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Spiral Tarot

Spiral Tarot
Designer: Kay Steventon  Publishers: US Games 1998  Size: 105mm x 700mm (2.75" x 4")  Price includes shipping.
Price: 55.46YTL
Points Price: 235
Reward Points: 24


This is a beautifully illustrated deck – the first produced by Kay Steventon a decade ago now.   She is a consummate artist with a real eye for detail.  She tells us herself that the Spiral Tarot was inspired by a belief held by her Celtic grandmother that all of life was a spiral.

The Majors draw on a variety of myth cycles for their subject matter – the Hierophant, for example, depicts Chiron, wounded healer-teacher of the Greeks.  The Devil shows us Lucifer, casually leaning upon a mirror, which seems to have trapped a hapless woman’s reflection. 

Each of the Majors has planetary and elemental attribution in one of the corners of the card, as well the corresponding Hebraic letter.  I love the star in this deck, and the World card is literally stuffed full of detail.

I do have to say I find the minors quite a leap into a different realm when compared to the grandeur evident in the Majors – there’s an almost colonial style about some of these images.  And the costume seems to veer wildly from period to period – but at the same time, once you begin to adapt to this there really are some startlingly beautiful cards in the minor suits.  The Aces struck me as very powerful, and quite different. 

I have been looking for quite a long time at the image on the 2 of Pentacles.  Here we see a jester, balancing a pair of pentacles.  What caught my attention about this card is that it seems to veer wildly away from the artist’s overall style – the chequered robe he wears dominates the centre of the card, completely concealing the shape of his body – which is unusual in Steventon’s artwork.   To his left is choppy water and a wilting flower – to his right smooth water and a big cheery daisy.   The buttons up the front of his tunic look for all the world like Remembrance Day poppies.  

This is a very varied deck, and one which sometimes gives the feeling of not being altogether coherent.   At times it pays lip service to the Rider Waite with some images, but other are descriptive in a completely different and unique way.  I certainly think it is a deck a beginner could work with, especially if they were willing to do a little research on the archetypes depicted in the Majors.

4 Wands
8 Wands
5 Cups
Knight Cups
Ace Swords
6 Swords
2 Pents
7 Pents

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