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The Mary-el Tarot (with cards) Paperback – February 28, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.; Pap/Crds edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764340611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764340611
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marie White was compelled to create art from a very early age and thought of it as something akin to breathing or water. She grew up with a pencil in hand recording the substance of dreams, visions, nature, and the human form. In 1997 her love of mysticism, symbolism, words, and art collided naturally and she began the Mary-el Tarot which ended up taking over a decade to complete.
Her favorite medium is oil paint used in a method called grisaille, a technique also favored by the old masters where thin layers of color are slowly built up bringing out the natural depth and luminosity of the paint. Born and raised in Southern California, she presently lives with her three children in the sultry piedmont forest of North Carolina where she can paint under the rolling thunder and the moving shadows of trees.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received the Mary-El Tarot today, quite unexpectedly. Amazon has listed it as back-ordered for awhile now, and I hadn't noticed the e-mail telling me it had been shipped ... but suddenly it appeared. I opened the package with some trepidation -- would it live up to the expectations I've had for it over the past four or five years? The answer is an unqualified YES.

The presentation is excellent: the sturdy box has a hinged top that stays closed with a hidden magnet. The compartment for the cards is much better quality than many similar boxes. (But it's necessary to tip the whole box over to get all the cards out; the thumb hole doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the box. A ribbon attached to the bottom of the compartment should fix that.)

When I pulled the cards out of the box and began my initial quick glance through the deck -- to get a feel for the cards and to make sure they were all there -- the first thing I noticed is that one of the cards was backwards in the deck, and out of order: the Queen of Cups. I set it aside and started going through the rest of the deck, expecting that maybe I'd find another card was missing. But no: they were all there. I just had an extra Queen of Cups. The wise woman in that card is staring at me now as I write this. About her, Marie White says this: "The Queen of Cups _is_ the Holy Grail, the reservoir and container of all our subconscious and ancestral wisdom, the dark waters of the abyss." Oh my.

I've now spent two hours going through the deck slowly, card by card, spending a few seconds or a minute on each one, then going back to them again and again. I've never seen a Tarot deck as rich, beautiful, and haunting as this one. The images all seem utterly unique, yet utterly familiar.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I have given this product only three stars, my dissatisfaction does not derive from the cards themselves. The Mary-El Tarot cards are every bit as intriguing and lovely as any other reviewer has already stated. Ms. White writes that her tarots pay homage to three different and important branches of the tarot family: the Marseilles, the Waite-Smith, and the Crowley-Harris. With obvious nods to each throughout, every card is a self-contained work of art that reflects the artist's vision and her internal synthesis of various (and often contradictory) personal and esoteric influences. Having said that, I have studied Tarot under a primarily Golden Dawn framework for almost two decades and feel that I can very often see the point that Ms. White is trying to make in her artwork. At the risk of sounding haughty, I do not recommend this deck as anyone's first deck. These cards are complicated and will require some attention in order to use them well, but I believe that they may eventually be a deck I use with confidence. As an aside, the cards are also wonderfully large and may require some practice shuffling.

Unfortunately, after being mezmerized with startling and provocative imagery on nearly every card, I tried to read the book. Schiffer must be scolded for this. Obviously, they employ more typesetters than editors. The introduction bombards the reader with an awkward and trite cut-and-paste style that is so poorly punctuated and disorganized that I pitied Ms. White for being allowed to appear so unprepared by her publisher. The descriptions of the cards fare little better. In the past, I have reveled in reading or listening to an artist explain his or her process. Ms.
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5 Comments 62 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This tarot by Marie White is intensely cosmic and conveys a vivid sense of mystery and the divine. Beautiful seems too cliche a word for a new item in a already saturated medium filled with lots of beautiful decks. So maybe stunning or "stop what you are doing and look at me" awesomeness might suffice.

It's a bit large and hard to shuffle, but if you practice I think it gets easier.

I think this is a deck that comes along only once in a while. Thought provoking and meditative. Wild and non-violent, gentle but extremely powerful at the same time.

Very much recommended. Beginners may have some trouble though. I think the author assumes some traditional and esoteric tarot knowledge is known already. The book is not a light read, but has a warmth to it that is poetic and meditative. Time will tell as I become more familiar, but I feel this deck may be best used for personal, spiritual growth rather than readings for others.
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Format: Paperback
This tarot deck is seriously stunning! The box opens with magnetic closure. On one side you have a beautifully printed and well written companion guide that includes black and white photos of each card. On the other side lies the large, vibrant and amazing deck of the Mary El Tarot. Her artwork not only exudes raw talent, but a heavy sense of the traditional meanings of the tarot. There are many beautiful paintings of anatomical figures that represent clearly their intended interpretations. On other cards there are beautifully rendered animals that evoke a sense of mystery and wonder. Each painting utilizes colour, mood, figures, nature, the polarity of male and female and their union, occult symbolism and so much more. It is set against a black border, which works wonderfully with the vibrant colours in the cards.

5 Stars For the Artwork. I think this could appeal to tarot traditionalists as well as people who appreciate modern illustration.

4 Stars for the deck quality. Printed on high quality card stock. Each card is large enough to do each painting justice. Thick enough that they will not easily bend. Vibrant and clear print quality. The only complaints I have is the cards stick together easily and there are some irregularities in the lamination which created a white spot on the backs of a couple of cards. Also, my deck's borders are not the same size all around, the picture is off center.'Were they hastily cut or is everyone's deck like this? It's not very noticeable, maybe I am being a tad picky here.

5 Stars for the Booklet. This goes above and beyond most "little white books" that come with tarot decks. Of course if you have a deep interest in tarot you will always want to read more.
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