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Llewellyn's Classic Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $14.41

ProductID: alt0282

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About this item
  • Llewellyn's Classic Tarot is a very readable fresh take on the Rider-Waite symbolism. It's been re-illustrated in a colourful,
  • vivid and approachable style by Eugene Smith, where each card appears in a sharper focus and closer to real life than
  • in the traditional deck.

Name Llewellyn's Classic Tarot
Creators Barbara Moore, Eugene Smith
Publisher Llewellyn 2014
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Rider-Waite-Smith
Suits Swords, Wands, Cups, Pentacles
Court Cards Page, Knight, Queen, King
The Fool is 0
Strength is 8
Justice is 11
Card Size 2.76 x 4.61 in. = 7.00cm x 11.70cm
Card Language English
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Repeating diagonal grid pattern of red roses and white lilies.
Companion Material 240-page companion book by Barbara Moore.


Going through the deck, my first impression is that characters in each card feel closer to us as the reader, and the lack of borders gives each card a more spacious and less cramped feel. Rather than the sometimes theatrical feeling of the Rider-Waite, where scenes can give the impression of being performed, in this deck we feel like we’re simply observing the scene as it takes place.

I especially like the use of colour and weather appropriate to the mood of the card. The sky and light in the Ace of Wands has the crispness of dawn. The Three of Swords is set in a bleak landscape studded with gnarled trees, dark skies and pouring rain. The woman in the Eight of Swords stands blind-folded in the rain, her feet in the mud. The craftsman in the Eight of Pentacles is a blacksmith, indoors in his workshop. The Hermit is in motion, climbing an icy mountain with snow swirling in the air around him. The sky in the Six of Wands has a pink tinge, giving the feel of success after a long day.

The cards are a comfortable size for shuffling and handling (7cm by 11.7cm) and borderless but for the strip at the base with the title. The suits are the traditional Cups, Swords, Wands and Pentacles and the court cards are Page, Knight, Queen, King. The backs of the cards have a repeated diamond tile pattern, alternating red roses and white lilies.

The 256-page companion book that comes with the set, Llewellyn’s Classic Companion, has been written by Barbara Moore. It offers some basic tarot information for the newcomer to tarot – history, characteristics of a tarot deck, correspondences and reversals – then quickly moves on to the card explanations. Each card is illustrated at full-size in black and white, and accompanied by keywords for upright and reversed positions, astrological and elemental correspondences, and a list of symbols explained in a brief phrase, followed by an informal explanation in a paragraph or two. The back of the book also provides some introductory info on how to read tarot cards, and a few sample spreads.

Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot is an ideal set for the beginner, drawing on traditional tarot symbolism but presenting it in a more visually appealing way. It’s also a useful addition for the more advanced reader who works with Rider-Waite style decks and enjoys seeing the familiar imagery re-interpreted – much as I do.

Combine shipping is possible.

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