the pages for the cards themselves. Consequently, the meanings provided are very short, consisting of a few sentences for the Majors and key words for the Minors. The meanings tend to be upbeat and positive. For example, Ten of Swords: surrender fears. Three spreads are provided: The Daily Special - a one card, card-for-the-day spread; Insight on Relationships Spread - a three card spread; and the Look-See Spread - an eight card general information spread.

I have not punched out the cards, but I would bet that they would be difficult to shuffle, due to the type of cardboard used. The book recommends you fan the cards out on a table and mix them by swooshing them around. The book also states that the deck was not meant to be read with reversals and no reverse meanings are provided.

I recommend this deck for collectors. The deck is too small and flimsy to be of much practical use and there is very little tarot information in the book. They are rather cute though, and hard core collectors will probably enjoy them. They are also less expensive than most decks at $9.99.

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

Wise Gal Tarot
Authors: Jane Burns and Dale Gottlieb
ISBN: 0-375-80644-X

Review 2001 Michele Jackson
Page 2001 Diane Wilkes

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