Tarot Leaves

Review by Terri Clement


Tarot Leaves by Beth Seilonen

Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., www.schifferbooks.com

ISBN: 978-0-7643-3903-5

Inspired by a childhood growing up in the woods in rural Maine, Beth Seilonen skillfully combines her love of nature and the symbolism of the Tarot to bring us the Tarot Leaves.  

The Tarot Leaves is an attractive deck and book set gives us a different but recognizable (and usable) set of 78 images.  The set arrives in a small, but sturdy box with a magnetic closure that features a ribbon pull to open the box and ribbons on either end that that keep the box lid from flopping all the way open.  The companion book is a small soft cover with 96 pages.

The cards measure 4 ¼” tall x 2 ¾” wide.  The card fronts have a narrow white border that measures ½” on the top and bottom of the card and a ¼” on each side.   The cards are very flexible, however the deck is a bit stiff whilst shuffling, but this should level out with use.  The deck has a shiny, but not slippery lamination.

The images themselves are on off white background with a pencil thin dark gray shadow border, the titles for each card are written in this inside border.  Images are all inlaid into the silhouettes of Maple, Apple, Oak and Birch leaves.  The card backs have a ¼” light blue border with a stunning combination of leaves set on a black back ground.  The deck is reversible friendly.


The Major Arcana are all traditionally named and are not numbered.  The suits are Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles.  Here is an excerpt from the companion book relating to the elements:  “Seeing abundance (Pentacles) was more than just about money;  thoughts (Wands) developed into ethics and philosophy;  spiritual (Cups) grew into greater understanding of life itself;  and actions (Swords) in daily life had a profound effect on intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships.”  The Court cards carry the titles of King, Queen, Knight and Page.


The colors are soft and muted with a lot of blank space in each card.  The imagery within each leaf in each card makes it easy transition for those who follow the Rider-Waite-Smith path.  However, there is not so much symbolism that it would overwhelm the intuitive reader.  When glancing through the deck, especially the Minors, the impression that comes to mind is RWS meets Non-Scenic Pips.  For example, the Eight of Wands shows 8 branches (several of them crossing each other) inlaid into a leaf, done in purples, blues, yellows and greens.


Another image that is especially striking is the Tower this image shows an earth tone colored Maple leaf with the inlaid image of a tower.  The leaf is broken into 4 pieces.  

Another haunting image is Strength, this card features the image of the head of a male lion, in between 2 trees, with the infinity symbol over the lions head inlaid into a leaf, done in blues and purples.

The small companion guide contains a brief introduction to Tarot through the eyes of the Ms. Seilonen.  It also explains how she came up with the concept of Tarot of Leaves.   The guide then moves on to show a miniature, black and white image of each card, with the title, a brief interpretation for each card and a sentence for the reversed meaning for each.  In the back of the guide book, you will find 2 spreads that Beth feels work well with the deck, the first is a 3-card spread. The other spread is a 7-card spread.

This deck would work well for an intermediate to professional reader, or a newbie who is willing to put in a little extra effort getting to know the deck.

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