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Whispering Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $13.39

ProductID: alt1237

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About this item
  • The Whispering Tarot is a limited edition, self-published deck from Elizabeth Hazel, the author of arot Decoded. The 78
  • cards were inspired by Pamela Colman-Smith's illustrations, but have had overt Christian and Masonic symbolism
  • removed. Accompanied by a companion CD with PDF booklet.

Name Whispering Tarot
Creators Elizabeth Hazel
Publisher Self Published 2008
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Rider-Waite-Smith
Card Language English


The accompanying book is printed under a similar azure cover featuring a much larger-than-lifesize print of The World. Signed but not numbered, it is spiral-bound which is the simpler alternative when self-publishing, but for a bibliophile for me it has one huge plus and one huge minus. The plus is that you can real the book many times and leave it open - it will not close on you, and it does not have a spine to split. The negative is that if every book in my library were spiral-bound, they'd tangle up with each other on the shelves as they stand touching - the different forms of spiral binding all protrude slightly further than the covers.

The book is, honestly, a litle bit of a disappointment. There are a couple of nice spreads in it which I judge to be reasonably easy for most people to use. One of them, the Laughing Turtle, has, I think, the potential to do the same job as the Celtic Cross and possibly even take over from it; but then again, I've never been a big Celtic Cross fan, even in the old days. Given that the advertising material promotes the deck as one that whispers and giggles and passes its secrets on gently, I was slightly disappointed in the content of the book - she could have conveyed more of her philosophy of Tarot. She removes links to the Kabbalah in her system, but includes some quite specific astrological information that some people will find very useful and others will ignore. She writes in a pleasant style, clearly but not deeply.

The deck itself is pretty: a lot of pastel colours, some jewel colours. The images have an almost fairy-story or animated quality to them. What I like best about her artistic style is how she handles water, and in particular waves. She is really, really good at waves, reminding me of traditional Japanese art (NOT manga!) in that respect. All the Water cards, Major and Minor, are just a joy for that reason. the Major Arcana are unnumbered, but when I first opened the box, Strength occurred in position eight and Justice at eleven. A bit of shuffling, and I'll never remember that. I don't get a sense from the cards about a huge amount of conviction in why they were in that particular order.

The first pleasant surprise was the Magician: he is entirely naked, and the ugliness of the naked male body is not glossed over or prettied up. He is side-on to us but looking at us and standing in the Magician's diagonal pose connecting Earth and Air, a snake with a dragon's head rising up his left arm.

Occasionally you'll find a card where you get the feeling that Elizabeth hasn't really internalised the values of the archetype. The High Priestess is one. In the divinatory notes she mentioned the words "older woman" but the creature she has drawn isn't out of her teens yet, and like most youngsters can only fake spiritual authority. She also mentioned nothing about this card's connection with intuition, which to me is one of the crucial functions of this card.

Every so often, though, she will throw us an image that is just right, and the Empress is one of those. I love how she, an earth goddess, has a really earthy, fleshy body. That works for me, as does the newborn still attached by the umbilicus to his mother. But why, then, is he wearing a pair of underpants if he has only just slid out? the Emperor is a toroughly satisfactory figure, even down to the subtlety of the book that the planet is resting on, too.Often a deck works on hos its opposite numbers look as pairs: the kings and queens, the Emperor and Empress, the High Priestess and Hierophant, etc. This is one couple I can't imagine together.

Another card I think is not fully explained in the book, is the Chariot. The "horses" are traditional in that they are not pulling in the identical direction giving you a sense that not only urgency and control, but also choice, is involved in the situation. the choice seems to be wholly missing from her understanding, at least as far as the notes go. There is something quite expressionistic about the Strength card that I rather like. And I love the indications in the Hermit of a student-mentor situation: going on retreat as a part of a teaching relationship works for me.

My overall impressions? An easy deck. It would make a good deck for someone who's not fiully confident yet, or is learning, or is very young. In appearance it's a bit girly and not at all confronting, so it could be a deck to give to teenage daughters who might be getting interested in learning. It has a charm to it that is added to by my copy being signed and numbered. Something to keep - it has a place in a collector's cupboard.

Combine shipping is possible.

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