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Renaissance Tarot Book
Renaissance Tarot Book

What customers are saying about A Renaissance Tarot Book

A "companion book" + an indispensible tarot history resource

This book was published to accompany the author's "Renaissance Tarot" deck. But whereas most companion books confine themselves to the deck they are sold with, perhaps folding in generic tarot-reading instructions, this book explores the origins and symbolism of the tarot with such depth that it is an important stand-alone tarot book.

Moving beyond recycled speculation about gypsies, Egyptian mystery cults, and other such exotica, this book goes directly to the source: the culture of Renaissance Italy, which produced the first tarot decks. Williams does not attempt to deliver the definitive "truth" about what the original tarot designers may have had in mind, but he does collect an extraordinary array of "tarot parallels" in art, literature, philosophy, mythology, and folk culture. What emerges is a picture of the enduring archetypal nature of the each of the tarot symbols. Williams shows how deeply embedded these images are in our culture, and how ubiquitous and familiar they were to people in 15th century Europe.

The text is supported by hundreds of attractive line drawings, made by the author to illustrate the historic works of art referenced in the text. The book thus becomes a guided tour back in time to the culture that produced the first tarot decks, imbued with the author's personal vision and yet faithful to the facts at every turn. There are few books available to give the student a trustworthy and useable account of the meaning of the tarot symbols in their original context. This is one of the best. Also included are brief descriptions of the cards in the Renaissance Tarot deck, along with divinatory meanings and some instruction on reading the cards. The book's greatest value, however, is in illustrating where the tarot comes from, and deepening and enriching the reader's understanding of the ancient symbols. Even if you don't use the Renaissance Tarot deck, this book will give you many wonderful insights about the tarot and bring you into a deeper relationship with the cards of your own deck. Highly recommended.

—Tom Waters, Amazon customer


The journey that is the Renaissance Tarot spanned a period of ten years - the results show the care, thought and nurturing that was taken every step of the way. Brian Williams had a life long interest in both classical and Renaissance art, which he has translated nicely into the Renaissance Tarot. After spending a year in studies at the University of Padua in Italy. Brian took the illustrations and theory that would become the Renaissance Tarot and used them as the basis for an independent thesis and project at the University of California at Berkeley.

One of the themes that run through this book and deck is the place that Tarot held in European culture. Brian's stated purpose with the accompanying book is to provide a complete guide to the cards, their meanings and their uses. He also goes into the historical significance of each of the cards, which is not something that I have seen done elsewhere. Each card, including the minors, has a bit of myth in it that explains the archetypal qualities of the card, For example, the Ten of Swords is the myth of Paris and Achilles, while the Chariot is the myth of Aphrodite and Ares.

Throughout the accompanying book there are a wealth of black and white illustrations from the Renaissance period. At one point we see the game of Tarot being played (as taken from a mid-fifteenth century fresco in the Sala dei Giochi in the Casa Borromeo in Milan. At another point we see a manuscript illumination of Mars (the God) from the fifteenth century. At yet another point we see an engraving of a Satyr family by Durer from 1505. The list is endless - and fascinating.

With each of the majors we are treated to a wonderful description of the card, quite an involved background into the archetypal myth, and incredible illustrations, as well as divinatory and reversed meanings. With the court cards and the minors we see a description of the card, an abbreviated version of the myth behind it, as well as divinatory and reversed meanings. Each section contains a black and white scan of the card.

At the end of the book Brian presents a section on Tarot spreads, including the Celtic Cross, Tetrasky (also known as the Pythagorean Tetrad) and the Twelve Houses spreads. An interesting aside on the Twelve Houses spread is that it is presented in a square format (referred to as a quadrilateral design), rather than the usual circular format.

The cards themselves are 2 3/4" by 5", on glossy card stock. The backs have a 1/4" white border, with a bisque colored center containing intricate work using triple circles resembling Celtic Knots, upon which reside the medieval symbols for the elements in the four corners, with four corresponding animals floating within them. A male and female figure recline in the center, with their hands held. The almost blandness of the backs acts as a kind of foil for the wonderfully rich colors of the card faces. Again we see the use of a 1/4" white border, followed by a 1/4" gold inner border. The top two corners of each of the cards contain figures (some animal, some human, some symbols) that are there for ornamental purposes only. The title for each card is across the bottom, in both Italian and English.

The overall coloring is a well-done pastel, with the figures dressed, for the most part, in Renaissance fashion. The pips make basic use of the suit symbol, with animal and human figures added to them that are not integral to the understanding of the cards. Each suit has its own color: yellow for Swords, pink for Cups, green for Pentacles and blue for Staves.

There are two small changes in the titling of the Major Arcana: the Wheel of Fortune becomes Chance and Judgment becomes the Angel. Each time I return to this deck I find something new to intrigue me. The accompanying book has lessons of its own to give. I highly recommend this deck to all students at all levels of study.

—Bonnie Cehovet, Aeclectic Tarot

$17.95
Dragon Tarot
Dragon Tarot

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DRAGON TAROT:

When I first became interested in reading the tarot, the one thing that I had a problem with was finding a deck that suited my feelings and represented ME. Then one day I stumbled upon the Dragon deck, and I felt like my prayers had been answered! The artwork and symbolism, combined with the rich history, myth, and mystique that surrounds dragons in general, turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. The use of many rich colors was something that I felt, at that point in time, many other decks didn't seem to have (although now I know otherwise). But, my absolute favorite part about this deck are the Major Arcana. They were (and still are) like nothing I had ever seen before. The capture all the symbolism of traditional tarot decks, but they also contain a draconic twist that is sometimes a bit funny (in particular, the Hanging Dragon card!).

All in all, the Dragon Tarot was the first deck I ever owned, and it remains my favorite to this day. I highly suggest this deck to anyone who doesn't feel connected to the more traditional decks, and longs for something deeper. It is very hard to put into words all that I feel with this deck, so you may be better off experiencing its power for yourself, but believe me, you won't regret it! Again, I have seen many decks in my days, but none of them compares to the power and imagery of the Dragon Tarot!

-- Charlie Taylor, on Aeclectic Tarot


I absolutely LOVE this deck. The images are beautiful and powerful and readings are very accurate for me. A friend of mine did one reading with my cards and has decided he wants a deck of his own. It is a very strong deck, but "welcoming," almost like coming home. If you like dragons, you will most likely connect with this deck and may keep it as your personal deck.

-- Kelli Riffle, on Amazon


Gorgeous artwork! This is the kind of deck that speaks to anyone with a love for dragons and dragon lore. I fell in love with it when it first came out, and I haven't used another Tarot deck since.

-- Nathalie Wigmore, on Amazon


I just received this deck and already love it! The dragons are most elegant, intelligent, powerful but not *terrifying*! The combination of dragons and Tarot symbolism may not always be clear for Tarot beginners, but Tarot folks who have a little imagination and love dragons will delight in this deck, and they will come to understand and value its unique messages. I did not care for the Celtic Dragon deck, think it's a bit sappy. By contrast, Pracownik's work has sophistication and edge, and the dragons are just simply gorgeous.

-- Eva A. on Amazon


The Dragon Tarot follows the now traditional path of a 78 card deck.

Each card is individually illustrated with dragons and adheres loosely to the Rider Waite deck for its' imagery.

So what's it like to use the Dragon Tarot? I love it!!!! Colorful, charming, quirky but full of dragon fun and humor. Both the reader and querent will enjoy the use of this deck. The dragon appeals to all with the mystery and beauty. I feel the Dragon Tarot takes us back to a more innocent time. A time perhaps of legend, when man and dragon shared this world. You decide when you take up the challenge of the Dragon Tarot.

-- Kelvin Black, on Tarot Canada

$21.95
Hermetic Tarot Deck
Hermetic Tarot Deck

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HERMETIC TAROT DECK:

This black & white Tarot is unsurpassed as a study deck or teaching deck. It empowers the reader to make full use of all aspects of interpretation at a glance. QUALITIES OF ASTROLOGY This deck is one of the few that easily reveals the planetary influences at work in a matter, or the overall spread and thus lends itself to shades of meaning relevant to the seeker's own elemental nature and birth sign. Each card is visually identified with corresponding planets, aspects, and elements. These qualities alone improve the student's ability to grasp the possibility of deeper levels of understanding in the book of Tarot ... and to expand the readers' scope of divination. QUALITIES OF IMAGERY The symbolism used is powerful and intricate ... a review of any Major Arcana reveals many influences at work. Further, the imagery is intriguing, drawing the eye and the mind into infinite possibility and facilitating psychic placement in the vast expanse of the Astral. The imagery in the Hermetic Tarot facilitates study of the Tree of Life and the Cabalistic perspective. Concepts of Force, Form and Equilibrium are graphically depicted. The Hebrew letter associated with the Major Arcana is clearly visible on each card. The names of the angels of the decans of the heavens by day and by night are included on all the Minor Arcana. Cabalistic and Hermetic symbols that lead one into deeper understanding of the Tree of Life and the Golden Dawn appear on many Tarot. This is one of the few decks that offers two male and two female images in the Court card, in keeping with the balanced view of reality offered by the Tree of Life model. QUALITIES OF INSTRUCTIONAL BOOKLET With constant referrals to SEPHIRAH on the Tree of Life, this booklet makes it clear that the study of Tarot is a deeply spiritual process. Terse, yet thorough, each card is clearly described. Reference to the interpretation of the symbols used is clear. Interpretations of the cards are given as "Dignified" and "Ill-dignified", which in my opinion is far more freeing to the reader than the standard "Reversed" interpretations given by so many decks. Reference is made to the Four Worlds, and the Paths of the Tree of Life in the instructional booklet ... leading the student to a deeper consideration of the expansive nature of accurate interpretation. The cards are printed on sturdy stock, and have born up well after 3 years of regular use. They are of normal size, which make shuffling easy, and it is easy to determine both suit and number of each. I highly recommend this deck to all students of Tarot and use it consistently in all Workshops offered at the Studio.

-- Ann George, Aeclectic Tarot


This is, without question, one of the most beautiful and intricately illustrated decks I've ever encountered. What's more, it is an excellent tool for learning Hermetics and moreover expresses the planetary and zodiacal associations with particular cards and in many cases provides the Hebrew numbers and name translations. The cards reference Kabbalistic elements and in some cases, geomantic patterns. There is a great deal to be gleaned from this deck, as it is not "simplified" and thoroughly challenges the novice to become well versed in Hermetics.

-- "Apocryphal Raven", on Amazon.com


Complex and stark, the black-and-white images are jam-packed with alchemical, astrological and Qabalistic symbols easily recognized by those familiar with those and other esoteric systems. Revealing many of the workings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn, this deck draws heavily upon the work of Mathers, Crowley, Case, Levi and others.

The Hermetic Tarot comes with a 70-page LWB, which is thicker than most, which details astrological attributions for the cards and the numerological correlations of the Minor Arcana with the Tree of Life. The LWB also has a handy chart of elemental and astrological glyphs, as well as an illustration of the Tree of Life. However, Hebrew letters rather than actual card names depict the paths on the Tree.

If you're looking to enhance your magical practice or further your knowledge of Golden Dawn esotericism and Qabalistic associations, this would make a fine deck for your studies. The intricacies of the Hermetic Tarot almost serve as a meditative scrying mirror -- and if you enjoy the art of M.C. Escher, you may very well feel an affinity for this deck.

-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot


Though the pictorial symbols on these cards may not be the most colorful, the images hail to ancient Gnosticism and all the mysteries that have tormented the minds of men since the dawn of time. These cards house a myriad of symbolic keys which allows just as many interpretations; lending themselves perfectly to divination, since one truly reads the cards from the soul. These mixed and varied symbols allow the reader to draw inspiration from any number of religious schools of thought, the very fact that attracted me to purchase this deck. I am most highly joyed by the fact that these cards are now in my life.

-- Alvin Dale Green "Tarot Gnostic"

$21.95
Deviant Moon Tarot Deck -- Premier Edition
Deviant Moon Tarot Deck -- Premier Edition

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DEVIANT MOON TAROT:

I've seen hundreds of Tarot decks over the years, and I can honestly say there is nothing on the market that rivals the sumptuous textures, masterful artistry and utter originality of the Deviant Moon Tarot.

For months now, several images of the Deviant Moon Tarot were posted to the web, capturing the imagination of Tarot enthusiasts worldwide. Many were clamoring for news, more card images and a definitive release date with an almost desperate excitement.

Tarot fans, rejoice! U.S. Games has now unleashed the highly anticipated Deviant Moon Tarot upon the world! And let me tell you, if the exquisite, highly-detailed online images whetted your appetite, the actual deck goes above and beyond expectation.

The Deviant Moon Tarot expands on Rider-Waite imagery with a gloriously twisted perspective, reflecting common associations in dazzling patterns, striking colors, and surprising juxtapositions (e.g. a tree that bleeds red, a Page that has created himself out of spare parts and a sharp-dressed masked armless woman with a wheel for a left “foot"). The 9 of Cups, usually deemed the "Wish Card", aptly depicts a genie who's just emerged from a child's magic lamp.

I’m pleased to report that not only is the Deviant Moon Tarot a solid reading deck, but also unexpectedly insightful.

So despite the unusual characters populating the world of the Deviant Moon, they still speak messages relevant and purposeful to discerning individuals. This would make a great journaling deck, too, as well as one for comparative Tarot studies.

-- Janet Boyer, Tarot Channel


Artistically, the cards are incredibly strong and equally consistent from the Fool all the way through to the King of Pentacles. They are dark on the surface and underneath; photographs from cemeteries and tombstones have been morphed and twisted into other elements of the cards: clothing trim, headgear and shoes. The backgrounds are urban and industrial, scenes are often set outdoors but there is little natural environment; the moon rises over smokestacks, dull and dirty skies, fortified buildings -- all created from photographs of a mental asylum. The figures in the cards are non-human, with layered faces and moon-like masks, wide staring eyes, bird-like feet and often elongated bodies. Despite the lack of regular human facial expressions and body language, the figures are remarkably expressive. It’s a deck of the subconscious, of bad dreams, of visions from a bad trip come to life. Patrick’s symbolism comes from childhood dreams and imagination, a visual dedication to his interest in the ‘more melancholy side of life’. It’s reminiscent of its Rider-Waite heritage but really has a feeling all of its own. It’s a nice change to see imagery with such polish and dedication that also has an obvious familiarity with the tarot’s symbolism; it stays true to tarot but brings to it a new and disturbing approach.

The cards depart from traditional elements of symbolism in many ways but the card’s tarot meaning is still clear. As in the Nine of Cups, the well-dressed character releases a genie from the bottle and looks on with surprise; a very appropriate image for what is traditionally known as the ‘Wish’ card. The King of Wand isn’t seated on a throne, and instead holds woodland creatures by the hand and strides through the scene, but still comes across as the confident, charismatic leader.

The Moon card is literally the puppet-master of the figures below, holding the strings that connect them and controlling their movements. Ugly but strangely elegant, Death has a red scarf wrapped around her skeletal horse head and a pregnant belly, signaling both the end and the beginning inherent in transformation of Death. The cards do have an uncomfortable edge, even in traditionally positive and usually pretty cards like the Star.

The companion booklet is entirely in English and for each card shares a description of the imagery and a few keywords for the upright and reversed aspect of each card. Reading the booklet really not necessary to use the cards -- all of the depth is in the imagery itself, there is little further background or explanation needed. There’s an original ten-card spread as well, based on cards arranged simply in a circle.

A little tarot knowledge is always useful, but it’s not mandatory to use the Deviant Moon. The dark and strange beauty of its imagery takes a new approach but is true enough to the tarot archetypes to be useable by readers from novice level to the well experienced -- as long as you’re prepared for a little excursion into the dark side of your subconscious.

-- Solandia, Aeclectic Tarot


I received The Deviant Moon Tarot on a Monday and spent four days doing nothing but pursuing the cards.

The images themselves are absorbing surrealistic humanoid figures in abstract settings, that are at once attractive and haunting. Many of the faces are 'split' between a light and dark half, some faces appear to be masked, and on others the masks are faces, some appendages have multiplied beyond the two that we’d see in a humanoid ... we expect to see some things, and we see what we expect ... and then are left unsettled as the images unfold.

Patrick Valenza accomplished something quite unexpected, facilitated because he used a surrealistic approach to the Tarot. He has his static humanoids performing the dynamic actions that pertain to the card’s meaning. For most cards, it is a simple matter of 'what is this character obviously doing now' (or just completed, or about to do). Because of the organic and narrative approach to the subjects, we are also able to understand how each of the characters feels.

The Tower is a tower, and the Devil is a devil (great feet), Temperance pours from one container to another, there are stars on The Star.

However the images keep unfolding.

There were little details that popped out during the readings, and I had to go to the source for some answers.

"Uh Patrick, I notice there are a few oddly placed clocks with unexpected times displayed, for example in the Eight of Pentacles the clock displays eleven fifty-eight."
"Thanks for noticing" answered Patrick, with a wry smile, "Yup, two minutes to midnight ... all the work you do in a day, and there is always more to do the next. Day in and day out. Hoping for something to show after all of this work ... maybe you won't see it today, but maybe tomorrow."
"How about the Four of Pentacles, the clock there displays nine forty."
Patrick pauses and leans back. "There’s a background story here. My father-in-law was a greedy, materialistic man. Everything in his life was based on what he owned, and always put himself over his children. Well, the day came when he finally died. We heard the news at about 9:40 one morning. Nobody was particularly heart broken. I always wondered what he thought, lying there waiting to be cremated ... does he say to himself, 'I wish I spent more time with my children as they grew up', or was it, 'DAMN, I didn't make enough money!' So in this card, the death angel leads the miser to the fires of the furnace, with the symbol of time dangling from her mouth. The miser looks back on his possessions in fear that he will never see them again, while clutching a few golden pentacles in a last attempt to "take it with him".
I ask "How about the Hanged Man. His clock says five eleven."
"I used to work at the most mundane job years ago ... a real nine to five. Many times, I would work a bit past the whistle. I found it a total waste of time, but back then I had little choice. I felt I was in limbo, and had to make a real effort to break free of my suspended life. This clock represents my lost time there and the times I worked past 5:00."
One last question Patrick, tell me about the borders ... "
"The mixed colors come from the cards I created when I was 15. Truthfully, the colors on the majors just looked good with the color compositions of the individual cards at the time, so I just carried that over when I re-began the deck in 2004. However, the minors were different ... these colors relate to the citizens of each realm. The borders on the suit of Swords are Red for their strife and pain of the heart. Cups have Blue for the calm purity of the sea. In Wands I used Green for the earth and the natural world. And with Pentacles, Black for the materialistic void they have in their souls."

So now that we have more information, we’ve also left the antiquated suit meanings in the past where they belong, in the latter half of the Victorian era. Even Majors refuse to pay homage to this era by using the Continental numbering system.

This is a great deck for the reader who does not want to read a book and be told what meaning is.

But I have to provide a strong caveat ... if you are a reader who prefers sunny bunny over truth -- don’t visit this deck. The Deviant Moon strikes to the heart of issues, with the same ease that it pushes aside six hundred years of Tarot myth-takes; it dives directly towards the truth. That will unsettle many.

It’s often difficult to remember, that the voices that whisper in the darkness from the peeling walls, often speak the truth.

-- Dan Pelletier, The Tarot Garden


The Deviant Moon Tarot is a Moon theme RWS based deck. The art appears very abstract, medieval and is inspired by ancient Greek art. It is a bit on the darker side, but I would not call this a dark deck. It actually appears to be a very workable deck. It will appeal to many, both Readers and Sitters This deck will be especially attractive to those who are fond of the non-traditional or maybe even looking for something a little creepy.

The Little White Book included with this deck, gives meanings for the Majors and the Minors, in both upright and reversed positions. The spread in the back of the LWB is the Lunatic Spread, which is a ten card spread. It’s nice to see someone take some creativity with their LWB!

Patrick Valenza created the Deviant Moon Tarot, basing it on childhood images and visions seen through his imagination and brought with him, into adulthood. His art ranges from detailed colored pencil and acrylic drawings to photographic manipulation that is used in combination with digital drawings, which was used to create this deck. Each card began with a drawing that was scanned into a computer, then they were manipulated. The background buildings were created with photographs that he took of a local abandoned insane asylum.

I particularly like what is going on in the background of each card. There are many unique old-style buildings, which look like old factories, churches and abandoned buildings. There is a lot going on in each card. All of which can apply easily to your readings.

-- Terri Clement, American Tarot Association


For me the first impression of the artwork was startling. But as I began to flip through the cards the little characters began to grow on me. They are sort of gothic and whimsical at the same time and as I looked even closer I saw some interesting symbolism coming through as well. I loved how the characters on the cards had lunar faces- the bright half of the face, which I took as being the conscious self, has an open eye while the dark half, the possible subconscious of the face, has the eye closed. All the cards have titles except Death and the numbered cards. I found this interesting and mysterious it made me want to find out why.

Then my almost 16 year old daughter came in the door and she fell in love with the images; they were just her style. She loves the whole Corpse Bride/Goth scene and this deck was made for her. She is also a budding photographer and loved the idea that the pictures in this deck are made from manipulated photographs.

Then as I continued to flip through the cards I laughed out loud at the 10 of Swords. It’s the typical 10 of Swords image but the little creature is biting on his own hand while a little demon is biting on his shoulder. Somehow this scene just cracked me up. The cat made me laugh too just because it didn’t look very healthy (not that an unhealthy cat is humorous but you have to see this card to get my meaning.) I was starting to really like this little deck with its endearing dark little characters. Then I saw Patrick’s 6 of Cups and knew the Deviant Moon Tarot creator and I had found common ground. There was a puppet show the same idea I had for my MAAT Tarot 6 of Cups.

In my opinion I think other people will come to find Deviant Moon to be a sweet little deck. Congratulations Patrick. I’m looking forward to shaking your hand at some Tarot event soon.

-- Julia Cuccia-Watts, New Moon Trading blogspot


When I was asked by US Games if I would be interested in receiving an advance review copy of Patrick Valenza's new Deviant Moon Tarot, I was very excited. I had seen a few scans of this deck in progress months earlier, and was quite interested in seeing the finished product. When I opened the deck, I was blown away. I had expected that after the first few cards, they would all begin to blend in together, just more of what I'd already seen. Card after card, I was surprised and delighted at every spectacular new image. I have never been more fascinated and impressed with a deck.

The magic of this deck is in its ability to captivate and lure you into this fascinating world. Many times when I'm looking at a deck that strays from traditional RWS imagery, I tend to see flashes in my mind of the RWS equivalent meanings as a comparison. While the Deviant Moon doesn't follow traditional imagery, as soon as I look at one of the cards, I automatically know what card it is, and I've found that before my mind is able to flash to the RWS "meaning" in my head, the artwork forces me to bypass that step, as it pulls me in further and asks more of me. I am drawn to delve deeper into the card, experiencing additional layers of meaning.

There is some talk among the tarot community of this deck being really dark. However, I don't see it that way at all, and when communicating with the artist, he confirmed that it wasn't ever intended to be a dark deck. He explained that it was based on his childhood imagination, a twisted world which is at times a bit melancholy, yet includes elements of humor as well. After working with the deck for a week, I can definitely attest to the fact that the images inspire imagination. The characters, for the most part, aren't maniacal or creepy. They are unique and engaging, and not without emotion. I find the artwork captivating and intriguing, though I do not consider it a dark deck.

The Cards

Valenza's use of color is striking and leads your eyes on a parade around each card, so that you notice the smallest details, down to the color of toenail polish on the characters' feet.

The Aces in this deck really stand out, as they are extremely elaborate. Rather than featuring the usual solitary symbol of a cup, wand, sword or pentacle, the Deviant Moon Aces are fully illustrated with characters.

The originality of Valenza's mastering and blending his artwork with tarot is stunning. I am completely enchanted by the Wands suit of this deck. Ordinarily, it's visually my least favorite suit. This deck has made me love Wands, and that's no small feat! In fact, this deck features so many cards that immediately stood out as my favorite version from any deck, due to their original portrayal.

How it Reads

In addition to my daily draws, I have done a few other readings with the Deviant Moon this week, and have found the deck to be equally as forthcoming and clear in those readings as well. Once the initial overview is clear, the images then draw me in further to elaborate and refine the reading. When laid out, the cards flow together so well and tell stories as though the artist had designed those cards you selected to specifically go together.

Final Thoughts

It should be glaringly obvious how enchanted by and enamored I am of the Deviant Moon Tarot. The originality of this deck far exceeds any other I've seen, and the power it has to draw you into the world of imagination is amazing.

-- Tarot Dame Blog


A bit Dali, a bit Picasso, and a bit Cirque du Soleil, Valenza’s fascinatingly unique creation, the Deviant Moon Tarot, has an idiosyncratic beauty that is mesmerizing and compelling. There is an almost hyper-realism in the clean lines and the crisp colors and textures in the artwork, which presents a vivid contrast with the dreamlike surrealism of the scenes in these cards and the strange figures who cavort within them. Indeed, the cards are populated with bizarre and grotesque characters that seem to have been inspired by a medieval bestiary or imagined by a child fearing what might be lurking under the bed at night.

Valenza’s use of traditional Tarot symbolism on these cards is spare, but he has compensated for this by lavishing upon them whatever his imagination could dredge up from the depths of his subconscious. In this way, he has created a deck with a very creative take on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery.

-- James Ricklef


To say The Deviant Moon Tarot deck is just another deck in Rider Waite Smith tradition would be an understatement. The deck takes you into another world of ying/yang insectoid creatures populating a bleak industrial landscape. Patrick Valenza subliminally inserted images from cemataries and an abandonded insane asylum into the images. My first impression upon my receipt of the deck that it was too dark for me to do readings with for people I ordinarily would read for; but for those whose tastes lean to the unusual I'm sure it would work fine. The symbolism of the images maintains traditional interpretations in most cases, but give it a new twist. I think this is an excellent deck for collectors as well as those whose tastes and insights gravitate towards dark imaginings. Valenza is a talented surrealist, and more than just in a deck of cards, the images belong in a museum as each are a unique work of art, making the old new again and reinterpreting it for our times.

-- Thomas Santomartino, Amazon customer


I have over 50 Tarot decks and this is the best symbology I have yet to see. I especially love the Death card with the pregnant mother and her having to exert some gentle force with her foot on the previous child to remind him that going back into the womb is not a possibility. It really gets to the nature of the Death card being permanent, can't go back, can only go forward change - change with or without our initiation. I love how most of the characters have more than one layer to their face - it invites you to ask, "How deep do you want to go?". The Lunatic Spread is great for getting to the meat of a matter and is an added bonus. The LWB is adequate but the real prize is the thought provoking scenarios on each of the cards. Well done!!!!!!

-- Deborah, East Texas, Amazon customer


I can’t say enough about how much I love this deck! The imagery is spectacular and just the feel that was needed in the tarot world. The deck is very high quality and the minor cards are wonderful. This is exactly the deck I have been waiting for!

-- coli0157, Amazon customer


The Deviant Moon is a gorgeously alive deck. I thought just the artwork was appealing to me, but the more I work with these cards the more impressed I am. You can really sit down and have a conversation with the populace of this world, and they speak clearly. If you wonder at all about getting this deck, don't hesitate. Their world is not perfect, but they are not dark by any stretch of the imagination, and it is a deck that truly only requires reading the cards, no memorization, no confusion. The coating feels like satin, and the colors are amazing. I can't say enough good things about this deck, and I thank the creator, Patrick Valenza, most heartily!

-- Amanda Hilbrecht, Amazon customer


Valenza's highly stylized drawings are evocative, provocative, and fabulously unique. Each card is painstakingly illustrated but lacks the glitzy clutter of so many over-fluffed decks out there that lose themselves in dumbed-down beauty. This deck demands that you pay attention to the meaning of the card, not just how lovely the pictures are. As the author mentions in one of his interviews, there are no "filler" cards in this deck ... and it shows.

So far, the readings I've done using these cards have been full of wry humor and straightforward truth. This deck has a crystal clear "personality" that refuses to compromise. Absolutely no fluff here, just an unabashed and incisive approach to "traditional" Tarot reading.

-- Tessa Dagger, Amazon customer

$25.95
The Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set
The Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set

Pamela colman smith commemorative set (Tarot) from Tarot Cirkel on Vimeo.

I was giddy as could be when I recently acquired the Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set. This gorgeous box set is well done and any tarot lover will want to add this to their collection. The deck is a reprint of the original 1909 deck, with dreamy muted colors and a "vintage" finish that adds an authentic retro feel. There are many versions of the Rider Waite deck with different color schemes (Radiant Rider Waite comes to mind with its bright, energetic colors) but there is something about this version that grabs my attention and pulls me in like no other. Perhaps it is because the turn of the century is one of my favorite eras or maybe the softer color scheme is simply easier on the eye. Either way, I really find this faithful reproduction quite appealing. I especially liked the reversible image on the back of the deck -- a white rose framed by Colman Smith's signature. There is a little blue organza bag included for storing the deck -- another nice little touch that made this set very special.

"The Pictorial Key To The Tarot" by Arthur Edward Waite is a familiar book on many tarot lovers' shelves -- in fact, this was one of the first tarot books that I owned when I began my own journey with the tarot. I had lost my copy and was happy to be reunited with this classic! Even more exciting was the other book, "The Artwork and Times of Pamela Colman Smith" by Stuart R. Kaplan. This biography was small but did not lack details. Her life and family history are thoroughly covered and many images of Colman-Smith's work are lovingly displayed throughout the book with notes that help the reader learn about the mediums that Colman-Smith worked with throughout her life (watercolor, ink, pencil, etc.) as well as all the different places where her work was featured (book illustrations, sheet music, magazines, and more). I was saddened to learn that even though she had great talent, she still struggled financially throughout her life and died penniless due to bad business decisions. I found myself wondering if her work would have been forgotten if not for the tarot. How grateful I am to know that at least one aspect of her artwork is still revered, recognized and treasured!

Lastly, U.S. Games included a fold out with tarot spreads as well as some postcards and pictures, making this kit a treasure trove and well worth the $35.00 price tag! This is a bargain considering all that you get. I highly recommend this set for any tarot lover or fan of Colman-Smith’s work. This would also be a lovely gift for any of the tarot fiends in your life.

I give this boxed set an enthusiastic 2 Swords Up!

-- Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady Blog


The Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Edition by U.S. Games Systems Inc. has been created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of what is historically known as the Rider Waite Smith deck. It has been put together tastefully and respectfully, and pays honest and true homage to a great artist and her classic decks. Stuart Kaplan has long been known for his outstanding collections of historical and collectible cards. The periodic auctions are the stuff of legends. This is a man who is devoted to cards -- only he could articulate his love into a set this way.

Until previous years, Colman Smith's participation in the creation of Arthur Waite's iconic decks has largely been ignored. But, in 2007, the Association for Tarot Studies published 'The Story of the Waite-Smith Tarot' by K. Frank Jensen, former editor of Manteia (1989-1997), which threw unprecedented light onto Colman Smith as an artist in her own right.

Now, Stuart Kaplan and U.S. Games Inc. do one better by producing a set that lives up the description: "showcasing a lifetime of artwork by Pamela Coleman Smith." This set comes with a Waite-Smith Tarot Centennial Edition Deck as an additional vehicle for displaying Colman Smith's artwork, alongside 'The Pictorial Key to the Tarot' by Edward Waite, 'The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith: Artist of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck' by Stuart R Kaplan, six postcards and three large samples of her work, plus a portrait of the artist herself.

The set comes in a sturdy cube shaped case that opens in half like a book tied together by ribbon pulls. The left side contains the books and the artwork; the right contains the deck and the blue organza deck bag. Although a reproduction of the original deck, this version has been renamed as the Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck. The backs are light blue and reversible with one of her roses centered with her signature initials on either end. The imagery is aged to make it look like a deck that has been handed down from generation to generation. The card stock is sturdy but flexible. When the cards pull out they snap deliciously, and shuffle like a dream. This is definitely a must have for any fan of Pamela Colman Smith or a user of a Waite deck in the past, or even anyone wishing to own a very tasteful and respectful homage to one of the great women in Tarot history.

-- Sheri Harshberger, Purple Luna


Pamela Colman Smith is an unsung hero and artist in western occultism. She most famously illustrated the Rider-Waite tarot (I'll discuss the naming convention later), largely based on Golden Dawn symbolism and teachings, and it is probably the most influential tarot deck ever. She was much more than this though, she was a quiet mystic, a member of the Golden Dawn, and a talented artist who received some recognition in her time and was sadly forgotten.

The Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set tries to bring this visionary woman back to our lives. The set contains two books, a tarot deck, and some artistic extras, which will all be discussed in their own time. This set was released in 2009 (somehow I missed hearing about it) on the centennial anniversary of the publishing of the Rider-Waite tarot and I think it is great collection to have.

The set comes with The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition deck. This is not just another reprint of the Rider-Waite deck you’re used to seeing everywhere. First off, to clarify terminology, the deck you see everywhere, and probably have is properly called the Rider-Waite tarot; Waite after A.E. Waite and Rider after the publishing company that first produced it. Some people, myself included, refer to it as the Smith-Waite or Waite-Smith tarot in an attempt to remind people who gave us this deck. The deck included in this set is properly called The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition, firmly putting forth that Pamela Colman Smith was one of the creators and will not be forgotten. There is more to it than just the name change though, the Rider-Waite deck is filled with bright, almost jarring colors. No yellow is a muted yellow, it is a daffodil screaming yellow, and this is a product of how the earlier decks were reproduced from the original.

For The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Kaplan has used a 1909 printing of the deck to restore the deck to its original coloring, something I find far more peaceful and elegant than the borderline cartoon coloring of the general deck. I find this makes the cards stand out more and the subtly of shading and symbolism easier to see and work with. Also, this deck has done away with that gawdy blue and white diamond pattern on the back of the cards; instead the back is adorned with Pamela’s monogram and a rose. It isn’t a reversible back due to the rose, but it is subtle enough that you still can’t pick out which way is up without turning the cards over. Without a doubt this version is replacing my Rider-Waite tarot.

Lastly the set comes with a few artistic extras. It contains six reproduced postcards with Pamela’s artwork, only one of which is an image from her tarot. It contains three 5 x 7 prints of some of her art and a 5 x 7 photo print of Pamela herself. It is great to see Pamela Colman Smith getting the attention she deserves and the deck, the art, and the books are just wonderful. Really a must have for any tarot enthusiast.

-- Kalagni, Blue Flame Magick


First, the deck is only a small part of what is included in this special set. The set comes in an attractive box that opens up to reveal compartments on each side. One compartment holds the tarot deck. The other holds a wealth of amazing stuff, included a new edition of the Pictorial Key to the Tarot, and a wonderful book by Stuart R. Kaplan. Kaplan’s book is "The Artwork and Times of Pamela Coleman Smith." It is one hundred pages of color illustrations and stories about Pixie. We can see her handwriting, read her poetry, and learn more about the woman who influenced tarot so greatly. Pixie finally becomes a real person, rather than simply the talented puppet who rendered drawings for Waite. The book includes primary source material. It is graphically beautiful, and a pleasure to read. That same compartment holds other treats, including postcards of Pixie’s non-tarot artwork, and a tarot spreadsheet. This truly is an epic collector’s edition.

The tarot deck itself is a masterpiece. Of course, we are familiar with the images, and with the structure of the tarot itself. A few things make this edition special, and make it my very favorite edition of this deck for professional readings. The cards are printed on very heavy stock. It is noticeably heavier than an average deck. It’s perfect for a collector’s edition. The card images are re-colored in muted tones. There is a subtle texture, as well. Together, the tones and texture make the cards look antique, as if they had actually been made during Pixie's time.

In a way, I regret reading with my deck at all, since keeping this collector's set in mint condition might have been wise. But these cards are just too tempting to keep on the shelf. My solution is to buy two sets. That way, you can send the postcards to your friends, or incorporate them in art or décor projects. You can read with the deck, use the books as reference, and still have a perfect set in your collection.

That’s right, I am recommending this tarot set so highly, I think some folks will need not only one but two!

-- Christiana Gaudet, Tarot by Christiana

$36.95
Magician Magnet Set
Magician Magnet Set

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MAGICIAN MAGNET SET

The Magician Tarot Magnets are a beautiful assortment of magnets by U.S. Games Systems.  The Magician cards from six of the best tarot decks, both classic and contemporary are a part of this special collection of Tarot Magnets. Measuring 1.25” X 2.25” each.  I love the Magician and now I can show him off and remind myself of the powerful message within the secret symbolism of this card.  These colorful magnets are simply delightful, perfect for the frig or file cabinet ... willing to inspire you throughout the day to manifest your desires.  This pack of six magnets is priced at only  $5 but is  well worth over $15.00.  These would make a fantastic gift!  

—An Angel's Kiss blog
 
Lynn Araujo
Director of Communications
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
203 353 8400 Ex 322
$2.95
Oracle of the Mermaids
Oracle of the Mermaids

What customers are saying about Oracle of the Mermaids

 
Discover the magical legends and lore of the mermaids and tap into the beautiful currents of ocean divination. The cards feature absolutely vibrant colors, every color of the rainbow, with overtones of blues and violets to represent the ocean water. The play on light featured in these cards is gorgeous. The images have a serene and sometimes mischievous quality to them. For those who love mermaids, this deck will deliver.
Donnaleigh de la Rose, Divine Whispers radio show
 

Being a huge Lucy Cavendish fan, I love all her decks because of their accuracy, not to mention the deep insight, and profound styling Lucy has in combination with her artists. The Oracle of the Mermaids tends to touch elements in your life you might tend to dismiss as fantasy or frivolous, elements of yourself you've put away on a shelf because you don't want to be disillusioned, disappointed, and vulnerable in the process. However, whenever we lose that connection with our own personal dreams we lose aspects of our true self and personal beauty and genius. So I find this deck to be well suited for love/romance/relationship questions and learning how to create the magical in your real, everyday life and life purpose. The important thing in the take home message of this deck is that it is suppose to be a mirror to your soul. It serves its purpose in that it will reflect to you what you may not be aware of on the surface and I think this deck performs well in this regard. 
 
The guidebook is generous, as always. Lucy goes into the magical history of mermaids and the different classifications of these magnificent sea animals. A lot of the history Lucy borrows from is of Irish lore. In interpreting the cards, Lucy provides us with two pages of information divided into: what the mermaid has to say about him/herself (The Mermaids Sing), reversed meaning for the card, and divination message. So for each card there are three potential meanings to take into consideration. She also provides guidewords on each card. There are three new spreads!! Such as the Cycle of the Moon spread (5 card spread), True Love that Makes My Soul Sing Spread (5 card spread), and Mermaid Celtic Cross (11 card spread).
—Danielle, Amazon customer

The images on these gorgeous cards will catch your eye straight away. Selina Fenech's artwork is just breathtaking, and captures the essence of the Mermaids perfectly. After you have shuffled and picked your card/s you turn to the most beautiful words of wisdom by Lucy Cavendish, whose wisdom and knowledge in all realms, never ceases to amaze me. Lucy manages to get right to the heart of the matter every time! These cards are stunningly beautiful, inspirational, insightful and wise, even if you didn't love mermaids, you would love these oracle cards. You can definitely feel the passion and the love that these ladies have for the Mermaids, the Ocean and her Creatures. This deck is extremely well done—I absolutely love it.
—Di Rose, Amazon customer
$23.95
The Spirit of Herbs
The Spirit of Herbs

What customers are saying about The Spirit of Herbs:

This book is wonderful, and I don't say that lightly. As an herbalist I found it helpful on many levels. With each card there is a corresponding herb and description that deals with the physical and spiritual health aspects of the card. There are ways to use the herbs as talismans or how to make them for consumption. My clients and I have always found the readings relevant and "right on".

—K.P. Wolf, Amazon customer


Great book for anyone interested in the Tarot and Herbal medicine. Michael Tierra covers not only the tarot card, with its beautiful imagery, but he also gives you in-depth info on the herb represented by that card. It is difficult to get this book, so if you can find it, grab it.

—P. Pitchford, Amazon customer


I have been using this book and the deck that goes with it for several years. It is a good reference companion to the deck and I always gain new insights into the cards and the plants each time I return to the book.

— Michelle, on Goodreads

$9.95
LES VAMPIRES
LES VAMPIRES

This intriguing oracle features lady vampires as guides to both the light and dark places we encounter in our life. The wide-eyed femmes appear young, and throughout the varying images of the 44 cards, also wistful, plaintive, rebellious, saintly, angry, innocent, alluring, erudite, seductive…and more! The vampire element is not overplayed, as only a small portion of the young females display two biting incisors. Other pictorial images that repeat in the background include: nighttime ambiance, skulls, wolves, cats, indoor gothic architecture, sumptuous attire and gilded card borders and furniture.

In the companion Guidebook, the handy Contents in the beginning of the book conveniently list each card, with card number and page. In addition, helpful basics are addressed, such as blessing the deck, how to shuffle the cards, and reading for others. The 17 page introduction is comprehensive, including the discussion as to why vampires can function as effective guides, and three sample layouts are delineated: The Trinity, The Path Through the Night, and The Byzantine Cross. I will need to practice the 13 card Path Through the Night, but the Trinity with three cards and the Byzantine Cross, with six cards, were simpler for me to immediately grasp. The book is very well organized and offers much wisdom gleaned from the author’s metaphysical life experience and practice in presenting workshops. The book is 135 pages and each page of interpretation includes a small black and white image of the card, key words, card meaning (Les Vampires Speak), and further brief notes titled, “Blessing”, “Curse” and “Working with This Card”. The author notes that the short mentioning for each card under the “Curse” can refer to the reverse card position as well as pointing to remedial areas for right action, to rebalance that area of one’s life.

Jasmine Becket-Griffith’s artwork is evocative of a host of artists from the 1960s and 1970s, (one artist in particular that I recall, having traveled to the American Southwest is Ted de Grazia), who painted wide-eyed young ones—this Oracle goes beyond innocents gazing at us and becomes a compelling journey into the layered world of fantasy, attraction, and the fated journey that we walk in responding to our own impulses and the world around us.

In other words, I found an increasing notion that the Les Vampires Oracle carries a well-constructed and carefully considered set of layered archetypes and metaphors; surely there is sufficient mystery and wisdom here to both study and to play with for some time. 

—Thomas Freese, Aeclectic Tarot
$23.95
Mother Mary Oracle
Mother Mary Oracle

What customers are saying about Mother Mary Oracle

This is a treasure of wisdom by Alana Fairchild, and the paintings by Shiloh Sophia McCloud representative of her large paintings are beautiful. This is a very special collaboration between these two creative women.

Cate, Amazon customer


The cards from the Mother Mary Oracle: Protection Miracles & Grace of the Holy Mother are absolutely beautiful. I happen to love Mother Mary and the messages in the cards you draw, are right on.

—C. Davis, Amazon customer

$23.95
Journey to the Goddess Realm
Journey to the Goddess Realm

What customers are saying about Journey to the Goddess Realm

I love the fresh images of this deck and they “feel” good to me. This deck will appeal to anyone wishing to increase intuition and to get in touch with goddess energies. I love it! It’s bright, cheerful and has a happy feeling when I hold it. The deck goes beyond a simple oracle deck and can be a great tool for your spiritual journey.

—Mary Nale, Attune Magazine


The Journey to the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck by Lisa Porte offers the seeker a way to reconnect with the archetypes of feminine wisdom. The cards are an invitation to develop intuition, to re-member the body as a sacred temple, and to create balance between using our minds as a sacred tool for liberation and to heed our soul's calling to create peace, empathy and understanding with all of humankind.

—Kayla Garnet Rose, Ph.D.    Certified Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master


With its skillful blend of whimsy, substance, and charm, the Goddess Realm Oracle Deck is a feast for the eyes and the spirit. I found myself being drawn into individual images, feeling a connection with many of the goddesses, and thoroughly enjoying my interaction with them.  Lisa Porter has brought us high-powered feminine energy from pantheons in all parts of the globe  I think this could be a great deck to use in conjunction with The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) and I intend to give that a try. Images are alive with vibrant color and symbolic details, many of which are explained in the guidebook. Many of the goddesses are depicted as tall and slim, with long, slender legs. Exceptions include my personal favorite, the Slavic grandmother Baba Yaga, who is drawn as a generously proportioned older woman flying through the air in a cauldron while smoking a pipe, and the bawdy Greek goddess Baubo, who raises her dress to reveal plump legs clad in striped stockings. All of these ladies have plenty of personality, poise, and power – just what we expect from goddesses.
 
Zanna Starr, Tarotnotes.com
$21.95
Angel Inspiration Deck
Angel Inspiration Deck

 

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE ANGEL INSPIRATION DECK

Beautiful Deck. It doesn't have gold edges nor a huge guide book. I loved it because it was to the point. It is not sugar coated. It is about "Angels" and I did find it inspiring.

Cyn, Amazon customer

$21.95