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The Golden Tarot

by Kat Black

The Golden Tarot
Price: $25.00

Number of cards in deck: 78. All gilt-edged.

Measurements: 2.95 x 4.85 inches, or 75 x 124 mm.

Back of card: Brownish-gold fine pattern, sort of like what you would get by repeating a low-contrast kalideoscope image. As the book sources all the images, the back of the card, as well as the (very similar) border around the front of the cards, were both taken from King Solomon & the Queen of Sheba (1435), by Conrad Witz, a Swiss painter. It can be seen at the Staatliche Museum in Berlin

Book included: Yes, 198 pages, 2.9 x 4.85 inches, or 74 x 123 mm.

Publisher: US Games. Printed in China.

Comments: A strikingly pretty deck, made up of collages of paintings from the late Middle Ages & Renaissance. The artist has avoided well-known artists & images, in favor of the equally deserving, but lesser known folks & their work. Much of it is visibly ecclesiastic, which is unavoidable given the time frame chosen. Even in the Renaissance, there wasn't yet a middle class with money to hire artists, and, as often as not, when the local king or prince got his face painted, he had it put in a religious setting, that he might thereby increase his chances of avoiding hellfire. Myself, the images get in the way of using the deck. I look at the cards, I see the Madonna, the Child, Jesus, a saint of some sort, etc. The artist, an Australian, didn't see her deck that way, perhaps you won't, either.

Kat Black has her own ideas about the cards, as can be seen in the examples above. She says The Magician is talking to the animals. I look at the kitchen utensils on the table (many magical implements are actually kitchen tools) and I wonder if he's just trying to catch something for dinner. For The Ace of Cups, an angel we have heard on high comes bearing a cup while the dove of the Holy Spirit (a fire energy, actually) flits above it. We would identify the cup as the Holy Grail & the contents wine. (This is more information than we really want.)

The Two of Cups show a man & woman pledging allegiance with a toast. He pledges with his left hand while holding a scepter in his right. It's not much of a scepter, so it's not much in the way of power. She holds her cup in her right. In her left is a quill. As this is a double negative (female is negative, left hand is negative), she will write (in modern terms) from the unconscious. In Medieval terms, she would be guided by angels or demons. How this, or a weak scepter, will affect the partnership is up to you to decide.

The Nine of Swords traditionally has a woman sitting up in bed, with nine (male) swords hanging over her. I've always interpreted it as awakening from a nightmare that still hangs over. (The sort where you have to magically blast junk out of your bedroom before you can safely get back to sleep.) Kat Black substitutes a man for the woman. As this leaves us with a double positive, I conclude the man is physically imprisoned. But the head of the bed is large & imposing, the bed linen of the first quality. This is a king's bed, but the man who sits in it lacks crown or scepter. As he is naked, he lacks defenses. He is clearly remorseful. Is he an impostor about to be found (dog: sniffed) out, or has he been put in this situation against his will? How you view the dog, I think, is the deciding factor.

It is always amusing to discover the stories shown in the cards. A good deck tells stories, and I think this is a good deck.

Packaging note: As the cards & book are the same size, they are packed in a sturdy (and attractive) box, with a lid that pulls off. One of the better packaging solutions I've seen.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Astrology Home E-Mail:

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site ( & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).