Having collected numerous tarot decks over the past few months, I have found that I am particularly drawn to colourful, arty, and detailed decks with imagery offering a simple and clear message.
Designed and created by Beth Seilonen, a fine-arts graduate from the University of Maine, The Guardian Tarot (published by Schiffer in 2017) is a surreal but simple take upon The Rider Waite Smith tarot. This is a disquieting but delightful deck featuring a fabulous fuse of humans and trees.
Beth grew up surrounded by nature and fuelled by her love for the arts. She first began studying tarot signs and symbols back in 1997 during her junior year at college. Now, nearly twenty years later, her love for nature combined with her compassion for the environment and her knowledge of the tarot led Beth to produce this powerful and perfect deck.
Along with the Guardian Tarot, Beth has also created and produced ‘The Dream Raven Tarot’, ‘The Bleu Cat Tarot’ and ‘Tarot Leaves’, all of which are available through Schiffer Publishing.
The Guardian Tarot
The Guardian Tarot originated from an experience Beth had back in 2004 with her then four-year-old son. As Beth and her son strolled home along the railroad track, her son spotted a tree standing in a field. It’s stark, leafless limbs stood skeletal in comparison to the leaf-filled-trees which lined the edges of the field. Noting the drastic difference between the trees, her son enquired as to what may have happened to the bony, bare tree and as scenarios were shared, pollution became a point of conversation.
Later that night as Beth watched the full moon rising above the field, she reflected upon the conversation she’d shared earlier. Beth suddenly noticed the clear contrast between the living and the dead as she was struck by how the branches of the trees looked arm-like with hands reaching for something beyond their gnarled fingertips whereas, in comparison, the living trees stood with their leaves shimmering in the moonlight, whispering softly as the wind danced around them. Trees are guardians of our lives, yet there is a drastic contrast between the living and the dead both in nature and in spirit.
Beth believes that as humans we become depleted as we pull energy and nourishment from a depleted source and following her experience she was inspired to bring together two entities- trees and humans – uniting and fostering an awareness of the importance between nature and humans within current times to promote personal development and joy.
Books & Boxes
The seventy-eight card ‘Guardian Tarot’ deck is perfectly packaged along with a guidebook within a sturdy, magnetic-close box.
The colour-printed, 103 page-guidebook features acknowledgements, a short-introduction, two example spreads and information upon each of the cards which includes a small colour-image of the card along with a short but sweet definition for both upright and reversed readings
The Guardian Tarot is a beautiful, borderless tarot deck featuring blue and white tree-themed symmetrical backs (ideal for upright and reversed readings) and the borderless images include a simple and subtle white motif and titling.
This is a high-quality, chunky, standard-sized-tarot deck with thick, glossy cards which can be a little sticky when shuffling but feel luxurious to work with.
The Major Arcana
Beautifully blending humans with trees, The Guardian Tarot major arcana features twenty-two sensational, surreal and symbolistic cards which are easy to read, simple to interpret and whilst modern incorporate a traditional nuance.
Though Beth uses conventional names for the majority of the cards within The Guardian Tarot, she has shortened and abbreviated many of the titles within the deck. For example ‘The Sun’ is now known as ‘Sun’, The World is now titled ‘World’ and what was known as ‘The Hanged Man’ is alternatively titled as ‘Suspend’.
The Minor Arcana
The Guardian Tarot follows the traditional use of wands, cups, swords and pentacles within the minor arcana. The bizarre but beautiful imagery of each card within The Guardian Tarot makes for straightforward reading and interpretation of these colourful and quirky cards.
The Suit of Wands
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Swords
The Suit of Pentacles
Here is a short video-walkthrough guide that I have put together to help further explain The Guardian Tarot.
Reading With The Guardian Tarot
Having spent the past week or two reading and using The Guardian Tarot, I can honestly say that I have yet to come across anything else quite like it as it truly is unique in style and splendour. At first glance, I will admit I was slightly put off but the ’empty eyes’ featured on each of the figures within The Guardian Tarot. However, I have since grown to cherish and rather adore this delightful deck.
I love how Beth has mixed mankind and nature in order to nurture and nourish a respectful relationship between the two entities, I only wish that we could do likewise and reverse the devastating deterioration of our planet.
The Guardian Tarot, though a little sticky due to the high-gloss printing shuffles smoothly and seems simple to interpret and read, thus ideal for tarot readers of all abilities
Pricing & Purchasing Information
The Guardian Tarot retails from $24.99 and is available to purchase online via Schiffer or within the UK via Gazelle Book Services for £25.99.
I would thoroughly recommend The Guardian Tarot to readers of all abilities, is it a high-quality, perfectly packaged, delightful deck which brings humans and trees together to foster an awareness of nature and the self.
For further information upon The Guardian Tarot or alternative Red Feather/ Schiffer products visit www.schifferbooks.com
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.