|About this item
- The Hero's Journey Tarot is the 'older, wilder sister' of Arnell Ando's ransformational Tarot, combining contemporary
- imagery with old world art in its cards. Each Hero's Journey set is individually handmade by Arnell, and has 78 full-size
- cards, a signed book and wooden box.
Hero's Journey Tarot
reviews here on Aeclectic about this self-
published tarot deck. At present this deck is not available
but who knows what the future might bring? It might
be made available again, very likely however, in a
different format or style. As has been described by Arnell
on her website, The Hero's Journey, is the older,
wilder sister to Transformational Tarot. I'm not clear
why she described this one as wilder, possibly
because it's rawer and less refined. Her Transformational
Tarot is certainly a more edited and perhaps smoother
I've had this deck since it was originally published in
2010. I would describe this deck as a craft deck
because really the whole kit was completely hand-made.
The cards were likely printed off in paper form on it
off the computer and each card cut to size and
laminated. The cards arrived in a really interesting little
wooden box that was collaged with pictures and stamps.
Very crafty. I remember being very excited about
receiving this little treasure.
This is certainly my
favourite aspect of the deck: that personal connection.
Unfortunately and sadly however, the many problems with this
deck have rendered it impossible for me to utilize as a
reading tool. The biggest problem I have with it is that
much of the imagery is very dark and difficult to
decipher. The images are small, busy and darkly indistinct.
You really have to look at them very closely to
determine what youre really seeing. For example, in the
King of Pentacles, you can barely make out his face in
profile. If you look very closely at the card (like inches
from your face) you can make out the word Midas at the
lower end of the image and an archway in the background
with possibly another figure is sitting off to the
right. Most of the pentacles, unfortunately, I would
describe as being overly dark and indistinct.
the deck too frustrating to work with as a tool. The
other really annoying bit about it is that the images
are actually quite interesting and you really do want
to know what's on that card! Once you have spent
some minutes contemplating a card like the Seven of
Pentacles, for example, and you determinedly unlock the
reason the author has chosen the image to describe the
meaning of the card, you really want to see the rest of
the cards and go through the same process but it's
such a laborious undertaking.
The images overall
however are brilliant and of course I have my favourites.
The Seven of Swords, for example, is just
marvellous. It depicts a skeleton in a rather shabby police
outfit holding a smoking gun in his hand and what looks
to be a young man in the bottom left corner dressed
like a rebel, a tortured look on his face and looking
like he's agitated and in pain. The more you look at
this Seven of Swords, the more pain you absorb from the
image and that's the thing with Arnell's work: its
intense, complex, textured, provocative, modern, and
arresting. This image I notice was not in any manner
reproduced in her Transformational Tarot and perhaps one of
those examples that led her describe this deck as its
wilder, older sister!
That brings me to the other problem
with this deck. There is no book or pamphlet or
anything at all to help the reader understand what the
artist was thinking about when creating these images to
represent the cards. I feel like she left me twisting in
the wind and I am truly sorry that she didnt do this
for her own benefit as well. After all, constructing
a tarot deck and selling it as such a craft product
with all the work that obviously went into its creation
and development, Im surprised Arnell didnt want to
showcase her own process in interpreting the meanings of
the tarot into these images. This was no mean
Would I recommend this deck? Honestly, I would. At its
best, this deck will teach a taroist how to look at all
images as a potential tarot card (which I do all the time
anyway). This deck will guide you to see tarot everywhere
and perhaps even create a tarot deck of your own.
This deck will also train you to ponder every card in a
tarot deck with circumspection. It's deliciously
provocative and artistic and intelligent. So if it ever
becomes available again or if Arnell decides to publish it
on a more massive scale, then yes I would recommend
you get yourself one. It will frustrate, stimulate
and annoy the heck out of you but in the end youll