Reviewed by Diane Wilkes
Specifically for Amazon.com
Transformational Tarot
by: Arnell Ando
U.S. Games Systems Inc.,
Published in Spring of 2006

Before Transformational Tarot came out, the only really well-known collage deck was the Voyager, which depicts cards with a plethora of different images. I thought I didn't like collage decks based on my response to that one--too busy for me.

Ando's self-published version of Transformational was totally different--filled with exquisite and cohesive images that allowed you to enter each card wholly. As a lover of Pre-Raphaelite art, I was delighted with the beauty of the deck and bought it for that reason.

But the evocative imagery took my readings to a new level--I was constantly seeing something new, an insight-filled detail, that held just the right message for querents--and myself. Within a month, this deck became my favorite of the hundreds that I owned.

Sadly, it went out of print quickly and went for obscene sums on eBay. US Games has finally come to the rescue and reprinted it. Several of the cards have been completely re-done, and the once-playing-card-sized deck has grown to standard dimensions. There is a more cohesive feel to the deck, and the new cards are even more beautiful in some ways, because you can see them more clearly and Ando re-did each one in Photoshop in order for us to receive that clarity.

While this is definitely not a beginner's deck, I recommend it to those with an eye for beauty and anyone whose vision is fluid enough to move beyond simplistic, mundane regurgitations of traditional iconography. I know this is judgmental of me, but I believe those who can't read with this deck are lacking something pivotal that I personally require in an experienced reader--flexibility, depth, and a willingness to see beyond the rote.

Of course, I say that because this, along with the Blue Rose Tarot by Paula Gibby, are the two mainstays in my 600+ tarot collection. Transformational Tarot opened me up to collage decks and they are now my favorite kind to work with--I love fresh perspectives and the best collage decks--like this one--offer them in abundance. I even like the Voyager Tarot more now! Transformational Tarot will open the world for you--if you let it.

April 2006

Reprinted here with permission from Diane Wilkes of Tarot Passages