I stumbled upon this little gem online, though my memory fails to connect the original website or YouTube video I saw it in. I was attracted by the style of drawing and the innovative use of colour in the cards, and before I knew it there was a Christmas present to myself on its way from Austria.
Anna K is an independent project – and you can tell straight away from the thoughtful packaging and card stock. The deck comes in a neat little box with the artwork for the High Priestess on its cover – I have to say it’s one of my favourite High Priestess images, it’s stunning.
The cards follow the Rider Waite Smith theme in general, however the use of colour is really striking in this deck, and also the character expressions that make it a brilliant deck for readings.
In a reading you can clearly tell where there is a shift in energy just from the colour change alone. Scenes from everyday life and emotive facial expressions all help the reading and give it clear direction. Note that there are some cards which deviate slightly from the Rider Waite Smith, for example I found the 2 of wands more difficult to interpret, there is a feeling of dejection and sadness in the card which I do not normally associate with it. In the 10 of Swords we have the wounded person walking away from the scene of despair, bloody prints and all – with all the swords left behind.
There are a few cards in the Major Arcana that have no human or animal characters – the Star, the Moon, the Sun and the World come to mind. A great feature is the minimal borders – I am not a fan of borders and this deck has really thin ones that allow the cards to speak, and even the titles are reduced to a number and a symbol for the minor arcana. It’s fantastic that the cards are not laminated – that means one has to be careful handling them, note that the new edition is made from sturdy cardstock that would stand a bit of shuffling. The cards themselves are slightly smaller than usual, 7cm by 10.3cm, making it easy to shuffle and user-friendly for small hands.
There is no Little White Book (hurrah! Most are totally useless in my opinion). Instead there is a full Guidebook, very comprehensive in content, card details, and spreads. I would recommend this deck for anyone, whether beginner or advanced, as it makes a great reading deck: it’s easy to relate to the scenes, people’s emotions and the atmosphere in the cards, their facial expressions speak volumes, and the colours are vibrant, alive.
To view the full deck and meanings behind each card, check out the author’s website: Anna K Tarot.