Sep 2, 2011

Deck Review- The Golden Tarot

When I asked to review The Golden Tarot by Kat Black, I had no idea of what was in store for me, I love reviewing decks and sharing what I think with others and generally I always give positive reviews of a deck because I feel that each deck is a true treasure for someone to cherish and develop a strong bond with. The Golden Tarot absolutely blew my mind with it's hard shelled, keepsake box and breathtakingly beautiful gilt edges and fabulous imagery! It instantly became one of my favorites.

The Golden Tarot was first introduced on the web and despite it's start involving piracy and then finally a campaign by online fans which ultimately led to it's publication by US Games Systems, we now have a gorgeous deck that brings a Medieval/Renaissance flavor that adds elegance and surprising depth to this deck. I love the stand up, slip off top box that holds the cards and the 198 page instruction booklet safe and sound between use, it's not only quite attractive but sturdy and durable. The edging on the box is done in a brown and gold-ish design that adds just the right touch to make it stand out.

This deck was created to showcase the highly under rated, phenomenal artwork from the 1200-1500's (in which we see artwork just before the very beginnings of the Renaissance period) which began to show reality rather than a stylized representation of the earlier art seen in the medieval period.  Much of the Golden Tarot's style is from a period called International Gothic that eventually evolved into the Renaissance style. Kat Black chose not to use artwork that was familiar (like works from Botticelli, daVinci and Michelangelo)  in order to bring recognition to the brilliant but lesser known paintings that needed to be shared and discovered by everyone who has the privilege of working with this gorgeous deck.

The 22 Major Arcana as well as the 56 Minor Arcana cards are all digitally collaged and I was quite surprised to discover this because the images are so seamless I would have never known had I not read about her teqniques and artistic style. I discussed the cards with a few friends of mine and after looking at the imagery, they were surprised as well since the cards are so perfectly presented.

The Major Arcana are absolutely magnificent, I love the earthy colors and and gilded edging on the cards that simply take my breath away, I remember remarking to folks how beautiful The Golden Tarot is with it's gilt edging and gorgeous light brown marbled borders with card titles across the bottom written in very elegant font. The deck is reminiscent of The Rider Waite and the meanings are easily recognizable with little added images that really lend a depth to readings that I haven't found in other decks, like the Temperance card in which we can see a winged nun standing in a small stream pouring water from one stylish cup to another. 

Above Temperance is a small saint bestowing a blessing upon her that I absolutely love. I'm not sure why this small saint impresses me so much but it so totally fits in with this rendering of Temperance and it is one of my favorite cards from The Golden Tarot.

The Minor Arcana are also absolutely gorgeous and are also bordered with the same light brown marbled borders and titles of each card at the bottom. The suits are Wands, Coins, Swords and Cups with Court Cards named Page, Knight, Queen and King. I just adore the way Kat chose to present the Court Cards with the youthful Pages, each standing holding the symbol of their suit, the Queens each show a beautiful bust of each Queen also holding the symbol of their suit, the gallant Knights each riding an elegantly decorated steed and the King of Wands and Swords seated at a gorgeously adorned throne and the Kings of Cups and Coins standing with symbols of their suit surrounding them.

This is absolutely among one of my favorite decks and shuffles fantastically making it a joy to work with. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my interpretations of cards pulled from The Golden tarot the last two weeks as I worked with it and got ready to write my review, I even noticed fresh ways of looking at interpretations that I may not have thought of simply because the artwork and imagery is so beautiful. I would absolutely recommend this deck for both beginners and experts alike and I truly think this would make an excellent addition to anyone's Tarot collection.

Publisher: US Games Systems
ISBN: 1-57281-434-9 
Size: 2 7/8" x 4 3/4" 
Artist: Kat Black

Images used with permission of US Games

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