The Delos Tarot, published in South Korea by Lamb-Lamb, is a lovely deck. It has a cartoonish, slightly manga quality to it in the physical proportions of the people, and even in their simplified faces. Other than that, it is very much a RWS-clone, making it easy to read straight out of the box.
Still, it manages to retain its own personality, too. For instance, in the Devil card the two chained people are wearing animal masks. She wears a cat mask, while he wears a fox mask. The implication being that when we give into temptation, we are showing our baser, more brutish, yet also sly and self-serving side. I also like that they are naked, yet in a way that even a serious prude would have trouble objecting to: continuing the child-like feel of the deck, without dumbing down the symbolism.
Likewise, the simple images for the Court cards retain a lot of symbolic content. In the Queen of Pentacles we still have the sense of her sitting in a flowery bower, and the cute bunny remains at her feet. There is still a Capricornian feel to her throne, with a large goat’s head at the top and a smaller one on the armrest we can see. And the deck maintains the colours of her clothing: red for groundedness and passion, green for growth and white for purity. I also like the landscape about her, with various fields including one clearly devoted to agriculture.
The Aces are equally simple feeling and yet still rich. Although the Ace of Cups does not have the reversed M on the cup, it does have a little angel replacing the dove to show the role of spirit as the source of love. Stars gleam instead of yods falling (more spiritual connection), and lotuses still bloom beneath the fall of water (the wisdom that comes from connecting with love). And there is an interesting triangle, reminiscent of the illuminati symbol, on the cup’s base.
The Minors, too, retain much of their RWS content. The only thing I miss in this Nine of Swords is the astrological bedpane. However, the addition of a cat might suggest the succour available to us in one form or another, and the green and purple diamond bedpane points to the potential for growth and wisdom if we can calm our fears and see them for what they are: a product of our own mind.
Altogether, I have been delighted with this deck. It is very easy to read, and maintains both a feeling of playfulness with a potential for depth. It would be good for beginners and those who want symbolism without quite such a Christian feel, yet who may not want something overtly pagan. This could easily become a regular reading deck for me, and one I’d be happy to read for others with.