In my mind, the Quest Tarot represents the epitome of the New Millennium, the 21st century as far as Tarot decks and books go. This compact deck of 80 cards fits neatly in even the smallest hands, making handling, shuffling and stacking effortless and enjoyable. Others must agree! The Quest Deck was the Winner of the 2004 Visionary Award of Excellence! The International New Age Tradeshow and the Coalition of Visionary Resources has just awarded Joseph Ernest Martin its highest honor for Best New Age Interactive Product of the Year. This special award is given at the Denver show each year to highlight the best in the New Age Industry. As well, this deck and book sold out in less than seven months and is now in its' second printing, with 15,000 copies in print.
Created by Joseph Ernest Martin and published by the well-established company, Llewellyn Publishing, this deck offers vivid, mesmerizing graphic images with tiny "extras" embedded in the mystical ornate borders. Joseph applies his mastery of art and design to create a deck that entices even the cynical to explore the mysterious and exciting world of the tarot.
The Quest Tarot deck has the same basic structure as more traditional tarot decks but introduces some unique surprises- instead of 78 cards in total, this deck features 80 cards, with 23 key Major Arcana (the 23rd extra card is numbered 0 - the same as the Fool, and is called the Multiverse) and 56 Minor Arcana cards, sorted into four suits (click on the links to view illustrations of all 80 cards).
The 80th card is a blank one called the Blank/Significator Card. Joseph describes this interesting extra as, "This card is included into the deck to be used in two ways. The First is to create a card that represents yourself in the Tarot. You can do this by any medium you choose. You can use paints, stickers, colored pencils, anything! Personalize this card so that it truly is the essence of who you are. The Second way is to create a card as an addition to the Tarot. I believe the Tarot is a ever changing journey. You can add to your journey by creating a card that fits a special need you wish to add to your Tarot Deck."
Joseph presents the cards in the suits Stones (Pentacles, Coins), Cups, Swords and Wands. The Trump Cards are labeled Mother, Father, Daughter and Son. The author deliberately placed the female family icons before the male which is a very unique departure from the traditional King, Queen, Knight and Page. He explains, "As we enter a period of feminine energy, I feel that it is important to have this deck reflect and utilize that power." He also stresses the importance of the family structure rather than using the stereotypic social class structure represented by monarchy.
Quest Tarot Trump Cards
The back of each card is decorated with symbols of the four elements: air, fire, earth and water as well as a mystical eye representing "being open to see the truth in all things," surrounded by radiating wavy lines which "represent the field of energy that we are all a part of."
The Quest Deck is truly a unique deck, offering many embedded features which add intrigue and knowledge to your tarot readings. The cards include astrological symbols, letters of the alphabet, Gemstones, I-Ching and Rune symbols, and Hebrew letters as well as special "Yes/No" features on the Trump Cards. This is absolutely the most diverse deck I have reviewed thus far!
Joseph includes a 312 page full sized book entitled, "The Compass Guide to the Quest Tarot" that is chock-full of interpretations, tarot spreads, information about the gemstones, astrological meanings of the cards, appropriate rune and IChing information, and true insight into the world of tarot. Joseph fully demonstrates his love and understanding of the tarot and presents this knowledge in a user-friendly and accessible manner. This book is truly a joy to read and digest!
I highly recommend the Quest Tarot - it makes the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. It will appeal to the taste of people of all ages, and deserves a top spot in any tarot devotees' deck collection.
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Book&Cards edition (2002)
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 2.2 inches
Images: The Quest Tarot by Joseph Martin, © 2002. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. PO Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164. All rights reserved.
Quest Tarot Deck Site: http://www.questtarot.com/
Llewellyn Quest Tarot Page: http://www.llewellyn.com/bookstore/book.php?pn=J195