Connolly Tarot deck- review by Jan Class-Gregoire
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When I bought my first Connolly deck, I was looking for a mini deck to keep in my purse; you know, have deck will travel. At that time it was a choice between the mini-Rider-Waite or the mini-Connolly deck. Since I had several Rider Waite decks, I opted for Connolly. This little deck was created by Eileen Connolly and her son Peter Paul did the artwork. It measures 1 5/8 by 2 1/2 inches.
After a brief glance at each card, it became clear that my favorite feature of the deck
is the artwork and the colors. Somewhere on the box a statement indicated that the artwork
is like stained glass. I disagree. I think the artwork is too fluid and I found only one
card that remotely resembles stained glass, The Hierophant. How apropos.
My favorite Major Arcana card is the Magician. He is full of energy and life. Okay, so I think he's a hunk! My least favorite is the High Priestess. She is just doesn't look like some one who I would consult. Maybe its the blue stockings. The two most dramatically changed cards of the Major Arcana are Death and The Devil. Gone are the fearsome skeletons and the horned beast, replaced with Transition and Materialism. This takes the mystery out of the cards and displays their true meanings.
The court cards are fairly typical and easily identified. However, is it my imagination or does the Queen of Swords look Xena as in the popular television show? The pips have color themes. Wands are dominated by green and the characters have red to red-brown hair. Various hues of grays and blues shade the swords, with black or dark brown hair for the people. The
cups are my personal favorite suit with salmon pink splashing the skies. Blond or light brown hair top the characters' heads. Yellow highlights the pentacles. Now here is where the hair color pattern changes. All of the people have dark brown to black hair except the Queen and King who have blond. Angels represent all of the Aces. I bought the original standard size deck to fully appreciate it.
My main disappointment in the Connolly deck is that there is not an accompanying book with full descriptions of each card. Perhaps such a book could have answered many of my questions, such as; why is a guy staring at a gate made of wands on the seven of wands? Why is a woman blindfolded in the five of pentacles? Why are a man and a young female contemplating the moon as in the Moon card? Maybe I'd even learn to like the High Priestess if I knew why she wore the blue stockings. Oh sure, a little pamphlet is included in the box but it doesn't explain a stunning dark haired woman radiating up to the heavens on the ten of swords. The pamphlet suggested depression and loss for this card. Hum.
On one of the Connolly introduction cards, is the following statement: "Gateway to Meditation." I guess I will have to give further meditation to each card until she does write that accompanying book.
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Copyright 1990 US Games Systems