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The Light Seer’s Tarot: a Deck Review

Image Credit: Chris Anne

I’ve watched artist and tarot creator, Chris Anne‘s plight to get this deck released for a few months now. She first caught my attention with her Muse Tarot, though it was never a deck I invested in. However, the Light Seer’s Tarot was what really got my attention.

I watched Chris’s Instagram, and delighted whenever I saw a post revealing one of her cards in the Light Seer’s Tarot. The images always caught me in such a way that I felt for a moment my breath was stolen from me. No, that’s not an exaggeration.

When I saw Benebell Wen post her review of the deck, signalling that it was being released, and when I saw Hay House was running a special offering 50% off on the deck, I couldn’t say no.

Major Arcana 0-V

To read more reviews, you can check out my Review Page here. This includes Tarot deck reviews as well as Tarot-related book reviews.

The Concept

And into the grey
we follow.
Like a thousand
flickering stars.
And there in
the sunlit Hollow
We lose and find
What is ours

Chris Anne – The Light Seer’s Tarot

The Light Seer’s Tarot is designed to provide an up-beat and light feeling. It’s a way to heal the shadows of ourselves while keeping the message positive.

The deck plays with the concept of shadow and light, with the idea that both need to be harmonised in order to be a healthy, functioning individual. And thus, in order to learn the lessons the Tarot has to teach, that Life has to teach, both light and shadow must be embraced.

I truly love the Lovers, and Strength, and Justice…Ok, I love them all
Major Arcana VI-XII

Chris Anne writes:

My goal was to create a happy deck that would lift me up, without sacrificing tarot’s incredible ability to illuminate any deeper meanings that hid beneath the surface…I invite you to explore this world of traditional and nontraditional archetypes with m. It is my wish that you make the characters your own, and breath new meaning into their worlds as you work your magic into the cards. Tarot can be a profoundly healing tool, and as you explore the sunshine-and-shadow laden path of the Light Seer, I hope you hear it whisper that shadow is a profound tool, and that light is an awesome end-game.

Chris Ann, Light Seer’s Tarot guidebook, pp.v-vi.

Application of Light and Dark

The concept of intertwining shadow with light is seen in all but one of the spreads she provides in the guidebook, to the point where Chris states the importance of sometimes forcing a reversal in the reading to see a more complete picture.

Have you seen Death? The Tower???
Major Arcana XIII-XVIII

The Light Seer’s Tarot Art

Major Arcana XIX-XXI

Art Style

The art in The Light Seer’s Tarot is not my style. But I knew that when I purchased the deck. As my partner pointed out, it’s a little bit like a comic book. I attribute this to the line shading. However, I only feel this is the case when you glance at the deck without giving any time to let yourself sink into the cards.

When you spend a moment in the cards, the art is stunning. Chris Anne did a magnificent job capturing the essence of the people in the cards. The colors are vibrant, and the characters are delightfully unique and diverse, each person having their own history and story within a card.

Pentacles Ace-10

Tarot Style

The cards are Rider-Waite-based, though only loosely. For example, the 4 of Swords depicts a woman resting, though instead of being in a bed with four Swords around her, she is in a crow’s nest, with the four twigs or perhaps they’re the “quill” part of feathers?) around her. The 8 of Pentacles (I love this card) shows a girl with books, herbs, and a candle in front of her, while the phases of the moon are the representation of the Pentacles–which is beautiful as it then shows the time that goes into learning and practicing a craft, not just the labor.

Border Style

The Light Seer’s Tarot is also borderless. From a personal standpoint, this is exciting, as it’s the first borderless deck I’ve personally purchase (I do have the Silver Moon Tarot in the US, which also doesn’t have a border, but it was gifted to me). It allows the cards to feel as though they’re having a conversation with one another when using them in a spread, and let’s the energy flow from one card to the next.

Labelling

Finally, the numbering/labelling of the cards are done in a faux hand-written style, each in the corner of the card, and at somewhat of an angle, rather than the standard header/footer style that’s typically seen. This gives the impression that the card is an art piece first, and that the signature of the art piece is the name or number of the card. On a deeper level, this is almost as if the Energy that represents the card and creates its meaning is the actual painter of the card, and thus, the Energy is signing its creation. For me, it provides a meta feeling about the deck.

Pentacles Court Cards

The Light Seer’s Tarot Guidebook

The Light Seer’s Tarot comes in a great box: it’s sturdy cardboard, beautifully printed, and with a pull-off top, rather than a folding flap.

The guidebook is a hefty little thing, one that is beautifully printed as well. Keeping with the theme of light, the book has a full-color cover, matching the vibrancy of the box which shows a portion of the High Priestess. The energy is clearly present in this guidebook, intended to help the reader, allowing for upward of 184 pages.

The downside of this little book is that it does make it difficult to open and hold open. While it’s chocked full of information, your hand can ache while you try to hold the pages open, and if you’r anything like me and don’t like to bend covers, then this can be quite a difficult book to deal with.

Swords Ace-10

However, the information in it is great. Each card has two pages. The pages include:

  • A picture of the card
  • A list of key terms for the card
  • A list of reversal, or shadow, words regarding the card
  • An explanation of the terms and essence of the card
  • A healing affirmation

I really appreciate that the explanation of the card comes after the keywords for the card. If a tarot reader is trying to learn based on the keywords, then it’s less tempting to read through the rest of the meaning of the card.

In the card definitions, it includes both an explanation of the light aspect of the card, as well as the shadow, or reversed, aspect. For example, Temperance:

Temperance is the alchemist of life, and it calls you to create your purposeful blend using moderation and patience as ingredients. Where are you focusing your precious energy right now? Maybe you’ve been overdoing it in your social life? Or binging on television, drinks or food, or overspending? Focusing on a relationship that is depleting more energy that it is replenishing? being wholly materialistic vs. wholly spiritual? We live in a world of extreme passions and heated hustle, so slowing down the desire for excess in any one area of your life may be harder than you think. Don’t do drastic right now. Stay away from “all or nothing” choices. Clearing your energy of extremes will foster a dynamic, nourishing flow that is aligned with your perfect alchemical purpose. See equilibrium and be mindful of your resources while fusing all the elements to achieve a beautiful balance.

Affirmation: I walk the middle path, and I nourish my spiritual wholeness

Chris Anne, Light Seer’s Tarot guidebook, pp. 46-47

Along with the meanings of the cards, the book gives a note as to why Chris created the deck, as well as an introduction to Tarot and the suites for the budding reader. Likewise, exercises are provided to help you get to know and read your cards in a spread.

There are four different spreads that are provided:

  • Light of the Day Draw (1-Card spread)
  • Light and Shadow Spread (2-Card spread)
  • Light Worker Illumination Spread (3-Card spread)
  • Calling in Love Spread (4-Card spread)
  • Soul Joy Spread (3-Card Spread)

In all but one of these spread, a reversal or shadow card is required. This makes for an interesting perspective on spreads in general. It doesn’t negate reversals in other aspects of the spread, but rather, it is suggested that the indicated shadow card be drawn in such a way that it would flip whatever it was meant to be prior to the flip.

This is the first modern deck that I’ve come across that advocates and encourages the use of reversals. There are many Tarot-readers, including myself, who at some point or another discarded (get it?) reversals altogether. Personally, as I’ve grown as a reader, I’ve learned the value of reversals, and think it is important that readers at last learn to use them, even if they don’t stay a part of their reading practice. A deck which encourages this as well is a unique and beautiful gift.

Swords Court Cards

The Physical Cards

When I got the box in the mail, I was a little concerned with how big the deck box was. Once I pulled out the book and realized that was why the box itself was so big, I was less worried.

However, the deck itself seems to be quite thick to look at–though admittedly, I’ve been working with smaller decks, and so it might seem bigger to me.

The card size is a standard size, one you would see more commonly in Lo Scarabeo decks. It’s a similar size to the standard Rider-Waite decks, The Impressionist Tarot, The Vampire Tarot–to name a few that I have used as examples on this website.

While the cards look like they stack high to me, they’re actually delightfully bendy. They make riffle-shuffling a delight. I personally have a hand injury from the past that can be problematic for shuffling–especially since riffle-style shuffling is my preferred method.

Sometimes cards can be too glossy, or be too sticky to each other. This deck faces neither of these problems. As far as I am concerned, the matt-printing is perfection. They are not overly slippery, and cling just enough to make shuffling–no matter your style of shuffle–a breeze.

My Personal Experience with The Light Seer’s Tarot

I haven’t had a new deck in a long time. Earlier in the summer I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy any new decks unless they were second-hand for environmental reasons.

Well, two very large glasses of wine and a well-timed Hay House deal mixed with a Benebell Wen post put that promise right to bed.

When the The Light Seer’s Tarot arrived, I was overjoyed. It wasn’t just the excitement of having a new deck but the excitement that I already had connected to this deck before I got it out of the post packaging.

Cups Ace-10

As I flipped through the cards, I began crying. The colors in the deck, the images, the people–these were my people, the ones who I’d met at festivals, the ones I worked and interacted with when I lived in the Pacific Northwest, ones who I’d been to retreats with–the characters in these cards are the people who I miss from my little cabin on a farm in North Yorkshire. You don’t find many of these wonderful spirits in this area, and this deck felt like my connection to this part of me that is one of these people.

Everything about this deck says I shouldn’t like it. It’s not my style of art, it’s not the size I would want, and it’s a really popular deck (I tend to go for lesser-known decks). But everything about this deck is perfect for me. The irony that this deck deals with light and shadow is not lost on me when I consider how much I would never have guessed how well I connect to this deck.

I am so grateful that I have it, and that it gets to be a part of my little Tarot deck family.

It truly is a gift.

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To read more reviews, you can check out my Review Page here. This includes Tarot deck reviews as well as Tarot-related book reviews.

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