Vanessa Tarot - Lynyrd Narciso
Vanessa Tarot has taken its inspiration from several areas of contemporary pop culture including female role models from the small and large screens of television and cinema, life-like fashion dolls, and heroines from comic books. In the same way that dolls encourage imaginative role playing, Vanessa Tarot provides scenarios for examining our fantasies, fears, decisions, desires and choices.” – From the Little White Book












When I saw a few images from this deck online, my interest was piqued. Once I got the actual Vanessa Tarot in my hands, though, I became enamored—and it far exceeds my expectations.

This spunky deck comes in an adorable purple tin (think Altoids!), and as soon as I opened it, a grin spread across my face. That grin widened as I worked my way through the Vanessa Tarot card-by-card—to the point I was chuckling aloud at several of the images.

Sassy and smart, the Vanessa Tarot shows women of every color in the many roles that women can, and do, play on the stage of life. Here are but a few:

• a resourceful housewife (The Magician),
• a provocative Sunday School teacher (The Hierophant)
• a playful, jump-roping urbanite (2 of Coins)
• an adventurous sky-diver (Knight of Wands)
• an experimenting scientist (2 of Wands)
• an enthralling temptress (The Devil)
• a clear-sighted Judge (Justice)

Knowing that the deck creator, Lynyrd Narciso, had TV on the mind, I associated the blonde witch sitting atop a broom sailing through the starry sky as Samantha from Bewitched (remember the cartoon opening sequence?). And the two women having a ball stomping grapes the old-fashioned way in the 4 of Wands? I couldn’t help but think of Lucy and Ethel in that famous episode from I Love Lucy!

Just because the imagery is cartoonish, don’t dismiss this deck as superficial. There’s some clever portrayals in the Vanessa Tarot that are witty and observant.

One of the laugh-out-cards, for me, is the 5 of Wands which shows five determined bridesmaids clamoring to catch the thrown bouquet (talk about “friendly” competition!) And the guy handcuffed to the bed in The Devil is priceless…

The 29-page LWB is one of the best I’ve seen—and although it only includes one 3-card spread, it *does* provide six blank pages for jotting down notes. The author provides both upright and reversed meanings, and addresses the cards according to number and Court ranking (for example, Twos, Eights, Knights, etc.).

The cards measure 3 ¾ x 2 3/8 inches, and I like that they are smaller than most Tarot decks. Fully reversible backings show a purple-striped background with sky-blue stars in the foreground. The striped-themed carries over to the front of the cards as bordering. Suits are Wands, Coins, Cups and Swords and the Courts are Page, Knight, Queen and Queen.

Because the Vanessa Tarot is so delightfully inventive, it was difficult choosing which cards to show with this review!  This would make a great deck for beginners, and seasoned readers who enjoy modern decks celebrating “girl power” will no doubt be thrilled with it, as well.

Below are 12 images from this deck:



































































































Illustrations from the Vanessa Tarot deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright © 2006 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.

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