Sunday, May 3, 2009

Deck Review - Rumi Tarot

This week I have used the Rumi Tarot by Nigel Jackson. I adore Persian poetry, I adore the artwork of Nigel Jackson, and I adore tarot, so it should follow that that I would love this deck.

There are many things to love about this deck, in fact. The colors are sumptuous, and the artist reportedly worked at scale. That is, the original paintings for the cards, done in tempera, are the same size as the cards themselves. This fact only becomes more amazing when you consider the Minors, done in miniature portrait style. I thought the small size of the Minors was going to be a bother, but upon working with them, I have not found that to be the case at all. The Minors are fully illustrated, rather than just being decorated pips, but do know the illustrations are miniscule in relation to the size of the card.

The good- the cardstock is thin and flexible, and lightly laminated, with gorgeous colors and stunning artwork. The backs are equally attractive, in my opinion, and it was obviously a labor of love to sift through the prolific works of Rumi to come up with appropriate matches to tarot symbolism. The gentle words of the poet sometimes hit home rather hard, and sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered. The accompanying Guide to the Rumi Tarot is very good for what it is, and I am so glad it was included. Most of the messages are very upbeat and positive, although there are some that just put it out there, too, which is good. I like to have a balance in my decks, because life is like that, the salty and the sweety combine to make the most flavorful palette.

The bad- Llewellyn packaging is redundant. Black organza bag, useless cardboard inner box. As much as I love Rumi, I do not care for keywords on my tarot cards, and I feel like the poetry on each card is akin to keywords, telling one how to interpret the card. I am having a great deal of trouble reconciling some of the court cards, in particular, to their poetry snippet. In addition, the gold borders on my cards are showing quite a bit of wear for only being used for a week, and I do not riffle shuffle.

I will definitely be holding onto this deck, but I do not see it becoming a main reading deck for me. I think it is beautiful, and I am likely to continue drawing single cards from it, but I am having a difficult time putting the poetry and images into a coherant reading format when an actual spread is used. This is user error, I am sure. *grin*

These images are from the Rumi Tarot by Nigel Jackson for Llewellyn.


  1. That was a good review Manda, as you showed us both sides of the coin about this deck.

    Thank you for doing this!

  2. Thanks for an excellent review. I also love Rumi. The keywords would annoy me too... but could be good when reading for certain other people, as it gives them something to latch onto. The eternal problem is that they then take everything so literally that they're not open to anything you pick up intuitively for them... sigh...

    Still, it's a gorgeous looking deck.