Deck Review: Tarot Leaves

Beth Seilonen
Tarot Leaves
ISBN #: 978-0-7643-3903-5
USD $24.99

When you think of tarot cards, what do you usually think they look like?  I immediately think of the standard 2 3/4″ X 4 3/4″ size, rectangular, with pictures and/or symbols on each card that fills most of the front of the card, and most come with some sort of a border around the image. In terms of size, Tarot Leaves is much like most decks.  It measures 2 7/8″ X 4 1/2″, which is very close to the standard size.  The cards are rectangular, again, like the vast majority of decks available today.  The card backs have a completely reversible image of leaves done in watercolor against a black background with a light blue border.  So yes, you can read reversibles with this deck.

Ace of Wands

However, what makes this deck unique and has it standing out from all the rest are two things.  First of all, there is empty or “white” space on each card,meaning that the entire surface is not covered by an image or a set of symbols.  The card backgrounds range in color from a very pale translucent gray watercolor to a pale translucent blue-green on some of the cards. All cards then have a very thin border of medium gray.  The title is done in white script at the bottom of each card and all cards have a 1/4″ (left & right sides), 1/2″ (base), & 3/8″ (top) exterior white border.  Secondly, symbols that helps to convey the meaning of the card are depicted in watercolor within the borders of the shape of various types of leaves, hence the name of the deck, Tarot Leaves.

Page of Cups

When I first viewed the deck my very first thought was, “oooh, pretty and how different!”  As an artist the use of color is very important to me so I am usually a sucker for a deck that was created using bright, vivid colors.  The colors here are bright, but muted watercolors.  This gives the deck a lovely etheric quality, which in my opinion, really helps to facilitate connecting with your higher consciousness when doing a reading. 

There are various types of leaves depicted.  I’m not a leaf person, but I easily recognized maple and oak leaves.  There are also a few other leaf shapes used.  The card symbols are then painted within the leaves and they move along with the naturally occurring veins within the leaves themselves.  This gives each image a lovely “flow” to it and also helps to convey the type of energy associated with that card.  The creator, Beth Seilonen, grew up in rural Maine and her love of the woods and of nature really comes through with her lovely deck.

Tarot Leaves is further differentiated from the vast majority of decks with regards to the elemental associations of the suits.  Beth Seilonen switched Wands with Swords.  In her deck Wands are associated with thoughts, ethics, and philosophy while Swords represent actions.  For some this may create a problem, but her switch does not make a great deal of difference, nor does it interfere with the use of traditional interpretations for the cards.  The guidebook conveys traditional interpretations so although she does switch the suits, the interpretations are not altered. 

7 of Wands

The cards have a very nice light laminate on them.  At first they stuck a bit when I tried to shuffle, but I always blame the humid environment of Houston on that.  After a few shuffles they were just fine.  They also shuffle easily as well.  The guidebook is a card-size paperback with a good binding that will last with years of use.  As always with Schiffer, this is a very high quality deck and it will last even the most active of readers a very long time.

The packaging – something at which Schiffer Publishing excels, is all self-contained.  There is a sturdy cardboard laminated box with a hinged lid that is attached to the box via two ribbons as well as the laminated surface treatment.  The cards and guidebook are both housed within the box and the lid has a magnetic closure.  The packaging makes it very easy to take this deck with you on trips or on visits with your like-minded tarot friends. 

Using this deck is very easy.  My thirteen year old daughter can use it, which tells me that people new to tarot would also be able to use it so I highly recommend it to newcomers and I think they and others will find this deck to be a delight, especially those of you who love nature.


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