Tarot: 2 New Decks

I have a serious addiction to Tarot cards. I'm only middling at reading them (though I can read better for others than for myself), but I can't seem to stop buying decks of them. It's the artwork . . . I'm an art person, and my walls are pretty full, bookcases too (with art books among others), so Tarot decks are kind of an outlet for me. Though pretty soon I won't have any more room for those either.

Anyway, the latest additions to my growing collection are the Alchemy 1977 England Tarot and the Labyrinth Tarot. Both decks are manufactured by Fournier and are slightly smaller than most of my others, and the cards are thin and slick, so I've found shuffling them a little tricky. I'm also not a fan of Fournier's booklet style, but that's beside the point since I have so many other Tarot books and hardly ever use the booklets for reference.

I'll start with the Alchemy deck. In short, I find it difficult to read. Like, I have to squint to be able to read the writing on the cards, and the cards themselves are not particularly intuitive either. The Sun card looks more like a Devil card to me. But these things are subjective.

The Sun card in Alchemy Tarot
Also, the Alchemy deck has Black Roses instead of Wands. Which is kind of cool but I always have to stop and think whenever I pull a Rose card, and remind myself it's a Wand. More or less. (The booklet still refers to Wands, btw. So I had to use process of elimination the first time I looked through the deck to figure out what the Roses were.)

In short, I pretty much never use the Alchemy deck for readings.

As for the Labyrinth Tarot, I really like it. I was a bit disappointed when I realized the astrological images on the cards really had no bearing on anything—they just seem to be there, they don't seem to be accurate in terms of the astrological correspondences, or maybe I'm misunderstanding them in some way, which is also entirely possible, and once again the booklet is totally useless on this point—but I do really enjoy the artwork. Though all the women are topless. I don't have anything against topless women, but I do wish we could balance these things with some naked men. (Note: The Hanged Man in this deck is naked. But I'm not sure I can count that as progress when there isn't a single woman with a shirt on in all of 78 cards.)

Anyway, never minding the sexism, the artwork for this deck is lovely. Particularly for the Major Arcana. I like the Minor Arcana as well—especially the use of dedicated color for each suit—but for those who like to read the cards somewhat visually, the Minors here offer very little to work with. They are pretty plain.

2 of Cups and Wheel of Fortune in Labyrinth Tarot
I do use Labyrinth for reads every now and then when the mood strikes me. The plainness of the Minor Arcana cards at least forces me to rely more on intuition when reading, which is something I need to exercise.

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