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.

Evening Bliss

Situation – The Lovers.  The Challenge – Knight of Pentacles – Advice/Outcome – Ace of Swords

This combination has such a nice feeling. The first two cards give the feeling of a sunset, an ending to an enjoyable day.  Peace, contentment, warmth, comfort, satisfaction, perfect harmony.  When I first saw this card I immediately thought of myself and my husband.  Best friends and soul mates.   Here we are on a quiet Saturday afternoon tucked into our little house and both quite comfortable in the silence.  He will take a nap and I will read.

The challenge of the Knight of Pentacles is not too become too lazy and to not take things for granted.  He is described as having a solid foundation of values and rules; because of his grounding he can face reality even in hard times.  The trick is not to turn this into becoming too rigid and too stubborn.   He looks as if he is reflecting on the day, remembering a happy thought and smiling in spite of himself.

The advice of the Ace is to take the chance to make clear things which had been unclear.  The chance to look at our problems with a cool head and a clear mind.  Although, she stands with a sword at the ready,  she does not go out looking for problems.  She is intelligent and can see when trouble comes her way and is ready for it.  If trouble comes to visit, she is prepared and will know the best way to handle it.  All in all today’s reading is somewhat slow in movement, but slow is good.  A time to un-wind, catch-up, and enjoy it.  Recognize that it is a gift that may not last long.  A nice quiet evening at home to ground and center for any upcoming disruptions and being better armed to face what may come our way.

Timing is Everything

New Seasons and Beginnings

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.  Everywhere I look I see signs of the end of Summer and the beginnings of Fall.   The time is right, and ripe. What may have seemed risky can be chanced now.  This little girl is daring and carefree.  She is open to whichever adventure presents itself to her.   The time is right for me to move on the project I have been contemplating and planning for awhile.  The opportunity is there and I need to get the ball rolling.

Continuing this same line of thinking…..this page tells me to be open to new ideas to help compliment my own.  Stay open minded and receptive, only then can new inspirations be recognized and accepted.  Be on the lookout for that open doorway of opportunity, or it might shut in my face.

The next cards go hand in hand just as the two previous cards have.  Justice and the 3 of Pentacles; The Justice in the spread is reminding me to make well thought-out and balanced decisions once I step through that doorway of opportunity.  It also means to have a feeling for appropriateness and for balanced distribution.  Check out all the angles and associations, be sure it’s a good place and good people to be involved with before signing on the dotted line.

This 3 of Pentacles is a bit different from traditional meanings of team work.  Although I think that is still appropriate as I will have to join or partner with others, my niche will be complimentary to theirs, but different enough to be more solo in capacity.  It also means that I have learned enough at this point to work independently, but too remember there is always something new to learn.

Ok, the timing is good and I need to get things rolling.  Timing has been an issue for me, and it looks like as Fall rolls around and begins its reign, the time is also right for me to begin my New Season as well.

An Interview with the Anna.K Tarot

Tell me about yourself.  What is your most important characteristic?

The Six of Cups:  I am here to help you remember what it is like to look at your life through a child’s eyes.  To remember your dreams and remember how it feels to dream and to wish upon a star with a light and open heart.

What are your strengths as a Tarot deck?

Six of Wands:  I am bright and cheery, and comfortable in my own skin.  I am confident to be            scrutinized and examined from all angles. I am what I am, and stand on my own.

What are your limits as a Tarot deck?

Strength:  Limits?  What limits?  If you have the ability to dream it, you have the strength to achieve it.  The only limits are the ones you set for me or for yourself.

What are you here to teach us?

Ace of Pentacles: That you reap what you sow; the treasure is buried just below the surface.  Dig a little and it shall be yours.

How can we best learn from and collaborate with you?

2 of Swords:  Don’t doubt yourself and by using your intellect as well as your heart.  If you only use your intellect, even “right” decisions don’t feel right if you don’t also listen to your inner voice.  If the heart, inner voice, is not involved, our doubts won’t disappear.

What is the potential outcome from our working relationship?

The Moon: I will share with you the hidden, the mysterious, and the shadow sides of life.  These must be examined to help understand and appreciate more the Sun-ny side of life. I will also help you connect with the unconscious and the journey to the deepest abyss of the soul.

Any final words?

Two of Pentacles:  Have fun.  Don’t get mired in too much seriousness.  Remember to laugh, especially at yourself.

Anna.K Tarot – by Anna Klaffinger
Looks like I am going to have a lot of fun using and learning with this deck!

For more on this spread see; Tarot on Tarot

Happy Tarot’ing!