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The Cook's Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $14.41

ProductID: alt1101

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About this item
  • The Cook's Tarot celebrates cooks: those who gather, create, serve food and physical and spiritual nourishment for
  • others. The deck has 78 lively cards depicting modern scenes of kitchens, restaurants and cooking, all based on the
  • traditional Rider-Waite imagery.

Name The Cook's Tarot
Creators Judith Stirt
Publisher Schiffer Books 2015
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Rider-Waite-Smith
Minor Arcana Style RWS-Based Scenes
Suits Cups, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards Page, Knight, Queen, King
Card Language English
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Repeating pattern of a cooking spoon in shades of green.
Companion Material 160-page bound companion book is packaged with the set. Each card is shown in black and white and explanations of the key elements and card meanings are given, along with a piece of kitchen wisdom.


This is a standard tarot in that it has 78 cards, 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana. There are no renamed cards, and the suits are Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles; with the usual suspects - King, Queen, Knight, and Page as Court cards. While most of the images do not directly reference scenes from traditional decks, colours, symbols, and mis-en-scene typical of the Rider Waite Smith deck are recognisable throughout the Cook’s Tarot.

There is a sly humour to many of the cards – there is the bathroom scales of Justice, the piles of teetering dishes and collapsed cake of The Tower; in The Lovers a snake coils – around a coffee pot; and a sphinx obstructs a shopping trolley in a surreal supermarket of The Chariot. Swords take on many guises – paring knives, skewers, spatulas, and toothpicks; Cups are depicted as mugs, measuring jugs, and glasses; Wands appear as matches, candles, bread rolls, wooden spoons, blackbirds, cats, and carrots; while Pentacles are transformed into saucers, apples, pizzas, jam jars, eggs, tiles, pies, and canapés.

The cards measure 95 x 140 mm, which makes them considerably larger than standard tarot decks and much closer to the size of Oracle cards. The card stock is excellent, the cards are flexible, smooth with an extremely glossy finish. The cards are easy to shuffle, and given their size fairly easy to handle. The print quality is outstanding – clear and sharp with no blurring. The colours are vivid and dynamic.

The artwork is quirky and somewhat rustic, a sort of rough-hewn style that has become synonymous with cafe culture art. The palette is bright and quite *Mediterranean*with sunny skies, starry nights, and rich food. The images are borderless, the titles and numbers are at the base of the card on a dark yellow strip. The print on the back, a chequerboard of crossed spoons and carving forks is reversible.

The cards and guidebook are packaged in a beautiful Schiffer box set. The box is heavy duty cardboard printed with glossy images and information about the deck. There is a magnetic clasp to hold the lid shut, a ribbon to pull it open, and ribbon hinges to keep it in place. The cards are set in two wells, with the guidebook on top.

The 160 page guidebook is written by the deck's creator and artist, Judith MacKay Stirt. The "Introduction" gives a brief overview of the decks composition, functions of the Arcanas, as well as the development of this deck. Each card is explained in detail. There is a black and white reproduction of the card, a description outlining time, place, what is happening, significant colours and symbols, and some intangible elements such as thoughts, intentions, even music that is playing.

"Key Elements" highlights and explains the significance of the most important symbols in each card. "Card Meaning" gives the Seeker excellent direction for interpreting the card. It also gives a possible "shadow side" of the interpretation, which could be used as either a poorly placed/aspected card, or a card reversal. Each card also has a piece of "Kitchen Wisdom" which is either a relevant quote or a piece of common sense advice.

This is a delightful tarot deck, lively, positive, and full of energy. While I would not recommend it for beginners, simply because its focus is non-traditional, for experienced tarot readers this deck is easily mastered. Not just for cooks or gourmets, this idiosyncratic deck is a bright addition to any collection, and a perfectly functional tarot. Bon appetit!

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