9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2007
In her book, the Intuitive Tarot, Cilla Conway says:
"The Intuitive Tarot had its beginning one evening in 1973 when a doodle of the Fool appeared unbidden on my page. His eyes, strange and compelling, invited me to follow him into his world. I have been following him ever since. You may not find him appealing; he overthrows our comfortable convictions, making us question our values and those of society; but if you want to recover joy and innocence in your life, the Fool is the figure you need to connect with."
If you are familiar with the classical tarot decks such as Raider Waite (which I adore), you will be able to read and use The Intuitive Tarot easily. Cilla gives guidance on both traditional meanings and intuitive interpretations she developed. The Major and Minor Arcana cards are introduced in turn and there is space for the reader to record their own impressions of each card. The information Cilla provides for each card in the book, is enriched with a blend of Jungian, Greco-Classical, and Mythology.
In Cilla's book information on each card is sectioned into: aspects of each card, how to work with it, to dialogue with it, starter interpretation, and reversed interpretation. The dialogues are thought provoking and can be used as visualisations to help familiars yourself with each image. The first thing I learnt from my friend and teacher Merryn José was how to communicate with each card, and find out what it means to me, as it appears in various positions, or houses, in a spread; upright as well as reversed. The Intuitive Tarot and its accompanying book allow you to do just that.
Art and Intuition
While one can be subjective about art, Cilla Conway's Intuitive Tarot is about releasing one's intuition. And, there is something for everyone - if you allow the images to `communicate' with you. Each card's image is unique and dynamic, swirls, spirals, flowing lines, and stylised elongated figures with alien-like faces seem to move and leap across the cards with such energy. If you listen well, you can hear nature's elements too!
The colours are often serene allowing the Intuitive Tarot's energy and movement to whisper something to you as you study each card. At times the images seem retro, at others glimpses of Ancient Egypt appear - other moments the cards have a `galactic' feel. The figures are often nude, daring, and honest taking the reader beyond the usual interpretation.
Cilla's decision to paint every `scene' or image within the construct of an egg; left a great impression on my mind. For her, the oval shape reflects the Divine Feminine, an area she was drawn to early in her studies. This is echoed in the packaging of the cards too. Form the outset, you know that you will `crack that egg' and release your imagination.
For me, the oval shape seemed to resemble a magical concave (sometimes convex) mirror, where I `step out of the frame' and observe what the magical mirror is about to reveal. Each time, new impressions are awakened in the reader's mind.
Using the Intuitive Tarot
My favourite images of the major cards are the Sun, The Moon, The Star, Temperance and (yes) the Tower. The distorted base and image of the building really gives the feel that the image is being reflected through a convex mirror - as though one is scrying into it.
For me, the bolt of lighting and the image of the tower itself are about use of technology, the Internet, and the speed of spreading information or communication (Broadband). I found her interpretation of the Tower particularly modern and contemporary; and that of the Chariot really intriguing.
I found myself particularly drawn to Cilla's artistic interpretation of the minor cards, namely the wands (or as she prefers to call them, rods) and the pentacles (discs), where I felt her artistic ability as well as intuition were truly free and inspired. Among my favourite ones are, the one of Rods, the eight of Rods, and the three of Discs. The words `disc' triggered a new interpretation for me, and I experienced a unique aspect of `pentacles'.
The more I work with Cilla Conway's cards, the more I appreciate the originality of her art and interpretation. I find the images stimulate the mind in new directions. It took Cilla nearly twenty years for her dream to manifest - and the results are a delight. She now conducts workshops on the subject (see below); I strongly recommend that you participate in one.
Cilla is a London-based artist using a variety of media: video, installation, photography and painting. She is also the author and creator of the Intuitive Tarot and Deva Cards. She also teaches at the College of Psychic Studies.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2009
I have had several Tarot decks, and books that "tried" to explain the meanings of said cards. Never have I had such a positive approach to the art of Tarot, nor the abilities in each and everyone of us to expand our awareness/intuition regarding what this ancient art-form really is. Some of the images were a bit unsettling for me at first, I wasn't sure how to interpret her vision. The longer I worked with them, and the more they became incorporated into my life, I began to see the mysticism in her art. It is by far the first time I have had any real assimilation to what the cards really mean, any that has actually stayed with me as I know this is going to. I chose this deck because of my own intuitive abilities, and what the cards spoke to me when I saw them. I am so glad that I did. It is a deck that I will have for a long, long time. It is also one that has helped me glean a great deal of clarification in my own life, at a time when I really needed it. I very much feel the choosing of these cards were one along with most things I believe in--- not a random act, but in direct relation to what I needed right out of the cosmic order of things. I'm grateful. If you find yourself drawn to them and don't know why, don't worry about the why, just go with the heeding. I very much doubt you will regret the insight or wisdom that she so freely gives in her offering to us her insights into the wonderful world of intuitive Tarot.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
I ordered this deck based on the sample cards here and ones I found on the web. I liked the colors and the almost impressionistic images. I wanted something a little less than traditional, but with the same basic imagery, to open me up to more intuitive interpretations. This deck, called the Intuitive Tarot, seemed perfect.
The first image I saw was the Fool. He is drawn really rough and basic, more sketched than drawn. His expression, and the expression on every face, is blurry and blank, without features. The figures themselves are very basic, with little texture, features or detailing at all. The images didn't look simple and intuitive to me, they looked blank and incomplete, as if sketched quickly and shuffled off for publication and money making. Its likely that's not what truly happened, but it was how I felt about the images. The Empress holds an infant to her breast, staring off blankly out of the card with the sketchily featured face, expressionless face typical of this card, looking as if she will at any moment drop the child without caring or noticing. Not an energy I want in an Empress. Then, I saw the Emperor, and I actually laughed out loud. Below his solid block of a body and his blank, featureless, expressionless face (his face looks like the shadow face on mars actually), is a winged phallus with a phallus. I don't care for such imagery. It seems unnecessary and crude to me. Other tarot decks I have include phallic imagery, but its not so big, blatant or the only symbol. Its not usually the sole focus of a card. I feel there are other more tasteful ways to portray male potency and power. If I had seen this card in my investigation, I NEVER would have bought this deck. As is, I find this deck silly and childish based on this card, uninvolving and without connection based on the blank figures with their barely featured and utterly expressionless faces and disappointing in the overly simply sketched, uninteresting and honestly often blurry images.
I hope I can return, but I opened the box and doubt I can. I wouldn't even give these as a gift to someone, and will perhaps donate.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2008
The cards in this deck are oversized and packaged very nicely. The accompanying book provides useful, concise insights into the possible interpretations for the cards, including reversals. A special attribute of this deck is that for each card, there is a one paragraph section in the book that provides ideas for you if you need to meditate upon or work with the concepts held in that card. This deck is a nice addition to anyone who collects or is interested in Tarot cards.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2008
I have been collecting tarot cards for a while now and this deck is simply stunning! The colors of the artwork immediately drew me in and the artwork itself is extremely fascinating. There is an immediate connection to the images when you open the deck and it's difficult to take your eyes off of them once you start flipping through the cards. The size of the cards and muted tones of the images give this deck an almost antique feel and there is a depth to these cards that is difficult to put into words - it's something you just feel. I haven't connected this quickly with a deck since my first deck several years ago.
The book is nicely laid out and Ms. Conway has included an area after each card description for the reader to write down their own intuitive insights for the cards. She also includes a few actual readings done for people using a variety of spreads.
Overall, this deck has become an immediate favorite and I look forward to working with these cards for many years to come.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2012
This deck had been on my want list for a while. The soft coloring and abstract style appealed to me. I waited too long. This is a very versatile tarot. It is indeed supportive of intuition, and draws on a number of familiar decks. Knowing most of the art was completed in the 70s helps put it in context as a very forward looking tarot that feels just right, not dated at all. It has clear resonance with the Waite-Smith, Thoth, and Aquarian tarots.
What is most appealing about this deck is the harmony and independence it has from the major modern tarots. The book draws on familiar delineations and also has a unique perspective. Because of the familiar structure, it is readable right out of the box. Those who like to trim borders may enjoy a much improved experience and deeper intuitive engagement by reducing the cards down to the image without words. This is the first thing I did. The deck is near poker-sized after my trim, and I am thrilled. This is a flexible deck and suitable for pragmatic readings, as well as personal study and reflection. I expect to get a lot of use out it.
The art is some of best out there, if you like abstract or modern styles. The figures are simple and highly stylized, which allows for the intuition to play freely. They remind me of Art Deco, as well as being lightly futuristic. There is a bit of Fritz Lang's Metropolis to that combination. If you know the classic film, you will see many distinct similarities in the crowns and headdresses. The colors are beautiful and the forms remind me of Georgia O'Keeffe's softer abstract works. There is a great deal of emphasis on the human figure. If you are uncomfortable with nudity or the sensual or sexual aspects of life, this tarot probably isn't for you. If you do appreciate and enjoy the increasingly rare representation of such themes in tasteful and gender-balanced ways, this is a notable quality of some figures. The bodies are idealized, but abstractly, not like recent trends towards people who would look better in comic books, on romance novel covers, or courts and trumps modeled on celebrities.
The book is a notably worthwhile complement not too wordy, and not sketchy. I like it more and more, the more I read. It is printed in a deep purple ink, and there is a full page for each of the trumps for additional notes. On the page there is a reproduction of the card image in a soft greyscale. It's a lovely production and very well thought out. I liked it from the start, and it grows more and more appealing. The deck is suitable for beginners. It's also a treat for experienced readers and discerning collectors.
A balanced, complete, sensitive, and original tarot that delivers on every level.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
An unexpected trip to a bookstore put the Intuitive Tarot literally right in my face on the bookshelf. This deck had been on my wishlist for quite some time and I had forgotten all about it! I think it really is one of those decks that you need to be able to see in person, scans of the cards do not do it justice!
To me the deck seems like a gentle version of the Thoth deck. The imagery at times evokes the style of the Thoth, without the complex (and distracting) esoteric symbolism. It's like the Thoth without the "hardness", without the teeth and the edges. So if you kind of like the Thoth and respect the Thoth yet don't feel as though the Thoth would be for you in everyday practice and reading (which is how I feel about the Thoth), this deck is perfect for you! Also a consideration if you prefer an illustrated minor arcana.
What is so captivating about this deck is it's movement and its rawness. These images are so fluid, it doesn't take much for them to come alive in the mind's eye! The rawness comes from a stripped down interpretation of the cards that really lets the essence and energy of the card come through. For example, Conway's interpretation of the Chariot is without many frills. There isn't the sense of drama, richness, or costume with this card...instead there is raw, unfettered vitality, power, strength, and focus with this card.
The chariot is beautiful, as are all of the cards. The beauty of these cards is in the grace each image conveys which again I feel goes back to the movement that exists in each image! If you like your Major Arcana with Justice as 8 and Strength as 11 you will further love this deck as this is the order that Conway has gone with.
For the most part the colors are soft, muted, which I didn't think I would be drawn to. I love bold, bright colors, and until I found the Intuitive Tarot I have been working exclusively with the Morgan Greer Tarot for 9 years! I'm not a pastel person, but the colors of the Intuitive Tarot have drawn me in to this dreamlike world where intuition rules supreme.
So many deck creators have produced visually pleasing decks and yet it is clear by their takes on the minors (and sometimes the Majors) that they do not have knowledge about Tarot let alone an intuitive connection with the subject and the cards themselves. The minor arcana in this deck are truly inspired images and gorgeous evidence that Conway has both a theoretical understanding of Tarot and an intuitive sense of what each image means. They aren't images I have seen before, they are a different take on the minor arcana without losing the essence of what the card is about. For example, the 4 of rods shows the contentment and ease of home life and yet there is the added element of time, the entire image is held within an hourglass. The 7 Swords sticks in my mind as well as being a very inspired and unconventional interpretation of the 7 swords. A lone figure stands on a sunset (or sunrise?) cliff with all the land before them and a huge, billowing plume of smoke or cloud nearby obscuring their vision to one direction. The swords themselves are hidden within a cave under the ground. Just beautiful, and the smoke cloud is another example of how the images in this deck come to life and MOVE!
There is a lot of nudity in this deck, but it is gentle and it is art and in no way innappropriate or vulgar. Due to the nudity I would be aware of my audience when I read with this deck, but the nudity makes sense and adds to the essence of each card.
From a tactile perspective the Intuitive is a dream, the cards are not heavily laminated in fact they are a little grainy, gritty feeling so they aren't thick and slipping all over the place. They are easy to shuffle and yet appear to be quite sturdy. The companion book is another bonus to this deck, it is well made with a sewn binding so it isn't going to get brittle and crack. There are blank pages after each card for your own intuitive notes!
I just wish I had found this deck sooner, it really does unleash your intuition and get into a receptive state of mind to contemplate the beautiful images. It's everything a Tarot deck should be, beautiful and inspired!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2008
In the two weeks or so I've had this deck, it has quickly become my deck of choice. I am a somewhat left-brained person and in my time as a Tarot student, I have had trouble finding a deck that "speaks" to me. Enter the Intuitive Tarot.
The images on this deck are as evocative as they are beautiful, with rich, subtle color choices and swirling shapes. I find these cards a rich field for my intuition; for the first time as a Tarot student and enthusiast, I find myself able to give a reading based upon something more than rote memorization of "keywords." Highly recommended.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
This is a thoughtfully designed product. The book accompanying the deck is like a small paperback in that it is large enough print for old eyes to make out. The text not only describes the functions of each card well but then has a section entitled "working with..." and "dialogues with..."in which the author tries to assist the reader in developing a sensual experience/understanding for each card. She also has a "starter "interpretation' for each card and "reversed". In my opinion, these descriptions are thorough. I would imagine this gives the reader a push into intuitive experiences with these cards; exactly what the author sets out to do.
The cards are artistically creative & impressive. The colors are bright and deep. The artwork goes from somewhat realistic to 'dream like'. It is ambiguous enough to encourage your imagination but grounded in enough reality such that you can recognize the card. Names for each card nicely done at bottom and border around each card is white. I like not having the pictures heavily framed in. The size of the cards is uncommon, 3 1/8" X 4 1/4", but nicely displays the artwork.
My only disappointment is the quality of the card stock. This is not the feel of a good quality or even durable card stock. I suspect these cards will wear quickly. If you bend them in shuffling some appear to remain bent. The cards feel like the cardboard of a cereal box. I think the quality of the cards detract from the nice product Ms. Conway is presenting. I would gladly pay $5.00 more for a better quality card stock.
on April 17, 2011
I looked at many decks before selecting this one - I have found the cards very easy to learn. The images are rich with symbols, informed by historical Tarot but rendered from a more modern perspective that makes them easily understood and immediately relevant. The accompanying book is delightful - Ms. Conway gives a commentary of her art along with starter interpretations of the cards. My favorite deck by FAR!