Joanna Powell Colbert asked if I'd like a copy of her 2nd edition of the Gaian Tarot to review, and i believe my answer was, "OMG YES". I had a copy of the first edition and it was yoinked by my kid and I'd never read with it.
The packaging on this deck is on par with the Mary-El Tarot. It's just beautiful. It's got a sturdy box and the book and deck fit beautifully inside of it. It felt like I was opening a present. The cards are REALLY big. This turned me off at first, because I have had problems handling big cards in the past. It pisses me off when I drop them or fumble them. These cards are bigger than the cards that I couldn't handle well in the past!
I didn't read the book - I gave it to my friend who is learning to read cards. It's very straightforward and I felt it would be a good tool for her.
The thing is, though, they're exactly the right size for a slow, thoughtful shuffle. You're not going to be able to speed read with these, and I wonder if that's why Joanna and Schiffer went with this size. I've given five readings with these since I got them last week, and they were just amazing. I had to slow down and shuffle carefully and be truly deliberate with each reading. The images are beautiful and there are so many little details to draw out during a reading. The cards even have silver edging, which is pretty.
The only criticism I have is that some of the edges are foxing a bit already. It's only noticeable, I'm sure, because I am studying each card. The card stock is pretty good and the edging is a great detail.
I'm going to use this deck to give readings to clients and to read for myself. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but it displays beautifully during a reading. The visual component was commented on by all five of my clients. The larger size of the cards invites the client to lean in and pick out details, too.
I would absolutely recommend purchasing this deck. It feels and reads well, and it's just so damned pretty! It was also very nice to give a reading to my African American client and see a black face looking back at me from the cards. I'm so happy that Joanna and other deck creators are including all sorts of folks that have been historically overlooked. It bears mention, as well, that the first edition that came out in the early 2000's also included people of color and people of all shapes and sizes.