“We are Divine children playing knowingly or unknowingly with the greatness of our potential…As we consult this ledger of Divine gifts, we can afford to be ultimately hopeful. This deck is intended to be gloriously optimistic and deeply impenetrable all at the same time.” – From the companion booklet
At first glance, the day-glo colors and kaleidoscopically busy artwork of this deck points to a bubbly worldview and childlike spirit. This is not a criticism, because it just so happens that I like these kinds of decks, which is why I bought it from Amazon.com.
But can such decks be used for intense spiritual contemplation or for readings about serious matters? Maybe...but I had my doubts. However, after reading the first paragraph, I was surprised, intrigued and awe-struck. Roxi Sim writes:
“The Pearls of Wisdom Tarot was a healing journey begun from a place of deep grief and physical pain. This was a ‘painted journey’ through Tarot. I started in 2000 after the deaths of my mother and nine-year-old son and after the loss of my health.”
After I read that, I had tears in my eyes. The Pearls of Wisdom Tarot looked entirely different to me now. Here was an artist who had been through heart-wrenching personal tragedy and illness, yet managed to paint the most optimistic, cheerful deck I had ever seen.
And not “just” a Tarot deck, but a series of paintings—art therapy—that catalogued a seven-year journey of spiritual and emotional healing.
The pearls scattered among the images of this deck were no longer extraneous decorations to keep the cards in alignment with its title. No, these were the result of serious life “irritations” resulting in the luminous Pearls of Wisdom Tarot deck.
The nooks and crannies of each card brims with pleasant visages, interesting objects and esoteric glyphs—it’s difficult to decide where to focus first! Amid the bright hues are the liberal use of runes—a Nordic spiritual and divination tool adding additional insight into the cards. Their meanings are briefly explained in the 96-page companion booklet.
Printed on flexible but sturdy stock, the glossy cards measure approximately 4 ¾ x 3 ½ inches. The card backings are not quite reversible…but close. When I received the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot from Amazon.com, the box was unsealed on the bottom although there was dried glue on the flap; since it was already opened, I just decided to open the deck from the bottom rather than request a replacement box.
The Major Arcana are numbered and titled (Strength 8/Justice 11) and the suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Court cards follow the Page, Knight, Queen and King designation.
I’ve had great experiences reading with the Pearls of Wisdom deck over the last few weeks, especially for one card readings and contemplation. Because the cards are laden with minutiae, I feel that three card spreads are more than adequate for a comprehensive reading.
Aside from a few errors, (e.g. repetition and omissions) my only qualm with the companion booklet is this statement: “It is possible, though not recommended, to perform a reading for yourself. As a rule, you will obtain a more accurate interpretation if an experienced, objective person reads your cards.” Of course, I disagree with this, as many Tarotists do.
My favorite part of the companion book is that they take several objects from each card and explain the significance. This alone adds more content and context to card interpretation.
If you enjoy brightly colored, merry decks, do try Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. The cards are even prettier in person, and they offer hopeful, insightful and surprisingly penetrating readings.
Below are 15 images from this deck:
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