Golden Tarot


Only eleven months to go!

Hey Kat, I don't know if this information is available yet or if I've just missed it, but how big are these cards going to be, do you know? I was just telling someone else how much I enjoy the big cards since I bought the Victoria Regina and this looks like the sort of deck that would be VERY attractive in a bigger size like that.

There is a Majors only deck called The Lovers' Tarot by Jane Lyle which I looked at because it has Renaissance art that someone recommended to me, have you seen that? This particular deck is about 5 x 8 inches which is really big and much too large for a complete deck.

Wishful thinking I suppose that U.S. Games might make it a wee bit bigger than the norm? I can hardly wait to see what kind of new title they give it, I always find things like that interesting.




Size of Golden Tarot

Hi Judy,

The size of the deck is another one of those things that's up to the publishers. I actually designed it at the same size as Victoria Regina (my favourite collaged deck) but then US Games usually publish decks smaller than that, so I also did a version at slightly higher resolution to fit US Games standard sizing.

At one stage, they mentioned that they may do a 'standard' and 'deluxe' version - the latter may be bigger, with metallic accents maybe.

After the editing process, hopefully I'll know more. I'll certainly add any important info about the deck itself (such as size) to my site and also here :)

I bought Jane Lyle's "The Lovers' Tarot" deck shortly before I finished GT to make sure that I hadn't featured any of the same artworks too prominently. It's well presented - comes in a nice folder with a ribbon and book. I was a bit surprised to see that Jane Lyle didn't actually *make* the deck though, and that the collage artist who did gets a very tiny mention. Perhaps she directed the artist Oliver Burston very closely, but to me it smacked a bit of the Rider-Waite deck, where the artist Pamela Coleman-Smith was given far less credit than she deserved. Maybe I'm biased (being an artist) but I think that the person who physically creates a deck deserves at least co-authorship of a deck, not a small "cards illustrated by..." credit.

Another similar Major-Arcana-only collaged deck that's kinda similar (although not super-sized) is "The Love Tarot" by Sarah Bartlett, illustrated by Nancy Tolford. At least that artist got her name on the box ;)

Both of these decks are worth having a look at, although I couldn't see the point of reading without the Minor Arcana. It was frustration at not having fully illustrated Minors in antique decks that drove me to make GT. If I wanted a stunning Major-Only deck, I'd just pull the pip cards out of my Visconti Sforza!

Maybe for beginners, Majors-only is a good "baby steps" approach, though. Some of the cards in both the Love and Lovers' decks are very pretty, so they're definitely collectable. Both appear to be manually collaged (cut & paste) so they're very different to GT. Also, neither sticks to a particular period as I did, so there are some very modern touches in both.

Hope I haven't made too many enemies! Ah well, you're all welcome to be as equally critical of my deck :)


<<At one stage, they mentioned that they may do a 'standard' and 'deluxe' version - the latter may be bigger, with metallic accents maybe.>>

I'm not fond of metallic accents on cards, some of the Lo Scarabeo decks that do this look so cheesy to me. The whole idea is to get the flavour of medieval art and the subtle colouring and symbolism that you've put together without being overwhelmed with 21st century glitz. You can forward my opinion to the U.S. Games marketing department. <g>

However, I am encouraged that they see that a bigger version might sell just as well. I am not fond of standard deck sizes, particularly where much symbolism and real artwork is featured. Perhaps it's simply a matter of difficulty in setting up the presses in odd sizes?

Funny about the way people put together decks in their own fashion. But that's the beauty of it, the stylistic and philosophical impulse. Different tastes are great, I consider we are lucky that way with all the different decks and visions.

Thanks for the info--tell them no metallic stuff!!! (I'm going to get in big trouble I can tell)



True, metallic accents can definitely look cheezy!

I have *no* idea what it's going to look like in print. My lovely lil bro printed out a copy for my own use on a very expensive high-end printer/plotter on glossy card, and I can't believe how beautiful it looks. The richness of the gilt is so lush, and the dark, sumptuous colours look velvety on the shiny card. It's really stunning (if I *do* say so myself!).

Unfortunately I don't think commercial production could make a viable high-gloss version. Also, it probably wouldn't be very hard-wearing for everyday usage - although I've been carrying mine around for 3 months now to show it off to anyone who will look and it's holding up OK. So far they've all said "Wow, so preeetty" so I'm hoping the final deck comes somewhere near that response.


Kat, your deck is amazing!!

I can't wait till it's released (lucky coincidence that my birthday just happens to be in September!)

I really hope that you will be able to sell your deck through your website, as I live in Brisbane, and the shipping costs would be much less for me than from the US, not to mention that I would loooove an autographed copy! :)

BTW, I noticed that you re-did the Death card. Are you planning to put both versions in the deck (like the 3 magus version of the Thoth)?



Hi Kath,

Great idea about the extra card! And well spotted, what an eagle-eye you've got. I really struggled with the Death card - it's one of the ones where I started from scratch when I did the published version, as my original version (of Hell) was far too dark for the meaning of the card:

I found the gentle "Death of Mary" image far more suitable, then messed around with how to get the skeleton/ Grim Reaper in there somehow. Hence two versions. I ended up tossing a coin ;)

I've kept "The Devil" as a typical scare-the-bejesus-out-of-the-illiterate-masses theme that was so common in the era of artwork I was using. One Hell card's enough!

Another card that I have two versions of is The Chariot - one with a female driver (like older decks), one with a male (more like Rider Waite). Maybe that would be a good one to include as two versions?

I'll bring up the possibility of doing a card with 2 versions with US Games. They often use one of the 'extra' cards (since 80 cards fit on a printing sheet) as merchandising, listing their products etc. So I guess they might prefer to do that than include an extra card. I'll definitely bring it up with them as an idea, though :)

There is an "author" card included with the deck - the explanation card that's currently on the front page of - I thought this would be a good card to sign for if people want the deck autographed. Or maybe the box - not sure what that will look like yet.

For Aussie buyers, I'll definitely sell autographed copies directly. Postage from the US nearly doubles the prices for us if we buy through Amazon, so I know how you feel! Hopefully will be cheaper if I can buy a whole carton for personal sale. USGS are happy for authors to do that, we can buy our own decks at wholesale price - although I'll be freighting them from the US so I won't be able to sell them any cheaper than normal retail.

You should also be able to buy it through any shop (worldwide) for a reasonable price. One of the big plusses of being published by USGS - they have distribution well and truly sorted.


Drago Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus

'Lo all,

Just spent a happy hour bopping around on Kat's site(s), and was enthralled with the Golden Tarot.

When the deck comes out I fear I must break the rule about buying collector Tarot decks (the rule is simple: don't) and buy this one, if for no other reason than the joy of holding the deck in my hands and looking at the cards.

Its not like there's a lot of room in my apartment, or life, for stuff like this. Books keep coming in -- if I didn't let 'em in I think they'd break down the door. That large flat space some people call a floor often serves as a filing cabinet. My motto: travel light, get rid of stuff. It is not what you have, but what you can do without that is important.

And then, the wonderful Golden Tarot. Sigh. What's the one about the exception proving the rule?



Thanks Talisman!

I have a solution for you - let's just deny it's a "Collector" deck. I *really* hope that everyone who buys it actually uses it - or at least gives it a fair chance as a working deck :)

I've never been a "Mint In Box" person, I like battered old furniture, scruffy vintage clothes and a few moth-holes in my cashmere jerseys. I think a Tarot deck needs to be touched, not put behind glass - so I'll be a very happy Kat if you *do* buy one to fondle!


Me too, me too! I know me too posts are silly but I have to say that I too will be counting the months until I can get a copy of this deck. I *love* all the animals in these cards, and trees and birds. It looks like it will be a very special and readable deck.

One question for Kat, did you have to go through a lot to get permission to use the source images? Or is that not an issue because you are using them as elements in your own creative work?


Edited to add: If anyone from US Games happens to read this, the version I want is the deluxe version with larger cards!


Hi Myrrha,

Good question about the Copyright - and I could go on for hours about it (and have in other threads!).

Basically, because all the artists whose work I've used have been dead for more than 70 years, then the artworks are out of copyright. So, I didn't need to negotiate any usage.

My finished works, on the other hand, are new & unique artworks, and therefore protected by Copyright.

There are other issues that get thrown into the argument, and so I had to engage a Copyright Lawyer to give formal advice in my negotiations with US Games (and of course in the Piracy case before then, although I didn't have the money to pursue that).

There's a bit more on the issue at: - including a link to the author of the VR deck's excellent resources on Copyright for Collage Artists. She's such a legend!