Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Deck, Flawed Guide Book, July 1, 2011
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This review is from: The Law of Attraction Tarot (Paperback)
The images in this deck provide a gorgeous and fresh take on the tarot. I particularly love the blending of modern and traditional/mythological imagery. For example, the Emperor is portrayed as a gentleman wearing a suit and the Hanged Man is shown as an urban tight rope walker, while the Chariot looks like Perseus's winged horses and the Devil is a pretty standard Baphoment figure resting on top of a pile of skulls. The court cards of the minor arcana are loaded with personality. Every once in a while artist Simone Gabrielli hits a magically inspired note, such as portraying the ace of cups as an overflowing cornucopia, and the two of cups as a cosmic yin yang symbol. The artwork is beautiful, although the cards are a little bit small for my liking and the vividness of the colors could be a bit brighter in the printed form. It should be stressed that the minor arcana stray far from Rider-Waite traditionalism.

Mariana Roveda's guide book is not as strong as the deck itself. There is some excellent information on the law of attraction in the introduction, particularly the 8 guidelines to properly formatting a wish (write it down, make sure it is expressed in quantifiable terms, make sure it is something you can be responsible for, etc) and there are some usable spreads in the back of the book. The entries explaining the cards, however, are unsophisticated and potentially misleading. The tone reminds me of a newspaper horoscope. For example, the explanation for the seven of cups begins, "You are probably a hedonist without complexes, and thus refuse the appeals of society." Anyone with a bit of Tarot experience knows that such an specific and simplistic interpretation is impossible, especially without more information, such as a card's position in a spread or even what the querent's question was! In her explanations, Roveda also neglects some fairly standard information about each card, such as the fact that the six of cups usually indicates feelings of nostalgia, the five of wands often represents energy but competition, and the aforementioned seven of cups can indicate flights of fancy or many conflicting possibilities.

The Tarot is a deep and rich tradition. Each card is an archetype, and the process of becoming an effective tarot reader is a process of truly getting to know each card over a considerable period of time. I don't expect a small companion book such as Roveda's to be an full introduction to tarot reading, but it should at least contain a few notes on the nature of the cards and mature methods of interpretation. It should advise reader's against black and white interpretations rather than encourage them.

Overall, this is a wonderful deck for the intermediate or advanced Tarot reader to own. It will enrich and diversify your way of looking at many cards, and the framework of the law of attraction is a wonderful and coherent lens. Beginners should avoid this deck until they have truly worked through at least two or three more traditional decks. (In the tarot world, the Rider-Waite deck is the standard starting deck, and I would recommend that, or a deck closely based on it, such as Robin Wood to a beginner.)
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