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Hudes Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $13.36

ProductID: alt0135

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About this item
  • The figures and scenes in the Hudes Tarot cards are very medieval/Renaissance style, and maps, constellation charts,
  • astrology and alchemy all make an appearance in this pretty but somewhat melancholy Tarot deck.

Name Hudes Tarot
Creators Susan Hudes
Publisher US Games 2002
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Mixed
Suits Cups, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards Page, Knight, Queen, King
The Fool is 0
Strength is 8
Justice is 11
Card Size 2.75 x 4.75 in. = 6.99cm x 12.06cm
Card Language English
Card Back Unknown


The deck is a traditionally structured Tarot with 78 cards - 22 Major Arcana, 16 Court cards (King, Queen, Knight and Page) and 40 Minors in four suits. Although it is an Rider Waite Smith derived deck, the images and intent of the designer lead to interpretations which vary significantly in many ways from commonly understood RWS meanings.

The entire deck uses much less traditional symbolism that the RWS. In most Hudes images the traditional symbolism is present but understated and sometimes it seems absent all together. Hudes uses fewer symbols but this has the effect of focusing on those chose few, thus heightening our awareness of them.

Some of the Major Arcana images are strikingly original. The Fool is a young androgynous person reaching out for a butterfly. Somehow this captures the sense of innocence and grace that can come with new beginnings. The Hanged Man could not see people around him realistically until he was suspended from the tree. XIII Death shows a butterfly within a skeleton, symbolizing the flash of enlightenment the Death image often brings. XVII Star shows a woman suspended in a calm and purifying pool of water whilst bathed in light from a Star above. IX Hermit is a very old man who waits in darkness relieved only by the Moon, his eyes closed in reflection and internal exploration. Every Major Arcana image in this deck is certain to inspire fresh ideas and insights, a factor which makes the deck compellingly attractive.

The suits are also beautiful. Susan Hudes shows a similar approach in her discerning use of traditional iconography to emphasize a few profound themes in each suit. In the Swords suit, the symbolism is markedly different in some respects, though recognizable. The Two Swords image show a woman using the two swords much more assertively than in the traditional RWS, giving the sense of more positive way of managing duality. The power of rage is graphically shown in the Five Swords image, and the need to confront negativity is also revealed quite literally in Six Swords.

With the Aces, Hudes uses flowers as a motif to illustrate the theme of each suit. The nature and number of flowers is significant. In the Ace of Cups two simple white flowers with two young tendrils indicate that this is process suit. The Wands Ace shows four eight petalled golden flowers, the Ace Pentacles shows nine lush purple blooms whilst Ace Swords depicts four blood red roses. Each of these choices has particular meaning. The Aces are particularly beautiful in this deck.

My set came with a book, isdom in the Cards by A.L. Samul, who consulted with Susan Hudes in the writing. The book is also published by US Games. Samul used the deck in her own recovery from cancer and the interpretations are a record to some degree of her personal spiritual journey inspired by the Hudes images. The notes for each card reflect the unique perspective of the image but also contain an affirmation and prayer which are empathetic and true to the theme of the image. For me, this approach richly enhances the value of the book and the set overall.

The artist’s medium was water colour and, whilst the entire deck has a mediaeval ambience, there is a universality in the faces and images which make the deck relevant in a contemporary sense. There is a certain androgyny to the deck which also expands its overall appeal. The mediaeval feeling is augmented by costume and the use of other symbols of the times, including the parchment maps which appear as a backdrop in some of the major cards. These maps give the impression of traveling through time rather than being fixed in any period.

I strongly recommend this deck for some deeply original and refreshing insights to the Tarot. It might also fill a very meaningful purpose for those interested in spiritual and physical healing.

Combine shipping is possible.

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