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Haindl Tarot Review
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Haindl Tarot Review

haindl tarotMy first encounter with this deck was off-putting. I did not like the Fool card at all. He seemed too morose, too lackluster, too sad-sack to be the brash, brazen adventurous Fool I am used to.

So I set this deck aside for a bit. In picking it back up, I find that I am charmed by this Fool and all that is hidden within the context of his card. You must search out and really seek the messages within him. And then I started going through the cards and was knocked out by the High Priestess. There are mountains in front of her, or so I thought. Then I looked closer and realized I was looking at the back of a white camel that faced her. Amazing work here! Beautiful art work on both the Minor Arcana and Major Arcana.

Hermann Haindl uses so many traditions in his cards. There is Native American, Celtic, Hindi and Norse that populate the suits. The suits are Swords, Stones, Wands and Cups but the tools portrayed in the Magician’s card are very clearly the Grail Hallows — the Spear of Llew, the Cauldron of Transformation as the Holy Grail, the Sword through the Stone of Fall. Haindl freely mixes images and makes you pay attention. He has the traditional Qabala symbols along with the Runes and the I Ching as well.

All in all I found this to be a deck that I will use in my readings and more than likely I will use it in my public readings.

When I pulled a card to see what the deck had to say about what card represents it best, I am gifted with the Daughter of Cups in the North aka the Princess of Cups. This card is part of the Celtic pantheon that represents Cups and is the Goddess Brigid. So the Lady of Poets, Healers and Smiths stands as the offering of the Haindl deck. I find that a very apropos card!

I highly recommend this deck for experienced readers who like the Thoth system of cards. Beginners would find this an extremely useful deck to study the symbology of the Tarot as well and may find it an easy deck to read with.

If you like bright colors and clear images though, steer clear of Haindl’s deck. He makes you look and work for the answers. I like that in a deck.

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Melissa Martinez

Often we know nothing of a person’s art, thoughts, prejudices and desires as an individual. To me this always raises the question, “Can these things be placed on canvas in a way that allows the rest of us to enjoy the interpretations as a Tarot deck or art collection?”

Herman Haindl has spent years of his life “expressing the agony of modern humanity against a background of spirituality.”Queen of Swords Tarot card, Haindl Tarot Some of the experiences he draws from are as a teenager during the Nazi regime, as a prisoner of war in Russia, as an avid promoter of environmentalism and as a traveler of spiritual pursuits in India. Herman traveled to Egypt to paint his sword court cards, having decided to pattern them after ancient Egyptian thought. It can be said that these cards are his life’s testament, but are they ours and universe’s as well?

The cards have a very dramatic look to them, and are very beautiful. It takes a lot more to describe one of them than it would to describe a Rider-Waite Smith card, for example. Wheel of Fortune Tarot card, Haindl Tarot You can’t help digging through the scenery, finding more and more symbols to decipher. The Star pictures a woman washing her hair in a waterfall. Rachel Pollack, who writes a book commenting on this deck, states about this card, “In the Star we see her [the Great Mother], personified as Gaea, the ancient Mother. She bends down to wash her hair, and in that naturalistic gesture we see the essential belief of the the Haindl Tarot — that the Earth will wash herself clean of hate and fear as well as destruction; that, faced with a choice of universal death or return to Sacred respect, we will manage to choose life.” Very noble, and I couldn’t agree more with the ideas. But, in a reading, the card could be a “need for cleansing”, “purity”, as well as “faith”.

In the lower left corner of the cards is Herman’sThe Hierophant Tarot Card, Haindl Tarot astrological association, some of which are now standard. The Hebrew character in the upper left corner is usually standard, but the Emperor and the Star have He and Tzaddi switched following Crowley’s style. So you just never know what to expect until you have thoroughly examined the Haindl Tarot. The Pips show the number of tokens on a background that supposedly relates to the meaning. The Courts represent mythologies of different lands.

This being the case, the court cards for Wands is depicted with East Indian deities such as Krishna. This deck is interesting, artistic and even poetic. But, is it Tarot? I suppose the answer is simple; if it works for you, use it!

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