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I have recently received the Angel Tarot Cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine and I have to say that the deck is both lovely and user friendly.

This is not my first Doreen Virtue deck, of course.  I have several (6) of Doreen's oracle decks and cherish each and every one.  But I wasn't sure that I would feel the same way about the Angel Tarot. 

Initially advertised as a 'safe' tarot deck, many traditional tarot readers had reservations that the Angel Tarot would be watered down or soft.  And this was my first (sight unseen) opinion of the deck as well.  To be honest, I might not have bought this deck if it wasn't required material for the Doreen Virtue Angel Card Certification course which I am currently taking.

When I received the cards, however, I was happy to see that the deck was of similar quality to Virtue's other decks.  The cards are cut from heavy card stock, come in a sturdy box (like all of Doreen Virtue's cards) and include a detailed and comprehensive 133 page booklet.  Artistically, many of the cards are breathtaking. 

While the deck is positive and affirming, the creators have followed the traditional meanings of the cards as presented in the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) very closely which I find appealing.  Also, even though the suits bear non traditional names (Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles are now Air, Fire, Water and Earth) but the elemental associations and spirit of the suits remains. 

The Water cards are true water cards in beautiful blues and greens filled with images of mermaids, dolphins and whales.  And these images serve to connect us with the elemental meaning of the suit of cups quite well.  There is not a lot of symbolism on which build a reading.  It is, however, easy to 'read in' emotion, the unconscious, psychic abilities and dreams with such images and the printed interpretations at the bottom of the card are well alligned with the standard RWS meanings.  Some of these images in particular unfortunately are smaller in scale then I would have liked.

The Earth cards feature intricate forests and lovely woodland fairies capturing the essence of earth without losing sight of its inherent magic.  The Page of Earth pictured above is perfect example of this and I love the energy of this suit.  Again, the symbolism is primarily elemental but well presented.   

In the Angel Tarot Fire cards we find ourselves face to face with dragons.  These cards blaze with energy and light and I feel that the elemental approach to the suits is especially powerful in this suit.  My astrological card, The Queen of Fire is beautiful, dynamic and powerful.  I love that it is 'my' card!  For me the image of fire evokes a strong association with the passion and creativity of the suit.

It is perhaps the suit of Air which has been most transformed, however.  The substitution of unicorns for swords seemed out of place to me initially and I did not expect to like it.  But after seeing the deck up close I have to say that it was a wonderful choice.

The image of the unicorn's horn works surprisingly well visually in compositions not unlike the originals without the implied association of violence or pain.  The Two of Air at right is an excellent example of this and I think that the crossed horns of the unicorns are a fine replacement for the crossed swords of the RWS.

Changes have been made in the major arcana cards as well.  Each major includes one of the Archangels and several of the cards have been renamed. The Fool is now the Dreamer.  The Heirophant is Unity. There is no Hanged Man, no Death card, no Temperance, Devil, Tower or Judgement.

Some of these changes work better for me on a personal level than others.  Overall however I would say that some interpretations work quite well (death-release, devil-ego, temperance-balance) improved upon. while others are somewhat out of step with my personal tarot association.  I do love seeing the archangels portrayed in every major, though I would have perhaps made different selections in some instances (such as keeping Gabriel in the Judgement / Renewal card)

All in all, I would consider this deck a good choice for any traditional RWS reader who is looking for a somewhat gentler deck, with a strong elemental energy, as well as a new reader interested in finding written interpretations on the card.  While it may be less suitable for someone interested in the deep symbology of tarot, it is very appropriate for readers looking for an artistically pleasing deck with a strong emphasis on elemental and angelic energies.

I am having fun with it!

Major Arcana Changes RWS-->Angel Tarot:

0. The Fool -->The Dream
5. The Hierophant-->Unity
12. The Hanged Man-->Awakening
13.  Death-->Release
14. Temperance-->Balance
15. Devil-->Ego
16. The Tower-->Life Experience
20. Judgment-->Renewal

Post a Comment

  1. I have never worked with Tarot Cards so I don't know what is meant by a "safe tarot deck." I'm really curious and I'd love to hear your response.

    I'm a great admirer of Doreen Virtue's work. I purchased her Archangel Oracle Cards deck about two years ago and I try to select a card daily for guidance. This deck has proven to be amazing and powerful. Somehow, I always end up drawing the one card that I NEED to see that day. It always blows me away, but I'm very grateful.

    I enjoy your blog so much. It's wonderful!

  2. Hi Sylvie. Thanks for you comments and kind words! I love the Archangel Oracle Card deck too. And I feel that too, that it always gives me the card I need to see!

    In the Angel Card Readers certification course, Doreen Virtue talked about what she meant by a safe tarot deck. She didn't mean to imply that any tarot deck is unsafe or sinister but she does feel that some of the traditional images are too intense for very sensitive people. So she renamed some of the cards and changed the suits (from swords to unicorns for example). Her idea of safe is a little different than the norm!

    I think the deck works very well overall and am having a lot of fun with it. Because it has the meanings of the cards printed on each card, it is a good deck for people new to tarot.

    I am going to be writing some articles on some of Doreen Virtue's Oracle decks over the next few weeks, starting with the Healing with the Fairies Deck today or tomorrow. I just love her decks!

    I'm so glad you like the blog and really appreciate the comments!

    Love & Light,

  3. I believe that its not the deck, its the reader. The decks are tools, but a true empath can read vibrationally between the lines. Tarot is a tool but it is only as good as the interpreter.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Anon. I believe that we all possess psychic abilities and that oracle decks and tarot are a good tool to help us develop these gifts. Decks do differ, in my opinion, but the source is always spirit. <3

  5. I also own this deck I was hesitant about taking the course, overall would you say its worth taking?

  6. I would Anon. I will say that if you are well versed in tarot, some of the material may be already familiar. The energy and insight into angel cards however made it well worth it to me!


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