Vanessa Tarot is an exuberant addition to the tarot world – a slice of modern pop culture, imbued with a strong feminine presence throughout (all cards, except four, have female protagonists; the only exceptions being the Devil, Lovers, 5 of Swords and 10 of Cups which feature both male and female characters). Its relevance to modern life makes this an excellent reading deck for any situation – I’ve used it countless times and had great clarity and insight from the cards. This is the creation of Lynyrd Narciso – a Filipino artist and tarot deck creator. He has actually done other tarot decks and if you like what you see, check out his online presence over at Paraluman Studio.
“Vanessa Tarot has taken its inspiration from several areas of contemporary pop culture including female role models from the small and large screens of television and cinema, life-like fashion dolls, and heroines from comic books. In the same way that dolls encourage imaginative role-playing, Vanessa tarot provides scenarios for examining our fantasies, fears, decisions, desires and choices.” (accompanying booklet excerpt)
The cards come in a very cute and durable tin box – their small size means the box is light and easily portable (card size 6cm by 9.5cm). Despite the somewhat “catoonish” appearance and design of the cards, I would highly encourage tarot fans with more classic or traditional tastes in tarot to give this deck a go. It keeps in line with the Rider Waite Smith tradition, yet it has its own distinct style imbued with vibrant colour, zest for life, and an energy that is distinctly part of the world, rather than withdrawn from it.
The card stock is excellent – not too glossy, not too thin and not too thick either, which makes shuffling easy and fluid. The accompanying little white book (LWB) contains good information and explanations on the cards. The Minor Arcana are listed in numerical order, with information on numerological meanings for each number – this is great as often the numerological application, across all suits, is not provided in LWBs.
For those interested in this deck, it is published by US Games and there are further card images on their website. Overall I find this deck a great addition to my collection, notably for its ease of interpretation and ability to relate to the characters in the cards. I should also note this would make a great deck for beginners for this reason; it would also make a suitable deck for younger readers (over 16) due to the artistic depictions (not gruesome images, no nudity or offensive material).