I visited a church in the city of London yesterday, just for a look around and to see some artwork that's on display. While I was milling around, a choir were practising and the sound was tremendous. I don't mean it was the greatest hymn I've ever heard but that the combined energy was huge and the vibration had such a strong effect on me, I was shaking. The combination of the energy of the people and the environment demonstrated such power. So what does that have to do with the Brady Tarot? In my opinion, the best way to describe the Brady Tarot is that it's a powerful deck.
What do I mean by powerful? Well, just look at this deck. The cards are big and the combination of the North American animals in their natural habitat presented in these vibrant colours are what I think give the deck its powerful feel. The artist and creator, Emi Brady, used a lino cut method for her art work. I have no idea about what that is but I can tell you the images are very detailed. That makes for a busy picture even with a small spread.
I have used this deck for my weekly card pulls during 2022. My current practice is to pull a card a day, in advance, from a different deck each week. At the same time, I pull one card per week from a deck that I use for the whole year, this year that deck was the Brady Tarot. I then display those cards on my shelf and review them the following week in my diary. I also pull a monthly card from a single deck but that's another story for another day. For the card of the week, the Brady Tarot has been an excellent deck. It's strong enough to stand on its own.
Now what's interesting about the quality of this deck is that it doesn't detract from it's usefulness. Don't get me wrong, this is a high quality deck with thick but flexible card stock. However it's finished with that rose petal feel, that appears luxurious but is a nightmare to shuffle. I've found that if you split the deck in two, you can easily rifle and bridge. Overhand shuffling is a bit sticky but it does ease a bit over time.
The guidebook that comes in the box with the deck is written by the esteemed Rachel Pollack and combines her excellent interpretations with information about why the creator chose the birds or animals portrayed in each card. The suit names have been changed, which is not something I appreciate but they do make some sense. Cups are horns, pentacles are roots, swords are arrows and wands are feathers. Perhaps the feathers is the only one that could be confusing as they are used in some decks as a symbol for swords.
You can also see that this second edition has removed the white borders of the first edition but retained the coloured shapes indicating which suit the card is from, or in the case of the majors, which suit the card is related to.
This deck has been out for quite some time now and I think has been a bit of a marmite deck. I definitely appreciate it as more of an oracle than a tarot especially with the addition of keywords on the bottom of the minors. It's unusual, it's strong and it's powerful. It's definitely worth adding to your Tarot library.