Sometime's, I like to use a standard RWS deck and there aren’t very many clones that I gravitate towards. The Albano-Waite Tarot was a clone that I’ve had on my radar since I started my tarot practice back in 2013, not sure why I never ordered it but I finally did and I’m so damn happy about it! I’m a big sucker for strange color, and this deck has some truly gnarly coloring! By the way, this is the reprint version (1991) and not the out of print one (1968).
As far as my first impressions go, I bought this deck thinking the cardstock would be horrible, the print quality of the illustrations wouldn’t be great… all based on the reviews I saw on Amazon and YouTube. However, I was pleasantly surprised! I think the cardstock is much better than even some indie decks I’ve had pass through my hands. It’s thick, but bendy, and has a smooth satin like touch. I feel like the cards will hold up very well, they feel a lot like the plastic cardstock that I’m seeing being used in more and more decks, but I can tell it’s paper based off the edges. For the record, I’m not a huge fan of plastic cardstock.
While the print quality is not like the original version of the deck based on some comparison videos I watched, but I like the illustrations as is. The cards have a “handmade” look to them and I really like the block print style that I’m picking up in a few cards. Not sure why, but I think of street art when I look through this deck… and I’m a giant lover of street art! Take the wreath around the head in the 2 of Cups below, it reminds me of stencil graffiti with some blurred lime green coloring and a bold black “stencil” on top. Love it!
I don’t want to go into a full blown review of this deck, but there were two reasons why I was drawn it and there’s one happy surprise I discovered:
The Devil has some gnarly coloring, very metal and I’m here for it! The Devil is one of my favorite cards in the tarot and it is very symbolic to me for many reasons.
Rainbows. The Temperance and 10 of Cups both have a vibrant, full color rainbow featured on the cards. I can’t help but smile when looking at those two cards.
The surprise was seeing the Cups suit mainly feature mint colored skies. Mint is one of my favorite colors and I don’t come across it very often in decks as a prominent color so this was a pleasant surprise!
I plan on using this deck for study (ok, when am I not studying tarot?), daily draws, traveling and client readings. I guess you could say an all purpose deck. I usually use my beat to hell, Golden Thread Tarot when reading for others but lately I’ve been craving a second deck to throw into the mix and my classic RWS wasn’t doing it for me. Don’t get me wrong, I adore that deck to pieces, I just have been craving something a bit different.
While I’m on the subject of RWS clones, have you seen the new Melanated Classic Tarot that just came out? It’s beautiful!! My friend and fellow Indie Deck Reviewer, Havana of Sparkle Divine Tarot, just posted a walk through of that deck on her YouTube channel. For sure check that out and give her a follow, I adore her content!
Ok, let’s get shuffling and see what this deck has to say!
|| d e c k i n t e r v i e w ||
what are you here to teach me?
Ace of Swords - Clear thinking and fresh ideas, you’re handing me the sword to cut the crap and get right to the core issues. You’re here to teach me how to trust my first instinct and not second guess myself.
I really love seeing the Ace of Swords show up here, I associate this card often to mental breakthroughs, brainstorming and clarity.
what do you need from me?
King of Cups - You need me to be calm, cool and collected when I start shuffling your cards. Keep emotions off the table and out of the way in order to grant clarity (Ace of Swords) from the readings I do with you.
Love all the blues and greens in this card, it’s so watery! It’s like this King is drowning but still stays as dry as a desert.
what is the potential of our working relationship?
Strength - CONFIDENCE! I have not been shy about talking about my struggle with Imposter Syndrome and struggle with confidence as a reader, even though I have had nothing but positive reviews about my readings. I also know that I’m not alone in this feeling at all, even some readers who’ve been throwing cards for decades still struggle with this. The potential of our working relationship is building confidence with myself as a reader and trust in my intuition. To handle things with ease and grace, not force.
I bought this deck with the intention of study, daily draws and just over all everyday use. I wanted a good “go to” deck that I resonated well with that I could really get intimate with and use often. A deck that I didn’t mind getting banged up over time and showing wear. Seeing the Strength show up is a very good omen for me and I’m excited to use this deck more!