What a wonder of a tarot deck is Nino Japaridze's Tarot. Nino is a surrealist artist from Paris and her interpretation of the Tarot is exquisite. Although the artwork is unique, the structure of the deck runs to tradition, so it is not hard to read once you align with the intensity of the illustration.
Japaridze tarot @
Nino Japaridze
The Majors are traditional as are the Court and the Minor Arcana. What stands the deck on its own is the brilliant illustration. It comes in a box set with a very clear and concise text by Steve Lucas and the deck is produced by U.S.Games.

The suits of the Minor Arcana have been changed to winds, fire, tides and gardens. Although they differ from the tradition it is still very easy to read these as an elemental journey. Some of the minor cards represent certain traits; for example 5 Cups = grief,  3 Cup is card of happiness, 9 Cups is the wish card and so on. As we can see the Japaridze  portrays these concepts very clearly. (See card on right) this is a beautiful image for grief of a pregnant woman standing in a cemetery indicating both the loss but the promise of new life. 

The pain held within the three Swords in every deck is very well captured in this deck. The daggers piercing the heart on a spinning wheel certainly needs no words to to decipher how the drawer of this card is feeling. It interests me when reading a traditional take on the Minor Arcana how the most painful cards are in the Air. This is saying to us that our pain is in our head, in our thoughts.
Japaridze Tarot
@U.S. Games

Japaridze Tarot
@U.S. Games
Another card  representing deep sorrows in the tarot is the eight cups and in this deck the eight of tides. This is one of my favourite minor cards as I know the times I feel like the energy of this card I love to retreat deeply into the darkness to sit in my own solace and listen. In the Motherpeace Deck it speaks of holding onto old emotion and returning to this place of pain to review and eventually clear out the old painful patterns.

Nino's beautiful image the dark figure, which I often associate with Hecate due to the residing in the caves often associated with illustration of the eight of cups. The hope that lies in the card by Japaridze is the small town in the distance where our character knows they can return at any time.
Japaridze not only represents the darker moods of the tarot extremely effectively but also can take the joy and portray that equally as vividly. The more I work with this deck I have come to appreciate each card individually. Looking at the deck as a whole the vibrant colour and distinctive characters all seem to detract from each other.

When I just pull them one at a time and dwell or meditate on each one I find these are cards of deep soul. 
The deck has a wonderful connection to humanity and the emotion of humanity. From the highs to the lows. Look at this five of gardens, traditionally five of pentacles for a portrayal of the poverty that is associated with five of earth. This image has such a strong humanistic touch yet we see the figure in the shadows waiting for the awakening and again the town or residences in the distance which may offer reuniting with mainstream again. This is a wonderful ability in this art to tap into the shadows but offer hope for better times which is so often the reason why people come for tarot readings.
Japaridze Tarot
@U.S. Games.

I feel in this blog I set out to show you the wonderful brightness of the characters of this minor arcana but as I journeyed into the deck I was struck by the raw and honest appraisal of some of the tarot's shadows. The illustrations of this deck ask you to linger and resonate on a deep emotional level. This is such a juxtaposition for me as I chose to associate with this deck because of its vibrance and its liveliness but maybe I'll leave this for another day as it has taken me deeply into its womb.


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