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Morgan Greer Tarot Deck English Cards – Tarot, March 5, 2012
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Some reviewers have pointed out how groovy these cards are, and it’s totally true! Each deck is a product of its time, but I love the artwork, colors, and even the star print on the back of the cards.
I also appreciate that this deck comes with a title card, another card that provides information about the illustrator, and an instruction pamphlet that contains the order and general meaning of each card as well as a spread suggestion. I found the pamphlet to be especially helpful in the event you need a little refresher before you perform a reading...it’s useful for a beginner too, but I’d definitely recommend having a book resource in addition to the instruction pamphlet because it is simply too general.
I had looked at this deck when I first started studying tarot, but it seemed too "simplistic," the colors too bold. It also had a "seventies", dated feel to it. However, I have just begun a tarot course and wanted a new deck to use with the course. Looking at deck after deck and feeling "nothing," I was once again drawn to this deck. I watched a youtube review of it which showed every card, and I was convicted. I ordered it, and I love it. In fact, the "seventies" feel, which I initially did not like, is one of the things I most love about it!
The deck has no borders, which I love. It is much easier to see each card in relation to another when they are not set apart by borders. The image is allowed to fill the card, which makes it easier to connect with. With so many people cutting the borders off their cards for this reason, when will producers of tarot decks realize that most people dislike them, and start eliminating the distracting borders from their cards?
What I appreciate most is the immediacy of the impact of each card. It's as if the artist made a close-up of his primary "take" on each card. In fact that's just what some of the cards look like: blow-ups of the most significant detail on a Rider-Waite card (in a very different artistic style of course). For example, on the 5 of Wands, instead of showing all 5 figures combating one another, the card shows a bold image of only their arms holding the wands as they strike against one another. That is typical of the way in which this deck portrays the primary energy of a card.
That said, many of the colors on the cards are esoterically symbolic, and the cards do retain a good bit of the Waite-Rider/ Golden Dawn symbolism. For example, the Magician card retains the cosmic lemniscate, the red roses and white lilies, the uroboros around his waist, the table with his elemental tools. Many of the cards contain enough of this traditional symbolism so that they are immediately recognizable to someone familiar with those systems.
Two of the most beautiful cards, to me, are the Ace of Cups and the Ace of Pentacles. Google them; you will want to walk right into those images! I also appreciate that the women in the cards are full-figured and alive, not the deathly anorectic waifs or ethereal types seen in some decks. The men too are more earthy in this deck. The colors are just so lush and saturated. I used to be all about dark, gothic images. Now I can't get enough of this rich, bold color!
There are a few things I'm not fond of. First, the Knights are not shown riding their horses. The Kings and Queens are not seated on their respective thrones. Instead, just the upper body and heads of these figures are shown, which takes away a bit from the impact of these court cards. The Sun card shows a couple facing each other under a bright yellow sun (again, just the heads); I miss the Waite-Rider image of the naked child riding the white horse, which conveyed such a heady feeling of freedom, return to innocence, etc. I think the Morgan-Greer Sun card does not convey that clearly, and is too much like a Lovers card or the two of Cups. Lastly, the backs of the cards have a star design which is a bit amateurishly done. I do not use reversals in readings, but those who do might be bothered by the fact that there is a definite top and bottom to the design.
I think this deck is ideal for:
1. Beginners who will appreciate the immediate impact of the cards and the ability to read them easily without being held back by memorizing long lists of symbols. For many, this is their first deck.
2. Those with experience of the Waite-Rider deck who will immediately recognize the symbols borrowed from that deck.
3. Those who read intuitively and prefer a deck not bogged down with too many pre-determined symbols.
This is truly a unique deck. I am so happy I overcame my initial prejudices and gave it another look, because now it's my favorite deck!