Newly published tarot and oracle decks arrive on Amazon, Etsy, crowd-funding platforms, and in bookstores every month. Today there are literally thousands of decks to choose from, including out-of-print decks as well as published ones. Reviewing a deck is a subjective judgment intended to help readers determine if they want to own the deck reviewed.
The critical review of a deck for AskAstrology involves looking at the quality and size of the cards, visual accessibility of the art, quality of the companion text of the deck, and potential usefulness in professional practice. This month I have chosen to review the Psychic Tarot Oracle by psychic John Holland and artist John Matson.
The Psychic Tarot Oracle Cards
From the back of the box:
The 65 beautifully illustrated cards in this deck will create a powerful bridge between your psychic abilities and the ancient knowledge and meanings of the tarot; and will help you develop intuitive insights about all areas of your life, including love and relationships, business matters, and even career changes.
This fascinating deck will work for you whether you’re a novice or are already in tune with your psychic abilities. In the accompanying guidebook, psychic medium John Holland imparts techniques that he’s practiced himself and taught in his workshops, relating to colors, symbology, shapes, words, card spreads, divination, numerology, energy centers, imagination, and more. By using the cards, you’ll be able to incorporate John’s techniques when you do a tarot reading for yourself or others.
The deck has visual images that perfectly capture the keywords or phrases assigned to each card.
The card stock of the deck is high quality and will hold up with regular, even heavy use. The cards are larger than standard playing cards, but not so large that they are hard to hold in your hands. Because the card stock is some of the thickest available, the cards can be a little stiff and hard to shuffle when you first get them out of the box. Over time, and with regular use, shuffling will get easier.
Explanation of the Cards
The booklet offers more than the minimal description of the cards. It has brief explanations for each card, with a longer than usual introduction at the beginning, and couple of pages about the author and artist at the end. The introductory section of the booklet includes: Understanding the Card Structure, Getting Started, Card Spreads, Psychic Development, Color Interpretation, Numerological Meanings, and Symbols and Images.
The deck borrows from, but does not complete the Tarot structure. There are 22 Major Arcana cards that match the 22 Majors of the Tarot. However, the suits only have 9 cards and are called Physical, Spirit, Emotions, and Mental, which replace Pentacles, Wands, Cups, and Swords, respectively. The 10th card and the Court cards have been removed. In their place, Holland adds the seven Chakra centers: Base, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye, and Crown.
Visual Accessibility of the Deck
The deck artwork visually accessible, making it easy to start reading with the cards as soon as you get them out of the box. John Matson does an outstanding job merging the artwork with the concept for each card, which you can see in the examples above and below.
Major Arcana 2 – Intuition
From the companion book:
Intuition is the language of the soul. When this card shows up in a reading, it’s a clear message that it’s time for you to use your intuition. Just give it a chance and you’ll quickly notice how it might be trying to get your attention. With so much information in this world vying for your every thought, it’s easy to ignore or fail to acknowledge your insights. (29)
Physical 1 – Prosperity Begins
From the companion book:
This card brings a message of beginnings, prosperity, wealth, and new business – which could soon be in the palm of your hand. It may result from your hard work, past efforts, and investments; or it could show up unexpectedly. It may even be presented as a gift. With careful and diligent planning, recent endeavors and moneymaking ideas show great possibilities and promises of monetary gains. (73)
Chakra 3 – Solar Plexus
From the companion book:
The Solar Plexus Chakra is located between the naval area, just below the rib cage. It represents power, vitality, willpower, self-esteem, and confidence. The energy center where your emotions and feelings are recorded, this chakra is associated with clairsentience (inner feeling), which is the major psychic reception area. (158)
As a professional reader who started reading cards for pay in 1992, I can say that this deck is above average when it comes to reading for clients. You will not have to memorize the meanings of the cards because you can readily or easily rely on the images to make the meanings very clear.
I would recommend the deck for personal use, collecting, admiring the artwork, and professional use. This modern deck does offer reading spreads and suggestions on how to best use the cards.
The deck is a visually appealing set of cards and one that I will give it a high rating, four out of five stars. I have used the deck in a public setting, and find the cards comfortable to use for any client in any situation.