Anna K Tarot

Thursday the mail finally brought my Anna K tarot which I pre-ordered months ago, and oh my my, I am just stunned, impressed, obsessed, delighted, charmed, and lots of other really good adjectives. This is the second edition, I never even knew about the first edition, sadly. The artist is Anna Klaffinger, who lives in Austria. Anna was kind enough to offer to autograph either the book or box, at your request. I asked her to sign the guide book, which she did.

This is a beautiful production, from the wonderful box to the excellent guide book, to the actual cards themselves.
Anna K Tarot

The box is wide and shallow, housing half of the deck in each of the two wells. The guidebook and cover show a black & white image of the High Priestess card, and I have to say this is one of my favorite HPs cards I’ve ever seen. The book is 80 pages long, with basic information on Tarot cards, meanings as well as b&w images of each card, tips on reading, spreads, a short bibliography and space for notes.

As for the cards, they’re on good cardstock, and lightly laminated, with rounded corners. And the colors are rich, vibrant, lively. You can actually see all of the cards on Anna’s Web site, but they’re smaller than real life, and the scans do not do them justice. Here are the Sun, Moon and Star:

Anna K Sun, Moon and Star

These are higher resolution scans than I normally put up because I really want to show how gorgeous these cards are. One of the interesting things about this particular trio is they do not have the usual people or animals you see in the Waite-Smith deck or its many clones. There are no baying hounds or crayfish in the Moon card, no children on horseback or anywhere else in the Sun, no woman pouring water in the Star. The World card, which you can see in the first photo, also is missing the typical dancer figure in a medallion, although that’s not unheard of.

The titles are tiny, they don’t overpower the card, and the borders are nearly non-existent! Yay! I hate those enormous borders that are half the card in some decks. Each of the minors has one color for the border, but the Majors seem to have several different colors, and I don’t know yet if there is a system to that. There’s brown, gold, black, blue, a reddish-brown, dark gray. I may have missed some, I’m not in the best light right now.

For the most part, it follows the Waite-Smith, but there are definite original takes on many of the cards. In this deck, Justice is VIII (8) and Strength is IX (11). The minors adhere to Cups, Rods, Swords and Pentacles, with Rods related to Fire and Swords to Air. Here are three of the minors:

6Swords, Ace of Cups, Page of Pentacles

The characters depicted are sturdy, solid folk, no ephemeral wisps in the bunch. These people are earthy, and strong. I love the style.

I am getting so spoiled with all these incredible decks I’ve been acquiring lately, I’ve even quit looking for others. Just waiting on my Bohemian Gothic next month, and I think I’m going to be set for awhile (except for a special deck I’ve reserved by an artist in Spain. It’s not even finished yet). I’ve let a few go on EBay that I was bidding on, decided they weren’t worth it. The Alice Tarot from Baba Studio is postponed until next summer, which will give me lots of time to spend with these latest arrivals.

So, who needs a reading? šŸ™‚

19 thoughts on “Anna K Tarot

  1. “So, who needs a reading?”

    D’ya mean it? Only if it’s no trouble, I’ll email you and mention what’s on my mind (nothing scary, promise.)


  2. At your own risk šŸ˜‰

    I am sort of committed to a couple in-progress decks, one is being painted with special metallic inks at my request so I really can’t back out of that one. And Beth Seilonen (Red Jester Tarot creator) is holding a copy of her latest for me. And um… another deck in progress I sort of said I wanted a copy of… but those are really just art decks, I can’t see actually reading with them. I can really see the Anna K becoming my ‘go-to’ deck when the BoGo doesn’t seem like the right choice.


    1. OMG are you getting an Illuminated?? I’m sooooo jealous šŸ™‚ I’m going to make my own bling-bling deck and seeing the scans of the Sun-Moon-Star here, I’m thinking they would be perfect for a little glittering up. Just a thought… do with it what you will… šŸ˜‰


      1. Oh no, maybe someday I’ll get an Illuminated. The one I mentioned above is by an artist in Spain, Alma Ajo. She’s been putting up scans of the cards as she finishes them on the Tarot Collectors’ Forum, and taking pre-orders. She’s offering different options on the finished product, and one will be the use of gold, silver, and copper colored inks! I opted for that one, I can’t wait to see what it looks like. And extremely affordable, too, I don’t know how she does it. Clearly, she’s making no money on these decks.

        Oooo, what a wonderful idea for the Anna K! I never think to do that with my decks, personalize them that way. I’d probably hose it up anyway, I have zero artistic skills.


  3. Well, it’s partly subjective, and partly objective. For purposes of this discussion, I’m going to say there are two kinds of Tarot decks: full 78-card decks, and 22-card Majors-only decks. Most of the 22-card decks I have fall into the ‘art’ deck category. Partly this is because I don’t read with Majors-only decks, although there’s nothing wring with doing that, and many people do. A lot, not all, but many of the Majors-only decks have highly stylized art and depart so far from the standard imagery it would be difficult for me to read with them. A good example of that would be the Gothic Tarot by Leilah Wendell.. It’s a 22-card deck with some really unusual illustrations. I like the full decks better, to get a broader range of possibilities and meanings, but that deck in particular is so different it can be distracting.

    Really, though, as someone said on the Tarot discussion list I belong to, I could read with a bunch of 3×5 cards with nothing more than the name of the card written on them. Mostly it comes down to the subjective thing of how drawn I am to the artwork and if I look at it and immediately connect with the image, with the artist’s interpretation of the card’s meaning. It can be a great springboard for intuitive readings.


    1. Have you seen the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot? I have that one and like it very much (having an interest in Vodoun). It’s very different from a standard tarot, though.


  4. I’ve seen it, but don’t have it. I don’t know anything really, about Vodoun. It’s an area I’ve wanted to learn more about but haven’t gotten to. How does it do for readings? Do you get good insights?


  5. I do. There is something very evocative about the cards. It also comes with a very good book (over two hundred pages) which discusses voodoo and the cards.

    If you’re interested in Vodoun, Sallie Glassman’s, Vodou Visions is a good start.

    btw, Just this week I went to the Berlin Ethnological Musuem where they had an exhibit on the history of Vodou in Haiti. I thought of you while I was there. I think you would have found it very fascinating.


    1. Sounds good, I’ll have to pick up the book. I know a little teensy bit about it from years ago when I knew some folks who did know Vodoun: loas, and the flags, and a bit about Erzulie. I worked with a girl briefly who had done a stint in the Peace Corps in Haiti and really got into it.

      How interesting that they had an exhibit on it there. Is it popular in Germany? I tend to think of voodoo as a U.S. (New Orleans, and cities with large immigrant populations like New York) thing.


      1. Good question. I also associate voodoo more with the places you mentioned. In general, I think pagans here are drawn more to their Norse gods and mythology. But then, one never knows. And there’s also many immigrants living in Berlin. There’s such a large mix of people here.


  6. There is something about her art style, it’s rich and strong, bold. The colors are wonderfully vivid. I’m glad the cards are on such heavy cardstock, I foresee them getting a lot of use. šŸ˜‰


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