Tarot of the Sephiroth: A Review
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2004

I have been remiss in not writing a review on this deck sooner, but I believe it takes time to develop a working relationship with a deck. I often utilize different decks and their accompanying books in my research and my writing. If I find a deck and book that is that functional as a reference for me, I consider it to be well worth owning. This is very much how I feel about The Tarot of the Sephiroth by Josephine Mori, Jill Stockwell and the deck creator, Dan Staroff. This book and deck set is reasonably priced and available from U.S. Games Systems. ISBN 1-57281-326-1.

I have never seen a card presaging imminent fertility and advancement the way the 8 of Wands in Tarot of the Sephiroth does. Eight determined looking wands bursting into the air like eight Goggles Paisano's going for the checkered flag. The visual impact of the spectacular racing flames is stunning and is carried throughout the suit of wands. The only thing missing on the 8 are the shades and Steve McQueen.

The authors definitions capture this force, giving this card intention and the raw energy of communication in an unrestricted environment. Such vitality and force is evident in the artwork created by Dan Staroff. The authors provide the perfect frame for each piece of art that makes up this wonderful deck.

The artwork and use of colour is bold and striking. The faces are chiseled, the dresses are all to-die-for-take-me-dancing with their gracefully complex elegance and flow. I can hear music everytime I look at these cards. I look at the Death card and the throbbing syncopation of The Stones, "Dancin' with Mr. D" is running through my mind and the image of Mick Jagger doing a voodoo strut across a stage. Death is a showman after all and the only God we readily accept. There is nothing like a driving rhythm section and this deck is alive with vibrating rhythm and cadence. It is like you know exactly what he was listening to while he was deep in the creative process of this deck.

The Tarot of the Sephiroth is designed to clarify the Tarot and Qabalah connection through the Tree of Life. This is achieved with the use of a colour and coding system using spheres on each card - with a nice little quick reference card. It is a well explained and a powerful instructional tool especially for those who "just don't get" the connection. The book is set up in a highly accessible manner. It is compact but full of excellent information. I like the way the court cards were presented in the book. Courts are the Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses in this deck, a slight variation from a traditional deck but much more common now. The inner and outer aspects of the tree are explained with imaginative and claritive brilliance - if you "just don't get it" now, read this and you will. The language throughout is instructive and informative.

They give us a wonderful stategy for approaching the Tree of Life and the Qabbalah through original tarot layouts, meditations, sample spreads, quick reference charts and great organization. They even have a "When is he/she they going to call?" - these ladies know what a reader goes through. A nice addition to anyone's library and collection. It doesn't get much better than this.


This page was created January 11, 2004 and updated January 5, 2006.