Updated: Jun 19, 2020
Transparent Tarot by Emily Carding
The Transparent Tarot deck by Emily Carding is a brilliantly conceived deck that's been in publication for quite a few years but usually I've not seen much about it on Tarot forums. I thought it would be a good deck to do a review on because I've had it for quite some time and still find it rather challenging to use. In fact, I've been seeking others interested in doing a study with it. So far no takers, but it's early in my search so I'm still optimistic.
Because this deck is so unusual, it's not really a beginner deck. I've been reading professionally for many years and even so, I still find it very challenging. I find it to be a very profound deck with limitless possibilities as a working deck for professionals or as a personal deck for private use either one.
Card size is similar to the Bonefire deck. The shuffling is just a dream, but I like to shuffle in order not to get the cards turned every which way. With this deck, you get not only upright and reversed images but backwards upright/backwards reversed as well. To get more familiar with reading this deck, I'm turning all my cards upright with the fronts facing and then I cut the deck once and, without turning either half over, I shuffle using the long side of the cards. I don't know whether it's just me who gets confused with shuffling and ends up with them catywompus if I do it any other way or if it happens with all who first use the deck, but this is what works for me.
The book that accompanies the Transparent Tarot is very well-written and organized with plenty of added examples of readings using these unusual cards. The quality of the paper in the book is very enjoyable to me and the print is large enough to be read easily even for me as I await cataract surgery. Not only does it provide plenty of information about this particular deck, but Emily's insights on each card are very useful in gaining new insight into each card in any other Tarot deck as well. It's one of those deck-specific handbooks that I'm keeping in my Tarot library and would find very useful even if I no longer had the deck.
I recommend this deck to those who like a challenge, who have the desire to explore a revolutionary idea in the cards and who collect-----in a nutshell, I recommend it to anyone. However, I'd recommend that a beginner learn the basics with another deck and establish their Tarot experience securely before trying to tackle this one. That doesn't ean a beginner shouldn't buy the deck if they're interested, however. I've learned from long experience that when a deck goes out of print, prices become very prohibitive most of the time. Best to get one now while the price is still reasonable and then you have it when you're feeling ready to use it.