The White Sage tarot deck is a mini tarot deck that was originally independently published and then picked up by U.S. Games. I have never had the chance to use the original deck. However, the mass produced deck has surprised me in how much I have enjoyed reading with it.
Theresa Hutch, the author of the White Sage tarot, has a design background. She has chosen to include illustrations that are loose pastels and watercolors, in blues, grays and pastels. Animals figure heavily throughout the deck. A puppy carries a stick for the fool card. The Lovers card depicts a pair of seahorses with their tails entwined. One of my favorite cards, the Hermit, shows a three-toed sloth chilling in a hoodie.
Though this is a RWS-style deck, the card illustrations do not stick to just one theme or symbol system. Some cards, like Judgement, are quite modern and evocative in being so. Others, like the Moon, Sun, Justice and Wheel of Fortune have an Egyptian vibe. Hutch has also slightly changed two of the the suits. The swords are still swords, but group of big cats makes up the court cards. The wands are also still wands with birds of prey in the court cards. However, the cups have become coffee cups and the court cards otters. The pentacles have become sand dollars (which I love) with elephants making up the courts.
I somewhat question the animal choices (I would have switched the swords and wands), but they do make sense to me in the end, and I cannot deny the adorableness of the otters holding coffee cups. The pip cards are not fully illustrated other than the addition or a colored ribbon to many of the cards. So, there is less to speak of there.
Those ribbons are actually important to the deck as Hutch has assigned each card to a chakra. The ribbon color than correlates to the chakra color for ease of reading. Having done several reading with these cards, I actually have really enjoyed how these cards pull out messages related to chakras and healing and balancing them. These are now my go-to cards for any readings I feel relate to this type of work. I suppose someone more familiar could quibble with which cards correlate to which chakras, but I have actually found her designations to make sense and be accurate for me.
The two additional “ad” cards are actually helpful tables on the chakras generally, which I quite appreciate and have used. The LWB is small, but its 64 pages have been well written to contain not only a description of the cards, the meanings and reversals and also the chakra affected and how it is affected. There are three simple three-card spreads laid out at the beginning of the booklet. I think the LWB is good for as small as it is and is needed for this deck, both because of the emphasis on chakras and because this deck diverges so much from standard RWS symbolism. It is for this second reason that I would recommend this deck to intermediate or higher-level readers.
Layout and Feel
The cards are a bit larger than standard playing cards. U.S. Games has made sure the images are clearly printed. I do not have the indie version of this deck but have been told there is a slight difference in the coloration between the two. That said, I like the “looks” of this one just fine. The deck is not bordered except where the card titles are at the bottoms of each card. The card backs are fully reversible. I don’t love the basket weave design on the backs, but it doesn’t bother me either.
All this is good, but this deck falls down a little in the card stock. It is a little thin (though probably still “average”), but I do not care much for the feel of it. The housing for the cards is very nice, however. This deck comes in a small tin case that essentially the same as the one from the Centennial tarot I reviewed before. It is a nice tin and stays closed well. So, no complaints there.
I will honestly admit when I first opened up my tin of White Sage tarot cards, I wasn’t sure about them. But, as I’ve worked with them I have learned to really appreciate them to the point where they have really won me over. I can especially see them being helpful to tarot readers who do energy work. This is a lovely chakra tarot without coming across as being only a chakra tarot. For that, I think it is well work the purchase.
Name: White Sage Tarot Deck
Card Number: 78
Card Size: 2.25 x 3.75 in (5.715 x 9.525 cm)
Author: Theresa Hutch
Illustrator: Theresa Hutch
Publisher: U.S. Games, 2018
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