Simply Deep Tarot (Schiffer Publishing, ISBN: 9780764339844) is the newest offering from the team that brought you “A King’s Journey Tarot”. Author Chanel Bayless and artist James Battersby have created a colorful deck that seems to blend the old and the new in a highly original way.
The deck comes in a well made keepsake box with a ribbon pull and magnetic closure. You have to give the publisher a lot of credit for creating such a solid box – and they also put effort into making a deck that is equally sturdy. The cards are printed on a very strong card stock and have a super glossy finish. This makes them a dream to shuffle and makes for a deck with a long life for those of us who do a lot of readings.
The deck is based on the standard Rider Waite format with 78 cards. Traditional Major and Minors are featured along with the usual suits and court cards. The back of the cards has a reversible image of ghostly figure reading tarot cards.
I love the little white book that comes with the deck. Bayless gives a lovely introduction to her concept behind the cards and explains why you need to detach from your readings. She then discusses chakras and why it is important to read from the “upper chakras” rather than the lower ones.
In the second chapter, she shows you how to work with the deck using her own reading as an example. Her method is easy and those who are new to tarot will find it useful. I’ve met many people who are intimidated by tarot but her suggested technique makes it simple for anyone who has an interest in learning how to work with the cards.
The interpretations are fantastic. Bayless is a good writer and her insights on the cards are interesting and useful but never stodgy. For example, in the World she writes: “BE aware of what you keep in your personal borders. You wouldn’t want termites, fungus, weeds or pollutants affecting your tree of life.” I recently pulled that card for a situation I was contemplating and those words really stuck with me. I was also happy to see that she provided interpretations for reversals.
The art on this deck is bright, colorful and clear. Artist Battersby has a very expressive style although it did veer a bit on the cartoonish side. That didn’t bother me too much because the images conveyed the message clearly and ultimately, that is the important part for tarot readers.
From the thought bubbles above the 9 of Swords to the masculine figure fighting off a group of angry women in the 7 of Wands, you can easily get a feel for each card’s meaning. Some of the figures are “old school” like the prim and proper Queen of Swords and then there are some that are thoroughly modern like the hoodie wearing figure in the 7 of Cups (this reminded me of the kid in the Skrillex video, “First of the Year”).
Although this deck is meant to be somewhat contemplative, I found it to be fun and “light”, which makes it ideal for young readers. I would recommend Simply Deep for the teen tarotist in your life who is looking for a deck that is vivid and fresh. This deck will also work well for those who are convinced that they can’t learn tarot as I think it is easy to interpret. Deck collectors or fans of “A Knight’s Journey” would also find this one appealing.
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2012