Saturday, January 24, 2015

Deck Review: The Quest Tarot

The Quest Tarot

I picked up this deck in Salem, MA, a few years back in the winter. Salem’s a great place to buy tarot cards—I think I came home with more than a couple of decks that day—but next time I’ll do it when it’s not snowing. BRRRRRRR! But I digress.

To get the most out of this deck, get the boxed set that has both the deck and the book. There are many correspondences across the top of each card that represent astrological signs, gemstones, planets, runes, the I Ching, and the Kabbalah. The book will help decode the symbols for you.

All of the suits retain their traditional names, except for Pentacles which is represented by “Stones”. The Court Card titles are not traditional; they are Father (King), Mother (Queen), Son (Knight), and Daughter (Page).

While the symbols are an excellent way to integrate your knowledge of the tarot with other related disciplines, it can get a little busy at the top of the card. Also, all of the cards, Major and Minor Arcana alike, have a Roman numeral at the top center, so without looking at the title of each card it’s not possible to know which Arcana is which.

The cards are really beautiful and bright, and have some traditional RWS tarot imagery. It takes liberties with the images but they come off more optimistically than in many other decks. For example, the Fool looks much happier, and a larger, gorgeous landscape can be shown around him, including a river, a rainbow, and a half circle of stars in the distance. The Five of Pentacles (Stones), whose traditional image shows two poor people outside a church, shows a simple picture of five stones in the Quest Tarot.

One of the factors that makes this a good deck for a beginner is that each card has a description underneath the card name in the bottom center of each card. For example, the Four of Wands’ description is “perfection. While this card certainly has other meanings, it’s nice to have a key word to use if you blank on the meaning of a card (and this happens even to those of us who have been reading for some time). As long as you don’t allow these meanings to be absolutes and only as a jumping off point for your own intuition you’ll be just fine.

My favorite card in this deck is The Tower. It shows flaming rocks heading toward the tower, and to me it expresses exactly what you would feel if you were sitting in that Tower just thinking that today was going to be ordinary and then looking outside. Even the word on the card, “demolition” is very appropriate; the word is rather neutral and describes the removal of something no longer useful to us.

I really enjoy this deck. It allows both beginners and advanced tarot students the opportunity to learn about many of the tarot’s correspondences in a bright, beautiful, artistic way. Remember: Buy the set.

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