Top positive review
A deck that focuses on the good (not the bad and the ugly) aspects of life...and what's wrong with that?!
Reviewed in the United States on April 21, 2017
I can't believe I haven't reviewed any previous decks by Colette Baron Reid (as there are a number of them I own, I read quite frequently, and that I have purchased for others as gifts). There is a couple reasons this did not earn five stars from me (more on that in a moment). I find this deck is mostly suited for personal exploration. It is positive and affirming and look at the good side of all cards in the Tarot. Unlike some of the author's other decks, there are no reverse interpretations.
First...the nitty-gritty about this deck. This is a full 78-card Tarot deck with a major and minor arcana. The majors are numbered 0-21. Card titles are mostly the same with the exception of the following: Love = Lovers, Fortune's Wheel = Wheel of Fortune, Transformation = Death, Patience = Temperance, Temptation = Devil, Call = Judgement. Minor Arcana suits are: Air = Swords, Water = Cups, Earth = Pentacles, and Fire = Wands. Court cards are: Pages, Messengers = Knights, Queens and Kings.
Majors focus as normal on major themes or lessons. Court cards reflect attitudes/states of mind and, of course, can represent people or aspects of a personality that may be influencing a situation. Overall, the book gives a nice brief background on the arcanas and card suits. All interpretations are personalized to the reader ("All that glitters isn't gold, I know that I always deserve authentic riches, the gold that fills me with joy, abundance, and understanding"--from interpretation for the 8 of Water). This makes it an ideal deck for personal explorations and affirmation work.
The artwork has a soft, dreamy, magical quality. I like the artistic interpretation of the hermit, for example.There is no wise old man walking with a cane and a lantern. There is light shining on what appears to be a door (with a kingly face on it). There are keys hanging above the door to choose from. You have to look around a bit to discover where the keyhole is. It's there, and I wonder why I missed it the first time. I like the symbology behind this image as it seems to fit well with what the traditional hermit stands for.
The art doesn't work for me with some of the cards. Death (Transformation), for example, I can't see exactly what is in the girl in the picture's hands (I assume it is something transforming into something else). But my old eyes just can't make it out. The Emperor, Love (Lovers), and the Strength cards all feature lions prominently. The size of the cards is also a problem, as some other reviewers have indicated. They are wide and difficult for my small, somewhat arthritic hands to shuffle.
I also wish there was a little more meat to these interpretations or that there were reverse interpretations. While I have no problem with Baron-Reid's positive, happy approach to interpreting the Tarot, I do disagree with her about reversals. She mentions that most people get discouraged with reversals, so she did not include them. While that is true, a number of reversed tarot cards are actually more positive when reversed than when they appear upright. I think that added nuance would've been helpful and reversals could have all been cast in a positive light as well. There is nothing to fear in a negative card as they are lessons we must all face. She does a magnificent job taking negative cards in the deck (such as the 10 of Swords, 3 of Swords, or the 5 of Pentacles) and showing us the light illuminating or emanating from these so-called dark moments in our lives.
I feel this deck is more suitable for meditation, exploring in depth changes you are undergoing or contemplating, counseling yourself or others, and for a daily affirmation. I will probably rarely read for others with this deck, but will find it useful in my personal divination work. If you want a deck to work with for personal oracle work this is probably right for you. If you are new to the Tarot, you may want to seek out a more traditional deck first and become more familiar with the cards if you plan on reading for both yourself and others.