Psychic Kathleen

Confessions of a Psychic - the life of a psychic practicing off and online in Canada for more than 30 years.
Sacred Isle Tarot Review

By David Higgins

I bought the original majors only Sacred Isle Tarot when it was first released and occasionally carried it around with me.  It was compact yet sturdy making the perfect deck to put into my purse.  But there were problems with it as a divination tool which I describe later in this article.

I Lost the Sacred Isle!

Following a show one evening I realized I didn’t have it.  It had vanished.  Stricken, I searched everywhere for it. Often I would ponder that little deck with regret, like an old friend who had simply disappeared.  I couldn’t order another one because I couldn’t for the life of me recall its title and considering that there are more than 500 decks in print, it would be like finding a needle in a hay stack to search it by its imagery alone.

Then one day while perusing new decks here on, I stumbled across the new Sacred Isle which looked vaguely familiar.  I was drawn to the imagery and promptly ordered the full kit off the Sacred Isle web site.   To my delight, the kit included the small majors deck I had lost years ago!   So nice to see an old friend and I was immediately inclined to like his full deck as well.

For Love of the Celtic

Sacred Isle falls in line with a classic tarot deck meaning that it doesn’t attempt to redefine the Tarot in any unique way such as the renaming of the court cards.  I’m confident it will grow to become a favourite among those who love the old Celtic legends.  Castles, men in tights and women in long gowns abound. There is no need for an accompanying book because any book on the tarot with references to the Waite-Coleman will suffice.  The artist has followed the symbolism and structure of this early deck to a tee. 

The images are strikingly colourful and detailed.  For example, in the four of cups a woman is depicted sitting by a tree wearing an expression of discouragement, chin sitting on her folded right hand while gazing off into the distance at something we cannot see. Around her there are four cups, three sitting on the ground in front of her and one cup shimmers, floating close to her right side.  She is of course completely unaware of this cup which frankly would be hard to do.  You glean the meaning of the card immediately. 

In the seven of pentacles he depicts a man with his hand on brow, wearing an expression of pale exhaustion.  He has a basket of peaches suspended over his left arm with four visibly abundant peach trees behind him.  In front of him a vine sprouts golden pentacles which he doesn’t appear to be noticing.  The nuances and subtleties suggested in this card are delightful!  An abundance of fruit in an orchard he has obviously worked very hard to plant and nurture now has grown to maturity and the work just never ends!  Physical development, expansion and development can mean just more work and the fruits of our labours seem irrelevant by comparison to the effort.  Abundance comes at a price.

Physically the cards themselves are constructed with a hardy cardboard stock that should hold up well under regular use and a reasonable degree of care.  The cards are a robust size however there is a fat, white border surrounding the image which is distracting.  I may just cut it off which I’m inclined to do when the cards require no title.  This deck’s imagery and symbolism is familiar enough that I would have little need for labelling as I’m sure most experienced Tarotists would agree. Minus this white border, the cards will have a distinctly lovely appearance of a set of paintings from antiquity.

This is a Tarot for Young, White Folks

The downside of this deck, in my opinion, is its distinctly masculine and youthful orientation. The feminine characterization always depicts young, pretty, dainty, white girls.  Typically fair haired.  The male characterization is along the same lines possibly appealing to a teenaged girl in his visage.  Possibly.  Even the Empress, High Priestess and Temperance depict girls apparently in their mid-teens suggesting the best audience for this deck is young people.  I’m not convinced that even young women wouldn’t find these depictions after a time rather disconcertingly uninteresting and insipid.  Perhaps even a tad too removed from their own experience.  Sadly but truthfully the deck lacks boldness and dare I say, originality. 

But for the sake of young, pretty white readers who are reading for just the same, they would find this deck easy to read and lovely to behold. Unfortunately for an aging feminist crone like myself, the deck is a little too exclusive and youth oriented for use.  Now I carry a much more inclusive, unique, small deck in my purse and even at the return of an old friend, it will not be replaced.

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