Tarot of the Saints
"Tarot of the Saints" is a deck with a Christian theme . . . yet surprisingly, there are probably as many Christian readers or seekers who don't care for the deck as there are non-Christians that like it. Thus, it seems that this is a deck that can work for anyone who is attracted to it for whatever personal reasons.
The art is not extravagant or fancy, but it is very nicely done in attractive, simple coloring. The Major Arcana cards of the deck were given more attention when it came to art and coloration. This is typical to some decks, however, and can make us wonder if the deck was originally intended to be a majors-only card set. It's not a deck that was intended to rely on "good looks" to generate interest, however. The saints and images of the cards were chosen with a lot of thought and are based on Robert Place's findings through his historical research.
The accompanying book entitled, "A Gnostic Book of Saints" is 248 pages filled with information about the saints and the cards. A card-by-card description is provided for the Major Arcana and can be especially fascinating from a historical perspective. The author gives the story of each saint and then finally an actual interpretation section which is quite small compared to the other information. But it's still very insightful reading that is helpful in using this card set.
The court cards are also assigned to saints and are covered in Chapter 6 of the book. Place references biblical stories to illustrate the remaining Arcana (pip cards). The Minor Arcana section is a lot briefer than the Majors section, which is quite common with Tarot references.
Robert Place mentioned in the last chapter of his book that Tarot goes beyond fortune telling (which is certainly a belief that I also hold). He indicates that the cards work best when they are used to help us create a more fulfilling future. I couldn't agree more!
"Tarot of the Saints," although not a Rider Waite clone, does still generally confirm to the structure and convention of most Tarot decks, and so knowledge of the stories behind the saints is not a requirement to work with the deck. However, most users will probably want to at least browse through the book to gain some additional depth and dimension to their readings with this Tarot deck.
The cards do not contain an extensive amount of symbolism. They speak simply, eloquently, and powerfully. Many of the images are fascinating, and it is worth taking a look at the book for additional comprehension and understanding of these cards.I think a lot can be learned from this lovely card and book set . . . certainly it can offer a new perspective for some readers or seekers. I recommend this deck for anyone who is interested in saints and also for tarot collectors. The work of Robert M. Place is well researched and professional. If you like a serious, scholarly Tarot with a Christian background, this one is sure to appeal to you.
Author Robert M. Place is also the creator of the following decks:
- The Alchemical Tarot
- The Buddha Tarot
- The Vampire Tarot
- The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery
Deck Details - Tarot of the Saints
of Cards in Deck: 78
Size of Cards: 2-3/4" x 4-5/8"
Included with deck: Instruction booklet. The book/deck set includes a well-written book entitled "A Gnostic Book of Saints" - 248 pages with information on the cards and corresponding saints.
Major Arcana: St. Francis, St. Nicholas, St. Mary
Magdalen, St. Helena, St. Constantine, St. Peter,
St. Valentine, St. Christopher, St. Michael, St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Catherine, St. Jerome, St. Blandina, St. Stephen, St. Benedict, St. Margaret and the Devil, St. Barbara, St. Therese, St. Mary, Christ,
St. Gabriel, St. Sophia
Suit Names: Staffs (Wands), Cups, Swords, Coins (Pentacles)
King, Queen, Knight, Squire (Page)