Starter Tarot Deck with artwork by George R. Bennett
About the Deck
The easy-to-use Starter Tarot Deck is complete with interpretations and reversed meanings printed on each card. Classic tarot motifs are reinterpreted in a colourful, naive style to reflect modern symbolism. These are perfect for beginners. The Starter Tarot card designs are executed in the style of ancient woodcuts.
The four suits in the starter Tarot deck are Swords, Wands, Cups, and Coins. Each suit contains a King, Queen, Knight, and Page - plus pip cards numbered from ten to ace. When the Minor Arcana cards are laid out - in the sequence of coins, cups, wands, and swords, with aces toward the left and kings at right - they form a continuous picture.
Regular meanings of the cards are printed at the top of each card, and the reverse meanings appear upside down at the bottom of each card.
Pack Information: 78 cards with a small instruction booklet
Size of Cards: 120 x 65 mm
Staff Review by Brett Almond
The Starter Tarot Deck draws much of it symbolism and illustrations from Tarot decks that were popular in past centuries such as the Tarot of the Marseilles (sixteenth century). Decks such as these are where the Rider Waite deck originally drew much of its symbolism. What makes this deck unusual is that descriptions of the attributes of each card are written directly onto each card. There are both 'positive' and 'negative' attributes recorded. Some people read the Tarot so that a card the right way up means 'positive' and a card the wrong way up means 'negative' (or rather blocked positive energy). So for this deck, if the card falls upside down, the description that is visible is the right way up. Does that make sense? The descriptions are made up of key words or phrases. For example, for the Magician card the 'positive' description reads:
Creativity. Free will. Self-reliance. Skill. Spontaneity. Willpower. Self-confidence. A good salesman. Dexterity. Ingenuity. Deception. Trickery. Sleight of hand. Whereas the 'negative' aspects read:
Weakness of will. Ineptitude. Insecurity. Disquiet. Delay. Lack of imagination. Willpower applied to evil ends. Disgrace.
Two words of warning should be issued with these cards:
Eventually, Tarot should be an intuitive art. So if you buy these cards, and you are serious about learning they should be seen as a step on the road of learning. If however, you just want a Tarot deck that you can take out every now and again, and you do not wish to devote time to learning it in great detail, then this could be just the deck, as you will have the simple meanings there in front of you, so you do not need to be constantly referring to a book.
The second issue is that of whether to allow cards to be read upside down or not, or whether to place them all in the same orientation. Some would say that allowing cards to fall either way up opens you up to where blockages may lie in your life, while others may say that an upside down card makes us think that it is a 'bad' card, whereas it is actually just a description of where you are energetically, and shouldn't be seen as good or bad. Which way you decide to do it is a matter of preference. Probably a positive way to approach it is to say that when a card appears negative, it is merely describing a part of you that can be changed to help you feel even better! My immediate reaction was that the drawings on these cards were fairly simple, but after spending some time with them you realise that, especially in the reinterpreted minor Arcana, there is plenty to keep your interest.
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