The Maori Tattoo Tarot – Review
Maori Tattoo Tarot created by Roxana Paul is featuring 78 unique tattoo designs within the traditional tarot structure.
It is a beautiful and extraordinary Tarot deck created by Roxana Paul, a New Zealand artist and illustrator who resides in Australia. The cards superimpose the traditional Tarot structure on a Maori cultural background. To put it bluntly, the background of the cards is textured human skin, and all pictures outlines are executed in a tattoo designed style.
In addition to what is visible for a cursory glance, careful observation reveals that the trumps follow the Tarot de Marseille with Justice numbered 8 and Strength 11 (though the Fool is numbered zero). In the modern versions of the Tarot de Marseille the XIII card is generally left unnamed (it should be noted that in the version of the Grimaud Tarot de Marseille, the XIII card is named “La Mort” in French and “Death” in English), but in the Maori Tattoo deck this card is named “Death”. As regards pips, unlike the Tarot de Marseille they are illustrated exquisitely with images of Maori warriors, mermaids, and pretty girls. Close inspections of images can discover a trace of the ancient Roman theme from the oldest Sola-Busca Tarot (on the assumption of Maori and Roman civilizations’ striking similarity: both of them were nations of warriors with legendary bravery and savageness).
I found this deck is out RWS or the Tarot de Marseille rigorous standards, but the Maori Tattoo Tarot follows a new integral way, summarizing advantages of ‘classical’ versions what a present-day Tarot reader can understand, uphold, and put into practice. In this way, it is an all-in-one deck of new generation, absorbing spiritual wisdom from the best Tarot decks and mixing it together in vibrant and soul touching images.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of Tarot can begin using the Maori Tattoo deck immediately as well as readers who are looking for new appealing and inspirational decks. Tarot art collectors will discover new artistic challenge, while tattoo connoisseurs will find an abyss of blueprints in the Maori Tattoo cards (a free license to use the Maori Tattoo Tarot art patterns for a personal tattoo is enclosed). Maori Tattoo Tarot is a
Maori Tattoo Tarot is a traditional 78 card tarot deck with fully illustrated pips. The cards are borderless that gives the eyes much impression, and they have rounded corners. The symmetrical backside design makes cards are able to be used reversed. The cards are printed on high quality 350 gsm stock. The cards have size 7 x 12 cm (2.76 x 4.72 in.) that is convenient to handle them. They are nice to touch and easy to shuffle. The decks come shrink-wrapped in tuck boxes. A 50 pages black and white companion booklet (LWB) is provided with the deck. It is brief and concise but telling. A reader will find cards’ descriptions pithy and useful.
The back of the cards is designed properly to serve a reader to keep concentration. I found that some Tarot creators neglect the topic, but I suppose it important because a reader sees the back of cards 78 times. As regards the Maori Tattoo Tarot, I had a strong feeling the back picture works well for scrying, stimulating a reader and helping her or him to be in focus.
All the minors are fully and beautifully illustrated. All Court Cards are named specifically as Apprentice (Page), Warrior (Knight), Chieftainess (Queen), Chief (King). The creator uses the non-traditional poses for the Court cards: Kings and Queens are not enthroned, Knights ride a canoe or some sea creatures instead of horses.
Suits are the following: Swords, Wands, Discs, and Gourds (instead of more habitual Cups). Major titles include the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, Ariki-Tapairu (The Empress), Ariki (The Emperor), Tohunga (The Hierophant), The Lovers, The Chariot, Justice, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, Strength, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World.
The deck is illustrated throughout in a brightly colored Maori tattoo style. Digital drawing on the skin background technique creates an impression that is both enchanting and delightful. The faces and bodies of Maori warriors and women depicted on the cards, together with New Zealand ferns, spirals, whales, and sharks produce a very special spiritual surrounding. The images are well balanced. It is obvious that the artist wants to express her energetic approach via stimulating and thought-provoking painting. Certainly, the Maori Tattoo Tarot art can touch a reader, and I find the artwork very inspirational.
A 50 page black and white companion is provided with the deck. It is brief and concise but telling. Each card’s description contains upright and reversal meanings. A newly designed the Hanged Man spread is in the companion.