The first time I listened to the Beastie Boys, I wasn’t impressed. As a matter of fact, I took the tape out of the player in my car and put it aside for a very. long. time.

Later – I am not sure if a whim struck me or if someone else reintroduced me – I fell in LOVE with the Beasties. When I took the time to really listen to them – when I was ready to hear them – I actually adored their musical talent and wise words (FYI – they are about WAY more than fighting for your right to party).


Video: I Don’t Know… from the Beastie Boys

That’s kind of what happened with me and the Hermetic Tarot deck.

The deck came to me as a gift for briefly moderating a tarot study group on Facebook. Payment for the time I spent welcoming new members and helping to field tarot related questions was paid in decks. As I am a collector who didn’t have much money to purchase new decks at the time, I was happy to be paid in cards instead of dollars.

The cost of my choice was limited by the owners of the group, and the Hermetic tarot looked interesting – so I chose it.

I’d read that the deck was based on the Thoth tarot deck (a fave of mine, and the first deck that I purchased for myself way back when), and I was intrigued by the black and white format of the Hermetic Tarot. When I got it and started sifting through the cards to connect with the deck… well, let’s just say I wasn’t very impressed. Had I written a Hermetic Tarot deck review at that time, it would have read much differently.

My feelings about the cards might have been the way I parted ways with the giver – I got fired after only like a day of duty – or it could have been the artwork on the cards, which borders on ugly in some of the images (like Death’s scraggly beard), and that was a turn off to me. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I didn’t like them.

Interestingly enough, the other day I was looking at my decks for another tarot group, and I came across the Hermetic Tarot deck again. I decided to take it out, shuffle it up, and let the cards fly. This time, my impression of the deck was much different – and that is what drove this review of the deck.

For some reason, this time I found the cards striking. Much of the artwork is this really interesting, hyper-detailed mix of sacred geometry and psychedelic daydream vision that is packed full of symbolism. The messages contained in these cards vary from the simple and obvious picture based symbolism to the classic tarot meaning to the advanced Kabbalah and astrology meanings. There are also word clues in the cards because the card titles give more insight into possible meanings for the cards.

Pack all that detail, insight, and information together in a tarot deck, and this girl is hooked!

While the Hermetic Tarot deck might not be as visually appealing as the Tarot Illuminati or Shadowscapes, it has a charm of its own. If you step back from wanting a “pretty” deck and allow yourself to work with a deck that speaks plainly and at all levels at the same time, then the Hermetic Tarot is a deck for you.