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Deck Review – The Haindl Tarot Part 2
by Liz Christy
Editor's Note from Michael Santangelo: This is the conclusion of a two-part review of one of the fantastic Haindl Tarot deck. This time, the author looks at the court cards and Major Arcana. Read Part 1.
Haindl took a different approach with the Court Cards, assigning each suit not from the royal court, often seen in most traditional tarot decks, but from different spiritual qualities of the Gods and Goddesses from cultures of the four directions as stated in the Aces. This gives us a much broader understanding of the Court figures down to the very essence of personality and its components, and how they interact; not just the concept of the characters or their general appearance as defined with other decks.
For the Wands Court, and the direction of East, we find the Mother, Father, Son, and Daughter representing India with Kali, Brahma, Radha, and Krishna. Haindl found the culture of India to be deeply inspirational and a place where religion and myth still play an important role in daily life.
The Court Card suit of Cups comes from Europe and the grail stories from the European culture. Here we find as Mother of Cups the Venus of Willendorf statue, Father of Cups, Odin, The Daughter of Cups, Brigid, and the Son of Cups, Parsifal.
Swords Courts are inspired by Egyptian culture and its mythology. These paintings were done in Egypt as he took in the temples, the land, and the very people themselves. Here we find the Mother of Swords represented by Nut, the Father of Swords, Ra, the Daughter of Swords, Isis, and the Son of Swords, Osiris.
The Courts of Stones are the most beautiful in my opinion, drawing from Native American traditions with the Mother of Stones, Spider Woman, the Father of Stones, Old Man, the Daughter of Stones, White Buffalo Woman, and the Son of Stones, Chief Seattle.
By drawing upon all of these cultures and traditions in creating this fantastic deck, Haindl opens up a deeper understanding of the tarot and its meanings. His artwork is simply beautiful and I found myself being drawn into the images and actually experiencing the cards themselves. This is a powerful, deeply spiritual deck in which Haindl took influences from many different areas to give the message of reconciliation between Earth, our first mother, and of nature and man himself.
Although I would not recommend this as a deck for a beginner, it is certainly a deck for someone with a little more experience in working with the tarot or those who prefer to read intuitively. There is a shamanic quality to this deck and it can be used for personal readings and meditation as well. I absolutely adore Haindl's vision of the cards and their symbolism. Not too long ago I did an article of "What makes a good tarot deck" and in my opinion, the Haindl Tarot far surpasses just a good tarot deck, this is truly a perfect tarot deck.
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About the Author
Making her home in Battle Ground, Washington, Liz Christy is a mother of five, an eclectic pagan, and a tarot enthusiast. Her hobbies include gardening and making herbal teas, as well as reading voraciously and explaining the art of tarot using everyday examples.
She has written articles for the Portland edition of Examiner.com called Portland Paganism Examiner and the Portland Ornamental Horticulture as well as reviewing tarot and oracle decks from US Games Systems and Schiffer Books. Her website is LizziesLogic.blogspot.com.