Heaven and Earth Tarot Review
Deck: Heaven and Earth Tarot
By: Jack Sephiroth & Jaymi Elford
Price: $35.95 $33.07
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Where to buy: Heaven and Earth Tarot at Bookshop.org
My Rating: 10 out of 10
(This article may include affiliate links. www.hermittarot.com participates in affiliate programs and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.)
The Art of the Heaven and Earth Tarot
To say this deck is beautiful would be an egregious understatement.
This deck is superb, spectacular, and absolutely glorious. Magnificent in its heavenly depiction of angelic human transcendence, the Heaven and Earth Tarot is gripping, commanding, humbling, and above all, majestic. It proudly and thoroughly delivers one through the journey of the Tarot, which is the human drama, with such exalted and lavish godliness and stately splendor that one cannot call this deck anything less than sublime.
Sumptuously gorgeous and boldly supernatural, the Heaven and Earth Tarot contains the most compelling, stunning images evoking the greatest elevation of ancient grandeur that you may ever come across in a Tarot deck!
Seemingly straight out of an ancient paradigm, the art of this deck completely transports one to the supernal greatness of our world in all its raw, majestic, sweeping glory and dark unfathomableness. It deeply connects one to the true, unyielding might and power of divinity and mortal sacredness, from our magnificent all-embracing godliness to the raw and primal humanness of our earthly experience.
The art of Heaven and Earth Tarot keeps solidly to the classic Rider-Waite imagery, but with classical overtones of celestial opulence and an all-encompassing holiness that awes with inspired admiration and reverence. I cannot speak highly enough of the gorgeous magnificence and noble sanctity of this deck, which is why it’s one of my all-time favorite Tarot decks in my entire collection.
The Heaven and Earth Tarot is a newly published deck (2020) illustrated by fantasy artist Jack Sephiroth, written by Tarot writer Jaymi Elford, and published by Lo Scarabeo, my favorite Tarot publishing company.
This deck contains the traditional 78 Major and Minor Arcana cards and remains overall consistent with the RWS (Rider-Waite-Smith) system, with one ingenious difference:
The Minor Arcana cards, instead of given their plain titles on each card, are defined by their main message or keyword. For example, Two of Cups is titled “Love,” Three of Wands is “Established Strength,” and Nine of Pentacles is “Material Gain.”
Normally I would think something like this would bother me, but I actually really value it in this deck! The creators have chosen what I think are really relevant and appropriate keywords, and it’s still super obvious which card it is, so it’s still easy to find it in the guidebook if you need further help interpreting.
The cards are the traditional Tarot card size of 5” x 3” and thus fit comfortably in hand. The cardstock is nice and easy to shuffle. The art on the backs of the cards, which is a dark gray pattern of geometric stars, is almost completely reversible (not completely – you can tell if you pay close attention), so it’s good if you want to read with reversals.
The cards comes in a boxed kit (box is 5 ¼ x 8 ¼) that includes a full-color 160 page guidebook. The box closes by magnetic closure (which I love), has a ribbon lift on the inside, and displays exquisite silver foil on the outside cover and sides of the box.
There is so much detailed and valuable information provided in the guidebook! I wish every Tarot deck came with such accomplished and complete literature!
The opening quip is short, concise, and well-written, with a bit about the inspiration and purpose behind creating this deck, and is really a beautiful introduction to such an exciting deck.
Comprehensive and intricate facets of each card are explained in Part One of the guidebook. It provides a description of the image, explaining what’s going on in the card, and contains a list of its keywords, Hebrew letter and letter meaning, astrological correspondences, upright and reversed meanings, and a detailed interpretation called “Heavenly Interpretation” and another called “Transformations” which seems to go into more detail and be read as a potential reversed connotation of the card.
After the card interpretations there’s Part Two which contains an introduction to Tarot, the structure of a Tarot deck, the elemental associations of the suits and court cards, advice for how to use the cards and how to conduct your first reading, as well as suggested spreads to use with this deck and some extra lined pages of “Personal Notes” in the back.
Overall it’s a well-put-together guidebook with lots of detailed information which I really like and appreciate!
- absolutely gorgeous, classical artistic style
- excellent guidebook with detailed descriptions
- comes in a wonderful, sturdy boxed kit that fits everything inside
- unique – there is nothing like this on the market right now
Drawbacks or cons
It’s really hard to find something I don’t like about this deck, but there is one thing that kind of infuriates me.
The one thing that really bothers me about this deck is that, when there is a depiction of a naked female figure, her nipples are erased. However, when there is a naked male figure, he gets to keep his nipples. What gives?! At first I thought I was imagining it, but you can see this clearly in the image of The Devil where there is both a shirtless man and shirtless woman. This enrages me actually quite a bit and I find it really unfair – either smudge out everyone’s nipples or no one’s! Ugh!!
Sometimes, also, some of the cards appear too serious or dreary at times, or that the human faces seem a little startlingly stark and almost in pain or not quite realistically human. But that’s just a minor dislike and really my own personal preference, not really a big deal. Not like the lack of nipples on half the human race.
I think I have eight top favorite cards, all chosen as such because I think their artwork is extra superb and flawless and evokes such satisfaction in me for their impeccable beauty.
Two of Cups “Love”
The symmetry of this card is perfect, and I really love the quiet intensity and seriousness with which these two young people hold each other. It gives me the feeling that, though they are young, they have the dedication and commitment to love that it takes to carry their relationship through into a more long-term success.
I love this classical depiction of the card. The landscape is particularly elegant, very mystical and expansive-feeling, and everything has excellent detail, especially the dog and the wolf. And I love that they included a beetle! The guidebook describes it as a “crab-like beetle,” most likely to stick to the traditional crustacean that’s usually depicted in this card. Is the insect a nod to Lo Scarabeo’s logo beetle? Whatever the reason for this detail, I love it!
The High Priestess
I LOVE this depiction of her! She’s perfect! Reminiscent of Mother Mary with her white himation (which is just so beautiful) she holds her arms outspread. I really love that this important historical figure should represent the powerful personage of this card. It seems ideal to me. Why she has a spectral camel behind her (which I didn’t even see at first) is a bit unclear to me (and a little spooky) other than that it relates to her Hebrew word which means “camel.”
I Love this traditional-style depiction of the Strength card. I especially love the softness of the woman’s dress, the beauty of her hair and flower crown, and the realness of the lion’s fearsome power. I love the detail of the infinity sign like a misty halo above her head, and the snake branching in from the side. The art is particularly exquisite in this card and I love it!
Other favorites are as follows: The Magician, Four of Wands, The Fool, and Three of Pentacles. I have chosen all of these, along with the others detailed above, for their particularly striking depictions that seem to soar above the rest, to me, for their breathtaking level of detail.
Least favorite cards
The Sun, Judgment, The World – These are my least favorites mostly just because I dislike their faces: the Sun’s infant annoys me, Judgment’s angel is terrifying, and The World’s woman has no nipples, which is ridiculously obvious and even more hugely distracting than if they would have just allowed her to have her whole and natural body.
Why I give the Heaven and Earth Tarot 10 out of 10
The Heaven and Earth Tarot evinces wonder and awe with its remarkable detail and stunning depiction of human righteousness in all its raw and unbridled beauty. With an art style that conjures glorious scenes of mythological grandeur with such expressive beauty and poignancy, the Heaven and Earth Tarot stands as a deep embodiment of the true mystery and glory of the Tarot, and thus, of humanity and the human experience.
Have you tried the Heaven and Earth Tarot? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
If you’re interested in having a Personal Reading with this deck, check out my offerings here and request the Heaven and Earth Tarot!
Find my other Tarot & Oracle Deck Reviews here!