The Spirit Within Tarot by Steven Bright and published by Schiffer Publishing blends tarot with shadow gazing to produce a powerful cartomantic tool that reads into your inner sanctum. I love the modernity of this deck, the color symbolism that comes out strong, and the aesthetic value of the contrast.
The card trim size is not a typical or standard tarot size and feels more oracle to me. Every aspect of this deck’s presentation feels fresh, modern, and outfitted to attract popular appeal.
Steven Bright of Tiferet Tarot has been a fixture in the tarot community who I’ve always looked to for his deck reviews and his social media posts, Tarot Thoughts. I love that this deck, which has been many years in the making, has come to fruition and not only that, has exceeded all expectations. It’s unique, it’s innovative, and you can tell it was designed by an experienced master tarot reader.
The deck is high-gloss and comes in a matching sturdy box with a magnetic closure. I love, love, love the packaging design here. Part of it is high-gloss and part of it is matte, and the balance between the two is just right. The detailing of that black ribbon there makes it easy to open, in addition to the magnetic closure.
There’s a wheel of life motif on the card back design and the color scheme here with the lavender/amethyst is beautiful.
Use of color symbolism in this deck is strategic. I love how each card evokes the senses in a way that’s more about feeling-intuitive than thinking-analytical. (Omigosh love that Strength card, don’t you? And how it transitions into The Hermit. For those who have the deck in hand, check out the back and front covers of the guidebook.)
If you’re a tarot reading at work on training yourself to open your clairs, then I think this is the deck to work with. It facilitates personal training and development of your clairs. I’ve also found each card to be an evocative starting point for pathworking with the tarot.
Back to the coloring. You’ve got color-coded Minors, where orange indicates the active energies of the suit of Wands. And love the nod to the RWS while still adding the deck creator’s own personal touches.
Next, blue for watery Cups. I also love the recurring motif of the full moon throughout the deck, kind of a symbolic nod to the idea of shadow, reflections, and spirit.
The color combination of muted gray-greens, gray blues, and teal work for Air, or the suit of Swords. The update with the couch imagery for the Four of Swords is really cool. What I love most about this deck is how easily it reads. It appeals to modern sensibilities and from there, drives those sensibilities forward onto a higher plane of intuitive consciousness.
Ah. Verdant green for the suit of Pentacles. Really digging that Nine of Pentacles.
One minor point with respect to production quality is the coating on the cards. Ink and color wise, the deck is black-reliant, which paired with the particular coating applied to these cards, can be a risk to final card quality in the hands of the consumer. For example, you can see in the above photograph that when the coating peels from the card, it can leave an indelible residue that becomes magnified when the ink color is black. Since this tarot deck’s point of view relies heavily on depiction of shadow, this can be an issue.
Bright did a great job with the guidebook. It’s brief, concise, and yet he makes every word count.
The channeled voice of each card’s archetype that Bright gives us in print is magnificent. I love the use of first person here when detailing the meanings for each card. Then after what reads like first-person channeled writing, you get the more formal description of the card, plus keywords.
I envision the Spirit Within Tarot as a starter deck for a mid-20s university graduate student at a liberal arts college who has just decided to learn the tarot. In fact, something about this deck’s aura makes it the deck I’d reach for to gift to anyone about to move away from home and start university. It’s one of those indispensable additions to any dormitory room. The deck is designed in the spirit of contemporary minimalism while retaining all the power, capacity, and inheriting the legacy of classical tarot.
You can tell that a tarot teacher and master reader wrote the book and designed the cards, so you get a lot of that traditional pedagogy in this deck set. Bright’s teaching style comes through with great clarity here and the guidebook as an operation manual is top notch.
Beautifully done. I would have expected nothing less from the amazing Steven Bright.
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 Spirit Within Tarot from the publisher, Schiffer Publishing, for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.