I’m so excited for this new deck. I’ve been waiting for far too long for it.
I actually have the antique version of this that was gifted to me by a close family friend (she kind of had a pretty big role in raising me). And I’ve always just loved the deck, and used it only for special purposes. However, when I moved to the UK, I had to get selective about what I brought over. Since I was in theory only going to be coming over for university and then finish, I stashed the deck away in storage, with other precious possessions. I still am in the UK, not in uni, and the deck is still in storage.
As I wanted a new deck, I thought I’d try out the same deck, but the tin-sized version which seems to be picking up as a trend. And I am not disappointed!
The Deck Itself
The Aquarian Tarot was created in 1970 by David Palladini and published by U.S. Games Systems. It has remained in publication for the full 49 years. In 2016 it was rereleased in a tin.
The size is bigger than pocket-size, which means you can actually shuffle it comfortably, and smaller than the standard size deck that it was initially, which is almost if not exactly equivalent to the standard Rider-Waite Tarot (Though it should be noted that my Rider-Waite is also an antique, having the pink backing with an ankh. This is the only Rider-Waite deck I’ve owned other than a pocket-sized one in my teens).
The cardstock is good for the size. If the deck were bigger, I would consider it somewhat flimsy, but because of it’s smaller size, it holds the structure while shuffling quite well.
The deck itself comes with card definitions, though they’re all contained on 1 sheet of glossy paper which folds out, providing a short introduction to the deck, instructions for the Celtic Cross Spread, and descriptions of the court cards if selected to represent a person.
Unfortunately, I’m not an artist so I can’t say for definite what the medium is, though some cards hint at giving t away. The faces in the cards generally look as though they’ve been lightly done with pencil and colored pencil, while I think it’s possible that the rest was colored in with marker. You can see the color-overlap in cards like the Tower, and a little bit in judgement. Though I think there might have been some water application in some of the cards, if not full-on water-color, as can be seen in the backgrounds of the High Priestess and all of the Swords.
The art style I just absolutely adore. It is the epitome of the 70’s if you ask me. It reminds me of movies like The Hobbit (1977), and old t.v. show introductions like the Electric Company and Schoolhouse Rock. The art style isn’t exactly any of those, yet there is definitely an aspect of the time that is present in all of these mentioned.
This is based on the Rider-Waite Tarot, somewhat loosely. Much of the symbolism is present, but the depiction of it varies drastically. For example, the World is a powerful looking woman fully clothed in a circle. In each of the corners is the animal representation of the elements of the astrological wheel, though they are in their own decorated framing rather than in the clouds.
Judgement still contains a figure blowing a horn, clouds, and the sun, and a banner from the horn, but instead of an angel blowing the horn, it’s a person, standing amongst flowers at the foot of a hill.
The Suits are for the most part the same–Cups, Swords, Pentacles–though instead of Wands, they are the Rods. Each Rod present blooms into a beautiful flower at the head of it.
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m really excited about this deck. I have smaller hands and thus it fits nicely in them. While I have quite a few decks (as you may have noticed if you’ve read any of my posts on card definitions), I really only have the connection with the Thoth deck (which can be intense to read, so I only use it for very specific purposes) and my Spiral Tarot, which has been my main deck and used daily for 15 years. It’s getting a bit worn around the edges, the poor thing.
I’m glad to be able to shift the weight onto another deck. I initially got it because I have my eye on the Morgan Greer Tarot, and I wanted to know the size of the Tinned decks comparatively. I didn’t want to invest in the Morgan Greer Tarot only to discover it was too small, but I knew that if I got the Aquarian Tarot, I already loved the deck and would be happy to use it no matter the size. Don’t worry, it made sense to me.
I did a few tester readings with it last night, and slowly but surely it caught on pretty quick. This morning I had a very good reading, and am satisfied that I can start easing it in to my regular practice.
If you are considering this deck, I would strongly suggest that you do have a good grasp on your tarot card meanings. As I mentioned before, there are definitions which come with the deck which can guide you, and there is some similar symbolism as the Rider-Waite, but for the most part, there isn’t too much to go by. For example, the 8 of Pentacles shows a close-up of a face and 8 Pentacles lining a window. He has a hammer and some pins, but in my opinion, there’s little to indicate that the Pentacles are his craft. The 3 of Rods shows an individual with their back to the reader, and three rods around them. There is a white background. That’s it. There isn’t anything to suggest commerce or expansion.
Cards like Temperance give no indication as to their definition. There is a woman with an extravagant headdress, and if you look closely, you can make out Angel wings, though there are no cups, no mixing of opposites, no alchemy. Simply decoration and a sense of power in the card. But again, nothing to indicate the meaning of the card.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my description of the Aquarian Tarot in a Tin. As always, I have no affiliation with anyone, so all of my reviews and descriptions are just from me, investing my own money, speaking my own mind. Thank you for reading.
Have you experienced this deck? What did you think?