The Modern Tarot Reader – Deck Review

In Learn Tarot, Tarot Tipsby David Harvey2 Comments

I was recently gifted a new tarot deck - The Modern Tarot Reader.  This is a really interesting deck and I'm keen to share my thoughts.

The Inspiration

You will see from the images below that this deck has a real Victorian and medical influence.  The deck creator (Claire Goodchild) is a long time tarot reader who has always been inspired by vintage tarot decks.

She is a trained digital artist who was always curious and fascinated by the Victorian era.  Claire's images draw from a time where people would go to the apothecary for a herbal remedy.

She found anatomical images from medical texts to create the base for each card and combined these with plant images from botanical journals.

First Impression

I have to say that I was wowed by this deck when I first got it.  The packaging is amazing and there is something very seductive about the imagery.  I like the colours of the cards and the vintage feel.  

Unboxing and reading the book that comes with the deck is also a nice experience.  Overall the packaging is very good but I do feel the deck falls short in a few ways.  More of that to come.

The Handbook

This is one of the highlights.  The book is very easy to follow, well presented and offers a lot of layers when it comes to each card. 

She doesn't simply list the meaning of the card but has some depth including:

  • numerology
  • astrological associations
  • colour meaning
  • meanings of the elements
  • different ways to use tarot
  • how to care for your deck
  • a few tarot spreads to get you started

As you can she there has been quite a bit of effort put into this handbook.  It would be great for a beginner but is also good for the more experienced reader.  The drawback for the beginner or intuitive tarot reader is that this deck would be quite difficult to master without the book.

The Cards

As you can see the illustrations are marvellous.  We have the same number of cards as the traditional Rider Waite tarot.  The suits are:

  • Rods (Wands)
  • Coins (Pentacles)
  • Elixirs (Cups)
  • Blades (Swords)

I really like the major arcana.  I can see the influences from the Rider Waite and feel that the cards speak to me a bit more intuitively than the minor arcana.

The minor arcana is a bit more reminiscent of the Marseille Tarot where you would really need to know the meaning of each card before you could interpret.

I do love the addition of the flowers and the colours. This adds an interesting new layer for me.

The Downside

My feeling that a lot of effort has gone into creating this deck and the packaging (box).  The only thing that I am disappointed about is the quality of the cards. They are very thin and they are starting to bend already, having hardly used them.  It's a shame but they feel a little bit cheap compared to the rest of the product.

I feel that the cards would have really suited the lovely raw feel of the Wild Unknown.

It's not a major negative but a shame as it's the only miss for me.

The Verdict

This is a lovely deck that will get the keen tarot reader very excited when they receive this package. 

I would not advise this deck for complete beginners and I am not sure that it will be one of my regulars.  However, I really love the images and I could see them hanging as artwork around my house.

Give it a try and see if you like it.  Leave your comments below if you have tried this deck.  I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Thanks for the review, David. What an interesting deck and one I had never heard of. I do like the general look of the cards and the book sounds fabulous.

    It’s a funny thing with me and decks. I love owning and looking at all of them but some just don’t speak to me at all when it comes to doing readings.

    I tend to stay with more traditional Rider Waite inspired decks for reading. Maybe this will change with time and more experience.


    1. Author

      I agree. I tend to stick to the classics for my readings. However, what I do like about new decks is that they can give me a fresh perspective on certain cards. Glad you liked them.

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