Here’s a quick flip-through, rather than an in-depth deck review, of The Distant Past Tarot by Jeri Totten, who now goes by Jae Larson. The deck comes in standard tarot size, large size, and what you see here– a petite poker size. The Distant Past Tarot is an RWS-based digital collage tarot deck in a classical art style.
This deck seems to have flown a bit under the radar, while still being available for purchase direct from the artist, so that’s why I thought I’d share this flip-through. It’s actually a surprisingly delightful and enchanting little deck– I say “surprisingly” because I don’t hear a lot of fanfare about it.
You get an additional 12 cards that doubles as the LWB (little white book), with some info about the deck, keywords for each card, and a few tarot spreads. As one of the info cards says: “The Distant Past Tarot was inspired by artists from many different time periods. This deck has been created by combining imagery and landscapes from hundreds of paintings, adding many layers and hand-painting to create a colorful, uplifting deck.”
Totten created this deck for her daughter, basing the imagery on the Rider-Waite-Smith, though for a few selected cards, she softened the imagery so that this deck could be child-friendly. The Hanged Man has been changed to Awakening, for instance, the Death card is Transition, and the Devil card is Materialism.
You can definitely learn tarot with this deck, following any RWS-keyed book of card meanings. By the way, in terms of the different size options for this deck, this video deck review by Mystic Flower shows the larger size version, which looks amazing. While this poker-size is cute, portable, and the details still come out great, I might say that the larger size would be the better idea.
Most if not all of the original art used in these collage works are sourced from European paintings, or the Western Art movements. There are a lot of Medieval and Renaissance paintings that you’ll recognize, and on through Baroque, Neoclassical, and the Romantic Era.
This is a charming beginner’s deck for those who might not find the actual RWS deck itself palatable. The digital collage art style culling from historical masterpieces is a popular medium of choice these days, so if that’s something you’re into, you’re really going to love The Distant Past Tarot.
I somehow acquired this deck at a tarot conference a few years back. Then, while doing a total spring cleaning earlier this year, this deck turned up and I thought, oh this is lovely. I’m going to take some photos and put it up as a flip-through on my blog. That Ace of Swords is quite nice, isn’t it?
The style here is a bit reminiscent of Kat Black’s Golden Tarot and the Touchstone Tarot, though Black’s style tends to feature earthier tones, while Totten/Larson’s are more focused on the ocean-blues with distinctive splashes of teal.
Though the deck description says it’s RWS-based, the suit of Pentacles, while still showing Pentacles, is renamed to Coins. My speculation is all the design modifications made to this deck were toward Christianizing the tarot deck, so if you’re still a little wary of anything occult but are intrigued by the tarot, then a deck like this one will suit you well.
Although the version of I have is published under the creator name Jeri Totten, the artist has now changed her shop name to Jae Larson. You can purchase the deck, among others, here.