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These tarot cards are beautiful, beautifully illustrated and and hold alot of information within each card. These cards however are not for the novice in tarot reading and learning or teaching cards as they are highly complex and need a lot of resource within the mind to be able to read them well. I started off with the ryder waite cards which are very simple o use and were made for teaching cards but these cards are ones to get further along the line and they have detailed readings for each one with detailed information. Thorough readings can be given within these cards and also they seem to be more psychically powerful than others I have noticed. The main box comes with a great book full of detailed interpretation of each card and also a historical resemblance for each one which is rare with tarot cards and usually the cards only come in the cards themselves without the book so this is an extra bonus. The cards cost about £25 with the book which is expensive but worth every penny for the quality of cards they are.
Back in the mid to late 1980s when I was going through my New Age life phase, somebody suggested to me that I might be able to read tarot cards. At first I scoffed at this idea, as the image I had of tarot card readers was something like a bogus gipsy wearing a scarf and huge hoop earrings, staring into a crystal ball, telling people's "fortunes" in some tacky room behind a rock stall at a British seaside resort - just something cooked up to keep the day trippers amused. At the same time, I was taking an interest in Jungian psychology, and discovered a wealth of material written in that field by the now sadly departed psychologist, astrologer and tarot card reader, Liz Greene. I have always been interested in astrology, and I found Liz Greene's approach to the arcane, plus more "intellectual" areas of psychology, extremely enlightening. Her friendly, no-nonsense writing style led me towards re-thinking my friend's suggestion that I consider the possibility of reading tarot cards myself. I could never get to grips with the superstition surrounding things such as the tarot, yet here was Liz Greene throwing a completely different light onto the whole concept of all things mystical - grounding them and removing the element of "fortune telling", treating it as a science and removing the concept of "mumbo jumbo" completely. Imagine my delight when, some months later, I attended the Mind Body Spirit Festival in London and found a pack of tarot cards called "The Mythic Tarot" which had been co-designed by Liz Greene and her colleague, fellow Jungian psychologist Juliet Sharman-Burke. The person running the tarot stall at the festival had a demo Mythic Tarot pack opened for anyone interested to have a look through, so I took advantage of this and was truly fascinated - and, I bought a pack for myself. At the time (1988) the Mythic Tarot pack at the Mind Body Spirit Festival cost £5.99, but today in 2008, one must expect to pay between £10 and £15.......not even tarot cards are exempt from rising living costs! I couldn't wait to get home and begin familiarising myself with the cards, plus building up a relationship with them. Once settled alone in my living room, I undid the seal on the pack. Inside was a beautifully illustrated smallish hardback book with a black cover inscribed with gold lettering, the tarot pack itself where the backs of the cards are, like the book, black with a gold border, gold copyright 1986 message, and a symbol in the middle which depicts the four suits of the tarot pack in gold, which are Cups, Pentacles, Wands and Swords**. The last item was a black and gold pure silk scarf, bearing the same suits design as that on the rear of the cards. With fascination, I read the book which describes how this particular and very unique tarot pack is based on Greek mythology. The book also gives basic interpretations for each card, explaining how all tarot decks are divided into sections; The Major Arcana which are the backbone cards of any tarot pack and are in any tarot reading to be utilised as major forces at work in a person's life; The Court cards, which comprise Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings and mostly are representative of people or personalities/traits within a reading; The Aces, which are generally interpreted in a reading as urging self-perpetuation/individuality; and the Minor Arcana which are cards that although are not in themselves indicative of mind blowing influences in a person's life, are very useful for targeting the areas in which the the Major cards need to be interpreted. ** (Tarot cards aren't dissimilar to ordinary playing cards, though there is some difference of opinion in general as to which were invented first. There are 78 tarot cards in a pack, comprising 4 aces, 16 court cards and 22 Major Arcana cards. In the tarot, clubs from a traditional card pack are the suit of Wands, spades are the suit of Swords, hearts are the suit of Cups and diamonds are the suit of Pentacles. Combining astrology with the tarot, Wands represent the fire signs, Swords the air signs, Cups the water signs and Pentacles the earth signs - Fire = Aries, Leo and Sagittarius: Air = Gemini, Libra and Aquarius: Water = Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces: Earth = Taurus, Virgo and Capricon) Every card in the Mythic Tarot pack tells its own little story, and these are outlined in the accompanying book. This is very helpful regarding the development of any potential tarot card reader's personal style, as the basic meanings of all tarot cards are intended only as a guide. Inside the Mythic Tarot pack there is also a small leaflet, where Liz Greene has given some brief and basic instructions on how to store and keep the pack. It is recommended that when not in use, the cards should be kept in a cool place, away from strong light, and wrapped in the black silk scarf which is provided. This is apparently to keep the "energies" intact. How much truth there is in that I have no idea, but I've not personally had any problems reading tarot cards that haven't been stored in the recommended way. I feel it is all down to how any individual tarot card reader interprets the cards rather than any "energies" they may or may not retain. I haven't been to the Mind Body Spirit Festival for many years and am not even sure if it is still running. Also, I don't ever or want to go to London now, so haven't been able to visit any of the New Age shops there, but those more locally to me don't actually stock the Mythic Tarot Pack. However, there are very, very many websites which can be searched for via Google (type "The Mythic Tarot" into the search engine) from where this particular tarot pack can be purchased; Amazon is one of these websites, and another is called The House Of Tarot. I would strongly recommend Liz Greene's and Juliet Sharman-Burke's beautifully designed tarot pack to all tarot readers, from the very experienced to those just embarking on using the tarot as a life aid. It has to be said that I personally just cannot "connect" with any other tarot pack, as this one truly "speaks" to me. Of course there are plenty of other beautifully designed tarot packs available, and it is down to the individual to pick and choose what they feel most comfortable with, but I myself find I am unable to do a reading unless I am using my Mythic Tarot Pack. In conclusion, I only have one very small complaint about the Mythic Tarot Pack....that is, the cards are rather large which can make shuffling more awkward than more standard-sized cards. All the same, these are my by far preferred choice and even though I have been using these cards extensively for 22 years, I can still sit and look at the pictures and fine new details that I hadn't noticed before.