A Review of the Linestrider Tarot

There’s a reason I named this blog (and the internet persona attached to it) after the Page of Wands. When it comes to Tarot, I can be a bit… impulsive.

The Linestrider Tarot was an impulse buy after I saw card images from this deck on JJ’s blog over at Photon Stimulus. Normally, I see deck images, want them, and say, “Oh, goodness, another deck for me to lust after”. If I’m feeling really proactive, I’ll actually write the name of the deck down on my wish list. But this time around, I saw the deck and knew I had to have it. Instantly.

So thanks to JJ for turning me onto this delightful deck. Thanks also to Thorn Mooney over at the Tarot Skeptic blog for giving me a bit of extra incentive to buy the deck when I Googled it. I am deeply indebted to both of you.

Linestrider Major Arcana
Aha! I figured out how to rotate pictures again (which, as you may recall, has been a problem in previous deck reviews). The picture here is also of a higher quality than what I’m usually capable of producing. Top left to bottom right, we have the Fool, the Hierophant (my home boy), the Wheel of Fortune, the Tower, the Moon, and the World. 

The Linestrider Tarot is a beautiful, delicate Tarot deck featuring watercolor images on stark white backgrounds. The drawings are often quite minimalistic. Many of them feature animal figures rather than humans, and where humans do appear, they’re drawn in outline. There’s something ephemeral about them, as if they’re not quite there.

Linestrider Wands
Some of the Wands: Ace, Three, Six, Nine, Page, and King. I love that King.

The sparsity of human figures in this deck makes their appearance all the more striking when they do show up. The strutting victor in the Six of Wands, for example, really stands out, especially in comparison to the anthropomorphized animal figures in the Nine of Wands (it’s a fox, in case you can’t see) and elsewhere.

As you might be able to see in these pictures, this is a deck that doesn’t shy away from female nudity. It’s delicate, artsy, barely-an-outline-of-a-nipple nudity, but if that kind of thing bothers you, be advised.

Linestrider Cups
Cups: Two, Four, Five, Seven, Nine, and Knight. The overlay of the fish on top of the Knight is an interesting, if rather messy, detail. And I can’t stop grinning at the cat-who-got-the-canary in the Nine of Cups. Wish fulfillment, indeed!

Oh, God, but this deck is beautiful. In deck reviews, I normally try to pick out a few cards that don’t work for me, but I just couldn’t do it with this deck. Every single card is a breathtaking work of art. (What wouldn’t I give to be able to hang a print of that Fool up on the wall in my living room?)

However, there is one GLARING negative point about this deck. The card stock is complete, utter, irredeemable crap.

Linestrider Swords
The Swords: Ace, Three, Four, Six, Ten, Knight. I’m a person who connects very strongly to the suit of Swords, so I’m a bit biased, but HOLY CRAP! Just look at that Ten. And the Four is really lovely as well.

It’s even worse than Llewellyn’s normal fare. After just one round of shuffling for my deck interview,* I already noticed some fraying at the corners of the cards. There is no way this deck will be able to stand up to significant wear, and I’ll probably have to end up keeping it as an art deck rather than a reading deck, to avoid tearing it completely to shreds. More’s the pity, because I would love to be able to break this deck out as one of my go-tos for readings. Seriously, you guys. I love the artwork on this deck almost as much as I love the Prisma Visions Tarot.

Linestrider Pentacles
Pentacles: Two, Three, Four, Six, Eight, Queen. Symbolically speaking, the Two of Pentacles isn’t the most innovative, but it’s very well done. And something about the color palette in the Three and Eight really draws me in; purples are not often used for this suit, and I think it worked beautifully.

The deck comes in a large, sturdy box, and has an incredibly detailed and insightful companion book, which makes it rather surprising (at least to me) that the cards themselves should be of such poor quality. The companion book has an introduction and conclusion by the deck creator, a couple of basic spreads, and a brief explanation of how to read the cards that includes a couple of very interesting Tarot superstitions I had never heard of before.**

Linestrider companion book
The Magician card with its accompanying page from the companion book. The Magician is a monkey. I love that so much.

Each card in the LWB is given a full-page black-and-white reproduction, a detailed description of the card’s meaning and the deck creator’s relation to it, and relevant astrological, numerological, and herbal correspondences.

All in all, this is an incredible deck, beautifully designed and put together with much thought and care. It’s a pity about the crummy card stock, but so be it. I’m still very glad to have made this purchase.

The card images are clear and easy to read (with the added advantage of a highly detailed companion book), so in another, less flimsy world, this would have made a very good practice deck for beginners. Nevertheless, the Linestrider Tarot is a delightful art deck, and I think it would make a valuable aesthetic addition to any collection.

*I interview each new deck I acquire, using Beth Maiden’s deck interview spread. But those interviews are a little more personal, and don’t get posted on ze blog.

**Did you know that some readers will set aside an Ace any time they draw one, using it as a tone-setter for the overall reading and drawing a new card for the spread position the Ace would have occupied? Neither did I!

3 thoughts on “A Review of the Linestrider Tarot

  1. I have seen this deck everywhere and it does look beautiful. I love the use of white space and the watercolors.


  2. I really didn’t like this deck at all when I first saw it. I did like how it looked like splashes of color in the middle of a canvas. But that’s it. Now I’m seeing it around more and it’s actually not too bad looking. Too bad about the card stock :-/


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