I am a professional tarot reader with over 20 years of experience and I collect tarot decks as a hobby. The Animals Divine Tarot by Lisa Hunt is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring decks I have ever run across in my 10+ years of collecting tarot decks. The watercolors come to life with bright, vibrant colors that stir the soul. The animals depicted look incredibly life-like and the Artist also paid a great deal of attention to the background. Her efforts have resulted in the creation of a deck that is both useful and beautiful - a rare combination these days with myriad of decks published each year.
The accompanying book is very thorough, written by the Artist herself, as opposed to the common practice of the publisher matching the artist up with a professional writer who writes the interpretation of the cards. Ms. Hunt goes through a blow-by-blow interpretation of the main symbols depicted on each card, the significance of that particular animal being depicted, and each card description then ends with its tarot interpretation.
If you love tarot and if you love animals and art, this deck is a definite MUST-HAVE!
Dr. Mary E. Gutierrez
Where Magick is a Way of Life!
Animals Divine Tarot is a gorgeous deck that follows Rider-Waite structure and incorporates original symbolism. Artist Lisa Hunt uses well-chosen myths, and gods and goddesses from many cultures to breathe new life into the major arcana and court cards. Animals, birds, insects and a variety of sea life prowl, swim, prance, meander, climb, slither, flutter and fly through the minor arcana. Truly this is a deck in motion, mirroring the constant changes and cycles of the earth and all of her life forms.
The art is exceptional and the imagery powerful and evocative. When first looking through the deck, I could not put the cards down. Each one beckons you to enter and once drawn in you are transported to a magical place where the spoken or written word is extraneous and meaningless. Each time there is something new to experience.
I found myself smiling and nodding in recognition of some of the visual interpretations, whilst others were a bit more difficult to grasp at first. Further pondering upon those more difficult to grasp has proven to be very rewarding. The animals are wonderful teachers. I am delighted by the new understandings that Lisa Hunt's fresh use of symbols has facilitated.
The accompanying book is well done and fairly detailed and includes some writing about each card, two spreads especially designed for the deck, and thoughts on meditation and connecting with the images. I haven't used either of the spreads, but have used the deck in a few readings for others and the insights shared through the imagery have proven to be relevant and helpful.
The cards themselves come alive beyond the book to lend new insights and imagery to old themes. The Empress represented by Hera, languishes comfortably upon a rock, bare feet grazing the grass. A cow stands behind her. A peacock is to her left (the right side of the card). Only the body and head of the peacock are visible; the tail is hidden. In the forefront and all around the peacock colorful flowers bloom. This seems to suggest that the Empress is highly creative, but uses her creativity to nurture and beautify the earth. Instead of parading it around for show and solely personal gain (peacock's tail) the colorful flowers embody instead the fruit of her creative endeavors.
I especially love Lisa's choices for the court cards; White Buffalo Calf Woman, Poseidon, NaNa Buluku, Ahau Kin and Quetzalcoatl to name a few. These mythic figures capture an archetypal energy that offers another layer of interpretation and meaning; perhaps a more pure one.
Another choice I find particularly meaningful for humanity today is her use of Sedna for the Death key. Other favorite majors include Tara as Strength, Thunderbirds as The Tower, and Xochiquetzal as Temperance. Favorite minor arcana animals include Tiger as the Three of Pentacles, Firefly as the Ace of Wands, Whale as the Ten of Cups, Crow as the Nine of Swords and Alligator as the Five of Cups. Altogether the animals, myths, and legends weave a magical tapestry of wisdom that speaks to the Soul.
Animals Divine may not be the best choice for beginners interested in learning the traditional symbols. It is an excellent deck for anyone wishing to read intuitively, for those desiring a fresh new perspective, for animal and nature lovers, and for those just wanting a feast for the eyes.
After watching the progress of and eagerly anticipating this deck's release, I was delighted to find it was even lovelier than I had imagined it would be. Animals Divine has already become a favorite and I'm certain it will withstand the test of time.