A King’s Journey Tarot
by Chanel Bayless & illustrated by James Battersby
A King’s Journey Tarot is a self published deck that is available in two forms: the deluxe kit or the economy package. The deluxe kit includes a 94 card tarot deck, a tarot bag for storage, a full sized 8.5 x 11inch fully illustrated spiral bound companion book, bonus cards, an illustrated book by James discussing the design process among other tid-bits, and shows some raw sketches by Chanel.
For a complete list of the package options, see the official web-site: http://www.tarotreadingsite.com
The cards measure 2.75 inches x 4.25 and fit nicely in my hand. At first glance, the card stock seemed very thin, but they shuffle nicely and retain their shape. The finish is a balance between a matte and a gloss. Not too glossy that they slide all over the place, but just enough that they don’t stick together either. The colors are rich and vibrant-the images beautifully illustrated with scenes you can imagine stepping into. The cards are not labeled or numbered but, I think they are easily recognizable with the exception of one or two cards. The backs are reversible.
Above you see The Lovers, The Chariot, and Temperance. These I needed to look up in the companion book as they were not obvious to me which cards they were. The story line that follow these cards, the key-words and descriptions, explain them quite well.
Even though the deck has an additional 16 cards, you don’t notice anymore bulk than most decks of 78. Where do those extra 16 cards fit in? I’m glad you asked. With most traditional tarot decks, you find 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. In A King’s Journey Tarot deck, you find this same structure with one major difference-the suit of Spirit. To support this extra suit, two Major Arcana cards have been added.
Of the suit of Spirit, Chanel has this to say, “As I was designing A King’s Journey, I noticed that the story felt unfinished when I came to the end of the traditional tarot deck.” “The Spirit Suit holds our core beliefs, represented in A King’s Journey as virtues and vices that guide our life. It is what we try to live up to, and what we may not have a handle on. This energy flows through all the elements of our life.”
The added Major Arcana cards are: 22 – Daath, whose Virtue is Detachment and Vice is Doubt in Future. Of 23 – Soul, (upright) Gifting seeds of knowledge to a younger generation. (reversed) Chip on your shoulder, or bitterness. These are only a brief description for each card. All the images can be seen on A King’s Journey web-site as well.
The rest of the deck consists of the traditional 22 Major’s with Strength as 8, and Justice 11. The four suits are: Wands, Swords, Coins, and Cups. The court is made up of, Princess, Knight, Queen, and King.
Let’s take a closer look at the companion book. Its spiral bound! It lies flat for easy perusal and quick reference. Each card is shown in color in both the up-right and reversed positions with their keys words, phrases, and meanings. Very user friendly, as well as attractive. There is an introduction to the artists, examples of spreads, tips on how to formulate a question, a discussion on a Timing method and how to use it in your readings, also a quick reference to the elements and numerology meanings. A couple of pages have been set aside for a fast reference guide to Court Cards. We readers all know how difficult Court Cards can be to read.
How does it read? From the very first, I was impressed with how easily it read, even using the suit of Spirit. In the book Chanel mentions that the deck can be used with or without the extra suit. The Spirit Suit can be used as a stand-alone oracle, or easily integrated into the rest of the deck.
A King’s Journey Tarot has quickly become one of my favorite decks and I can safely say that I will enjoy many years to come reading and learning with it. I would like to send my thanks to Chanel Bayless and James Battersby for creating such a treasure.
For questions or to order your own deck visit: http://www.tarotreadingsite.com
James can be found online at www.jamesbattersby.co.uk