Artist: Nigel Jackson
Book and Cards Set
Publication date: September 2000
Price & More Info: Click Here
If you are a fan of watercolors and like a medieval/Renaissance style of art, you will probably love this deck. Nigel Jackson has painted a truly gorgeous deck. The deck is a bit larger than normal (just slightly smaller than 3 by 5 inches), which provides more area for the pictures. The cards are still surprisingly easy to shuffle and handle, however.
The names on some of the cards (The Juggler, The Popess, The Pope, and Fortitude) may be a bit unfamiliar to those who have only used more modern decks, but the meanings of the cards come across clearly in their images. Each of the minor arcana is illustrated, unlike some medieval/Renaissance style decks which only have pips. This illustrations on some of the minor arcana cards seem far more evocative of their meanings that the standard Rider-Waite illustrations. I particularly like the Seven of Coins, with its lazy fisherman resting on the bank, hat over his eyes, pipe in his mouth and jug at hand while his pole is braced on a forked stick unattended.
Many of the deck's minor arcana have a martial theme, however. Even the staves are really depicted as arrows. If this bothers you, you may want to pass on this deck.
The Nigel Jackson Tarot comes with a small 3x5 inch, 140+ page, perfect bound manual. This is much nicer that the small staple-bound booklet that accompanies many Tarot decks. This small book briefly covers the history of the Tarot, the author's theory of its origins, the divinatory meaning of the cards, five non-standard layouts (the Key of Hermes, the Pythagorean Method, the Method of the Seventh Card, the Royal Road, and the Eastern Cross), and information on using the Tarot in meditation. While the information is necessarily brief, it is enough for a beginner to start to use the deck. Only the part devoted to the author's theory of the Pythagorean origins of the Tarot seems rushed by space limits.
There are lots of decks out there, but this deck is definitely worthy of consideration. I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a first deck, but if you are looking for a first deck and it speaks to you when you examine it, don't let that stand in your way. The symbol set it uses is not that different from the Rider-Waite set described in many "Tarot 101" books. You will not be completely lost.
Reviewed by Randall