* View all cards from this deck at Tarot.com
|The suit of Swords with the dragonflies featured throughout on the handle of each of the swords is what really caught my eye when I first looked through this deck, and is still what I love most about it. Of the four suits of the Minor Arcana, Swords is probably the suit most vulnerable to negative interpretations. It’s great to see, therefore, that while retaining what are basically the traditional meanings of the cards, the artist – Karen Marie Sweikhardt – has succeeded in giving an aura of magic to the element of air. And in welcoming us into “a Realm Where Myth and Magic are the Reality”, for me, she also succeeds in capturing some magic in all of the Minor Arcana cards.|
For anyone already familiar with the Waite-Coleman Smith deck, these cards are relatively easy to read. But it is not a deck I would recommend to anyone not yet familiar with tarot and who is likely to be dependent on the LWB. The contents of the LWB are disappointing because, except for the initial 2 pages, they are not specific to the images in this deck. Worse than that, and most surprisingly for a deck that is so full of brightly coloured and fantastical images, much of what is said in the LWB is extremely negative; and seriously distorts the meanings of many of the cards. For example, the Divinatory Meaning given for The Fool is “Thoughtlessness. Folly. Extravagance. Lack of discipline. Immaturity. Irrationality. Insecurity. Frivolity. Delirium. Naivete.” And the Reverse Meaning: “Poor decision. Indecision. Apathy. Hesitation. Negligence.” And that’s it: nothing positive is said at all.
So, if the imagery in this deck appeals to you, by all means buy it, but I’d strongly advise you to throw away the LWB or at least don’t consult it at all until you’ve perhaps learnt the tarot by familiarizing yourself with a deck such as the Waite-Coleman Smith deck or the Gilded Tarot. You’ll then find these cards surprisingly easy to read from. In the absence of a reliable LWB, if you want to read a good introductory book on tarot, Skye Alexander’s ‘The Only Tarot Book You’ll Ever Need’ is a great starting point.