Ghosts and Spirits Tarot Review By Misha
By: Lisa Hunt
Published by U.S. Games
ISBN 10: 1-57281-661-9
Release Date: April 26, 2012
The deck that so many, including myself had been waiting for was released while I was in New York attending the Reader’s Studio held by Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone. I fought the urge to not rush over and add this deck to my growing pile of purchases. I kept feeling that I needed to remain patient; I’m glad I did. A week or so later when I arrived home from dinner there was a package at my door from U.S. Games. Could it be Ghosts and Spirits Tarot for me to review? It seemed to take forever to get the packing tape undone; then finally it was opened and to my delight it was in fact Lisa Hunt’s newest deck. Ghosts and Spirits Tarot arrived and my patience paid off; not only did I have this review deck; a few hours later Lisa announced a limited edition set she was selling which of course I had to have.
Anyone familiar with Lisa’s artwork knows the amount of detail that is immediately seen and all the additional hidden details; all done in a blended and flowing natural way. Knowing this makes you want to just go immediately to the cards in anxious excitement to see what she has created this time. What she has somehow managed to do with Ghosts and Spirits Tarot is outdo herself with this amazing deck. For the most part I would consider this a “darker” deck; however Lisa Hunt has the most astonishing way of making even the darkest of the cards not be horrifying.
This deck is different in so many ways; one of them being the little white book which is 61 pages. At first appearance it looks like it will be just like every other lwb, consisting of the cards and their meanings, but it’s not and you need to refer to it with this deck. Lisa has gone above and beyond by including the individual spirit/ghost that is depicted in each card and has given brief background for each one. She has a way of writing about them that gives the important information needed while at the same time keeping it simple. This book is an exception to my rule of putting the the lwb aside. You will want to read it with this deck because in lies deeper meaning and understanding for each card and it’s Ghost or Spirit.
The first card is of course The Fool; Lisa’s wooded detail depicted in it had me think of the book “Where The Wild Things Are”. Since I have an attraction to fairies and angels it is no wonder that The Empress was the first of the majors that I paused at in my rush to see them all. The Empress is an angel who is standing in front of a little girl who has her back to us. The pastel colors used have a very soothing and peaceful feel. You immediately get a “you are protected” feeling coming off The Empress, which as explained in the lwb, The Empress is in fact the Guardian Spirit. The Lovers was the next major that made me pause, with it’s different than the norm portrayal. The Lovers is depicted as a “darker” card, not as a lighter, happier relationship that we tend to see in other decks. In this image you see a black cloaked figure that made me think, ” this is the grim reaper riding on a horse with a female behind him holding onto him.” This was the first card that made me have a look at the lwb and see what it had to say. The Lovers depicts the tragedy of love through it’s spirit name that it is based on, Specter Bridegroom, “Joyful reunions dissolve into tragedy as the real identity of the lover-turned-ghost is discovered”, is a sentence taken from the lwb. This is just one example of the different view depicted in the cards of Ghosts and Spirits Tarot.
The differences of this deck do not stop at the images. Two of the Major Arcana names have been changed. The Hierophant is The High Priest, and The Devil is titled Chains; Strength remains 8 and Justice 11 like the Rider Waite. The suits are also the traditional wands, swords, cups and pentacles.
Court Cards tend to be the hardest cards for beginners to learn, because of the simple fact they are sitting or standing still; except for the Knights which are traditionally riding a horse. Lisa gives the Court Cards life and they are not doing the traditional standing or sitting on thrones. In fact the King of Swords is the only one that is on a horse and the Page of Swords is not even the spirit of a person. The Page of Swords appears to be a wolf or coyote; when you look it up in the lwb it is in fact Black Dogs. Another example of why you do not want to toss aside and ignore the little white book with this deck.
There is also one last and final additional card, making this deck 79 cards. Lisa states in the lwb that this bonus card is “for questions that require deeper reflection.” She mentions it in the Introduction and leaves it for each person to reflect deeper for themselves whenever it comes out in a reading.
This deck is for anyone to use whether they are beginners or are experienced readers. I can’t emphasis enough that you’ll want to use the little white book to familiarize yourself with the Ghosts and Spirits; not only who they are but what personal story they each tell. I can’t wait to use this deck and it came just in time for my upcoming nine day fund raising event.