Evoking the mystique and intensity of the circus atmosphere, the Cirque du Tarot takes us on a whimsical journey through the artistic side of the Tarot. The cards are borderless, which is a preferences of mine since it allows greater freedom for the cards to interact with one another. The cards are colorful and expressive, although at first glance, it is difficult to follow what the illustations have to do with the interpretation of the cards.
The book is full color with large illustrations of each card, but it does little to explain the thought process the artist used when marrying the images with the interpretations. One downfall of the deck is that the court cards are almost identical within each set (i.e. the Queens all look almost the same, Pages all look almost the same) and I understand that this is an artistic choice, one which Ellen Cannon Reed famously made for the iconic Witches Tarot (now out of print). I didn’t love it then and I don’t love it now.
The images themselves are pleasing and lovely. I just have trouble relating them to the traditional meanings of the cards.
Taken as its own system, this deck would work beautifully for readings, but I do not recommend it for the novice who wants to learn the traditional Tarot system or for those who are wedded to the Pamela Coleman Smith system of Tarot images.
Cirque du Tarot is pretty, it is artistic, and it produces a great read. Taken on its own merits, it is a fine addition to the Tarot library.