- Cards: 81 pages
- Publisher: Blue Angel Gallery (1 June 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1922161950
- ISBN-13: 978-1922161956
- Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 5.2 x 15.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 721 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dreams of Gaia Tarot Set Cards – 1 Jun 2016
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About the Author
As a child, Ravynne Phelan (also known as Michele-lee Phelan) dreamed of becoming an artist, but fell into despair in her teenage years when many told her a career in art was an unattainable dream. For the next fourteen years she lived in a world empty of color until she was officially diagnosed with depression and introduced to art therapy. With her childhood dreams rekindled at 33 years of age, she became a professional artist and illustrator. In 2011, Michele-lee became Ravynne, to celebrate and honor the magical path she has walked in service to Gaia and Great Spirit, and to mark the end of her battle with depression.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Overall very happy with my purchase, thank you Ravynne!
What a strange disappointment. While the art of Ravynne is undeniably beautiful, the production quality is inexplicably poor. And I mean that literally - I can't explain some of these issues logically:
1. I opened the shrink wrapped sturdy outer box to find the inner box corners mysteriously ripped/crushed and all of the card corners bent.
2. The card stock is VERY thin (I don't know what kind of decks these other reviewers are used to using but these would NOT hold up very long to regular readings). This would explain not only the bent corners in the cutting process but also some cards having creases in them toward the top - probably indentations from misaligned cards in the production process (yes, that's how thin the card stock is).
3. The lack of any design on the back, other than a thin yellow line, makes the completely misaligned trimming job all the more obvious. The margins on one side are much bigger than the other on quite a number of the cards.
4. There are also some cards that have a weird problem with the black finish that makes them appear to have grey spots and you can also feel rough patches on some of the cards amidst the ostensibly completely slick finish on both sides.
5. Most perplexing of all is that a handful of cards *in the middle of the deck* had really bad water damage along the bottom (some, all the way up through the very large titles)! I have no earthly idea how this could happen prior to packaging/quality control.
I know Blue Angel Publishing usually has good quality decks with very different card stock, but they've obviously used a different printer this time and it's really bad.
It's also a shame because this is a lovely deck and I know that Ravynne Phelan has been working on this project for many years to bring it to fruition :(
...5 stars for Ravynne's art, 0 stars for the production quality.
I also really enjoyed the extra Major Arcana cards, offering a different take on most of the cards with similarities to the traditional archetypes. I also really appreciated the deviations in the Minor Arcana, such as the use of elements instead of objects (water, fire, earth and air), as well as replacing the page and knight with an aspect card (like Masculine/Feminine) and a character card (like Counsellor or Scribe). She retains King and Queen, but gives them a more ethereal feel, as if it is more of an aspect, trait or energy rather than conjuring the image of an individual person. This helps me tremendously as I never really connected well with the traditional "court cards."
The guide book is more like a bible. It is 308 pages, offering that wonderful, familiar smell like the guide book of a final fantasy video game or a good fantasy novel, it's a very particular smell that you have to know to get what I mean. While the introduction and spreads section is very short, the bulk of the book is dedicated to card meanings, all of which have extensive explanations. Each card's entry contains several key words (like Love, Passion, Communion), key phrases (like "it is time to move on," or "Trust your intuition"), and then a long prose entry that varies in length for each card. The Major Arcana cards contain a general meaning, and specific additional meanings that apply to readings where Past, Present or Future positions are relevant, and then a Potential Blockage section that is like the "reversed" meaning. The minor arcana cards do not offer the Past, Present Future section, just a general meaning and reversed meaning section.
The length of the entries may be intimidating to some, although there is a wealth of great wisdom and perspectives here, conveying the artist's lifetime of lessons, studies and experiences, bringing together many esoteric subjects, systems and teachings. The author/artist recommends reading through the book as a whole and then moving toward relying more on the key words and your intuition as you become more familiar with the cards, letting the artwork and the cards themselves to speak to you. This is a sound approach and after reading the whole book, one would have taken in a great deal of wisdom, often facing some frank and hard truths. This definitely has the feeling of being her Magnum Opus in terms of acting as a guide book to life.
One thing to be aware of with this deck is that it is a very unique deck and departs a great deal from the traditional structure of Tarot. While there are some overall similarities and a general sense that this is based on the traditional system, the meanings of the minor arcana cards especially deviate a great deal from what you may be used to with the corresponding numbered cards from other decks. In some cases they have no relationship whatsoever, making this a very refreshing journey for one who may have been tired of the old associations or never could connect with certain cards. Still, if one is looking for the standard 78 card deck that can easily translate to established cheat sheets, this is most certainly not it. This is an animal unto itself, yet a beautiful, fantastical and mystical one that is great for Wiccans, Gaia worshipers, Shamans and lovers of fantasy literature or artwork.
Some have complained that the card stock is not up to the best standards. I admit, it would have been nice if there was some artwork on the back of the cards, rather than simply being black, and they are a tad thin, but by no means abysmally frail or easily damaged. I am careful with my cards, though, never using hard surfaces that could scratch them or shuffling them in a "poker' fan style. The colors are vibrant and have a "come off the card" dimensionality to them, so they certainly aren't lacking in terms of impact.
When I first handled the deck, the cards were stuck together due to the gold borders and the somewhat thin nature of the cards as others mentioned, but this was only when first opening them. Once you carefully separate all the cards, that shouldn't be an issue, and they are perfectly sized for handling, shuffling and doing readings. It would have been nice if they were a bit thicker, but this in no way would deter me from giving these cards the most enthusiastic recommendation. This artwork is some of the most beautiful artwork I've ever seen and spoke to me in a way that went straight to my soul. A most excellent achievement.