Deck Review – Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot

In Tarot Tipsby David Harvey2 Comments

Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot Review


I recently purchased Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot which is created by the one and only Barbara Moore and illustrated by Eugene Smith.

I came across this deck as I was looking for an alternative to the Rider Waite to teach my students.  This would be considered a ‘Rider Waite clone’.  It has all of the symbolism from the original but it has a bit of a fresh take and energy.

What I Love

I feel that Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot is clear and fairly modern.  I love that the deck is rich with symbolism but it’s not as cluttered as some other decks.  You really feel that you can interpret the expressions on the faces of the characters.  I’m finding that I am interpreting the faces differently every time I read, depending on what my intuition is telling me at the time, which is interesting.

The cards are good quality stock and they are the size of regular playing cards, which some people will find easier when shuffling.

The design on the back of the card is also quite pretty.

The (big) Little White Book

You know that most tarot cards come with a little white book, right?  Well, this deck comes with an excellent book.  Each card is broken down with keywords, reversals, symbols and overall meaning.  It really is quite comprehensive and will be useful, especially for the beginner.

The meanings in the book are way more up-to-date and relevant than what you get with the Rider Waite.

The Major Arcana

I wanted to show you a few of the major arcana so you can get a feel for the energies surrounding this deck.

I particularly like The Hermit.  It’s not a passive card.  This is somebody who is on a mission to gather information and knowledge.  The face in The Moon is also quite interesting.

The Court Cards

I’m finding that the expressions are a bit easier to read in Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot but there are definitely a lot of similarities with the Rider Waite.

What I Don’t Love

As much as I love this new deck I think the original Rider Waite will always have a special place in my heart.  It’s the deck that I learned with and I have yet to find a deck that I love more.

I really do like the simplicity of this deck but in some ways, I miss the richness of the Rider Waite.  Perhaps I am just a traditionalist at heart?

The Outcome

I do think that this is a wonderful deck and it’s one that I will definitely use when teaching tarot.  The simplicity makes is great for a beginner but the symbolism is smack bang in your face and ready to be explored.

The real clincher is the book.  This is an excellent resource and one that will prove very useful, no matter what level of reader you are.

I would highly recommend this deck and if you learn with this you will easily be able to transfer to any other deck that is inspired by the Rider Waite.

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