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Thursday, November 17, 2011

REVIEW: Crystal Visions Tarot


Crystal Visions Tarot
by Jennifer Galasso
Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. (August 2011)
ISBN-10: 157281702X
ISBN-13: 978-1572817029


"Fantasy artist Jennifer Galasso has created Crystal Visions Tarot in a unique style with ethereal faerie imagery and a vibrant color scheme inspired by the four seasons and the four elements. Crystal Visions Tarot remains true to the classic Rider-Waite 78-card system in much of its symbolism, as well as in card and suit names.

The luscious card imagery also illustrates the elemental aspects of each suit in order to aid the novice in forming associations with the cards.

The Crystal Visions Tarot deck includes 78 cards with an additional unknown card for gazing into future situations that have not yet been revealed, or for exploring issues with deeper insight. The instruction booklet offers both upright and reversed meanings."

Unknown Card

Artist Jennifer Galasso tells us that the name Crystal Visions Tarot was inspired by singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks' CD “Crystal Visions,”  released around the same time that Galasso was planning the deck. An "About Jennifer Galasso" card packaged with the deck provides a considerable amount of information about the artist.

In addition to the standard 78 cards, which are based on the Rider-Waite-Smith system, the Crystal Visions Tarot deck includes The Unknown Card. According to the "little white book" (LWB) that accompanies the deck, this card represents "an answer that's not yet meant to be revealed."

The LWB provides an Introduction to the deck along with descriptions and divinatory meanings for each card, including meanings for reversed cards. I am impressed with the amount and value of the material in this LWB. We are given the usual DMs but we are also given insight into the reasoning behind the depiction of the characters on the cards. For example, the description of The World includes: "The characters depicted in this card sits on top of the world in the lotus pose. She appears to be meditating, listening to the hum of the universe. She wears a necklace with the Hindu symbol 'Om' symbolizing the most perfect integration of mind, body and spirit."


The cards are 2.75" by 4.75" in size and printed on reasonably sturdy, glossy stock similar to other decks I own. There is a 1/4" border on both sides. The backs are lovely shades of lavender and mauve, with a crystal ball in the center and a delicate pattern of purple-mauve roses. Symbols for the four elements are also incorporated into the design. [Edited to add: The cards have a white border, not a gray border as shown in the images on this page. I used images of prints the artist offers on her website (link provided below).]

9 of Pentacles

The colors on these cards are soft yet vivid. The images have a distinctly fantasy feel. The characters primarily consist of broad-shouldered, well-proportioned men and beautiful, slender women with long, flowing hair. These ethereal images are pleasing to the eye in both color and style.

Each suit has its own consistent color scheme, inspired by the element associated with that suit. The Cups cards feature violet and magenta backgrounds; the card titles are black on a pinky lavender bar. Swords cards are indigo and lavender, with the titles written on a lavender-blue bar. Pentacles cards are shades of green and brown, with the titles written on a pale olive-green bar. Wands cards are orange-red and maroon, with the titles written on what I would call a rosy beige bar. The artist's "cool" and "warm" palettes make it easy to recognize the elemental associations in any given spread.

The World
The symbolism on the cards also ties in nicely with elemental associations. For example, the moon appears in in various phases on all of the Cups (Water) cards. Lions and dragons appear on many of the Wands (Fire) cards. Birds or butterflies appear on most of the Swords (Air) cards. Trees and plants dominate the scenes on the Pentacles (Earth) cards.

The colors of the Majors are not as clearly linked to the elements, although fiery colors do dominate The Sun, The Emperor, and Strength. Most of the other Majors are predominantly purple, violet, orchid, and magenta.


King of Wands
This deck is likely to appeal to readers who prefer traditional RWS titles and symbolism, but also like to work with cards that feature romantic, fantasy-style art suggestive of the Faerie realm. The level of detail in the images encourages closer study of the cards, yet is not overwhelming. Although the characters are not people you are likely to see in your everyday life, many of them are approachable and engaging. The Unknown Card may not appeal to everyone, but you don't have to use it if you don't like it. I recommend meditating on The Unknown Card before shuffling and drawing cards from this deck for a reading.

For more information, visit the Crystal Visions Tarot website at http://crystalvisionstarot.com/about.html

In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this deck was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews.  The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.

1 comment:

  1. I am tempted to say that the unknown card is the "uninvited guest" put there by the traveller who has been reincarnated by virtue of genetic superiority since adam and eve were in the garden. Perhaps this deck "captures the essence of a side story that is told by tarot due to an intrinsic slight of hand by the creator of the tarot deck.

    Perhaps the unknown


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~ Zanna