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I agree with Jeannette's comments. However, I must say that I found Jensen's implied accusation about child or slave labor ("Sorry, but I can not help thinking of all the tiny Chinese fingers gluing all those lovely boxes as "...a big job for a very low payment......") to be in extremely poor taste. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think Jensen would not have made this comment about a deck he liked, even if it were printed in China. In that sense, I think at least this comment of his could be reasonably called hypocritical.

-- Lee
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I found the comment about little Chinese fingers rude and unprofessional. I also felt he assumed a lot when deciding Kat Black's reasons for creating the deck and for posting here.

Also the fact that I have never heard of him and never seen a review done by him, yet the only one I do see is downing the Golden Tarot for being just another RWS clone is quite obvious. There have been many other clone decks he could have reviewed. Why the Golden Tarot?

The last thing that that ruined my opinion of credibility of this man as a reviewer is the fact that he made it seem that making money is a bad thing. We all make money some way or another, including him. Why is this bad. No he does not outright say it is, but it is the very strong impression I got. I think that is called hypocracy.

These are my opinions.

Mimi
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The Golden tarot is a lovely tarot deck in both the way the art comes together and the packaging. I can see where people could say that it is just another reworked Rider Waite deck but to tell the truth I just don't see anything wrong with that!

Sometimes looking at a regular Rider waite and then looking at a Universal RW I find things that I didn't see before that add to the meanings for me. Sometimes it is the smallest changes that can mean so much. I also don't think Kat Blacks artwork can be called a small variation in any way.

While it is nice to see decks that change cards from the Rider Waite imagery that we know and love. It can also lead to alot of frustration when one buys a new deck and has to lean a whole new system.

I personally think that there is a reason why the Rider Waite imagery has lasted this long and become such a staple in the tarot community. It has become a classic. Like a good book it just never goes out of style.

If I was looking for a deck to take me in a new direction from Rider Waite imagery I probably would not pick the Golden Tarot but judging it on it's own merits I think it derserves alot of cudo's.

On a personal note when my deck war reviewed online I had to have friends read the review and warn me of how positive or negative it was. And even after that it took me like two days to finish reading the review cause I would read a sentence or two then get to nervous lol.

I hope I was able to make the points I wanted to clearly and I do think some of the comments especially about the slave labor were way over the top. The Golden tarot is a lovely deck and deserves alot of respect !

Samantha
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The phrases in question...


Unfortunately, it seems on this reading, to me, Jensen had wanted to make a point that U.S. Games could spend good money upgrading it's RWS line. While I might agree with this sentiment, that it comes across in the Golden review actually did leave a sad taste:

Jensen states:
It shall be no secret that I would have preferred that all the work, effort, and cost put into this production instead had been used to produce the true facsimile of the very first Waite-Smith Tarot deck, which US Games Systems owes us as a proper recognition of the original creators of the Waite-Smith Tarot. A facsimile in the true sense of the word, "an exact copy" of the first Waite-Smith deck, with the original print screen preserved and, of course, including an exact copy of the box and of Waite’s "Key". We have recently seen an example that exact copies can be made in the reprint of Dondorf’s Java pack, where there is no discernible difference of original and facsimile.

(And then the last three lines that people here are reacting to now:


Back to the Golden Tarot, which this should be all about. What’s the reason for its very reasonable price? Twice as much would still be reasonable. Can we expect future products from US Games Systems, Inc. to be cheaper? Have the artist and publisher voluntarily minimize their profit for a good course? Sorry, but I can not help thinking of all the tiny Chinese fingers gluing all those lovely boxes as "...a big job for a very low payment......"

The last three lines are written with a clever end in mind, leading up to a reference of Pamela Colman Smith's reference to doing the RWS deck. It doesn't feel good to me and I'm sorry to have read this.

My sorry would be lumping together a reviewer's criticism on the publisher with wrong opinion of the artist. I don't think Jensen was aware of the terrific artistic effort and two versions that took years to do this on this deck. Kat Black is an excellent artist in my opinion, in her tastes and execution of the deck.

My best regards,

Cerulean Mari
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golden tarot


I find it curious that the artistic collage could not be reviewed as an act of original synthesis by one reviewer. Its beauty is useful to perceptive and receptive sight. It joins later esoteric system to earlier artistic magnificence.Depth? In the synythesis,in the meticulous mix of images per card,in the archetypes within and under the art.Why do we need this contribution?Beauty is truth, that is all you need to know. The price is right ,too.
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One aspect of the review that struck me as particularly telling was the anti-digital bigotry shown by saying that my work on Golden showed "experience and training" as though digital art does not require all the other aspects of being an artist.

To me, a computer is a tool in the same way that a paintbrush or a camera is a tool. I don't see that my paintings (or photographs) are any more 'art' than my digital work - and it amazes me in this day & age that such a bias still exists in some people.

The question of what is art, and what makes someone an artist, is a fascinating and complex subject - and not something that can be dismissed in sweeping generalisations, based on the media or format in which one works.

It is ironic that the reviewer's own version of a tarot deck consists of digital crops of RWS's Majors. They're handcoloured though, so they must be 'worthwhile' and he must be a real 'artist'

http://www.themysticeye.com/pics/pixies.htm
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i bought the golden tarot about 2 months ago but hasn't used it once. initially i was quite attracted to the artwork when i saw the deck in the official site. sometimes a deck amazes me more the more i look at it, but that is not the case w/ the golden tarot. i found the graphics a bit static, and not lively. the feel of the deck doesn't appeal to me as well. i guess i'll keep this deck around and see if i'd have the interest to pick it up again later.

i still like my world spirit and nigel jackson the best. guess i'll order a deck du chat later hope it won't disappoint me.

alrisha
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I too read the review and didn't like the tone of it. I thought he was very biased, perhaps he doesn't like digitally produced decks, in which case he probably shouldn't have reviewed the Golden.

The deck is nicely priced for the quality of the cards, gold edging and box - and it was nice being able to see Kat's comments on individual cards and to know when it was being released.

Jensen doesn't seem to think there is any skill in being able to produce a deck from collage but the real skill comes in when you can't tell the deck is collage - and with the Golden you can't tell. There is a depth to the artwork, and ok its a Rider Waite clone but its a clone with a difference. There are very bad clone decks out there - Maybe Jensen could review those instead.
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Exquisite


This is a truly exquisite deck. I am truly amazed that the gilt edging hasn't rubbed off. I was concerned that it would become ruined through my heavy usage. Yet, it has remained beautiful. I find it to be charming and enchanting. Kat, you are a true artist. I feel these cards-- they touch the inner springs!--Tao
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I just don't know what to say...
I love your deck so much...
I've taken it to the fair and read for others with it and they ohhh and ahhh over it.
And my repeat clients have asked for "that pretty gold deck again."
To me that is the test of success~ is it loved by tarot enthusiasts and the people they read for?
And The Golden sure is!

As for it being a RWS clone.......
Well guess what, some of us ONLY read with RWS clones.
I'm at the point where I neither have the time nor the inclination to learn someone elses system of tarot.....
And when I buy those sets and read the books I sometimes think "Now is this really tarot?"
And they sit on the shelf~ no connection.
I keep them for there pretty art or a few interesting insights.

But the Golden is a beautiful WORKING deck...
And one I will treasure forever.
I think each card looks like an original painting.
And I could never tell it was bits and pieces of different works of art.
So all this rambling is just to say THANK YOU for the beautiful deck Kat.
And please don't de discouraged, you are a true artist in every sense of the word and I look forward to your future creations.
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