The Housewives Tarot Review
THE HOUSEWIVES TAROT
This light-hearted and charming deck is as easy to use for the tarot newcomer as the seasoned tarotist. Packaged in a blue “gingham” recipe box, familiar to children of the ‘50’s, it wants to live on the kitchen table and handle the small (and not so small) crises of everyday family life. Tarot time-travel, anyone?
The packaging is a hoot, and very sturdy. The lid will stay put, perhaps too well put, as the fit is very tight. The box has dividers inside, for the majors, minors, and book. There are 50’s style recipes on the backs of the dividers. The cards are a comfortable size for small hands, 4 3/8\” x 2 3/4\” with a smooth but not slick finish. The suits have color-coded borders and the card backs are red gingham, like the tablecloths in Italian restaurants had, back in the day. The cards shuffle smoothly and easily, and deck and book can travel unobtrusively in a purse or jeans back pocket if you leave the recipe box behind. They fit in a sandwich baggie nicely.
It is a true tarot, of 78 cards with the usual suit names and attributes, based on the familiar Rider Waite Smith model. The symbology is not RWS, but clearly shows the meanings. This is a deck you can just pick up and read. But if something isn’t clear to you, or you just want a good laugh, thumb through the accompanying card-size book, and you will find each card explained clearly with wit and humor. It includes directions for Divination at your kitchen table, as well as five delightful and useful new spreads. Major arcana and minor arcana all look good in this one.
The creators, Jude Bauffum and Paul Kepple are to be congratulated on the perfect balance they keep between witty and the overdo of cutesy. It is a witty deck, all the way from the King of Cups so obviously in his cups, the bad boy Knight of Swords on his motorcycle giving Fonzi a run for his money, to the Jell-O-mold of impending doom for the Tower. (If you’ve never made a Jell-O mold, you’ll have to trust me on that one. They are a miracle posed on the brink of gravity) All the queens are perfectly turned out in high heels and sprayed perfect hairdos, all the children are clean, well spoken, and mischievous in tarot’s suburban answer to Mayberry.
It is hard to pick just one favorite card—there is the devil, in the guise of a slice of devil’s food cake, complete with little horns and showgirl legs. It vividly brings back old TV commercials where sophisticated products would parade around in high heels. Temperance as a Mixer nears perfection, but the 9 of Pentacles as a blissed-out housewife with her dishwasher has to be my favorite.
As a reading deck, it is, predictably, practical, to the point and reasonably gentle with the baffled and confused Seeker. The touch of humor it imparts to any reading is a plus, helping to put even the most dire emergency back into perspective. I recommend this deck highly, and feel that it is a steal at the absurdly low price.