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The Llewellyn Tarot Book Supplement – March 5, 2012
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About the Author
Anna-Marie Ferguson, a Scorpio, was born November 10, 1966, in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire, England. When she was ten years old her family emigrated to rural Alberta, Canada. Anna returned to England in 1982 to undergo training in graphic design. She eventually returned to Alberta, where she continued a career in design, devoting her spare time to developing her illustrating skills, ably assisted by her three cats.
Anna's fascination with Celtic legends and the Tarot began when she was a child in England. The atmosphere of the New Forest was steeped in history, and faithful readings of the legends cultivated an appreciation of "the romantic" in Anna. Such formative influences have inspired Anna to keep this bygone age alive through her art.
Top customer reviews
and I was doing his yearly tarot patterns and he once again responded to the deck. Since he was 7 or 8, he
has had an intuitive sense of the cards. I gave him his first deck soon thereafter. Now, before he went in the
Army, I asked if he would like a deck. Yes. So I selected three that I thought he might resonate with. He selected
this deck. I gave it freely but missed it. ( BTW, I have several, as in...hmmm, I've created a data base to try and
catalog them. I haven't finished that project.) One of the women in my tarot study group uses this deck so every month I am reminded that I miss it.
So, finally, I reordered this deck for myself.
Tarot is not new. This deck bears this in mind as the Minor arcana are careful reinterpretations of the Rider-Waite images. These symbols are now recognizable all over the world. Beginners can easily study and memorize the images.
Now, looking at the major Arcana, we get to the heart of the deck, as well as Celtic(Welsh) mythology. Other than the Mabinogion, very little is written concerning the subject. Miss Ferguson's accompaning book clearly tells of the Welsh Myth, with the "Gods" and larger than life personalities contained herein. One must see these images to truely appreciate them. The Star 17 is the most beautful I have ever seen!
The colors are warm, unlike the artist previous Arthurian Tarot. She has outdone that deck by leaps and bounds, creating images that are welcoming and endearing. One may wonder if she actually visited this Otherworld she talks about and illustrated it. In the great forest of Tarot decks. This one stands out like the tallest Sycamore.
Included in the set is the book and matching beaded Tarot protective bag. The cards themselves are a bit wider than average and a little too thin. I dont plan on reading with them often. As far as themed decks are concerned, this one is one of the best! Bravo Miss Ferguson!
Contary to popular belief, it does NOT come with a bag.
I feel that Llwydd the Enchanter should have been the Devil figure, rather than the Horned One. However, the Horned One is called the Witches’ Devil, and there was a nod to Llwydd in the Hanged Man, which displays Pryderi hanging from his golden bowl in Dyfed. (This is just my opinion, though, so this objection doesn’t really count.)
The book does not go to any great lengths to describe the details in the artwork, which is not helpful in attempting to divine meanings of non-standard cards. It lingers just long enough to tell selected stories of the mythical figures in the Major Arcana cards in very small, non-user-friendly italic print, then cuts straight to the meanings.
The book is also very dismissive of the Minor Arcana. They merely get the meanings. Nothing else. One is apparently expected to know their symbolism inside and out before picking this deck up.
NOT recommended for first-timers.
The cards are very handsomely detailed, on first sight. The back bears the Red Dragon of Wales on a golden shield, set against a brown background studded with gold diamonds. The fronts bear luminous, lovely watercolor art of mythic Welsh figures. Some of them seem to shine with their own internal light, and, in some cases, their symbolism is made clearer in the artwork itself than my beloved Radiant deck. The finish feels a little grainy, but I expect that to wear off in time.
The two spreads that come with it- The Red Dragon and Llew’s Spread- Are not as complicated and difficult to remember as my personal bane, the ten-card Celtic Cross spread. Llew’s spread asks only 5, and the Red Dragon maxes out at 7. Llew’s spread is to illuminate a situation, and the Red Dragon presents a quest-style solution to overcoming obstacles. Both appear to be entertaining for a casual reading.
The companion book is an actual book, not a little paper booklet. It is helpful to devotees of Welsh culture and mythology. In a pleasant contrast to the aforementioned italics, the meanings are written clearly, in large, easy-to-read print. Good for whiling away a rainy day curled up on the couch with a mug of something hot.
The box is large but handsome, and will last a while if not over-used.
I haven’t read with it yet, but just on first impressions, it seems more aesthetic than serious (although it’s a damned nice aesthetic, I must say.). Nice or not, aesthetics don’t make a deck. Rating this deck is hard as hell, and after a few readings, it may grow on me, but for the small, hard to read italics and lack of more image detail, I give it three of five stars.
I would definitely recommend this deck to experienced diviners or lovers of Welsh culture.
The card stock seem sturdy but I can imaging it fraying along the edges. It's a bit sticky feeling, which makes it a bit harder for me to shuffle them.
I don't mind the size and shape but can see why people tend to like to trim this deck.
The art is beautiful and follows the Rider-Waite-Smith deck fairly closely, so it's good for beginners and people like me who like that sort of deck.
Decisions, decisions about whether to exchange this again.