Saturday, October 8, 2022

Review: The Poe Tarot

The Poe Tarot
Author/Artist: Trisha Leigh Shufelt
Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing, 2021

Description: 78 card deck, 192-page guidebook, box with magnetic closure lid. 

Card Size: 3 x 5

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” ~The Raven

The Poe Tarot is a very intriguing deck based on the Rider-Waite Tarot, but immersed in the world of Edgar Allan Poe. The images are presented in simple black and white and yet reveal so much. The quotes, deriving from Poe's immense library of poems, stories, letters and interviews, are thought-provoking and engaging.

The Fool - Poe joined by Pluto from The Black Cat - "There is no passion in nature so demonically impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge." ~ "The Imp of the Perverse"

Shufelt stays with the traditional names of the Major Arcana, with one exception. The Hanged Man becomes The Hanged One.

The Minor Arcana cards suits have been changed to Wells (Cups), Quills (Swords), Candles (Wands), and Paws (Pentacles). 

Three of Candles - "I can conceive nothing more sublimating than the strange peril and novelty of an adventure such as this. May God grant that we succeed!" ~ "The Balloon Hoax"

As I began looking at the images and reading through the guidebook, I felt the need to start exploring the works behind the inspiration for the deck. But I had to pull myself back, and set such research for a later goal, in order to give you this review. 

This deck will send you into the depths of the work and creations of the famous Edgar Allan Poe. Don't be surprised if the Tarot aspect gets pushed aside. But whether you dive into this deck with divination in mind, or get sucked into the references of the quotes and referred text, this is a deck anyone intrigued by the man will definitely appreciate. 

The deck and guidebook, in my opinion, are a work of genius. Do not pick up this deck lightly. It is definitely heavy with history.

The Guidebook opens with a Foreword by Chris Semtner, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. He begins your journey into this man's life with his shared information on Poe's tragic life and legendary career. 

The Welcome section by Trisha Leigh Shufelt sets you up to fall in love with the deck as she shares her love of her own creation. 

"The Poe Tarot reminds us that we are all fools on this journey through life." 

After a short introduction to the deck, Shufelt dives into the The Major Arcana. Each card is presented by the title, image, quote, insights, and keywords - upright/reversed.  

An introduction to the Minor Arcana covers the court, numbers and the suits. The Suits are divided into sections and given a short introduction which includes season, signs, timeframe, and denotes. Each card is presented by title, image, quote, insight and keywords - upright/reversed.

The guidebook closes with a Bibliography which gives reference to the authors quotes and insight sources.

There is a slight issue with the card stock. The red edging seems to be wearing away due to the tightness of the box. I altered the cardboard insert to avoid further damage. 

And, there seems to be some wear and slight curling on the corners of these cards. The cards are thick, so I'm hoping the damage will not increase with use. Only time will give the results to the quality of the cards. But even with that, I love this deck and it will remain in my collection.

Overall, I'd recommend this deck to anyone interested in learning more about Edgar Allan Poe. I would not suggest this deck to a new reader without additional sources. The guidebook focuses on Poe more than it does divination. 

The Poe Tarot could easily be used as an Oracle deck with its thought-provoking quotes. 

I intend to dig deeper into the world of Poe. Feel free to join me. 

Grab your copy at Red Feather/Schiffer Publishing.

(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)

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