Review – Anna.K Tarot

The Anna.K Tarot is a self published deck by artist, Anna Klaffinger. The deck I am using is the second edition which was just released this past June 2010.  It is a 78 card deck in the traditional structure for the most part with Justice as VIII, and Strength as XI.  The suits are Cups, Rods, Swords, and Pentacles, with the court consisting of Page, Knight, Queen and King.  The backs are reversible with a smaller version of the World card.  The cards are a nice size to fit in your hand, measuring about 3in x 4.25 in.   The cardstock is of good quality thickness with a matte finish.  The stacked deck has a nice Phat feel to it when shuffled.  At first I thought it handled a little awkward being a bit wider and shorter than I am used to but, soon changed my mind the more I used it.   Anna has a lot more information on her website that addresses the artwork medium and a little history on the deck itself, as well as some images from the first edition that she made changes to in the second.  Please check it out here. For a self published deck I was very pleased at how affordable it is, and after initially ordering I received an email from Anna stating she had shipped it right away.  It arrived in pretty good time especially coming from over-seas.

The LWB, (not a typical little white book) that comes with the deck is a black and white 80 page booklet with copies of each card along with the artists’ thoughts for divination meanings as well as tips for the meanings.  For instance, the Aces of the deck are “Chances”, each Ace representing a chance relevant to the suit.  Of the Ace of Rods (one of my favorite cards in this deck) Anna writes, “The Ace of Rods represents new doorways that open up to us, new paths that are discovered.  What had been too risky can be chanced now. …”  These tips are included on many of the cards meanings in the book.  Also included in the booklet is a brief tarot history, explanation of the structure and types of cards, tips for practice, a few interesting spreads to try, as well as more tips and examples for readings.  A nice step up from the usual LWB you see so many times with a nice deck.  And this certainly is a very nice deck.

The earthy-tones used are very appealing to me, although I could see where some might think it feels a little “dark”.  I am drawn to the overall coloring used throughout.  The color scheme is warm and very realistic and this deck has fast become one of my favorites.  For me, it was pretty readable right out the box and it has become increasingly more so since then.

One of the Major Arcana that I had wanted to look more closely at is Death. (above)  The shadows are deep, and if you don’t pay attention you can miss seeing the dark wings this Angel-of-Death is sporting.  If it were not for the sickle, he is quite a good looking fellow, in a morbid pretty-boy kind of way.   Temperance is another that I really like.  (below) Instead of alchemy being a main focus, balance and non-excess is the message.  Anna writes, “Temperance does not know excess, exaggeration, boastfulness or aggression.  She has no need of them because she knows she already has everything she truly needs.  This is where her modesty comes from.  She does not brood on the past and doesn’t worry a lot about the future.  She lives in the here and now and is filled with peace and with contentment with what the moment has to offer. “

So in summary I am very thrilled with the Anna.K Tarot.  The images portrayed are appropriate for the individual cards and their meanings.  The artwork is beautiful and appealing and I consider this deck to be a very fine addition to not only my collection, but more importantly to my working decks.  See if you don’t agree with me.

See below for more images from the Anna.K Tarot as well as images in previous posts on this blog.

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