Review by

Velvet Angel


TAROT WISDOM READINGS
Inspiration~Guidance~Advice  

The Steele Wizard Tarot is a self-published deck by artist Pamela Steele.  Her work is brilliant!  The art is done in watercolor with shades of pastels to create lifelike images that are very appealing and inviting.  Many of the cards follow the Rider-Waite-Smith traditional Tarot, but there are some variations.  It's a deck that is easy to use and relate to.  I find a sense of comfort with this deck.  The cards, however, are oversized, measuring at approximately 5-1/2 inches by 4 inches.  This makes shuffling difficult, but you can use either a side-to-side shuffling method (shuffling the cards horizontally instead of vertically), or you can just spread the cards out face down, mix them up, and choose what you feel drawn to.

This deck consists of 88 cards, with 28 majors and 60 minors.  The artist has added 6 cards to the Major Arcana and 4 to the Minor Arcana.  Each court card suit has an additional member for this deck, making the court cards for each suit to be Page, Maiden, Knight, Queen, and King.  The additions to the Major Arcana include The Weaver, The Universe, Truth, Soul Twins, Evolution, and I AM.  These new cards follow the card of the World.

The borders of the cards are all black.  My scans above make it appear that some of the borders are brown, but each border is actually black.  Each card is coated with a protective glossy coating.  Although sometimes a glossy coating like this will cause cards to stick, I have not had any problems with the cards sticking together.  Each card presents its title in a banner at the bottom center of the card.  The Major Arcana cards display the number of the card at the top in Roman numerals.  The Major Arcana cards are bordered with a colorful design of crystals.  Each Minor Arcana suit is graced with a woven chain-like border and is colored according to the suit.  This inner border for the Cups is a green tone; the border for the Wands is a golden color; the bordering for the Swords is a purple tone; and the inner border for the Pentacles suit is a beige color.  Actually the Pentacles border and the Wands borders are very similar in color.  The Pentacles border is a bit lighter in color than that of the Wands.  The backs of the cards are reversible with the background being black and having a mirror image silver graphic in the center.

The full-color companion book is 88 pages, providing brief key meanings for each card, both upright and reversed.  Here is where I would have loved to have seen a more in-depth presentation.  But if you already know the meanings of the cards, you will likely do quite well with the Steele Wizard Tarot deck -- even without a lot of information in the companion book.  The author has done such a nice job in creating the scenes for each card, that a reader at almost any level could effectively use this deck.  Because of the variations in this deck, however, a person who is brand new to the Tarot might not fare as well using this deck than one who has at least had contact and a little bit of study with a more traditionally-oriented deck.  Or if one who is new to the Tarot were to use this deck in conjunction with a traditional Tarot deck, this could serve to enhance one's knowledge and overall understanding of the cards.

At the beginning of the book, Pamela Steele discusses Tarot ethics, ways to store and care for your Tarot deck, formulating questions, the use of significators, shuffling and dealing the cards, and reading the layouts.  She has also included some spreads -- the traditional Celtic Cross, a ten-card Situation Spread, a fifteen-card Basic Prediction Spread, and an eight-card Journey Spread.  Followed by this material, the author then delves into the cards.  A color image is presented with the name of the card.  Below the card image are guidelines for interpreting a meaning, and then reversed meanings below that.

The paperback companion book and the deck come packaged in a lovely bronze-colored, sturdy box.  The deck name and author's name are imprinted in gold script lettering on the box.  The companion book cover looks the same as the box cover.  The sides of the box also bear the name of the deck in the same gold script.

The additional cards of this deck in the Major Arcana are very fitting and appropriate for the Tarot.  Steele has included the following additions to the Major Arcana -- and the "guidelines" section of the book will further elaborate on the intended meanings.

  • The Weaver -- represents destiny and the "web" you are spinning in your life.  Shows where you are on your path.
  • The Universe -- represents the ability to stand between two extremes or two points of awareness with grace and mastery.
  • Truth -- recognizing your Life Truth and who you are.
  • Soul Twins -- speaks of self-knowing and acknowledging the Self.
  • Evolution -- experiencing creation; knowing where and why you belong.
  • I AM -- realizing your true potential as a Divine Being having a Human Experience. 

The Steele Wizard Tarot is a well-presented, masterful, and beautiful Tarot deck creation!  If you would like to see all the card images of this deck and learn more about the author and her art -- and how to order this deck -- just visit the website of Pamela Steele at:  www.steelewizard.com.  As this deck is self-published, you will naturally not get the deck at the same price as a mass-produced deck would be.  You will pay a higher cost, but in consideration of the beautiful cards, the full-color companion book, and the lovely sturdy box that holds this set together . . . the author's price is more than fair.  I, myself, am also a self-publisher of books, and I can relate to the need and desire to self-publish versus mass produce through a publisher.  From all that I have read and heard, the author gets very little for his or her hard work, while the publisher feasts from the work and creativity of others.  And thus, self-publishing has worked well for me, and it seems that it must work quite well for the author of the Steele Wizard Tarot, too.  At least with self-publishing, we are more ensured of putting some food on the table, versus earning a mere dollar or two from each sale!

Tarot Wisdom Readings

by Velvet Angel

 

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