Blog, Decks to Watch

3 Tarot Decks to Watch – November Edition

Monthly review of three unique artists expressing themselves through Tarot, or anticipated Tarot deck releases.

Tarot of the Delphi – J.D. Hildegard Hinkel

This deck will make you feel like you are in an art gallery. Purchase 79 little frames, frame each card, toss them up on the wall. Done. Each image was chosen from a collection of fine art paintings and portraits dating from 1830 to about 1910. Categorically, these are Neoclassical from the Victorian era. As such, the themes in the paintings are Greco-Roman and show imagined and fantastical scenes of daily life from the ancient world. Each card is bordered in a soft beige frame and the card name on the bottom of the card. Colors soft and bold to draw attention to movement and stillness and this deck will absolutely be loved by those drawn to museums and find themselves returning time and time again to revisit the Renaissance period section.

There are 79 cards (featuring a second version of the Empress) and the deck follows the Rider-Waite-Smith system in some ways, but takes allowances in others.

Notable Changes – Tarot of the Delphi

Some cards have been renamed to correspond with the theme:

Additionally, some of the images do not correspond or invoke the same meaning as the Rider-Waite -Smith Deck. Because the project matches and attempts to build a collection and work it into a tarot deck, the images of the pip cards do not have the suit featured in the image.   There are no coins featured in the image featured before for the Eight of Coins. The only way of identifying the card is the bottom title and small corresponding symbol to indicate the suit.

Eight of Coins - Tarot of the Delphi
Eight of Coins – Tarot of the Delphi. There are no coins featured in the image, and the only way of identifying the card is the bottom title and small corresponding symbol to indicate the suit.

Some of the images are pure magic and beautifully represent and reflect the traditional meanings for the cards. The Two of Cups is soft and sweet and is a beautiful representation of two individuals coming together harmoniously. The Ten of Swords doesn’t have our main figure maimed by ten swords, but the sense of ending and rebirth coming from that point of completion is invoked and held up nicely as the main figure is help and supported by angels.

Others however, seem disconnected and do not seem to connect with the traditional meaning of the card. There are few examples of this however, so the reader will have to make adjustment to how they understand the card and how it “fits” into the deck:

The Seven of Coins is connected to reward from investing, profiting from work you have already performed. While one could see a sense of pride in the face of the figure in the Tarot of the Delphi, it’s a little bit of a stretch to derive that from the imagery. The Four of Coins as well seems to suggest a different meaning from the tradition of comfort from stability and control over finances.

This deck is fun, meaningful and I feel collectors will jump on it! Let me know what you think!


Invisible Light Tarot Deck – Brandy Eve Allen

Brandy Eve Allen, creator of the Invisible Light Tarot Deck,  is an established photographer who used infrared films to show us light that is not visible to the human eye. Visually, she taps into the metaphor that the tarot reveals hidden mysteries and secrets, and exposed the mystery that we are not privy to as we move about our day and our lives.

If you like to use the tarot as a visualization tool, than this is the deck for you.

The deck follows the traditional stricture of 78 cards, but replaces the names of the suits with the elements instead. Each image was carefully selected to correspond with the Rider-Waite-Smith system, but it is presented in a very new way. This way, the suit and associations are communicated through color.

The Sun is dark and very different from tradition depictions of a bright yellow sphere. But looking at the card inspires a sensation of warmth of sun on your skin. The light treatment allows us to look right into The Hermit‘s tent, straight through what is giving him her a sense of isolation or privacy. What I love is the thought process I go through when looking at these cards. Whenever I write reviews The Hermit is always one of the first cards I gravitate to look at to see how the image makes me feel. At first I thought, we are invading his or her private solitude and I felt a little uncomfortable looking in. But then I automatically reoriented myself, and pictured myself as the figure. It made me feel that solitude can be found anywhere, and I control when and where and how I create a safe space for quiet, solitary reflection.

The Kickstarter campaign was successful and the deck is now available to purchase online. These images have, in my opinion, successfully achieved the raw meaning and emotion behind the traditional RWS tarot meanings, and communicated them in a new, honest and human way.


Kawaii Tarot – Diana Lopez

I stumbled on to this deck on Etsy and it is refreshing in its simplicity, but I would not recommend it to newer readers who do not already have strong connections with the symbols in the tarot.

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It seems that the Major Arcana will be represented by basic (but powerful) symbols and the suits will be represented simply by the suit symbol and count of the card (so 9 of Pentacles will be an image of nine coins).  Above is an image that shows The Fool, The Lovers, and The Magician…and it all makes sense to me. The Fool’s rose embodying the purity and neutrality of the card. The movement in the way that the crown reaches outwards is simply motivational growth. The Lovers, one pair but separate colored hearts. The, I branch and leaves makes me think “olive branch” for peace and unity and harmony, combined with the actual symbol of the heart….I’ve connected my unspoken, articulated understanding of the  cards here. The Magician, so simple, but I can picture myself holding the yellow started wand, and directing the wand to tap the different colored stars as if to tap into my different skills and yielding them with confidence.

The most unique aspect of this deck is that the court cards play with gender norms and roles. Pages are androgynous and the genders switch for the kings, queens and knights. The deck is described as “Cute modern genderfluid tarot”.

Do you have a deck you would like to see featured? Let me in the comments below!

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