“Whatever the Tarot’s original purpose, usage over the centuries has identified the inestimable value of their symbolism as a psychological and spiritual tool.” – From the companion book to The Truth-Seeker’s Tarot Packaged in an exquisite, sturdy gold-foil box, The Truth-Seeker’s Tarot contains a 78-card deck with an 80-page full-color, hardcover companion book by David Fontana. With its soft yet vibrant illustrations, the specially commissioned artwork by Sylvie Daigneault is adorned with special gold foil touches that accent the lovely imagery without being overdone.
For example, in the Strength card (Trump 8), a gold lemniscate forms the maiden’s hat, while flowing gilt lines flow down the lion’s mane. Solid golden coronas glow from the head of the Hanged man and the Temperance angel, while the Queen of Cups stands immersed in a flowing river holding a shining chalice, her blue dress decorated with over a dozen shining goblets.
As I went through the Truth-Seeker’s deck card-by-card, I was thrilled to see each Major Arcana not only lovingly illustrated by colored pencils, but also decorated with these intricate foil accents. However, my excitement turned into disappointment once I got to the Minor Arcana.
Like many decks with an outstandingly rendered Major Arcana, the Minors merely show mostly the suit signs against a colorful backdrop. For example, the Eight of Pentacles show eight golden pentacles with a green background in what looks to be a church. The Ten of Pentacles shows the exact same image, except the pentacles are arranged into the tree of life diagram.
Some of the other minors throw in a bit more imagery, such as courtyards, birds, ships, trees and buildings. Although the author encourages the reader to meditate on the cards to absorb the symbols and receive intuitive guidance, there’s not much in the Minor Arcana to “meditate” upon—especially for those brand-new to Tarot who may benefit from fully-illustrated Minor cards that show actual archetypal motifs or individuals engaging in some type of action.
In the hardcover companion book to The Truth-Seeker’s Tarot, Fontana gives solid insights into the Major Arcana, but only covers the Minors according to numerological theme. Since the Minors mostly feature only suit symbols (i.e. cups and swords), this might be problematic to those new to Tarot, especially since he doesn’t offer card-by-card meanings or examples. The same is true for the Court Cards. For those who enjoy reading with Tarot of Marseilles-style decks with minimal Minor Arcana illustrations, as well as those who do readings with only the Major Arcana, the Truth Seeker’s Tarot is truly a beautiful deck (the only illustrative mistake is the Seven of Pentacles, where the gold foil considerably overshoots all seven of the symbols). However, those preferring an animated Minor Arcana will likely be disappointed.
Fontana provides a few interesting esoteric tidbits in the companion book, such as correlating the four Minor Arcana suits with the four symbols of the Hindu god, Vishnu, but it is by no means thorough as either an introduction to Tarot or an adjunct to current Tarot knowledge for seasoned users.
Below are 15 card images from the Truth-Seeker's Tarot:
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