Art of Life Tarot review




I am really loving the Art of Life Tarot deck ; it is beautifully created with each card depicting a work of art by renowned artist. Each verses are  wisdoms by a famous authors or philosophers and yet it maintains the structure of the Tarot. I love the simplicity, and in some ways it is closely related to an Oracle deck. You could use it as an oracle deck if you had no knowledge of traditional tarot. However it is not an Oracle deck it stays true to the process of a tarot deck. This is what sets Tarot and Oracle decks apart.

The Tarot is a structured pictorial of five of life’s journeys. The major arcana is the wisdom of life that we stumble on and challenges us as we age and move along the paths. The four suits are also paths of process and highlight the path of emotion in the cups, of thought in the suit of swords, of creativity in the suit of wands and in the earth plane of finance and everyday in pentacles.

This deck has chosen extremely well I believe, paintings to depict the message of each of the major and minor arcana. The paintings are named by title and painter and we are told where they are housed if we would like to see them. Still Life with Apples by Cezanne is on top of the sturdy box that houses them and the top can flip up to a vertical position. Klimt’s The Tree of Life is on the flip side of every card. In this age of decks being produced in the style of artists or from artists work, this one is superior.

The quotes are fantastic from the 2 of swords by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

As a man thinketh, so he is

As a man chooseth, so he is.


The Fool by Henry David Thoreau

You must live in the present,

Launch yourself on every wave.

Find your eternity in each moment.


And one more, King of Wands a wonderful painting of Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques Louis David and the quote by Samuel Johnson

Self -confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.


This is wonderful work by Charlene Livingstone, who has been involved with an arts world for most of her life and lives in Ontario. The matching of the paintings with the quotes shows an in depth understanding of the tarot journeys. She has mastered a quest most people cannot bridge. To create a beautifully crafted deck with such simplicity that all can use it. This deck is a companion: it has the feel of friendship about it. It gives us insight not only of tarot but also of art and the wise world of quotations.


It is a beautiful deck to speak with.

Lyndall McQuinn

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