The Golden Tarot by Kat Black
This is one of the most visually stunning and well made tarot decks I have ever seen. It was given to me as a gift several years ago and instantly became
one of my favorites. I loved it so deeply in fact that I ended up giving several as gifts myself the same year.
The Golden Tarot was created by Kat Black and published by U.S. Games Inc. in 2004. It quickly became a favorite and was named one of the top Tarot decks
of all time from 2004 - 2008 - and for good reason. The deck is based on Medieval and early Renaissance works of art dating from 1300 - 1500, digitally collaged into seamless, spectacular tarot images.
This deck was certainly a labor of love and the authors story about how she created this deck was nothing short of adventurous. Originally,
she put together lower-res images of her deck which were then pirated off of her website and sold without her consent. A campaign from her fans ultimately led to the publication of the current deck which she painstakingly spent many hours producing with Paintshop pro.
The Golden Tarot is not only a spectacular deck - it's packaging is also quite remarkable. The deck comes in a box with a companion book, not a leaflet like what accompanies many other decks. The book is high quality and gives great detail into each card. The cards themselves have gilded edges and the polished gold look makes this deck even more stunning.
You don't know whether to frame them or use them. Should you choose to use them regularly however, the quality and durability will not disappoint.
The box and cards are sturdy and just the right size. The cards fit nicely in your hands, feel good and are very easy to use. They hold up very well despite their delicate appearance.
The beauty of this deck is that it is also easy to read. It stays true to the Renaissance/Medieval feel without veering far from the standard symbolism of the Rider-Waite deck. Many art decks are more difficult to learn because they do contain entirely different symbolism, however this card is a standard 78 card deck featuring the 22 major arcana and the four traditional suits. If you learned to read originally with a Waite deck, you can transition easily into
learning to read with this one. She does include some of her own elements and symbolism, which you will likely notice on picking up the deck and going through it. I find this lends a nice personal touch. An example is the black dog in the nine and ten of swords that represents an element of depression and
St. Francis of Assisi as the Hermit. The additional symbolism is based on old traditions of the time period of the deck.
I admire how the artwork on these cards, despite being collaged from many different sources, flows so seamlessly. There is nothing "chopped up" looking about them, they look as though they were painted this way originally. Kudos to the author for not only making a deck that is practical and beautiful, but for having incredible, impeccable attention to detail. This deck has been around for several years and continues to be a favorite. I highly recommend adding it to your collection or at least checking out the artwork - you won't be disappointed.