As soon as I saw the box, I felt blessed.
I thought to myself, "Wow, How can I get such a set of tarot cards for so little?" When I opened up the box, I found the tarot cards surprisingly larger than expected.
SIZE, QUALITY, READING, & ARTISTIC MERIT OF THE CRYSTAL TAROT DECK
I was expecting a pocket sized deck but I'm glad for the larger size. These cards are approximately 5.25 x 3.25 inches.
The card stock is very glossy which makes it easy to shuffle but may also slip out of your hands easily too. The card stock is also on the flimsy side but this is not a deterrent for me personally. Card stock and thickness are personal preferences. If I were to read with this deck daily and frequently, I would want a thicker card stock; however, for my interest in this deck: Art and the occasional read, it's fine.
Allegorical pictures are only on the 22 major cards. The minors contain pips and decorative elements that makes sense for the suit.
The layout of the symbols, in large part, do not give any meaning though the Cups are arranged in a way that can give some clue
about the card's meaning. For this reason I would not recommend this to novice tarot readers unless they intend upon studying the
Tarot de Marseilles (TdM) or just using the major arcana.
The back of the cards are purple with an inner circle, flower design, and 10 crystals around the flower wheel. Reading reversed, by mixing up your cards, will not work easily with this deck since you may know if the card is reversed before picking it. I guess you could always close your eyes before picking, if you like reading reversed with upside down cards. I personally read reversed with upright cards.
The artwork has a child story-book vibe to it and that helps tell a true tarot story if only using the 22 major cards. I personally like the artwork; however, I strongly believe tarot art is subjective. We all have different aesthetic tastes. There is a lot of green, yellow, and healing colors in this deck, bright yet soft at the same time. The people in the major arcana appear youthful with the Hermit being the oldest looking character. Each card contains a crystal. The deck is border-less so there's a full-bleed. I personally like this as I can sink deeper into the cards.
I did a few reading blind tests (where I knew what the answer to the question was) with my TarotSeek reading method and oddly it worked. However, I got a yes for 5 of Cups because the card is so bright and happy and connected to calcite and yet the traditional Rider-Waite Smith (RWS) version would have been a no. So if you are going with your own, standard interpretations, or methods for the cards, these cards may not be for you. But if you want a happy deck that will help ease your pain, illness, or negativity -- this deck may be for you. And frankly, that's why I bought it -- it's happy and I want more 'happy' in my life!!
I can see how the Crystal Tarot can be a great deck for transforming a bad situation into one that is good and for meditation (it also gives a simple crystal meditation exercise that you can do) so if you have the budget to buy and you like what you read in this review, go for it.
THE COMPANION TAROT BOOK
To the right of the deck, in the kit, is a slim full color glossy booklet with 64 pages. Pages 13 to 64 give the
Planet/Sign, Crystal, and Chakra associations for the majors while skipping the planet/sign association for the minors.
It then moves into the interpretation of the card. There are no keywords, descriptions, or reversal interpretations; however, crystal
meanings are given for each card.
The booklet is a basic overview of tarot, how to use tarot, and this deck. It seems to indicate that inspiration is drawn from not only the RWS but also the Thoth and TdM decks even though only the RWS is mentioned. For example, the author writes "There are no 'reversed' meanings in the Crystal Tarot. The meaning of the card is often dependent on the cards next to or around it, which can shed further light on the reading. As you look at the card spread and notice the relationships of adjacent cards, you will realize the implications of each card." This seems to draw on the Thoth tradition and can confuse RWS tarot readers who have certain expectations on how that type of deck operates.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Laying of the Cards 8
Care for the Day 9
Past, Present, Future: Three-card Spread 9
Compass Point Spread 11
Hexagon Crystal Spread 11
Gaining Deeper Insight into the Cards 12
The Major Arcana 13
(Note: The Hierophant is titled The High Priest)
The Minor Arcana 36
The Suit of Cups 37
The Suit of Pentacles 44
The Suit of Swords 51
The Suit of Wands 58
After reading through the booklet, I realized that this guide teaches you how to do incredible 'crystal readings' without the tarot cards and I had not known how to do that before!
I'm giving this kit a four because it works for me and I think I 'get' what the creators are trying to achieve; however, for many it's probably more of a three because the publishers didn't get across very well who this deck is for and what it can do and it can do a lot but just not what the typical tarot reader would expect or is seeking!
To also note, Cico Books (the publisher of this set) appear to focus on lighter reading material with superb visuals, gift sets, full color glossy, and coffee table books so that's probably why this set wouldn't appeal to most serious tarot readers unless they can see another application for the kit, like myself.
Co-creator, Teacher, Reader, and Author of Psychic Jucy's TarotSeek: Learn How to Read Tarot Cards for Yourself, Volume 1
Coming soon... Psychic Jucy's TarotSeek: Learn How to Read Tarot Cards for Others, Volume 2, and Psychic Jucy's Tarot Card Meanings.