If you are a Christian who is looking for a non-angel-themed Tarot deck, you may enjoy the Tarot de La Bonne Mère which features a variety of saints in the Major Arcana and the Court Cards. It’s essentially a Marseille style deck with non-scenic pips and the old order for Justice (8) and Strength (11).
The deck is created by Gabian Spirit aka Marie and she sells this deck on Etsy. It’s slightly smaller than a standard Tarot deck and comes without a guidebook (or LWB). However, on the back of the box, there is a QR code that you can scan which will take you to the website for the deck. There you can either browse card meanings or print out a guidebook with deck specific meanings. Thankfully, an English translation has been provided.
I love the design! The artwork is simple but that works really well. In a sense, the cards with the images of the saints have an iconic feel to them. And the card backs are a gorgeous brown/honey-coloured fade effect which makes them look golden.
The design on the card backs is the same as on the box. There’s a white sigil in the centre of the design that reminds me of the Norse Vegvisir. The cardstock is of medium thickness and good quality. These cards shuffle like a dream. The surface of the cards is matte which is my preference.
The five regular suits are present but the Major Arcana cards all feature various saints. In the Minor Arcana, the suit of Cups / Chalices goes by the traditional suit name Chalices but the other three suits have been renamed:
- Wands are Pilgrimages
- Swords are Fights (or Combats)
- Coins/Pentacles are Hosts
The printable guidebook is 17 A4 pages and it prints out really well from the deck website. With each card description, you get a short bio of the saint featured, as well as a prayer for that saint. I absolutely adore this concept. The pip/number cards have more traditional card meanings.
If you’re still not sure, you can see a walk-through of all the Majors in the video below, as well as a quick glance at the Minors.
Deck Review Tarot Reading
- A unique trait or characteristic of this deck that I need to be aware of: The 10 of Fights (10 of Swords) asks, ‘The fight is over, what are you going to do now?’ It heralds an ending and a new beginning. I’ve spent 50 years fighting my doubts. It’s definitely time to move on!
- A challenge in working with this deck: St Paul (The Lovers) challenges me to keep choosing love and to seek loving solutions, guided by the examples by the saints.
- How this deck can help me progress spiritually: St Francis invites me to dive deep into the mystic communion with all living beings, including the communion of the saints. This will help me overcome some of my remaining fears.
- How this deck can help me progress with shadow-work: St Jerome can help me stay on the path of prudence and sobriety as I navigate any shadow issues. His clarity of mind is just what I need! Also, my Tarot year card for 2021 is The Hermit… bring it on!
- Something in my past this deck can help me transform/release: The 5 of Fights (5 of Swords) in my past was about winning at any cost or without counting the cost. This deck is excellent at helping me pick my battles.
- How this deck can help me realise my life purpose: St Anthony can help me keep the faith and believe in my path/calling, even when I am a bit lost or seem to have veered off course.
I’m truly grateful to Gabian Spirit for creating this deck. It’s unique, beautifully made and will be a favourite for contemplative Tarot exercises as well as problem resolution style readings or spiritual guidance.