Tarot Deck Review: Tarot Familiars by Lisa Parker

Jennifer VanBenschoten

It's new Tarot deck day again! I haven't acquired that many new decks so far in 2020, but when the brand new Llewellyn 2020 Tarot catalog landed in my mail a few weeks ago, I figured I would try a new deck. 

The Tarot Familiars deck is your typical Rider-Waite based deck with the full 78 cards. It's slightly smaller than most of my other Tarot decks, so it's actually a great size to pop into my medicine pouch or my tote bag along with a bunch of other decks. The cards themselves are made of what seems to be a plastic-paper hybrid and are VERY slippery. We'll have to see how that plays out - this deck might have a lot of jumpers.

First impressions: the Major Arcana are beautiful. Honestly, I was really looking forward to a new non-human deck because I like to tap into the energy of the other 99% of life forms on this planet. In the Majors, you'll find cats, owls, wolves, unicorns, and ravens all lending their particular energy to the story of the Hero's Journey.

You'll also find gorgeous animal illustrations for the ace and court cards in each of the four suits - but that's where they animal energy ends. For the 2-10 cards in each of the pips, it's simply that number of illustrated symbols (cups, pentacles, wands, and swords), leaving you to really rely on either your memory or your intuition to interpret them.

I gotta admit, I was a little disappointed to see those pip cards without the gorgeous animal illustrations. On the other hand, this is going to be a wonderful challenge for me as I learn how to really interpret the energy I feel during a reading.

The little white book is in four different languages, and includes some guidance on how to do the traditional Celtic Cross spread, as well as a new 11 card spread that I've never seen before. Once I sit down and work with that spread, I'll be sure to share it here, because it looks like a great spread for self-study.

So, all in all, a mixed bag on this deck. To sum it up:

  • Slightly smaller cards, could make it difficult to handle
  • Super slippery card material, could make it difficult to handle
  • Gorgeous illustrations on the Majors, Aces, and Court cards
  • No other illustrations except for the suit symbols on the 2-10 pip cards

If you're interested in learning how to trust your intuition and read Tarot cards with me, I've got another session of my live online class coming up on August 30, 2020! Learn How to Read Tarot Cards runs for 4 weeks, and the best part is that you don't have to memorize all the meanings of all 78 cards in the deck - reading Tarot is more about learning how to trust your intuition than memorizing!

Register here and save your space!

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