Morgan Greer Tarot

Created by Bill Greer and Lloyd Morgan
Illustrated by Bill Greer
Published by US Games, 1979

78 Cards: 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana
Card Size: 120 x 70mm
Tradition: Rider-Waite-Smith
Suits: Rods, Cups, Swords, Pentacles
Court Cards: Page, Knight, Queen, King
Strength 8, Justice 11

The Morgan-Greer Tarot is a popular deck largely based on the Rider-Waite tradition. There are only a few subtle variations and from what I can see, only one card that deviates from the traditional Rider-Waite imagery which is the 9 of Swords, depicting hands bound with rope rather than the usual card of nightmares. For the most part the symbolism follows that of the Rider-Waite, though it has been simplified throughout.

This simplification would be largely due to Greer’s use of close-ups. The illustrations have a much closer perspective than the Rider-Waite, with figures often depicted head and shoulders or three quarter view rather than full length, so producing more detail within the figures themselves. The cards do not have borders of any description and the illustrations run full bleed off the edges of the cards, which adds further visual impact. The full bleed images also enable the viewer to enter the card easily, making them useful for meditation and rituals as well as intuiting the cards in a reading.

Further impact is created by Greer’s bold colour scheme which is rich and vibrant throughout. The Morgan-Greer deck certainly has its own personality and is not merely just another Rider-Waite clone.

The style of the illustrations – which for the most part have been strongly executed – is reminiscent of the decade in which it was published, the 1970’s, and for me some of the figures within the deck bring flashbacks to television shows such as Charlie’s Angels and Starsky & Hutch. If you are a lover of 70’s culture and fashion this deck will have great appeal. That said, this comment is in no way derogatory and I think the Morgan-Greer deck has stood the test of time and is still a viable deck for the 21st century.

The Morgan-Greer Tarot is an attractive deck which clearly conveys symbolism of the Rider-Waite tradition. This makes it an excellent deck for beginners. The Morgan-Greer will also appeal to anyone that would like a “traditional” deck without being limited to the Rider-Waite.

Stella Luna © 2009. All rights reserved.

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