Monday, June 18, 2012

The Robin Wood Tarot

The Robin Wood Tarot is a popular deck.  My first exposure to it was in the pages of the excellent "Tarot Spells" by Janina Renee.  It's a good deck...very solid...but I run really hot and cold on it.

On one hand, I find the images colorful, and full of woodsy mysticism.  But, on the other hand, I find the figures lifeless.  A lot of them look as if someone took photographs and then roughly sketched over them, which would be fine except for the faces.

I have to say, though, the Robin Wood deck does have my favorite representation of The Magician that I've seen so far:

That manly beard!  Those manly antlers!  The pillar candles, the dagger, the wand....everything in this picture screams "TESTOSTERONE!"  The only thing that would make it more male-centric would be to have the dagger depicted sitting inside the cup.

The rest of the deck is made up mostly of near-identical rehashes of Rider-Waite cards, but some of the Robin Wood ones look better than the originals:

I will also give this deck props for taking a different path on the Death card:

The Robin Wood Tarot is a perfectly good beginner deck, and a good deck for anyone who's looking for an earthier, more colorful version of the Rider-Waite.  There aren't many original ideas in the images, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it, I suppose.


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