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A Tarot Deck of Substance: a New Classic?,
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This review is from: The Mary-el Tarot (with cards) (Paperback)
Given the hundreds, nay, thousands of tarot decks available today, it's difficult to find the wheat among the chaff, but this is a serious tarot deck. I would go so far as to say that this is a legitimate work of art. This is NOT a unicorns and white light, superficial deck.
Ms. White has created a system of her own. Her Qabalistic and astrological attributions differ from most decks available today, but in her well-written and comprehensive book, she sets forth her system in such as way that it fits into a cohesive, profound whole. This goes to show that one needn't follow the Golden Dawn, Crowley, Wirth, Levi, or Spanish attributions blindly.
Not only are her attributions meaningful, but her artwork is just that: true art. There is not one hint of the Photoshopped, Botox-like expressionless Ephebes and Barbie dolls so prevalent in modern decks; conversely, while she provides images that are disturbing and dark, they always possess an integral and complex beauty, giving her cards through what Aquinas would call "integritas" a life of their own. To be sure, there are breathtakingly lovely images to be found, too, such as the cards of Justice, Judgment (breathtaking and blood-red phoenix), and the Two of Swords. It's just that their beauty is complex and often quirky, à la the face of la Giaconda herself. Furthermore, there is a "fearful symmetry" to her lavishly-illustated pip cards: for example, each Ace displays some aperture through which the essence of the suit may enter the appropriate world. This deck promises many years of fruitful study. Truthfully, only time will tell whether this deck will approach such classic decks as the Noblet TdM, the Wirth, Falconier, Brotherhood of Light, Waite-Smith, Wang, or Crowley decks. Yet it is the first deck in decades that has such gravitas and sheer brilliance of execution. Well done!