I was in the market for a mini deck to carry in my purse, hoping to feed my inner-deck fiend at the same time I went portable. While I considered a small Universal Waite, I have the Radiant Rider Waite already. Thoth comes in miniature and I’ve wanted to learn it, but wasn’t looking to learn on tiny cards. The imagery didn’t have to be traditionally based, but I wanted the meanings to be so I’d be comfortable reading with it right way. Enter Tarot Nova.
The images are minimalist and folksy, sort of like Dutch folk art. While I usually don’t like overly minimalist decks, this one still managed to retain the character of the card even with the simple images. I like the images and playful feel. This is a fun little deck.
The cards are a little more square than I’d expected, but not too large to pop in my purse. The stock is good quality and coated, so I think they’ll stand up well. The first time you pull it out, that coating does stick cards to each other, so be sure you’ve got all the cards separated. But once you’ve got them apart, you’re set.
There was also a page included meant to illustrate a simple spread, with instructions on reading basics. The reading basics are extremely basic and while reasonable enough, certainly not much that would be of interest to someone who’s ever read Tarot. I considered it scratch paper.
No astrology correspondences are included. And while the images are consistent with the concepts for sure, it’s not a deck that focuses on esoteric symbolism in the least. More a whimsical approach than anything else. Consider this a practical work deck, not a tool-for-learning deck.
The set comes with a small booklet with interpretations. The suggested meanings often emphasized a particular angle on the traditional interpretation, although they did not abandon tradition completely. The booklet was fine as far as “Little White Books” go and may be an interesting compare-and-contrast tool, but I would recommend something more substantial to get the nuance if you’re not already a reader. If you are, though, you may want to check the booklet anyway to see if it gives you a new spin.
I’ve done readings with this deck, and find it charming to use in its simplicity without losing the essence of the cards’ energy. The only major drawback I’ve found for me is that the glossy black cards are very hard to photograph. But for most people, that’s not much of an issue. If you’re looking for a small deck that carries a good punch for the visual detail, reads well and will hold up to use, Tarot Nova is a good choice.
Here’s a sample of the cards.
Anybody have this deck? You like it?