Arcana Tarot Playing Cards by Chris Ovdiyenko


But I can see why you didn't order the book. With that price tag, I'd definitely be willing to work things out on my own as much as possible.
Oh, I'm sure the book is worth it. But, as much as I spend on tarot stuff, even I have my limits. :)
DARN! *wailing* It never ends! It NEVER ends!
I know, right!? The story of my life! :joke:

Spectre Made Flesh

This is problematic for a couple of reasons. First of all, the user is now dealing with two sets of pip symbols, which seems like one too many. Secondly, the user is forced to use Chris's assignment of French suits to Italian ones:


People who already read with playing cards might use that assignment, or another assignment, or no assignment at all (in other words, assigning meanings to the French suits without reference to Italian suits or to elemental associations). Those readers who use a different assignment or no assignment might be frustrated at having to look at a Wand, for example, on a Clubs card.

To be honest, I've always thought of it like that. Those associations make perfect sense to me! Surely it's entirely appropriate to equate Hearts with Cups/Water, Diamonds with coins/Earth etc.? Any other associations would be rather random - I can't imagine anyone thinking of Diamonds as the equivalent of Swords or something! The only alternative I know of is in terms of the elements - that some people equate swords with fire and wands with air, but even then I thought they were in the minority...

Anyway, great looking cards!


I bought this deck a couple of months ago, totally at random on ebay. It is truly amazing. Like a deck of playing but with a magic feel. I love them. And I am learning here on thif forum that there is a book that goes with it? Wow!

Madame Squee

Hey Lee, thank you for your wonderful in-depth review!

I received the Arcana Expansion Pack and the Light and Dark decks yesterday. They are EVERYTHING that I love: gorgeous art and soooo pleasant to shuffle!

As far as the elemental associations go, I've decided to abandon Ana Cortez' system for the time being and embrace Chris's. On a gut level, his designations make more sense to me, and so the change is a welcome one.

I didn't order the boxes yet but definitely will based on your assessment. (Who doesn't love a sturdy, foil-lined, 2-piece box??)

I also plan to order the fabulous hardbound book as soon as my annual tarot budget resets itself in February. So, I will be back with news regarding that unless someone else beats me to it. ;)


As far as the elemental associations go, I've decided to abandon Ana Cortez' system for the time being and embrace Chris's. On a gut level, his designations make more sense to me, and so the change is a welcome one.

Hi Madame Squee!

So now you have me curious. For the pip card meanings, does that mean you'll abandon Ana's, and use the RWS-inspired meanings Chris has in mind? Or simply read numerologically as one might a TdM? And if you pick up an ordinary playing card deck, how will you read it?

One of the problems with trying to use Ana's meanings for an RWS-type deck is that while she attributes Spades with Earth and thus Pentacles, she also keeps the traditional view of Spades as the negative playing card suit, while in RWS-type decks it's the Swords that are negative. In other words, while she shifts the elemental associations of the suits, she keeps the Spades=negative perspective, with the ultimate result being that it's now Earth that's negative instead of Air.

I'm getting a headache. :D It's just frustrating because in some ways I like Ana's pip meanings more than the RWS pip meanings, but it starts getting real complicated if we try to broaden her system into tarot.


I have my eyes on this very special deck, too. It's very beautiful, the suit associations seem right to me (it's the one problem I have when reading Huson) and that's how I use the German playing cards, too.

But it will take time until I can afford more purchases. And I hope that these cards will be available in European shops soon... I can't afford all those shipping costs.

This deck and Uusi decks - they fascinate me.


I bought the deck soon after our exchange here - only the deck, no book, and I decided to buy the dark deck.

It is a beautiful deck, shuffles like a dream - it's extremely smooth and has a wonderful size. I also love the box it came in.

It took me some time to start reading with it, but the few readings I did went very well. This is a hybrid between playing cards and tarot, which is quite challenging - they read so differently, and here, they're together. But now that I have become more accustomed to this deck, I like the strong difference between majors and minors. It really emphasizes the power of the majors, they really come from another world.

The suit/elementary associations work well for me but still, Pentacles and Diamonds "feel" differently to me so it's strange to see them on the same card. I feel this deck stretches me a bit and that's a good thing.

I don't use it often but when I do, I'm very happy with it.


Thank you Nemia for bringing an old thread to light. It is so strange- last night I was wanting a poker sized deck with unillustrated pips to use for when I am out knocking about and this fits the bill nicely.

I decided to go with the light deck- though the dark is gorgeous- as they don't have the dark tarot decks left and I wanted the tuck box. Plus, as much as the dark is gorgeous, I like the way the light borders lighten up some of the darker majors.

Beautiful set- cannot wait to get it!


Oh, the light set is gorgeous, too, I was SO conflicted which one to choose! Let us know how you like it :)


These are gorgeous! I'm also torn between light and dark. If the expansion deck has both I may be tempted to get both :D Shipping isn't bad to the UK either.