“For a number of reasons, from personal preference to software limitations, to the fact that when I originally began I was looking primarily at artwork rather than traditional Tarot significance and symbols, the deck, although more or less in the Rider-Waite direction, has its own quirks and odd cards, which I hope you will enjoy.” – From the introduction
When Ann Cass looked at the software packages she had accumulated over the years, she decided she wanted to do an in-depth project to hone her skills. While aiming to be an artist in those media, it occurred to her that putting together a Tarot deck with its 78 images would stretch her abilities and because she had read the Tarot for 30 plus years, it seemed like the perfect project.
Over the course of seven revisions, the deck developed a mind of its own and demanded that she finish it and do something with it. Ann’s triumph, The WorldTree Tarot, is color-blind (in terms of race) but color-rich, a deck where metallic pools ripple, iridescent bubbles glow, and polychromatic skies shimmer amid the fertile imagery of the Tarot. Ann’s focus was art of the deck, so she didn’t worry about traditional suit correspondences when creating the cards. According to the expanded companion booklet available for download on her site, Wands are associated with both earth and water, Pentacles with air, Swords with fire, and Cups with water. If this seems like a confusing mix, the guidebook ably describes what she had in mind when picking particular images to go along with the elemental association. Still, the WorldTree Tarot can be read according to traditional elemental associations and Rider-Waite meanings, especially since there isn’t a predominant color assigned to the suits. The WorldTree Tarot has a futuristic feel, but the images themselves are familiar in mood and execution. As Ann mentions in the introduction, there are several quirky cards in this deck, such as Temperance, and these delight and surprise. She writes about this card:
“I always thought an angel pouring water from one cup to another was silly, so that got thrown out, and when it was gone, the best I could think of was a Fisherman, waiting patiently in a foggy dawn for something to grab the hook.” Her upright meaning for Temperance include “Thrashing up the water simply scares the fish away…Avoidance of extremes…If you’ve been acting prudently and waiting patiently, without results, perhaps now is the time to take the lid off and see what happens.”
The Lovers card depicts figures of green and purple reaching out to one another. The Devil card reverses this image, with figures of orange and blue with their backs to one another, a background of fiery red swirls.
The WorldTree Tarot uses traditional card names, with Justice Trump 8 and Strength Trump 11. The cards measure approximately 4 ¼ x 2 ¼ inches, have a matte finish on sturdy stock, and feature rounded corners. A mirror image tree design on fully reversible backings. This deck also comes with a blank card to customize as you see fit. Although the deck comes with a 24-page booklet with abbreviated meanings, Ann provides the URL to a .pdf file to a larger version of the guidebook. The expanded version is 83 full-size pages, and provides ample room (about half the page) for notations. If you’d like a tiny deck to carry around with you, the WorldTree Tarot also comes as a mini-deck. The mini-cards measure approximately 2 3/16 x 1 5/16, and the images are easy to read.
This deck is great for meditation, and when I first opened the deck, I received some insights just thumbing through the cards. I’ve done several readings with this deck, and they’ve proven accurate and relevant. Even Ann’s guidebook added some interesting commentary to my readings! I feel this is a good deck for children, too. My son and I enjoyed a sunny afternoon outdoors while looking through the cards. Normally, he doesn’t have much interest in Tarot cards but for some reason, the WorldTree deck caught his eye. I asked him to tell me what was happening in each picture, and his innocent observations served as a catalyst for further elucidation, which surprised me.
If you enjoy computer-generated decks, especially ones that have a futuristic, otherworldly vibe, you’ll likely enjoy the WorldTree Tarot. I particularly like the Pentacles suit, which is just stunning, and Ann’s inventive take on the Knights.
Below are 10 images from this deck:
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