Original large-sized cards.
I suppose the fact that we have an entire website dedicated to the images of this profound and deeply esoteric deck says it all really, doesn't it? This is my deck of choice for reading (myself and others), meditation, practical tarot work and self-development. It is, quite simply, superlative.
Created by Lady Frieda Harris under the no-doubt somewhat tyrannical guidance of Aleister Crowley, this is a deck that oozes mythology and symbolism with every single turn of the card. Using his extensive knowledge of world religions, belief systems and myths, Crowley wove a phenomenally complex work of art here. Strongest amid the images are the constant themes of Hermeticism and Egyptian mythological belief and it is true that a working knowledge of both of these enhances the level of input available from the cards.
That said, though, I have often watched the deck work in entirely the other direction with a skilled and curious student of tarot; they can begin with no knowledge nor understanding of some of the deeply involved symbolism; yet a growing love of the deck itself drives them toward the search for greater wisdom in the traditions underlying the cards.
This deck is a remarkable learning tool for anybody wishing to come to a clear understanding of the links between Tarot and other esoteric or occult traditions. Its tenets are firmly rooted in Crowley's own back history and extensive knowledge of magickal tradition, though the expected moments of creative genius and unpredictability pop up over and over again.
Harris's undoubted artistic talent is apparent throughout; her interpretations of what must have been a combination of spoken and written instructions are remarkable and insightful.
This deck, above all other pieces of Crowley's work stands as a remarkable monument to his skill, breadth of understanding and wisdom about matters of symbol and belief. Many shy away from anything connected to this man, surrounded as he was by controversy, accusations of malpractice, etc.etc. Yet a single look at this tarot deck probably tells the viewer more about the inner workings of Crowley than almost anything else. As fitting epitaphs go, this is probably one of the finest; Crowley and Harris spent five years of their lives producing the eventually completed deck, finally finished in 1945. Unfortunately neither of them lived to see it published finally in 1968, since which time it has justly earned its reputation as one of the most popular tarot decks of all time.