Instruction booklet written by Wulfing von Rohr & Gayan S. Winter
This is an interesting deck - though definitely not one for beginners. The entire design and handbook are geared to the concept that this is a pack for lovers, relationships and emotional needs and feelings. You'd need a solid grounding in a less focused tarot deck before moving on to this one.
The cards themselves feature a simplistic design style, with an excellent use of colour. There are certain repeating themes used on several of the cards - cranes (the birds ;-) represent the human soul; rainbows indicate divine energy; flowers and blossoms symbolise growth and so on. These common themes are explained to a small degree in the accompanying booklet, and expanded upon in the book of the deck "The Tarot of Love".
One of my favourite cards in the deck is the 2 of Rods (Wands) which shows two crystal headed wands pointing toward each other, against a pale night sky. Where they have traced power patterns in the air a rainbow trail marks their passage, each of the trails is shaped into half a yinyang symbol.
There's quite a journey away from traditional names for the cards as well. For instance, the Devil becomes Entanglement, and the Tower becomes Lightning. Disks/Pentacles are Nuggets, Cups are Blossoms, and Swords are Lightnings. Courts run King/Queen/Prince/Princess.
Whilst the illustrations are generally attractive, I don't think they are necessarily immediately evocative, which would tend to prove another problem for anyone not familiar with a more traditional deck design to begin with.
The interpretations in the booklet are heavily slanted toward emotional issues. For instance one of the definitions of the 6 of Lightnings (Lord of Science) reads "Being certain of the relationship's mesh"...
In fact one criticism I do have to make of the instruction booklet is that, although coverage of the Major Arcana is pretty comprehensive and thorough, the definitions on the pips is disappointing and a little misleading at times. For example the 3 of Lightnings (Lord of Sorrow) is defined as "Flaming passion". Er...? Apparently there are deeper definitions in the book already mentioned, but I haven't got that so I can't review it ;-)
This said, though, given an existing knowledge of standard definitions, the more experienced reader will probably gain a fresh insight into some cards by working this deck.
There are some unusual spreads at the back of the booklet too, including one specially designed for this deck - the Star of Love. I tried this spread and found it quite useful... it's geared entirely to answering questions about love and relationships, and the result of the reading was pretty clear and well-defined.
All in all this is definitely a Tarot deck worth looking into, especially if you find yourself asking a lot of relationship/love/emotion based questions. The definitions on most of the cards have a positive slant, with a lot of helpful suggestions for making the best of situations as you find yourself in them.
Review by Jan