I came upon these cards on a day when the urge for a new deck had me battling through snow and ice into the Peak District to reach my favourite shop. This place is a true wonder, an emporium of Tarot and Oracle cards, Wiccan supplies and other things that are ‘downright weird’ in the words of my dear but gravely cynical husband.
Amongst the many others on the shelves, this deck called out to me immediately. Although the box itself looked fairly standard, something about the green and gold colour-scheme was soothing and warming. A shuffle through the cards revealed reassuring and calming images – nothing dark or intense. I couldn’t wait to get them home for a closer look.
Premise for the Deck and Structure
John Holland is a renowned psychic medium and created the cards based on his belief that all relationships are learning opportunities for soul growth, reflecting back to us the things we need to see. The cards aim to pose evocative questions and offer gentle advice to the querent in all relationship issues, whether they pertain to business partnerships or affairs of the heart.
In terms of structure, the deck has 22 Major Arcana cards, representing the spiritual lessons being played out in the querent’s life. These cards are loosely based on the traditional Tarot Major Arcana. There are no court cards in the Minor Arcana, which could be a blessing for those who find them a challenge to read at times. The traditional Tarot suits are replaced with Physical (pentacles), Spirit (wands), Emotions (cups) and Mental (swords).
The seven Chakra cards add a nice touch. If one should appear in a reading then the qualities and associations of that Chakra should be considered – the Throat Chakra card could indicate communication issues in a relationship, for example.
With short sections on psychic development, colour interpretation, numerology and symbols, the book goes a little deeper than those that often accompany decks. A pity it’s in black and white though, as the only defining factor between the suits is the colour of the card border!
The card meanings are beautifully expressed, interspersed with soul-searching questions and gentle advice based often around the Law of Attraction. There is an affirmation for each Major Arcana card too. It’s typical Hay House stuff, for those familiar with their publications.
No reversed meanings are given in the book; the advice instead is to read the card as normal but consider that a little more effort may be required to reach (or avoid) the situation depicted.
About 10% bigger than regular Rider-Waites, the cards still feel comfortable to hold and are not cumbersome to shuffle. They are robust and shiny, but not so shiny that they slip all over the place when handled. The artwork is beautifully comforting and evocative with most cards depicting people, both male and female. Interestingly, some characters appear in modern dress and others in old-fashioned clothes, but the cards blend together well nevertheless. Each card has a title, which combined with the imagery, really helps to switch on the intuition when reading a spread.
These cards would make a great addition to your collection, proving especially useful when reading for a relationship question (and we all know there are plenty of those….). However, a nice surprise for me was their usefulness when I tried them out in a reading relating to setting up a new business. The cards I drew brought out some aspects that other decks may not have alluded to, for example:
8 of Emotions – ‘Moving On’
The querent needs to consider whether they are ready to move from a busy work place to a solitary environment. Will they feel lonely? Who will be there to offer advice, or listen to their ideas? This could well mean a whole new way of life for them.
Major Arcana – ‘Nurture’
The querent must ensure they look after themselves, find time to eat, even when things get very busy. Keep a strict work-life balance, get plenty of rest and don’t burn the candle at both ends.
These cards may not immediately appeal if you’re a fan of dark or dramatic imagery, but all things have their place…. Whenever a question or querent requires a sensitive approach, I can see this swiftly becoming my go-to deck of choice.
Created by: John Holland
Artist: John Marion
Publisher: Hay House, 2014
Reviewed by: Rachel 47, aka Rachel Gregory