The Symbolon deck is a pictorial representation of the twelve astrological archetypes and their relationships, all depicted as persons. Their content is based on hundreds of therapeutic sessions with patients and draws from fairy tales, mythology, religion and common archetypes.
You should consider the symbolon deck as a blueprint of the author's complete therapeutic knowledge.
It can be used to clarify astrological constellations, but the authors developed a set of twelve spreads to be used seperately from astrology. Ingrid Zinnel even defined meanings for them as "card of the day", with self-empowering statements.
The artist did an outstanding job. No other deck has these amount of breathtaking images.
—Patricia Swinkels, Amazon customer
I love this strange, weird and exquisite deck. I have over a 100 Tarot and Oracles and this is the most unusual one I have come across. The artwork is some of the most stunning out there. such little details done with precision and vibrancy. I can only hope the artist one day decides on doing a Tarot deck. The colors are amazing, this is high-quality printing. There are 78 cards and they are are 3x5 and very easy to shuffle and handle. It's a very substantial and top-notch production in every aspect.
It also has many more uses than the creators very limited ideas of how to use these cards. This is one of the few decks that shows the whole spectrum...from very very dark/frightening to blissfully happy....and everything in between. So many of the images come from myths, folktales and fairytales....it's bursting with archetypes. Many cards are so reminiscent of Tarot images (minors and majors). But it's not a Tarot at all and it's uses run the gamut from inner shadow work, persona/mask identification, relationship issues, storytelling, divination, self-growth, inspiration, creative writing prompts, spiritual pathworking/exploration and self-actualization. As you can see this deck's range is broad and many layered. The sky is the limit as to how this deck may be used. The images evoke some very strong reactions and can set your exploration and imagination off in many directions. You will find this is a deck you reach for again and again.
If just for the exquisite and sublime art in these cards this deck is worth owning, but it delivers so much more. Get it yourself and awaken the muse within.
—Rashchupkina, Amazon customer
This is a 78-card deck that is difficult to categorize. It is definitely not Tarot. It is also not a divination system. Perhaps the designer's explanation describes it best:
"Symbolon is a game of remembrance. It allows us to remember things hidden deep inside which have been prevented from surfacing over years and decades.
For those who prefer a psychological approach, you might say the power inherent in the images helps raise the unconscious into the higher levels of consciousness."
The deck is based heavily on Astrology, but you can use this deck with or without the Astrological information. In my opinion, an understanding of astrology will make this deck much more enjoyable to use. Each card has either two or four astrological symbols. Those with two have a planet and a zodiac sign, those with four have two of each and are used as combinations. For example, someone with Moon in Capricorn would indicate this combination with the card that shows a combination of Moon (Cancer) and Capricorn (Saturn), which equates to "The Ice Queen." Other aspects from the horoscope are represented in the same manner. Obviously some familiarity with your chart will allow you to lay out cards to represent each aspect, giving you a symbolic representation of the chart.
The art in this deck is excellent. The scenes are detailed and the colors are gorgeous. The astrological glyphs are in metallic gold ink as is the border on each card. I can only hope that the artists will one day decide to do a traditional Tarot deck. There is a card for each sign of the zodiac, which shows the sign and the planet. Two cards are given for the planets, which do double duty: Venus (Taurus and Libra), and Mercury (Gemini and Virgo). The authors give an explanation for this departure from the norm, which they know will upset many astrologers. Although astrology plays a large role in this deck, the authors emphasize that the cards represent "inner personae", not just astrological aspects. To quote again: "Each of us has a 'MEDIATOR' - a Gemini-Mercury - responsible for communication and contact (and for acting out roles)." This allows for using cards that are not indicated on your chart and makes allowances for those who do not have any previous knowledge of astrology. The cards which represent the twelve signs of the zodiac loosely correspond to the Major Arcana in a Tarot deck in that they "..describe the individual personae as a pure archetype." The remaining combination cards represent "..the great realms of human existence which may combine at any time to form inner personae..." The scenes on the cards are quite evocative and cover a gamut from vampires to religious imagery. Some of the scenes are very similar to cards from the Tarot.
The little booklet that comes with the deck describes two methods for use, one for those who know astrology and one for those who do not. A list of planet/sign correspondences is given for those who need it. The booklet states that there are three ways of interpreting a card - as "the problem," as "the way through the problem" or as "the outcome." The interpretations for each card are divided into these three categories. A "Theme Summary," which is basically a short list of key words, is also given for each card. Finally, black and white photos of each card are shown with the corresponding page for their interpretation. This is useful for those who are unfamiliar with the astrological glyphs, as it allows them a means to determine which card is which. Numbering the cards would have been simpler in my opinion and, in fact I recommend that those not familiar with astrology number the cards and the interpretations in the book anyway. It will save a lot of time in the long run. Those familiar with astrology will find that the interpretations are laid out in a logical sequence starting with the twelve zodiac cards, followed by the Moon and Sun cards, followed by the cards for the signs in order. I recommend this deck for anyone familiar with astrology who likes working with cards. The art is stunning and makes this deck a pleasure to work with. Astrologers tend to have their own interpretations for aspects and the scenes on these cards will not be in agreement with everyone's interpretations, but I think the scenes that one doesn't agree with may give food for thought, or shed new light on an aspect or sign.
—Michele Jackson, Tarotpassages.com