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There are a myriad of theme Tarot decks available. Often an encounter with such decks is fraught with forced imagery and a stretch in metaphors. This is not the case with Lisa Hunt’s Ghosts & Spirits Tarot. While you will not find the standard variation of the Rider-Waite imagery, after a close examination of each card and a quick read through of the accompanying booklet, you will realize that this deck’s imagery rather than being forced is a visual reinterpretation drawing on ghostly images from the legend and lore of various cultures.
Lisa Hunt’s deck is standard in one aspect; it follows a traditional structure of 78 cards, with 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana Cards. In the Major Arcana Strength is card VIII and Justice is XI, renaming card V the High Priest (traditionally the Hierophant) and card XIV Chains (traditionally the Devil). She also provides us with alternate names for each Major Arcana card, for example alternately naming the Empress as Guardian Spirit, hinting at the meaning and imagery of the card. In the Minor Arcana, she provides us with the typical suits of Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles, and conventionally naming the court cards of each suit King, Queen, Knight and Page.
Hunt provides an additional 79th card, which when it falls in a spread indicates that the reading bears closer examination and reflection. This cards, as is the case with the other cards, is rich in symbol with many faces looking back at you almost as if to say, look at this reading with many sets of eyes from many angles.
The booklet included with the deck provides insightful divinatory meanings which if they were presented by themselves would be well worth in-depth study. This is especially true of the insight provided for the Major Arcana. A prime example would be the meaning presented for the Fool, “…Preserve a child-like optimism as you explore new paths, but bear in mind that anything can happen along the way.” This kind of nuance is rarely provided in other quick meanings found in booklets that accompany various decks.
The sepia and muted colors of each card immediately draw you in and you get lost in the beauty of the presentation before you realize that you are surrounded by fantastical images filled with spirits that will speak to you if you allow them but a chance. Each of the cards is thoughtful in its approach to imagery, and only in the rare instance did this reviewer find an image too jarring to make the connection to the divinatory meaning.
The Ghosts & Spirits Tarot is indeed a rare find in themed tarot and well worth exploration by those who would like imagery that is off the beaten path of the Rider-Waite deck.