Cards of Alchemy

Cards of Alchemy
by: Raymond Buckland

ISBN 0-7387-0053-3
Price $29.95

Although I give a great deal of admiration for Raymond Buckland as  a pioneer of modern Paganism, I have always seen him as a person who takes something that is actually quite simple and works very hard to make it complicated. 

The Cards of Alchemy suffer from a similar pompousness.  The premise is wonderful and I always appreciate a new take on divination and pathworking.  Although I am certainly no mental midget, I can't seem to get my head wrapped around where Buckland is going with this deck.  The words he uses in the interpretations of the cards are lovely, uplifting and inspirational. 

Goddess help you if you try to navigate these cards without the book.  Much of what he pulls together on the cards and in the introduction of the book do not seem to be of congruent thought or perhaps I am just not left brained enough to intellectualize Tarot reading.  For me, it is an intuitive flow that merges into collective consciousness and creates a series of impressions and thoughtforms. 

Although I can sort of kind of see where Buckland was going with this idea, overall, I feel he tried to incorporate too many new ideas into one medium (no pun intended) and while they are far more usable than many decks, some of the components seemed to fall a bit flat.

3 pentacles out of 5

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Review by Katrina Rasbold