Gilded Tarot

( 16 )

Overview

The Traditional Tarot for the 21st Century

Most Tarot decks with really spectacular designs are really just art collections. The Gilded Tarot transcends this limitation by having some of the most strikingly beautiful art on any Tarot deck, yet follows the Rider-Waite-Smith model. The result is a unique deck that any person with some Tarot experience will find instantly familiar and usable. This deck can be used with any Tarot system or book.

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Overview

The Traditional Tarot for the 21st Century

Most Tarot decks with really spectacular designs are really just art collections. The Gilded Tarot transcends this limitation by having some of the most strikingly beautiful art on any Tarot deck, yet follows the Rider-Waite-Smith model. The result is a unique deck that any person with some Tarot experience will find instantly familiar and usable. This deck can be used with any Tarot system or book.

You really must see the cards to believe their beauty. The High Priestess dances on water in a translucent dress of stars. She bends backwards in front of a crescent moon, looking like a classic lamp from the 1920s. The Wheel of Fortune shows the zodiacal wheel around a solar center as part of a bizarre, almost alien machine. The Hanging Man follows this machine concept, but he is dressed in brilliant reds and greens.

The colors are deep and intense, almost metallic. They draw you in and will have you staring at the images repeatedly. But this is more than a deck to look at, it's a deck to use! The Gilded Tarot Companion, a full book by Tarot expert Barbara Moore, is included with this deck. It's a complete introduction so that even a beginner can use this deck right away.

If you're tired of the old style of the RWS deck and its imitators, if you're looking for a familiar deck that will take you into the future, this is the deck you want to use.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738705200
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: Includes Book, 78-Card Deck & Tarot Bag
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 319,836
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 2.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Ciro Marchetti (Florida) is an award-winning artist from the United Kingdom. He studied art in London, followed by a career working in Europe and South America before settling in the United States where he opened a design agency in Miami. In addition to managing his company, Ciro also gives workshops and lectures on digital imagery and illustration at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, and continues to create his own visionary art.

In the early 1990s, at a party, someone put a tarot deck in Barbara's hands; she's held on tightly ever since. Tarot provides just enough structure so that we don't get lost as we explore the mysteries, plumb our dark corners, and locate our North Stars.

Barbara has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She's published a number of books on tarot, including Tarot for Beginners, Tarot Spreads, The Steampunk Tarot, The Gilded Tarot, The Mystic Dreamer Tarot, and Tarot of the Hidden Realm. Writing is solitary work and is relieved by teaching tarot at conferences around the world. Barbara also loves working directly with clients, helping them uncover guidance and insight in the cards.

Connect with Barbara online at www.tarotshaman.com.

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Read an Excerpt

T H E
B a s i c s
You're probably anxious to get to know your new deck. In this section you'll find a brief introduction to the structure of the deck. This will help you understand the meanings of the cards in general terms.
The later sections will help you provide more in-depth interpretation. Think of this as the outline for the card meanings. The details and nuances will come in time.

The Cards
Remember that the tarot is very personal and that the cards are packed with many meanings. Use this text as a guidebook, but let your own intuition be the final word. If something here does not make sense, discard it. Divination is not a hard science. Use the exercises provided to help flesh out the meanings that you'll use for your own readings. A journal or notebook will be especially handy in keeping all your notes and observations in order. Throughout this book, there will be exercises to help you solidify your understanding of the cards.

Seventy-eight cards may seem like a lot to learn.
Dividing the deck into sections makes it easier. The first main division is in two parts: the Major Arcana
(twenty-two cards) and the Minor Arcana (fifty-six cards). Arcana means "secrets"-so the Major Arcana are the "big secrets." In practical terms, these are the cards that represent important milestones, major changes, events beyond our control, and spiritual growth. The Minor Arcana, "lesser secrets," generally depict events, situations, or people related to everyday life. An important characteristic of the Minor Arcana is personal control-that is, they represent aspects of your life over which you have the control.

The Minor Arcana
The Minor Arcana are usually very simple to understand because most people are familiar with the structure already. Think of a pack of playing cards: four suits (clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds), with each suit having ten pip cards numbered ace through ten and three court cards (King, Queen, Jack). The Minor
Arcana is just like that, with the addition of one court card for each suit. The court cards of the tarot reflect their medieval roots: King, Queen, Knight, and Page.
The suits have different names and symbols but still relate directly to the suits of playing cards [alternative names are in brackets]:

WANDS [Rods, Batons, or Staves] = Clubs

CUPS [Chalices] = Hearts

SWORDS = Spades

PENTACLES [Coins, Disks, or Stones] = Diamonds

In addition to relating to playing-card deck suits,
the tarot suits are associated with the four elements.
This helps define the suit's relation to our daily lives.
The illustration below shows the four suits, and the list below it reveals each suit's elemental association and the aspects of life it represents.

WANDS (left). Fire or Air. Career, projects, inspiration.

CUPS (top). Water. Emotions, relationships, creativity.

SWORDS (right). Air or Fire. Challenges, intellect,
ways of thinking.

PENTACLES (bottom). Earth. Physical world,
money, resources.

Each Minor Arcana suit is associated with an area of life. All the cards are numbered as well; each of these numbers has meanings.

ACES: New beginnings, opportunity.
TWOS: Balance, duality, a crossroads or choice.
THREES: The full expression of the suit,
achievement.
FOURS: Structure, stability, stagnation.
FIVES: Instability, conflict, loss, opportunity for change.
SIXES: Communication, problem-solving,
cooperation.
SEVENS: Reflection, assessment, motives.
EIGHTS: Movement, action, change, power.
NINES: Fruition, attainment.
TENS: Completion, end of a cycle.

Using this information, you can already get a sense for a card's meaning. For example, the Seven of Pentacles could represent an assessment of resources or property. This card shows a woman looking at the fruit on a tree. She might be contemplating the work invested and comparing it to the harvest gained by that investment. The Three of Cups could indicate the achievement of relationships. This image shows three woman celebrating the joy of their friendship.

While the numbered cards show different situations of everyday life, the court cards bring personality to these situations. They can represent other people or the querent (the person asking the question). Because real people are complex, the court cards usually represent just a facet of a person-the part of the person engaged in the particular situation being inquired about.

PAGES: Novices, eager and enthusiastic but sometimes shallow; can indicate a message that the querent will receive.
KNIGHTS: Extremists, very focused (like a knight on a quest); can be unbalanced or fanatical; may represent a fast-moving situation.
QUEENS: Mature and reflective; one who nurtures others; can be prone to obsession.
KINGS: Mature and expressive; one who organizes and controls external matters, sometimes at the expense of internal or personal matters.

Exercise 1
Put your Minor Arcana cards in numerical order. Look at each one and connect the image on the card to the associations of the suit and the number as described above. Write your observations in a notebook.
Note whether the connections were obvious or subtle. Also note whatever details grab your attention.
Write down why a particular image intrigued you and how it affects the meaning of the card for you.

Exercise 2
Lay out your court cards. Think about the personality represented on each card. Match that card with someone in your life, noting the particular behaviors, characteristics, or habits that caused the connection in your mind.

The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana are made up of twenty-two cards,
numbered zero through twenty-one. Just as the minor suits have an elemental association, so does the Major
Arcana; it is connected with the element of Spirit. In addition to being numbered, the Majors are also named as follows:

0 The Fool
I The Magician
II The High Priestess
III The Empress
IV The Emperor
V The Hierophant
VI The Lovers
VII The Chariot
VIII Strength
IX The Hermit
X Wheel of Fortune
XI Justice
XII The Hanging Man
XIII Death
XIV Temperance
XV The Devil
XVI The Tower
XVII The Star
XVIII The Moon
XIX The Sun
XX Judgement
XXI The World

The names give some indication of the meaning. For example, the Hermit means taking time to retreat from the world and look inward. The Star brings hope and guidance, a light to follow through otherwise dark times.

Exercise 3
List the meanings or associations that come to mind simply based on the name of each Major
Arcana card.

The Fool's Journey
Just as dividing the Minor Arcana into suits and learning about the suit and numerological associations provide a brief overview and introduction to these cards'
meanings, learning the Fool's journey helps introduce us to the Major Arcana. The twenty-two Major Arcana cards depict a journey through life, a journey of self-development and spiritual growth. We all start as the Fool, the first card of the Major Arcana, though all our journeys are different.

To visualize the Fool's journey, lay out the cards,
placing the Fool alone at the top. Then lay out the rest of the cards, in numerical order, underneath the Fool in three rows of seven (1-7, 8-14, and 15-21).

1. The first row shows the steps we go through in our basic development from birth to young adult and in learning how to live in society.

2. The second row illustrates the universal laws or rules of society that we must confront, question,
and come to terms with; it also is about discovering who we are.

3. The final row is our spiritual development.
THE FOOL: The Fool marks the beginning of the journey as an archetypal child, unformed and unlearned,
innocent and eager.
THE MAGICIAN: The Magician represents the male principal or animus. This is our active or outgoing energy, our skills and abilities in terms of the outer world. In basic terms, it is how we do things and how we learn.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS: The High Priestess embodies the female principal or anima. This is our passive or introspective energy, our skills as they relate to our inner world and self-reflection. In short, this is how we think or feel about things and what we know intuitively.
THE EMPRESS: The Empress represents the Mother archetype and our experience with mothering, nurturing,
emotions, and our creative impulse.
THE EMPEROR: The Emperor represents the Father archetype and our experience with authority, reason,
and logic.
THE HIEROPHANT: The Hierophant is our formal education within our society, including school, religious training, and cultural traditions.
THE LOVERS: In a word, adolescence-our experience of hormones, sex, and our sense of self.
THE CHARIOT: The Chariot illustrates the ability to see both sides of an issue; it marks the ending of the
"but that's not fair!" stage.
Once we have synthesized these archetypes into our sense of self, we are usually pretty well prepared to participate in society. Sometimes we incorporate some of these elements better than others. For example, if someone "has issues with her mother," she may not have dealt very effectively with the Empress.
STRENGTH: Strength is where we learn to control our instincts and impulses, where we master ourselves and develop self-control. We may want to party all night, eat the entire buffet, or shop until our credit card reaches its limit, but we realize that it is probably best if we do not indulge all these desires.
THE HERMIT: This is us feeling the need to "find ourselves." We turn inward, questioning all we've learned, and try to find a sense of inner peace.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE: Just when we feel centered and balanced, our resolve is tested by a spin of fate.
Something happens beyond our control or our ability to foresee.
JUSTICE: In the aftermath of the spin of fate, we find out how we fared, and realize that we reap what we sow. If we were well prepared, we come out perhaps shaken but okay. If not, we may need to revisit the
Hermit phase of the journey-or move on to . . .
THE HANGING MAN: The Hanging Man shows us the strength and power of letting go and enjoying the view from a different perspective. This card also shows us the importance of sacrifice. Some things are worth sacrificing for and maybe we really can't have it all-at least not the way we planned.
DEATH: Just when we get comfortable hanging on by a thread, we are faced with a major change in our lives. This can be any major change, positive or negative:
an unexpected promotion, the ending of a relationship,
moving to a new place.
TEMPERANCE: After coming through a transformational experience, we learn graceful balance and tolerance.
We learn to adapt to changes in circumstance while maintaining our center, our sense of self.
We have come through a very difficult phase of our development.
We have faced Death in some guise. We've learned to maintain ourselves, to adapt to circumstances,
to not rail against the seeming unfairness of the universe. What more could we possibly have to do?
THE DEVIL: Balanced, strong, and confident, now we are asked to confront our shadow selves, the dark aspects of ourselves that we fear and that may control us in subtle ways. These may be aspects that we learned to control or repress in the Strength card.
This worked well for a while, before we had the knowledge and experience not just to ignore and repress these aspects. Now we need to revisit them,
learn to appreciate the positive qualities they can bring to our lives, and synthesize them appropriately.
THE TOWER: Although we feel we've got ourselves under reasonable control by now, the universe reminds us that we are not in control of everything.
The Tower gives us a bolt from the blue that shakes our very foundation. This may differ from the
Wheel or Death in that rather than disrupting the external circumstances of our lives, the Tower shakes the foundations of our belief systems.
THE STAR: The Star provides us guidance, hope, and optimism after cataclysmic events, giving us the strength we need to rebuild our crumbled foundations.
THE MOON: While the Star guides us on our way,
the Moon teaches us to question everything and to realize that things are not always what they seem.
By the light of the Moon, we can lose our way or be distracted by enticing shadows. We can also have inspiring dreams. We must learn to tell the difference.
THE SUN: After wandering in the Moon, we emerge into the Sun with increased strength and self-awareness,
with the certainty that we know ourselves,
what we believe in, and what is real.
JUDGEMENT: The Judgement card calls us to a deeper spiritual realization. Often it is a call to action,
to share your knowledge or experience with others.
THE WORLD: This is the end of the cycle; we have learned all of our lessons and have achieved integration,
balance, and spiritual awareness.

Exercise 4
Look at each Major Arcana card. Write down a situation or experience from your own life that reminds you of each step of the Fool's journey.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction vii

Artist's notes ix

The Basics . . . 1

The Major Arcana . . . 35

The Minor Arcana . . . 81

The Court Cards . . . 119

The Spreads . . . 141

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Interviews & Essays

Summary: A spectacularly beautiful Tarot deck using modern digital art that is firmly based on the Rider-Waite-Smith model—making it easy to use for traditionalists and beginners, as well as a compliment for any Tarot book—yet significantly original so it is not merely another RWS clone. Highly recommended as a 21st century replacement for the RWS.

In-Depth Review:

The 21st Century Tarot
Until 1910, the field of Tarot design was both rarified and highly varied. In that year, Waite and Smith published their Tarot with Rider. At the same time, Waite and Rider did something quite unique—they published a book that was designed to go along with a new Tarot. This was the first time such a combination had ever been tried. Combined with Waite and Smith’s pictorial designs for the Minor Arcana, a literal revolution in Tarot began, and over the next century, the RWS has become the model against which all other Tarot decks are measured.

The result of this has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s been a blessing because so many books have been published that could apply to the RWS model. It’s been a curse in that any valuable variations have often been overlooked or even shunned, and a huge number of decks have been nothing more than a redrawing of the RWS. So how many copies of the Mona Lisa do we really need? Do we really need the Mona Lisa redrawn with the face of a cat? And yet, that is what so many artists and designers have done with the Tarot.

This leads to a definite problem. How do you create something really new with the Tarot while following close enough to the RWS model as to keep it acceptable to Tarot aficionados? That is, how do you keep it the same, but different?

Perhaps the most ambitious and successful solution has come from Ciro Marchetti in a remarkable deck, The Gilded Tarot. It follows the RWS model, so you can use all of the other books with it. Everything you’ve learned about the Tarot is easily adaptable to this deck. Therefore, there is no reason to repeat it here.

What is startlingly unique yet comfortingly familiar is the art. The messages of each card are the same as those of the RWS, but the art is frequently and refreshingly new. It is the RWS for the 21st century.

The typical RWS image of The Fool is that of a young man with a staff over his shoulder that has a sack or bag attached. He’s looking up and doesn’t see the crevasse he’s about to walk into. A small dog is at his feet.

The Gilded Tarot shows a harlequin-like figure, a joker, a fool, in brilliant blues and reds. He juggles the symbols of the zodiac above his head. He balances on a staff and behind him, in the distance, is dark planet.

The precarious balancing on the staff corresponds to the traditional walk off a cliff. Here, though, the character stares intently up at the zodiacal signs rather than merely out toward the distance. The meaning is the same, but it adds more. The Fool is the "Divine Fool" who has his mind on more than material interests. Here, it shows that he is looking toward the stars.

The Magician has no altar. He stares out, directly at you, from behind s trimmed beard and long grey hair. Before him dance the tools of the mage—wand, chalice, dagger, pentacle—in brilliant colors and texture. He controls them. He is using his power.

The High Priestess dances on water in a translucent dress of stars. She bends backwards in front of a crescent moon, looking like a classic lamp from the 1920s. The Wheel of Fortune shows the zodiacal wheel around a solar center as part of a bizarre, almost alien machine. The Hanging Man follows this machine concept, but he is dressed in brilliant reds and greens.

Death is another card that is uniquely different than the RWS, but has the same meanings. A ghostly image with black shrouds had a ghastly and realistic skull in a headpiece. He bears a shield with a drawing of a horse and carries a staff with a white flower on a black banner. The Devil shows a muscular figure with flames below and a pentagram behind him. He wears a unique headpiece that has large horns, but also seems to cover the eyes, blinding him. The Star shows the typical woman pouring out fluids from vases. In one vase is sunflower, perhaps hinting at the nature of the Sun as a star. Behind her is a star as part of a bizarre clockwork machine.

The art on all the cards has brilliant, deeply intense colors that are almost metallic. The art is just superb. But as was learned in 1910, for a deck to be successful, it needs more than just art, it needs a thorough accompanying book. The Gilded Tarot Companion is just such a book. It contains the meanings of all the cards, as well as instructions for five spreads. In the section called "The Basics," there is a brief but surprisingly thorough introduction on how to use the cards, including information ranging from how to store a deck to how to ask a question. No, it’s not an advanced book, but it does give the beginner more than enough information to become a good Tarot reader.

The Gilded Tarot Companion is an ideal replacement for the RWS with colors and design that are both traditional and new. If you’re already used to the RWS, you might want this as another deck to use when the RWS "isn’t speaking to you." If you’re a professional reader and give clients a choice of decks, this one will appeal to those who are attracted to new things and bright colors.

Name of deck: The Gilded Tarot
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 9780738705200
Creator’s name: Ciro Marchetti
Brief biography: Ciro Marchetti (Florida) is an award-winning artist from the United Kingdom. He studied art in London, followed by a career working in Europe and South America before settling in the United States where he opened a design agency in Miami. In addition to managing his company, Ciro also gives workshops and lectures on digital imagery and illustration at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, and continues to create his own visionary art.
Name of accompanying book: The Gilded Tarot Companion
Number of pages of book: 168
Author of book: Barbara Moore
Brief biography of author: The Tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the Tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the Tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has been active in the American Tarot Association and has spoken at Tarot conferences around the United States. Barbara’s articles on the Tarot have appeared in several Tarot publications and in Llewellyn Publications’ New Worlds of Mind and Spirit magazine. She has also been on the Tarot Journal editorial board. Barbara’s own education in the Tarot has been and continues to be broad and enlightening. She has studied under renowned Tarot scholars Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack, and she has taught the Tarot to all manner of would-be Tarot readers. Barbara has written books for several decks, including A Guide to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot Companion, The Hip Witch Tarot, Enchanted Oracle and The Mystic Dreamer Tarot.
Available in a boxed kit?: Yes. Inside the box is the deck, the full-sized book, a box that can protect the deck, and a sheer, black, organdy, drawstring bag for the deck.
Magical Uses: Meditation
Reading Uses: All general uses
Original Medium: Digital
Theme: Medieval/Renaissance with original additions to RWS model.
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes, but with original interpretations to some of the symbolism. The Hanged Man becomes The Hanging Man.
Why was deck created?: Although always intrigued by the symbolism of the Tarot, it was a suggestion by Llewellyn that interested him in the project. After further research, his goals for this deck included that it should be based on and pay homage to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck so most users would immediately be comfortable with it an be able to use it, that it should be visually attractive to enrich the reading experience and be of value to collectors, and that it should incorporate a number of original touches and not be just another RWS clone.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2007

    Please look in your dictionary

    The Guilded Tarot is indeed a beautiful deck for both novice & expert. However, for those that are insisting that 'Judgment' is misspelled, please do refer to a collegiate dictionary as you will find that both 'Judgement' and 'Judgment' are both acceptable spellings in the English language. No sense in needlessly destroying the deck's image without investigating further.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2005

    The Gilded Tarot

    This deck has very vivid pictures that tell the meaning of the card easily. I am impressed with this deck most of all because it made me feel like I could understand and not feel confused when I did my readings. My other deck was not easy to handle and use every day. This however is. I would recomend this to both beginners and more advanced readers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    Love the cards

    What caught my eye first is the beauty of the cards, the detail is amazing! I'm new to the tarot and have enjoyed using these cards to start my new adventure.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    Judgment/Judgement

    This is an absolutely gorgeous deck. I've noticed that others complained of the misspelling of the word 'judgment'. However, this is _not_ misspelled in the book and deck. 'Judgement' is a perfectly valid spelling, and is the preferred British spelling.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2006

    I'm glad this was my very first deck!

    I was looking for my first deck about six months ago. I had heard from numerous books and sources, 'Rider-Waite is best for beginners'. However, I wanted something with more beauty and flavor. When I found that the Gilded Tarot was based on the popular deck, I fell in love with it and found it to be my personal deck that all around suits me entirely. The computer generated images might lose some lust under very, very, very close scrutination, but everytime you draw a card, it's like seeing it for the first time. It gives the deck an original feel while still keeping RW symbolism. If you're a beginner who feels insecure about making RW your first deck, the Gilded Tarot gives you a fantastic, easy-to-use alternative.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2004

    beautiful

    Very colorful deck that talks to you with minimal reading of the book. Beautiful artwork.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    Gorgeous Deck!

    Absolutely beautiful deck, based on the Rider-Waite deck. I have been waiting for this deck for 2 years and here are the cards in my hands. Simply gorgeous!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    beautiful deck of tarot cards

    beautiful deck of tarot cards

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2006

    Very good for beginners

    I had never worked with tarot before but I read up on them before I bought a deck, and I wasn't quite ready for the RiderWaite so I bought these.... And they truly are wonderful. The only thing that I saw that was a bit distracting was the misspelling of Judgment, but not everything or everyone is perfect. But other than that, these cards are alluring and beautiful, and I recommend them if you are a beginner and need that pizzazz of vision to jumpstart your journey with the tarot. But after that, definitely buy RiderWaite

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    Cannot believe this!

    I purchased this deck after searching high and low for a great deck. Very colorful and beautiful illustrations. However, to my disappointment the 'Judgment' card is spelled incorrectly...not only on the card, but throughout the entire book as well. Could not believe it and threw all the energy out the door.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 29, 2011

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    Posted December 1, 2011

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    Posted October 16, 2010

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    Posted April 22, 2013

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    Posted January 15, 2010

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