The Bohemian Animal Tarot Review
Blending 15th century Tudor and Elizabethan-inspired costumes
styles with a classical late Baroque, Victorian and French theme
and a touch of Romany Gypsy, The Bohemiam Animal Tarot
is a Tarot set that has never been seen before.
Take a detour back in time with the animals from their kingdom….
The Bohemian Animal Tarot is a marvelously done tarot deck that features 80 cards. These animals have stood the test of time and they want you to heed what they have to say.
From this deck there are just too many beautiful cards to choose from, but I chose three. The first card that I was drawn to is called 11. Consequences (Justice). In this card there is a fortune teller and a fly who sit in a table with a red mantel inside a tent. Outside the tent there is a sign that stands on the floor and read “Webs of Destiny” (interesting market title if you ask me!) Inside the tent, an ant is getting a card reading by the fortune teller. What I find funny is that the ant holds one of the cards in her hand and looks at it (lol!) I personally would be annoyed if someone did that while I was giving a reading. In a reading, this card mainly represents that what goes around comes around. We must know and attain to the outcome of what we do.
The next card that I cringed when I saw it is the 9 of Air (Swords). This cards illustration is very similar to the R.W.’s 9 of Sword. Only in this card there is a gecko (no, not the same green gecko from the car insurance in American commercials, lol!) This gecko looks like it has woken up from a very bad dream. It has its hands over its face. There are nine swords that hang from the wall horizontally. Laying on its stomach is a tiny gecko. When I saw this, I said to myself, “if that creature crawls or something, it’s going to slice its belly open”. Maybe that is what the other gecko is worried about? When this card appears in a reading, it tells that there are many worries in your mind that are leaving you restless.
The last card that I found adorable, and it could be one of my favorite is the Page of Earth (Coins). Why could it be my favorite? Because it features a dog and I’m an avid dog lover! In this picture there is a King Charles Cavalier who stands in a grassy filed. He wears a long green robe with a red hat. In his hands, he holds a gold disk. This card represents a new investment in money or a new strategy on how to save money.
The back of the cards are not reversible. The art and colors for the back of the cards are simple, but pretty. The illustration for the back of cards is a fox, who appears in the 1. The High Priest known as the Magician card and a hare, who appears in the High Priestess card. They hold both of each others’ hands as if they are parting ways. I like to think that the fox resents the author of the book Scott Alexander King and the hare represents the illustrator Sharon McLeod. Such a nice sentiment.
The texture of the cards are beyond sturdy! They shuffle wonderful! They also have a nice semi-glossy coat. The size of the cards are little bit over 3 x 5. You get to see and spot such nice details within the art. Also, they have gilded edges!!!
The storage box for this cards is very nice and sturdy! The box closes with magnets. You have to pick up the flap on the right hand side and open it as if you were opening a book. In the center of the box, there is a compartment where the cards lay and the book goes on top of the cards.
The book is written by Scott Alexander King, and let me tell you that it is very well organized. The book contains a total of 240 pages and it contains too much information and some different point of views, but it does not depart and stays true to the R.W. interpretations.
The book has a nice written “Preface” followed by an “Acknowledgments” page written by the author and illustrator. Then there’s the “Introduction” page there are several section where it briefly explains the author’s interpretation of “Animal Symbolism” and “Bohemia”. There’s also an explanation of “The Major Arcana” and a key that lists the animals that were used for each card. Then there’s an explanation of “The Minor Arcana” with a section called “The Four Directions and Their Corresponding Elemental Energies.” Then a section called “Interpreting the Minor Arcana” where it provides you with keywords regarding the numbers 1 to 10.
For example, #4 means hard work. Then there’s another section called “The Bohemian Animal Tarot’s Minor Arcana” where you have a list of the animals that were used for the 56 cards. There’s a page called “Reading the Tarot” that provides two common and simple tarot spreads known as “Past, Present, and Future” and the “Celtic Cross”. After all of this, there’s a chapter called “The Bohemian Animal Tarot Cards: The Major Arcana” and “The Bohemian Animal Tarot Cards: The Minor Arcana.”
Before I go any further. Keep in mind that the “Fool” or known in this tarot deck as “The Innocent” is going on a journey within the 22 cards in this deck. You will read about his journey in a section of all the major arcana cards, it will be titled “The Innocent’s Quest”.
For each page and at the top and in the center of the book you have the title of card. Below that on the left hand side, there’s a picture of the card. On the right hand side of the picture you have a section called “The Animal Archetype” that explains background information and facts about each animal. The section below that is titled “Card Description” and it gives an in-depth interpretation of the meaning of the card. The next section is called “The Innocent’s Quest” which I already explained earlier. Then there are “Keywords” to memorize the meanings of the cards and then the last section is called “Divinatory Meaning” and all that is provided for you are a handful of keywords and phrases.
For the Minor Arcana the same layout for the Major Arcana is provided, but there are small changes. For example, the “Keywords” are on top of “The Animal Archetype” section. Obviously there is no section of “The Innocent’s Journey”, so instead there’s a section called “The Numbered Cards” that gives a different interpretation and point of view of the numbers for the minors (1-10). After that, there’s a one page bio that explains who the creators.
The illustrations for the card done by hand and by Sharon McLeod. They appear to be a blend of color pencil (which I see and feel that it stays similar to the Universal Rider Wait Tarot) and with a touch of either chalks and/or pastels. Nonetheless, they are very warm, vibrant, profound and very smooth on the eyes.
I really have nothing to say about this tarot deck other than positive and good things.
I mean, I love animals very much (though there are some that I will stay away or will not or cannot own as pets, lol). This deck feels too natural and a total of 80 animals (plus other background animal characters) are honored and paid a beautiful tribute in this tarot deck.
I don’t know why I have a deeper connection and love with tarot decks that are based on animals. What’s even cute is that when I spread the cards on my table or floor and see each card, I feel like I’m at the zoo, (LOL)! What I liked about this deck is that the animals were not assigned to each suit according to their elements they are associated with. For example, an animal with wings would be thrown in the Sword pipes or an animal that swims they are tossed in the Cup pipes.
This tarot deck stays true to the Rider Wait, but the author played it smart and renamed some of the majors and the titles of the suits. For the majors, the cards that were renamed are, the Fool, The Innocent. The Magician, the High Priest. The Empress, the Goddess. The Emperor, the God. The Hierophant, the Shaman. The Chariot, the Carousel. The Strength, the Warrior. The Hermit, the Bear. The Wheel of Fortune, the Wheel of Fate. Justice, Consequences. The Hanged Man, the Suspended Man. Temperance, Moderation. The World, the Earth Mother. The two bonus cards that make part of the deck are called the Universe and the Afterlife. The titles for the pipes have been changed to Pentacles, Earth. Cups, Water, Wands, Fire and Swords, Air. If you love animals as much as I do or if you are looking for a different tarot deck that stays true to the Rider Wait, this tarot deck is perfect for you! To buy, click here!
© 2010 – 2016 J. R. Rivera
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J.R. Rivera – 12 January, 2016