When Doreen Virtue turned her back on the tarot/oracle community a few years back her Past Lives deck was essentially the only one on the market. In her absence a few past life decks have come to the community. This review touches on the tarot deck created by Red Orchid Publishing.
Personally I do a lot of past life readings here in the shop, and it was part of the reason that I created my own deck a couple years ago. But I am always on the look out for tools that will help give me that extra oomph, so when I saw the Art History for Past Lives tarot deck pop up I was interested.
There are a couple options available on the artists website for purchase. You can purchase the deck only for $31, the deck/guide book for $38 and then there is a workbook that you can purchase for an additional $18. I purchased the deck and guide set as I figured it was the option that most people would gravitate towards.
The cards come packaged in a custom tuck box, and there are 78 cards so that the deck can be used as a traditional tarot deck as well. The cards are standard tarot size, so that is something to keep in mind if you have smaller hands like I do. I do feel like the card stock is a little on the thin side, and although it has been holding up so far I am not sure about long term. I'll have to update it if it should happen to be an issue down the line. The backs of the cards feature red orchids on a black background, simple with a bit of visual interest.
The cards contain the traditional meaning as well as the past life meaning. For me some of the cards don't really fit the traditional meaning so if you are someone that is fairly new to tarot or are still learning I think that you are going to struggle. Where the deck really shines though is with the past life aspect.
A lot of the paintings used are from the same time period and are a bit eurocentric, but they are also a very cohesive looking deck. It flows, enough so that I am happy to over look that that. The cards are borderless, so the art is front and center without distraction.
To compliment the deck we have a 5x7 paperback guidebook. It is about 78 pages long and each page manages to pack a lot of info into a small space. The pages feature the art on the card, the traditional card meaning, the past life meaning and the place/time frame that it corresponds to. Then under the art is a blurb about the artist and the painting itself.
I have done a number of readings with this deck and it is very comprehensive for past life readings. Other decks have maybe a handful of locations and general themes, but this deck covers every continent, time periods and much more targeted themes - something that is really easy to do with a 78 card deck compared to a 35-40 card oracle deck.
The workbook/journal was on order still at the time that I did the review, but I have heard everyone say that it is worth every penny! It is a guided process through a three week period with daily activities and work to do.
Overall, for the price of the deck and the amount of love and care that has gone into it I think that this is deck that everyone should have in their collection.
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24 years of tarot experience, 20 years experience as a mom, and a lifetime of knowledge is just rattling around in here!