We’ve seen several tarot study decks or keywords decks rolling out as of late, but I think the one that takes the cake is The Simple Tarot, Beginner Keywords version, by Angie Green. I’m impressed by how she has put together an aesthetically stunning, contemporary tarot deck that stays true to classical RWS meanings and can, as a total package, truly teach you the tarot.
Also, I’m not the only one to have remarked on this: The Simple Tarot Keywords deck is spot-on accurate. There’s a consistent synchronicity that Angie Green’s work succeeded at tapping in to. Thus, this is not just an ordinary beginner’s study deck! The seasoned tarot reader is going to want to work with this deck, too, especially if you’re divining for yourself. Daily card draws with The Simple Tarot and jotting in the keywords or quick sketches of the key symbols in your daily planner would add a whole new level of personal spirituality to your everyday.
There’s a strong 21st century graphic design aesthetic here, on trend with the interest in minimalism at the moment. The nondescript silhouettes of human figures takes out of the equation any anxieties over diversity representation.
The color-coding by element for the four suits really helps pictorially with learning the tarot here. The deck is also decidedly Rider-Waite-Smith in the system it conveys. Not only can the Keywords deck be used as flashcards, but it transforms the tarot deck into an oracle deck as well, meaning you can read with it the way you would read with an oracle deck.
Green’s correspondences, selected keywords, and the card meanings in the companion guidebook align with my approach to RWS, and so I wouldn’t hesitate to use it as a tarot teaching supplement. I love just the few touches of color accenting a few of the cards, like the rainbow in the 10 of Cups. You saw the sets of color palettes more prominently earlier in the Majors.
The Simple Tarot has a contemporary feel, is fresh, and urban in a way. It’s a great deck to gift someone who is somewhat interested in personal spirituality or mind, body, and spirit, but is probably not going to seriously get down to the business of mastering the tarot. Such a deck would be a perfect addition to their arsenal of self-improvement tools.
I also see this tarot deck working remarkably well in the context of therapy, life coaching, or holistic healing, where a psychologist, life coach, or spiritual mentor integrates this particular deck into core practices with clients. The symbology here is easy to recognize, universal, and the keywords facilitate immediate creative connections.
The cardstock used here is thin, similar to a typical Lo Scarabeo deck. However, it holds up to shuffling quite well and, because it’s thin, is ideal for riffle shufflers.
The companion guidebook is a great initiation into the world of tarot. It does have a modern approach to the tarot–a “there are no rules” and “trust your intuition” point of view. The Simple Tarot‘s approach caters to the new rising consciousness we see in the younger generations, where orthodoxy is repudiated.
Yet in contrast, the given card meanings and even the keywords on the cards are rather traditional, and what I mean by that is they are the interpretations of the Keys that you’d find across many a classic tarot text. So Green does value and uphold tradition. What’s interesting is that inherent upholding of tradition is juxtaposed with a guidebook that encourages a new and budding reader to repudiate the rules and reject orthodoxy.
The guidebook is short, a quick read, written in concise, clear, and impactful language that gets you to understand card meanings right away. It’s a great introductory text for the tarot and even better for the busy professional who doesn’t have time to meander through esoteric treatises.
The guidebook also comes with an entire section devoted to recurring symbols found in classic tarot imagery, with clear explanations of those symbols. Then, to reinforce those correspondences, keywords in the cards reflect the entries here for the prominent symbols.
This is one of the most down-to-earth tarot decks I’ve come across. It’s no-nonsense, candid, really accurate and therefore a powerful reading tool for either beginner or master, and thoroughly enjoyable to work with.
By the way, Green was meticulous with the aesthetics. She has an incredibly talented eye for design. I love that the deck came shipped in a custom made box in consistent signature colors for branding.
If Angie Green plays her cards right, she’s going to be the next BiddyTarot! The Simple Tarot brand has so much going for itself, packed with potential, and massively appealing.
By the way, the deck comes in two versions: the Beginner Keywords, which is the deck pictured in this review, and the Classic Version, without keywords, which you see in the images above. I’m really loving the Keywords version, though.
Don’t forget to check out The Simple Tarot website! It’s packed with resources, a lot of them totally free. I did sift through a lot of the free materials and found Green’s work to be quite on point. If you want to learn tarot and you are looking for efficiency, a balance between tradition and modernity, and a more rational-based perspective on using your intuition, then you may want to consider studying with Green, and what better way to undertake that path than to start with The Simple Tarot Keywords deck?
The Simple Tarot is a contemporary tarot deck designed in the style of minimalism that will still teach you the traditional meanings, but everything else is updated for the 21st century sensibility. Green’s approach is going to resonate with the rational-skeptic types who just want to see how the tarot deck operates. The keywords deck absolutely helps with beginners to read proficiently with the cards almost immediately.
Angie Green’s The Simple Tarot delivers everything it promises.
Now go check out The Simple Tarot on Kickstarter!
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 Simple Tarot from the deck creator for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.