The Hezicos Tarot by Mary Griffin is a self-published Rider-Waite-Smith based deck that blends a multicultural point of view with fairytale fantasy. It is a versatile, readable, and easily accessible tarot deck for novices, beautiful imagery that is fit for professional readers, and artwork that will tempt any tarot deck collector.
My favorite artistic style for tarot decks is unembellished hand-rendered line art, and that’s exactly what we have here. The Hezicos Tarot is done in watercolor and ink. There is a contemporary style to Griffin’s art. The imagery here leans feminine, storybook, with a fable and fantasy tone that works really well with a modern tarot deck.
The card backs are reversible and the accompanying little white book (LWB) (though it’s green, not the classic white) gives card meanings for both upright and reversed readings. I love the detailing in the card back design and the incorporation of the four suits.
The LWB is in full color and functions really well at giving the basic card meanings that a beginner would need to work with this deck without buying additional tarot books. That makes this deck a whole package and a great first deck for novices. The imagery is also very easy to read and accessible and while Griffin takes creative liberties with the card imagery, it’s loyal enough to the RWS system that a beginner could work with this deck as a first deck and then transition seamlessly to more traditional decks (such as the RWS itself).
In the Majors, a description of the card imagery is provided, along with the deck creator’s point of view for interpreting the card as she has, and then concise yet well-rounded card interpretations are provided.
From the table of contents of the LWB, you’ll see it covers all the foundational basics of tarot reading. By the way, the box itself is absolutely charming. It resembles a brown paper package tied up with string, with mythical creatures traipsing about.
I find the artwork here universally palatable, which is why I keep saying I would gift this deck to someone as a beginner’s deck. Yet I also like it as a professional reading deck. When it comes to my personal opinions on what’s fit and not fit for a professional reading deck, I do get unreasonably snotty, yet the Hezicos Tarot makes the cut.
I love and deeply appreciate the multicultural inclusion in the Majors here. Tell me that Death card isn’t just amazing! I love it so much! I also adore that Hermit card. All of the Majors, really, are just so artfully rendered. I was in love with this deck at first sight.
The symbolism that Griffin has provided in her art can facilitate both intuitive readings and readings that stay close to traditional textbook card meanings. Griffin’s sense of proportion, balance, and color palette choice is just impeccable. I might have repositioned the stars in the left top corner of The Moon card but now I’m being picky.
The four suits of the Minors are Rods, Cups, Swords, and Coins. As you’ll see, each suit seems to focus on one character as a main protagonist and we follow that character through various life events and situations that reflect the card meanings for the pips of that suit. In the Rods above, we see one character on the journey of creating, building, and establishing one’s sense of home, and the sense that our labors and work are never really over, that we always plod forward and the circle of life is neverending labor.
In the suit of Cups, we see more characters, expressing the interpersonal relationship aspect of the suit of Cups. Here we see love, friendship, the travails of domestic relations, and family. The cards are easy to read under a Rider-Waite-Smith based traditional sense of interpretations and also accessible to those who don’t want to use predetermined card meanings at all and go intuitively, through imagination. I also find the art here to be palatable to younger readers, and would be a suitable deck for all ages. I’d comfortably and without hesitation give this deck to a young one.
Personally as a reader I prefer the Ace of Swords to depict the sword with the blade tip pointing up when upright (and therefore pointing down when reversed), and that’s something I tend to look for when seeking out a go-to “holy grail” personal reading deck. Here, you’ll note that upright, the sword points down.
By the way, the monochromatic wash of color for the background in these cards, like the 3 of Swords, 6 of Swords, or 9 of Swords, is beautifully done. It’s a great testament to Griffin’s artistry. Detailing here is also at its finest.
In the suit of Coins, you see that the coins feature the trademark “h” for Hezicos Tarot. The storybook feel of the cards bring a sense of magic and fantasy for a reader to blend with the reality of a reading. The deck encourages a use of fables and myth to tell the tale of the seeker’s life path.
I also want to mention the LWB. It’s so cute! It’s rendered to look like a student notebook or journal. I love reading with this deck and also, the Hezicos Tarot is on my shortlist of decks I’d recommend to beginners who want to learn tarot with the RWS system but don’t like the actual RWS deck.
I foresee another unique selling point about this deck is its collectability. In about a decade, people are going to be scrambling to try to get an early edition copy of this deck. The Hezicos Tarot is winsome, artfully done, and just so incredibly versatile for any type of reader, young to old, beginner to professional.
FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received the Hezicos Tarot from the deck creator for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.