New Age Tarot Review
This 78-Card deck from Walter Wegmuller (published by US Games) has a lot to offer to those who enjoy vibrant colors, interesting artwork, and decks primarily for divinatory (earth-bound) matters (such as health or financial success). There are many things I like about this deckÂ…
• The Major Arcana is comprised of stunning works of art that are captivating to explore on an individual card basis.
• Each card (Majors and Minors) features bright colors and artwork with a Picassoesque feel.
• The deck features card titles in German, English, & French; yet the white border keep the text from distracting the reader from the card imagery.
• The card stock is lightweight but sturdy and the card size is similar to regular playing cards making this deck very easy to handle and a good candidate for a traveling companion deck.
I fully expected to fall in love with this deck, but am disheartened to say that even after working with this deck for several months I have yet to connect with these cards in a meaningful way. I was originally drawn to this deck for its reported symbolism based on WegmullerÂ’s experiences within the Rom Gypsy culture. What I was not expecting was the concentration of this deck on divinatory and/or Â“folk medicineÂ” meanings which do not seem to be related to the card imagery. Wegmuller appears to have a vast knowledge of the Gypsy folklore and medicinal ways, yet the average (or even the above-average) reader who has not been initiated into the Gypsy culture may find this deck very difficult to work with without rote memorization of the divinatory meanings Wegmuller assigns the cards through the Little White Booklet (LWB).
Along with this seeming disconnect between the card meanings, the card imagery, and intuitive reading, the cards are full of symbols from Traditional tarot as well as Western and Eastern belief systems. There seems to be a heavy use of popular symbols such as the Yin/Yang and the Sun & Moon motifs. Given the mixture of symbolism utilized in the deck, it seems odd that I found no recognizable Kabalistic features within the imagery. The intense mixture of symbols found on most of the cards, both Major and Minor, creates an unnecessary confusion for the reader as there is no direction given from the cards themselves nor the LWB to help lead the reader on the tarot journey provided in a reading. I found myself often lost in individual cards and working fruitlessly to try and decipher the mix of symbols upon them rather than being able to quickly decipher the general meaning of the reading based on the cards thrown and then going back to root out the deeper meanings of each card and their relationship in the spread as a whole.
On the same note, the imagery of the cards heavily features human figures, nearly all of whom appear to be smiling regardless of the overall tone or meaning of the card. I found this to be quite disconcerting and distracting from reading the cards on an intuitive level. Some may also feel that the level of human nudity depicted in the deck is undesirable. For me, it was the twisted smirks and leering smiles of the human figures (whether clothed or nude) that proved undesirable!
I feel that in order to connect with this deck a companion book is necessary, yet there does not appear to be a book other than the LWB available. The LWB that comes with the deck only hints at the more esoteric depth of Tarot. Each card is given a small paragraph each on the elemental, divinatory, and reversed meanings, and although many of these descriptions appear to be quite accurate no where do you find information regarding the imagery and symbols utilized on the cards.
I found this deck very difficult to work with for these reasons but I also feel that this deck has a quality of unlimited layers to it that may be appealing to those who have the time and desire to work with the deck long enough to allow the deeper meanings of the differing symbols used and the earth wisdom of the Rom Gypsy culture to soak into their subconscious. If you are looking for a deck that is excellent for strict divinatory interpretation and has a process of Revealing to the symbolism of the imagery then this deck may be the one for you!