Sun & Moon Tarot: Not just another pretty face!

By Sheri Harshberger

51sO3OPnHQL._SL500_AA300_sun and moon tarot by Vanessa Decort

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

ISBN:  978-1-57281-659-6

The sun and moon tarot is one of the latest Tarot decks published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.  The deck features the very attractive and stylish artwork of its creator, artist and teacher Vanessa Decort.  She has a degree in graphic design and illustration, and has worked as a children's book illustrator and designed book covers.  She currently teaches at the Academy of Art and continues to bring her creative ideas to fruition.  

The size of the deck is in line with "standard" Waite-Smith deck and clones. The sun and moon tarot follows the traditional Tarot structure of 78 cards, with 22 Majors cards and 56 Minors cards.  The card backs are black and feature a stunning, stylized, layered rose in shades of gray and white.  The image reminds me of some of the images of roses in the Thoth, even though it is very different.   Because the image is centered and has no top or bottom, this deck supports the use of reversals.

All the Majors are numbered with Roman Numerals.  The Fool is 0, Justice is VIII and Strength is XI.  Death is titled "death-rebirth," Temperance is titled "art-temperance," Judgement is titled "the aeon-judgment," and last card is "the universe."  All the cards in the deck are titled in lowercase lettering at the bottom of the card with key words in bold.  Each card in the Majors includes a Hebrew letter, starting with Aleph assigned to the Fool.  Sometimes the letters are more obviously displayed as on "the devil" and sometimes more subtly, such as on "the chariot."  The letter assignments bother me, but no more than any other deck that uses the same assigments.  My own personal system assigns the letters differently.  This would not keep me from using this deck.

Given Ms. Decort's background, it isn't a surprise that this deck's imagery is reminiscent of the illustrations one would see in children's books... gentle and soft, yet deep and expressive.  The artwork on each card is bounded by a white border.  Her first Tarot deck was Aleister Crowley's Thoth, the influence of which comes through in this deck as all the pips cards include a keyword centered at the top of each card.  Unlike the Thoth, the pips are scenic.  The court cards have ranks of King, Queen, Prince and Princess.  Each image is Ms. Decort's fun and modern interpretation of traditional Tarot meanings, inclusive of the astrological and mythic symbology that accompanies it.

The deck comes with a little white book (LWB) that gives an introduction to the artist and deck along with instructions on calculating "your personal archetype."  The meaning of each card, along with astrological associations are included, as is a "sun and moon (yin and yang) 4-card spread.  The last few pages are blank for notes.

I really like this deck and recommend it to fans of the Thoth that are looking for something different.  There is a lot of depth here... it's not just another pretty face.

All images used with permission.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. 

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2010

Questions? Comments?