I have had the Tarot Noir for a while now but haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. This is a deck with a very specific mood to it so I had to get in the mood to actually do the deck interview. The Tarot Noir was calling me last night and I believe now is a good time to look a bit closer at this gorgeous Tarot deck and book set created by Justine Ternel and Mattieu Hackière (artist).
The companion book is in French and the set comes in a sturdy cardboard box. The cards are gilded and quite a lot larger than a traditional Tarot deck. See image below for size difference. As you can see, the card backs are non-reversible.
I’m not really fluent in French but I do understand a bit and it seems that the book is not so much a manual for divination as it is a guide for those interested in medieval symbology. The Tarot Noir is based on the Tarot de Marseilles and the structure of the deck is medieval, with Strength as arcanum 11 and Justice as arcanum number 8.
The symbology of the Majors is covered quite in-depth, as is the meaning and historical significance of each of the four group of courtiers: Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages. However, individual court cards and number cards are not described even though the are beautifully illustrated in full colour in the companion book.
Unfortunately, the binding of the book is not the best quality and what I feared upon reading other reviews of this deck came true: pages have already started coming away…
However, I would not let any of the above deter me from getting the set, whether you speak French or not and whether you (like me) can’t seem to be careful with more delicate books… this is one of the most stunning decks in my collection. Other than the deck being artistically beautiful, I feel that this modern take on the medieval Tarot de Marseilles has brought me closer to the roots of Tarot – so much so that I don’t even mind the non-scenic number cards.
Oh, and who doesn’t love a bit of bling?! And because the deck is mahoosive, there is more bling to enjoy!
But let us delay no further… I can’t wait to hear what the spirit of this deck has to say for itself!
1. Who are you?
3 of Pentacles (Mars in Capricorn): I am the guardian of practical expression of the mysterious universal life force. I make sure that the Tarot is put to good use and I enjoy working with others who are of the same spirit.
2. What is your strength?
6 of Pentacles (Moon in Taurus): I am timeless, generous and reliable. Whether it is months or years between readings, and whether your interest in me waxes and wanes like the phases of the Moon, I will return like an old friend and will be like we have spent no time apart.
3. What is your weakness?
7 of Wands (Mars in Leo): As much as I like to be of service and practical use, I do like to strut my stuff and I do not like it when people comment negatively about me… I tend to get a bit defensive. *shrugs* What would you expect? I’m French and we have our pride!
4. What types of readings do you prefer?
Judgement (Pluto, Fire Element): The BIG questions and anything related to the Seeker’s life purpose. You might have guessed it but I don’t even mind doing readings about death and dying… because I know that ultimately there is no death. That is the advantage of being timeless.
5. How do you challenge me?
2 of Cups (Venus in Cancer): I want to form a deep emotional bond with you but I have noticed that you are sometimes reluctant to do so… Am I right to say that what we have is a love-hate relationship?
Me: Almost… I love the artwork and I actually love the size of the cards though I’ve read some reviews where people complain about that. *sigh* but I do find that I am not always in the mood… and then when I do get in the mood, it is almost compulsive… It is an interesting and passionate relationship, to say the least! And that is mainly a good thing. I don’t believe either of us do luke warm, right?
Tarot Noir: Yeah, you got that right.
Below are some more card images…
And the final set of sample cards with my favourite ‘the grumpy Sun card’… 🙂
Sooooo… after reading this review, what are your impressions and is this deck now on your wish-list or perhaps already in the post?