Akashic ‘Tarot’ Review

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A little while ago I received a review* copy of the Akashic Tarot from Hay House. It coincided with the arrival of several other decks so I haven't used it extensively, but you might have spotted it on my Instagram and Facebook feeds or on some blog posts.  As a few people have asked about the deck, it seemed like a good time to write a review, although I will stress that my experience with it is still quite limited. 

Deck: The Akashic Tarot by Sharon Anne Klingler and Sandra Anne Taylor
Written by identical twin sisters Sharon Anne Klingler and Sandra Anne Taylor with illustrations from Cheri Polk and Emiliano Villani, the deck includes a guidebook with over 200 pages and 62 (matt-finish) cards. Yes, 62 cards - and it's a 'Tarot' deck. I'll be honest with you - this was the very thing that appealed to me.

When this deck arrived, I had only used Oracle cards of varying quantities per deck. All of my Tarot decks had 78 familiar cards, or maybe 78 plus one extra 'special' card, but never less. I really wasn't sure how it would work to have 16 MISSING cards and was keen to find out. The issue of the unconventional format was addressed pretty quickly in the guidebook:
Many people assume the Rider Waite Tarot deck set the standard for what a tarot deck should contain - and even look like. This is curious since Arthur Edward Waite, working with artist Pamela Colman Smith, created his deck in 1910, and Tarot decks have been around for hundreds of years... While Waite was inspired in design by some of the earlier decks from Central Europe, there are a great many other Tarot decks that have different suits, different numbers of cards, and different Major Arcana. 
The authors go on to describe that they didn't want to rewrite the 'traditional' tarot that has already been done, but instead were driven by their years of study and research of spiritual practices, philosophies, histories and cultures. 

Before I go onto the cards, I have to say that the guidebook is incredibly detailed for such a small volume. Needing to fit into the box with the deck, this has resulted in very small text but if you don't mind that (or you have a magnifying glass) then you'll find lots of interesting content. There is information about what the Akashic Records are, how to read the cards, some spreads and the card meanings, as well as different ways to read the imagery. There are some good tips that would be very useful for beginners, and which can be transferred to other decks.

For each card, an upright and reversed meaning is included, and some have special notes (around interpreting in relation to other cards etc). All have an "Akashic Force" too - a tip on harnessing the energy of the card, an exercise, affirmation, or some other way to see how it applies to you.

The deck itself consists of 22 Major Arcana cards and 40 Minors - 9s, 10s, Pages and Knights of each suit are absent. The Majors have unique names, are multi-layered (working on different levels), and they include Ascended masters and Angels.
The Archangels and Ascended Masters are very important participants in your life. When cards depicting them come up in your reading, know that this is a call to you to open to their presence, build a relationship with them, and take action on your shared purposes with them.
At this point, I must pause the review to tell you that the deck arrived on the day I did my Reiki Level 1 training, and had experienced a powerful healing from my Reiki Master, Cherry Emery. When I pulled a couple of cards for a sample reading, the first was 'The Divine Physician'. The book says: "you are moving into a time of magnificent healing on many levels. There's a person who can be a great healer for you, as well as a teacher who shares healing gifts that you can pass onto others." The second card was 'Fated Meeting' and indeed it did feel as though the universe had conspired to put me in a room with Cherry (who even looks uncannily like my much-missed maternal grandmother), it's a long story that I might share one day, but now is not the time. So back to the review...

Many cards refer to Spirit, the inner soul or Higher Self. The authors say that "an Akashic Tarot reading that addresses only the mundane world would be similar to giving a reading to a suit of clothes without anyone in them."

Three cards from a recent daily draw

As you can see from the images above, the 'missing' cards are not the only format change, but the names and suits themselves are different to a more traditional tarot deck too. The suits of the Minors represent the events, activities and relationships in the personal world and are represented by the following:

Roses - relationships, emotions, families, children, homes, personal and inner conflicts, and communities.  (Roses and thorns show the beauty and pain.)

Scrolls - mind, communication and study as shown in art, history, science, philosophy etc. This  suit is also about manifesting ideas into matter.

Keys - values, wealth, success, abundance, career, achievement, power etc. (The Keys to opening up new possibilities.)

Forces - energy, consciousness and Natural Law - these are the forces in the physical and etheric worlds. These reference outer events as well as guidance about the energy within and around you.

It's a very interesting take, and one I like, there is a lot to learn and many things that will give me a more rounded knowledge, but which will take some getting used to. With a 'traditional' tarot deck, I feel comfortable that I have a base of pre-existing knowledge to bring to the table and I can combine that with the imagery on the cards to 'read' a new deck, but with this it more or less felt like an unknown Oracle deck. I need to refer back to the guidebook, either to remind myself all the things that the suit represents or to look up who the 'players' are - mainly because my knowledge of Angels and Ascended Masters is currently very limited. I'm sure this will all improve with use, but as a 'Tarot' deck it wasn't what I expected and the fact that it requires more effort is one of the reasons I haven't used it as much as I might. However the readings with it are great when I take the time to work them out. It's a deck that I need to spend more time with, for sure.

There a couple of things that I don't like so much. First the illustration formatting - the cards are big (12.5 cm high) but the pictures on the Minor Arcana cards are small (8.5 cm) with huge borders. I would much prefer a bigger illustration and a small border (or none).  Also I find the artwork a bit hit-and-miss. Some of the images really appeal to me (I especially like the 4 and 5 of Forces which show the upright and reversed images) while others look too much like digital collage - which they are, however, for me it lacks a cohesive feel.

Secondly, after using the deck for some sample readings, daily draws and to read about it for this review, I noticed that the backing was coming off a few of the cards (pictured right, click to enlarge). Now, as I told you already, this isn't a deck I've used extensively.

I contacted Hay House about the issue and it was referred to the relevant department but I haven't heard any more about it yet. I'll update this post as and when I do. Mine was an early copy for review, so I'm not sure if this is an issue across all the decks. If you have it already, maybe you can leave a comment to let me know.

In summary then, regardless of whether it's a true 'Tarot' I think this is an interesting deck with a great deal of potential. I like that it has so much new 'stuff' to get my teeth into, although I haven't had the opportunity to do that yet. My readings, while not as intuitive as with other decks, have been really helpful. I'll certainly be delving further into the deck and you're likely to see it being used more frequently when I do.

If you'd like to try it for yourself, The Akashic Tarot is widely available in stores and online and there is also a Hay House app (for iOS) which offers a 7 day free trial (a great way to try decks before you buy). Finally, if this is of interest, you might also like Sandra Anne Taylor's book on the Akashic Records, part of the Hay House Basics series.

*The deck was supplied by Hay House. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. Hay House links and 'Amazon affiliate' links are included in the post. 


  1. The last few decks I've got from Hay House have had the backing falling off. I wonder if they have changed printers?

    1. That’s interesting, this is the only one I’ve had an issue with.



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