Tarot for the 21st Century!
"A whimsical look at the tarot" - Dorothy Morrison, the author of Whimsical Tarot
This U.S. Games deck was illustrated by Mary Hanson-Roberts.
When you look at the cover of a book, if there is a scene or image there, it usually conveys the essence of the story. In fact, the most interesting book covers are often a combination of characters and scenes from the story itself. Such is the case with each card in this deck, which could be read like 78 little book covers. Far from just getting a symbol or an archetype, each image illustrates a scene from a story of childhood. As D. Morrison states in the LWB "Childhood stories are built of simple ideas, have simple plots, and teach simple lessons." I find this deck to be very immediate and deep despite the title of "Whimsical Tarot." It's truly a feel good deck, and even when it is relaying to me some unwelcome news, I can't help but grin.
The cards are glossy and shuffle easily. Cardbacks allow for reversals. Each card has a leafy border that is very colorful. Pip suits are called: Rods, Swords, Cups and Pentacles. The images on the Trumps are slightly longer than those on the pips. In the pips, the suit symbols can be found in the card border rather than in the scene itself. I enjoy this very much, as I find it refreshing to look at a scene in which the artist did not tackle the issue of how the characters were going to manipulate coins or swords and still participate in an everyday situation. For example, in the 2 of pentacles, the symbols are one each in the left and right card borders. The image on the card contains no coins whatsoever, instead features Jack Sprat and his wife facing each other at the dinner table, Jack eating a sparse plate of veggies and his wife consuming a very heavy meal of meat and potatoes.
I asked my 5 year old daughter what her favorite card in this deck is, and she chose Justice. Ordinarily not one of the more inspiring cards in the traditional deck, the Whimsical Tarot Justice card certainly makes me chuckle! The scene is Baby Bear, angrily pointing at Goldilocks who is sitting up straight in Baby Bear's bed, and a policeman poking his head through at the door.
As can be expected, most of the deck departs from the traditional RWS images; the symbolism is mostly stripped away as well. But I find that this only frees the deck to read with more immediacy.
The LWB that comes with the deck does not refer to the actual card images, so if you don't know what story or rhyme a certain scene in the deck comes from, you will have to rely on your intuition.
This deck is reinforced by folk tradition, a vast catalog of rhymes and stories that successfully replace any symbolic approach featured by other decks. Whereas many decks are generated by an artist's vision of the tarot symbols, this version relates stories and traditions to the themes of the tarot. For this reason, I think it a wonderful deck for use in professional readings as well as personal ones, a rare deck in that I see it as appealing for people of all ages.