Deck Review: Modern SpellCaster's Tarot

by - April 07, 2019

Deck: Modern SPellCaSteR'S Tarot

Deck Size: Standard

Type: Tarot

Nudity: Yes

Score: 4 out of 5 🌑🌑🌑🌑🌕

My Ratings:

Art Style: 🌑🌑🌑🌑🌓

The style in this deck is realism with a touch of fantasy done in oil paint.  It's right up my alley in the types of decks I like.  It works well with the Soul Archaeology way to read the tarot.  It's got some amazing imagery, though some cards I wonder if the artist got sick of making so many cards and got a little lazy with the details, as in the Wheel of Fortune (a card I dislike).  I also dislike the faceless people (another lazy way to get a piece of art done) in the High Priestess and the Hierophant.  Compared to the gorgeousness and the details of the Empress, these cards seem very out of place in such a high quality art styled deck.  I gave this 4.5 moons because some of the deck is pretty dark, which gives the cards a definitely good/bad vibe, which I do not like.  And some of them I flat out hate because of this reason.

Art Quality: 🌑🌑🌑🌑🌑

Goooooorgeous!  The attention to detail on most cards are amazing and the artist has some serious talent.  There are highlights and shadows on everything, so the cards aren't flat (except for the background on the Wheel of Fortune, though I think that was supposed to be some ying-yang effect, now that I look at it again). I gave this deck 5 moons for art quality because I'd love to own some of these as framed pictures on my wall!

Deck Quality:🌑🌑🌑🌕🌕

Eeek.  For some reason the publishers in the tarot card world have jumped to making some seriously flimsy cards.  They aren't the worst I've seen, but they definitely aren't the best either.  But they are  still easy to work with.

Back of Deck:🌑🌑🌑🌑🌕

Sometimes they skimp on the back of the decks and make them boring or odd, but this deck has a nice back image which represent the four elements, which are what the minors are modeled after.


For the most part, this deck works perfectly with the SA method of reading the tarot.  Some of the cards are completely useless though, which are all the aces, 8 of wands, 7 of cups, and the 3 of swords.  If you are using traditional meanings in your readings, these will work just fine, but when you're using the SA method, you need cards with actual scenes depicted on them.


Ugggh.  Usually there's always a few cards in the majors I don't like, but there's 6 cards in the majors I positively hate.  Rather than come up with a unique take on some of these cards (as the best tarot authors tend to do), this author decided it would be great to take the traditional meaning to the EXTREME and create some pretty dark (and even disturbing) cards.  Even if you did read traditionally, these cards would scare your clients so much that I would have replaced them with cards from another deck.  Even for myself, I may do that.  I do not read for clients anymore (unless in person as a part of my life coaching services), as the SA method works best when read for yourself by yourself.  But I cannot relate to these majors and find them somewhat repulsive:
  • The Devil (just a terribly disturbing and gross card, and since I do *NOT* teach my students to see a card as all good or all bad, this has no way to spin it as a neutral or good in any way whatsoever...not all vices are gluttony, etc. and this card doesn't give you much to go on other than that; this may actually be the first tarot card I may chuck in the garbage *gasp*!)
  • Death (Booooooooring!  Why does the death card show up as the grim reaper still in these newer decks?  We've learned so much about this card throughout the years, and I see this depiction--as I do the devil card--as a lazy visual representation on what this card means.  If you're using the SA style of reading, I suggest you ditch these two cards and either make your own or snag some from another deck)

The ones I just don't care for (but don't disturb me) are:

  • High Priestess (not sure whey she's faceless, and maybe if I were doing a reading I'd see something in that?  But just at first glance, it makes the card uncomfortable, I am so used to seeing HP cards as gorgeous women that this is a bit jarring and not pretty--not that all women need to be pretty to be worth something, but her having some sort of face to make her relatable would be nice.  Then she has a baby by her side, which makes no sense to me.  Since when does the HP have a baby?  She's like a goddess of mystery and magic, not a mother--which is the Empress's job, who in this deck doesn't have a baby--go figure!  I don't hate this card, I just don't care for it)
  • The Chariot (meh, a lotus in a carriage being drawn by one horse...not sure how much anyone would be able to get out of it using the SA method, but even with traditional meanings, what does this depiction have to do with the Chariot?  Again, I don't hate it, I just don't care for it)
  • The Wheel of Fortune (usually the WOF has a pleasant feeling about it, but this?  It's just a plain and a bit uncomfortable, and you especially couldn't do much with it with the SA method)
  • The Hierophant (um, is this The Devil card or The Hierophant?  Faceless again, which makes no sense to me, he's supposed to be a teacher-type, in the traditional meaning, but he has a whip and two slaves!!  What *WAS* the author thinking when making this card?  They took a positive feeling card and made it very negative.  I don't get it.  I do kind of hate this card and will be replacing it when I use this deck when doing a reading).

Now, I like there rest of the majors, but I *LOVE* these majors:

  • The Empress (a unique take on the Empress, she's not pregnant or has a baby with her, but rather she's dressed as a bit of royalty with a large shield, with her steer...she looks like a warrior to me)
  • The Hermit (he's always my fav, as I feel a similarity to him; he's walking in the night shielding a candle from the wind, carrying a large set of skeleton keys, a few dropped on the ground, in front of a gnarly rooted's just so pretty and very detailed, that it's one of my favs)
  • The Sun (while I do not care for the large sun in the background--though I do know it's a traditional thing to have on the sun card, I love the woman sitting at a spinning wheel with a happy baby in her lap and one one the ground playing with a ball of yard, which is made from her own's a very unique take on the sun card and you can just feel the summer breeze blowing off the card)
  • Justice (she looks strong and decisive, standing in between good and evil pillars, holding her scales which are of equal weight high in the wind, as if to show that even if the wind blows, she can be steady, as can you; she looks completely normal, except you notice her skeletoned hand holding a pomegranate, which makes me think of the story of Persephone, who becomes Kore in the underworld as Hades' wife)
  • The Moon (oh my freaking god, could this card be any more adorable?  My favorite Moon card is in the Llewellyn deck, but this comes in a close second with the wolf howling at the moon with his little friend the dachshund howling along with him, as if to say no matter who you are, you are still wild at heart, even if you're a spoiled little house pet LOL)
  • The Lovers (so pretty!  The sun shines as a heart bright in the sky between two lovers who are united together as one in a handfasting ceremony, a rainbow shines above them, as if the gods approve of their union as well, it's a very powerful card on the depiction of love, and the fact they seem to be alone says something more about the card than if they were surrounded by loved ones, as well as them being hooded and in the 4 of Wands they aren't covered at all)

Minors: 🌑🌑🌑🌑🌑

Wow!  Just wow!  I am in love with the minors!  The only useless cares in the minors are all the Aces, 8 of Wands, 7 of Cups, and the 3 of Swords.  When you read traditional meanings, these cards make total sense (even though the author could have some up with something a little more unique for these cards??), if you know you card meanings.  But when it comes to the SA method, these cards are utterly useless.

But those are the only ones, the rest of the minors are unique and beautiful!  Here are my favorites:

  • 8 of Pentacles (this one is adorable, a man who's lovingly fixing his dog's doghouse roof in the rain, who's sharing his space with a squirrel, which shows the man is a lover all things nature, and the gold in the doghouse shows that the riches the man has is in the love for his pets and those he cares about)
  • 5 of Pentacles (I can relate to this card all too well, after becoming homeless and feeling like we didn't have a place in the world to belong life got better--much better--which is a great thing to remember when pulling this card: things always get better, but the art on this card is awesome, with the huge lock on the door and the German Shepard guarding the house keeping the people out of their home)
  • 5 of Cups (I love that the guy isn't paying attention to the spilled cups on the ground, just the ones he still has in his hands)
  • 6 of Cups (grandparents lovingly watching their grandchildren playing in the sand, it's just a great depiction of this card)
  • King of Pentacles (this card depicts three stages of this man's life: the wild and free childhood of a boy in nature, the lustful satyr of young adulthood, and the learned man who has earned his place in life based on experience and wise choices, the only part not shown in the sage: the old man who sits back and lets everyone else run the show while he relaxes)
  • Queen of Swords (she's a strong women who hanging out in the mountain snow and doesn't look in the least bit cold, she's accompanied by her pet steer, while she looks at you as if to say "I challenge you to be as strong as me!")
  • Four of Wands (such a happy looking card, two women are getting handfasted, looking so happy, while two birds are perched on their wands holding the handfasting ribbon ends in their beaks, they are one with each other and everything around them, unlike the Lovers card, they are not hidden, just happy to be celebrating their love with whoever is looking on--which seems to be us, the readers!)
  • 5 of Swords (this card is full of so much imagery to pull from using the SA method, I recently had this card come up and it had so much meaning for me, it literally changed the way I saw the situation I was in and cleared up what I was worried about)

Overall Score: 🌑🌑🌑🌑🌕

Pros: Gorgeous deck, mostly great cards, works well with the SA method of reading, with only a few changes to particular cards that won't work.  Great box and book, too. 

Cons:  Some bad cards.  Some really bad cards.  But those are few.  Still worth buying!  

You can find the author here: Melanie Marquis 
You can find the illustrator here: Scott Murphy (holy crap guys, check his art out!!!  WOW!)
You can buy the deck here: SpellCaster's Tarot (affiliate link, at no cost to you, I get a small percentage of the sale)

Note: Always remember: my reviews are *MY* opinion, I always suggest people check out a deck themselves and don't take my word on it.  Remember also, that I am coming from a place of Soul Archaeology when I read the tarot, not traditional reading.  So what doesn't work for me, may work for you if you read differently than I do.  But with that being said, I hope you enjoyed my review and if you have a deck you'd like me to review, please contact me on my contact page!! Thanks!!

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