This deck is smaller than most (3 3/4″ X 2 1/4″). The art is simple line drawings as the deck was designed to be colored by the user. Though I have not tried coloring my deck, I think the shining coating on the cards might be a problem. the small size also makes coloring difficult as I learned on the B.O.T.A. deck. The art is rather good.
The style reminds one of the Marseilles, but the faces are much more pleasant and personable, giving the deck a less stiff feel than the Marseilles. The hair also adds to this feeling as it tends to be flowing and curled, vice the stiff and severe styles in the Marseilles. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles and the Court Cards are King, Queen, Horseman and page. The Minors are very simple pips which show the requisite number of suit items laid out in simple patterns. The suit of Pentacles is a little more detailed, showing different designs for each pentacle on the card. Nordic has changed the names of some of the Major Arcana:
The Juggler = The Magician
Wheel of Life = Wheel of Fortune
The Enchantress = Strength (XI)
The Reaper = Death
The Black Magician = The Devil
The World Magus = The World
The Magus = The Fool
The Magus (Fool) is unnumbered on the card, but the little booklet describes it as card XXII. The little booklet that comes with the deck is rather dated and dogmatic in theme. Sentences like “Swords relate to sickness, delays problems and sorrows.” are limiting to the reader. Our walk down the history road takes us to Egypt, Fez Morocco and Atlantis before we get to Europe and the earliest cards. Nordic seems to have an agenda, but since I don’t have the full book written for the deck, I’m not sure what it is. The descriptions of the Major Arcana describe the symbolism. Short, upright interpretations are provided and Nordic’s interpretations of the Minors appear to be based on numerology. They are also non-traditional. Coloring instructions are provided for all cards. There is also a description of a Horseshoe spread and a sample reading using it.
I recommend this deck for collectors and those who want a deck to color themselves.
Rolla Nordic Tarot Deck
Available from US Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT, 06902, (800)544-2637, Fax (203)353-8431