I reviewed this deck for TABI last September, but it has just been published by them. If you didn’t catch it on their website you can read it here.
Deck: The Life Code
Designed by: Janis King (with thanks to Ray Mallaney) tarotreadinglondon.com
Card art by: Matt Corvis (shatteringglass.co.uk)
Box and booklet by: Rob Ingle (bertramcreates.com)
Based on the Rider-Waite-Smith style of tarot
Release date: September/October 2022
The creator of this deck is Janis King, and she has been working with Tarot professionally for 15 years and has read on TV and radio in both the UK and the USA. Janis has studied advanced spiritual mediumship (Trance Mediumship at the Arthur Finley College in Stanstead and advance mediumship at the College of Psychic Studies in London), she teaches meditation, is an Usui Reiki practitioner, has a background in counselling and is a qualified hypnotherapist. She is also the author of the book Tarot Mastery, and now the Life Code deck.
The Life Code deck is suitable for all levels of tarot reader. It is a deck full of shadows and colour which work together in an amazing way, but one I felt is best read in good lighting or you could miss some of the details hidden in the shadows. Whilst the images look simple enough they are not, they draw you in to explore them further.
But where is the High Priestess? It looks like she’s gone through the veil into the mysteries behind, but what is back there? What drew her in? The Emperor is also absent and in his place stands a large solid looking dam holding back the water, or is it? Has he absconded with the High Priestess? Is the dam going to burst and he’s made is escape? The only card to have a name change is the Judgement card which has been renamed Wisdom, maybe he knows where these two have gone!
Each card has its own modern twist, which can make it more relatable, on what most of us know from the classic images of the RWS but are still easy enough to understand. The deck’s website describes the cards as being ‘high quality, sometimes gritty, down to earth graphic novel/pulp fiction/noir type imagery is entirely contemporary.’ The minor arcanas are so gorgeous, each suit follows a colour scheme which interlinks with the major arcanas.
The deck’s website www.lifecodetarot.com describes these in detail.
Together these cards work towards showing you ‘how to do life’ with the Fool and the Magician as the heroes on the journey of life.
This prototype copy of the deck comes with a small full-colour booklet, it has an index in the front followed directly by the card descriptions. There is no introduction to the deck though and no sample spreads as you’d find in some LWBs. Maybe there will be in the final production run, and the booklet is deserving of being hardbacked in future.
As this is a prototype deck it has come in a flimsy tuck box, but looking at the website, the production box does look nice and sturdy.
The card stock is quite bendy but lovely to handle, it has a textured feel to it and oh, the scratchy noise the cards make as they slide together during shuffling is just wonderful.
I like this deck. I can see it getting a lot of use. It’s colourful and dark all at the same time, which I find helps draw the eye at first glance to either the bright colours or the darker shadows to lead you into shadow work or lighter brighter work should you choose to. I find this deck simple and complex and oh so tactile. If I had one quibble, I’m not keen on the name printed on the back of the cards, I’d prefer them without it, I feel it cheapens the look somewhat, but that’s just me, you may love it.
The deck’s website says ‘This is a grown-up deck, that uses lifestyle imagery that makes real-life sense. It should appeal to Tarot readers who want a deck that is exciting visually and reads faultlessly (from a RW perspective).’
Deck reviewed by Jennifer 23rd September 2022 (for TABI)