I was given The Celtic Tarot for said birthday, and it has become one of my all-time favorite decks:
I've posted before about how I was always sort of put off by the Queen of Swords until I started to really collect decks and see how differently she can be portrayed. This is another good example. She doesn't look stern and forbidding at all in this image, though I would definitely be careful of a lady with a sword, no matter how beautiful she is.
Some more examples of The Celtic Tarot's groovy, Lord-of-the-Ringsy, 1960's-70's kind of style:
I am in love with The Hanged Man's spaghetti hair. It looks like it came out of a play-doh pasta maker. Beauteous.
Back in the day, my mom was a true 70's lady, with a huge collection of owl figurines, macrame plant hangers, and musty, brownish candles shaped like everything from the aforementioned owls to one shaped like Gandalf, and there was one, I think I remember, shaped like a tree man. This deck gives me an overall nostalgic feeling of my very early childhood, most especially the styling of the Lovers card:
So awesome! I mean, seriously, this is so deliciously hippie I could die. The shape and contour of their bodies, the font on the card's title.....and the guy! That beard is insane, but the HAIR. And how hilarious is it that the girl is hiding her boobs but showing off her lady parts? And the guy is just lettin' it ALL hang out.
It really does not get much better than that.
When it comes to the deck itself, I give it a big thumbs-up. It's nice and sturdy. Regular readers will recall my pet peeve about decks that are hard to shuffle. When cards tend to be flimsy, they also tend to be slippery, interestingly, and when you're not ripping the edges due to the flimsyness, they're flying out of your hands like guided missiles due to the slipperyness. But the Celtic Tarot definitely does not have a problem in that department. In fact, it tends toward the opposite extreme, almost to the rock-hard thickness of the Kat Black Golden Tarot. But I have no doubt that with frequent shuffling the Celtic Tarot's cards can be broken in.
Oh, and if you're looking for this particular deck, look for The Celtic Tarot published by Metro Books. There are a few "Celtic Tarot"s out there, all illustrated in different artistic styles.