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The cards are 5 1/2 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide. I have very small hands and have no trouble shuffling this deck. There are 74 Archetype cards, and 6 blank cards. The edges of the cards are rounded, and boasts over 63 border colors.
Yes, you read right--63 border colors. Each card front has 3 elements: a center image enclosed in an octagon, a pale yellow partial circle enclosing the center image, and a colored border on the top and bottom of the card. As I began to work with these cards, I realized that there were many shades to the borders. I counted 8 different shades of brown, 17 shades of green, 14 shades of blue/purple, 4 shades of pink/mauve, 8 shades of orange/yellow, 9 shades of red, 3 black borders, and 2 unusual border colors like steel gray (Mediator) and plum gray (Engineer). Each border color has an imbedded etched design that's a shade lighter than the border color and is the same etched design that's on the box.
Talk about rich! When trying to find the words to describe some of the borders, I thought I'd have to dip into my son's crayons! Here are just a few of the border colors: earthy taupe, creamy tangerine, midnight blue, olive green, deep mauve, teal, sienna, honey, moss, chocolate, lavender, sky blue, forest green, amber, indigo, sand, seafoam green--it's enough to make your mouth water! (By the way, I just made up most of those color names based on what they looked like to me.) There are 6 blank cards that are bordered with the same bright red as the box, although the border is more narrow. The octagon in the center is blank for you to make up your own Archetype cards, and, as with the rest of the deck, contain the scripts "Light Attributes" and "Shadow Attributes".
Accompanying this deck is a 105 page Guidebook that is the same size as the cards. You need not to have read Caroline's book Sacred Contracts to use this deck, because the Guidebook gives you the mini-version of her take on the 4 survival Archetypes common to all (Child, Saboteur, Prostitute, and Victim), Archetypes in general, and even questions for self-examination in determining Archetypes that play a major part in your life.
Some card examples: The Poet is a profile of an African-American woman with glasses. As she speaks, a pair of doves seem to fly from her mouth. The Guide is a women dressed in royal blue, and she blends in with the blue background. An owl is perched on one hand, and a latern is held in the other. This card reminds me of The Hermit in traditional Tarot. The Rebel is what looks to be a teenage girl, sitting upon a sofa that's perched on a tree trunk. The Detective is a woman with a book to her face, peeping out of a hole in the cover. The Addict is a man pushing against a tidal wave, the Bully is a blustering, blowing storm cloud, and the Destroyer is an erupting volcano. The Rescuer features a woman in a boat, about to throw a heart-shaped life preserver overboard. The Dilettante features a 5-armed woman, which is a very accurate way to look at the "jack of all trades, master of none" aspect of this Archetype. The Prostitute is reminiscent of Demi Moore's character in Indecent Proposal, especially as a nude woman covered with money.
A deck this universal could be used for divination, daily meditation, writing (character development), etc.
This is an outstanding deck in terms of size, construct, artwork, color, and Archetypal accuracy. If you're interested in the subtle nuances of Archetypes and how they play out in your life, or if you're interested in better understanding yourself and others, I would recommend this deck.
(To see 6 card images from this deck, visit the Reviews--Decks section of [...])
Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)