Deck review: Journey to Enlightenment Tarot

This deck is published by Watkins Publishing.

This ranks up there as one of the more unusual decks I've worked with! Although it took me a little while to get used to it, I'm now really enjoying it.

Let's go in order. The cards are a little shorter, but wider, than standard tarot size, and the box is a little bit bigger than the cards in all dimensions. These cards fit my hands better than any other deck I've used; they are a joy to shuffle and hold. They're slightly matte, not glossy, and they slide beautifully over each other, no catching or stuttering.

The back of each card is a beautiful blue with a mandala type shape in white. They're fully reversible if necessary.

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The cards themselves are fully illustrated, in a variety of styles that I am sadly not well versed enough in art styles to recognise. Some look (to me) faintly Indigenous Australian: some look religious: some are very abstract and don't seem to match any style. There are plenty I can't pin down, and I wish I knew more about art so I could recognise more of them! Each card has a thin white border on three sides, and a wider white border at the bottom with the name of the card written on it. I'm normally a fan of borderless cards, but in this instance I think the border works; some of the images are quite busy and it's nice to have a border to contain them.

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The book starts with an introduction from Selena Joy about what brought her to create the deck. There's a section on connecting with and using the cards, including several different spreads – there's a couple here I haven't seen anywhere else and I look forward to trying out. It's a great mix, too, of simpler, three card spreads and more complex ones, right up to the Celtic Cross.

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The Major Arcana each have a page. There's a small image of the card, three keywords or phrases, a description of the meaning, and a small section called Journey to Enlightenment which has some advice on how to apply the card to your life. On some cards the description has a little about the image – for instance, the Magician is described as 'wearing a cloak woven of the lessons learned and wisdom gained from life's mysteries' but most of them don't mention the image, which is a shame – I would have liked to know more about the thoughts behind the art, but it's great to get what we do. Reversals aren't mentioned, except briefly in the description of the Major Arcana where it says that reversals may mean you're not noticing the messages.

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The Minor Arcana start with the Court Cards by suit. There's a page with a brief description of the numerology of the Minors, then the cards Ace through Ten, suit by suit. The layout is the same as for the Majors, but each has a little less or sometimes a little more than a full page this time, so they're not laid out as cleanly.

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At the end of the book there's a sample spread, to show how the cards might be used for a reading.

I think, like several decks I've looked at recently, this wouldn't be a good first deck. Although it is RWS based, some of the images are too abstract to make sense to someone with no experience. However, once someone knows a bit, I think this would be a fantastic deck to study alongside a more traditional one. I've been taking a card or two each evening and studying them, and there's so much depth in them – I'm sure I'll still be noticing new things this time next year!

This is a wonderful deck and a fabulous addition to any collection.

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Kerrie Mercel

Currently Kerrie Mercel, inspirational speaker, author & facilitator for the health and wellness industry. Kerrie enjoys working with professional business women helping them to find the power to live life on their terms.

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