Golden Tarot

Deck by Kat Black
© 2003 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

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The Magician
                in Golden TarotKnight of
                Cups in Golden TarotFour of Wands
                in Golden Tarot
The Hermit
                in Golden TarotFour of
                Swords in Golden TarotAce of Coins
                in Golden Tarot

Golden TarotWhen I first found about the Golden Tarot, it had not yet been published.  I was fascinated by the art based on the Middle Ages and early Renaissance period.  The images were quite intriguing to me, and I knew I wanted a copy of this Tarot deck when it became available.

The art work is digitally collaged from paintings of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance period.   The blending of 13th to 16th century paintings has an amazing effect, as the artist obviously took great care to create scenes that are cohesive and seamless.  Some of the card's images were created from as many as 20 layers of imagery.  The cards are indeed impressive and beautifully presented.

The one thing I am not crazy about is the golden bordering around each card.  Of course, the name of this deck is "Golden Tarot," but I think this deck would have been even lovelier if it had been designed without any borders.  That's just my personal opinion -- and bias perhaps -- since I prefer borderless cards.

With that said, one can alter her or his tarot cards if desired.  This deck may be one that I eventually alter to cut off the borders.  If interested in those techniques, these links may be helpful to you:

The cards are printed on high quality cardstock with gilded edges.  The golden edges of the cards makes for a nice effect.  I have found that the cards shuffle quite easily, and I have had no problems with "sticking" as some have mentioned that they had with these cards.  These cards are not glossy coated, and those are the decks which I've found to be a little tricky in shuffling due to the "stickiness" until they get "broke in."

The cards are packaged in a sturdy attractive box with a lid that lifts off the base.  A 199-page book accompanies this deck.  The size of the guidebook is the same size as the cards, so it's actually quite small.  I found the meanings of the cards to be relatively limited, but the author does include some interesting information on the paintings and combination of scenes used to create her lovely work of art.

The author presents the cards in suits of Coins, Cups, Swords, and Wands.  She also attributes Medieval/Renaissance terminology to describe the suit meanings as indicated below:

Suit Medieval Class Golden Tarot Suit Meanings
Merchant Business, Money, Material Possessions
Cups Clerical Spiritual Authority, Contemplation, Feelings
Swords Ruling Temporal Authority, Leadership, Wisdom
Wands Peasant Strength, Productivity

The backs of the cards are done in a gold pattern and can easily be used in reversals, since you would not be able to tell from the back of the cards which side is upright or reversed.

Although this is not a deck I use often, it is certainly a nice deck to turn to for a change of pace.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys art from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance time periods, as well as those who like to work with traditional Tarot and Rider-Waite based images.  And of course, it's also a "must-have" for the collectors.

The Golden Tarot was Kat Black's first deck, and you can visit her Golden Tarot website here.  This artist didn't stop with just one deck; she is also the creator of the Touchstone Tarot deck, and I think The Touchstone is an even lovelier deck than her first.

Deck Details - Golden Tarot

Number of Cards in Deck: 78 cards (22 Major/56 Minor)

Size of Cards:  2-7/8" x 4-7/8"

Included with deck: 199-page guidebook, which also measures the same size as the cards themselves.

Major Arcana:   Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot,
Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance,  Devil, Tower, Star,
Moon, Sun, Judgment, World

Suit Names:  Cups, Wands, Swords, Coins

Court Cards:  King, Queen, Knight, Page

Back Design of Cards: Golden Tarot Card

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