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The Cards: The Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

I use the Hanson-Roberts card deck almost exclusively for reading Tarot. While they may seem simplistic at first glance, I find that they speak eloquently. I’ve used others (and I have a deck of my own in development), but this is the one I come back to time and again.


My first card reading was through the Hanson-Roberts deck. I was in my early 20s, facing extremely challenging, even dangerous situations. To embark on the path of seeking counsel through the cards at such a volatile time made an indelible mark in my mind about the wisdom of divination, when approached with humility and a trusted guide.

Everything about that first encounter with Tarot was perfect: The woman who read for me was aglow with long curly red hair, mysteriously beautiful but not too dramatically mystical, dressed in shades of amethyst and emerald, cheerful and calm in demeanor (and sincerely concerned at some of the cards that were coming up for me). Certainly, it’s daunting to see the Three, Seven, and Ten of Swords, Devil, Death, and Tower cards in one spread! My reader very kindly and patiently explained what the cards were revealing.

Through that reading, I saw how I had miscalculated certain factors in my life and relationships. What she said made sense, and I had to admit that what I saw in the pictures accurately portrayed my circumstances and limitations. The danger I was facing had the potential to become very real, but I saw how transforming myself out of fear into heart-centered power could get me out of that situation. I saw how to use what the cards showed me as tools to change my reality. Thus I took my first step out of fear and into empowerment.

nine's path pleiadian tarot
Illustrations from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot deck reproduced by permission. Card images are © Copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.

The Hanson-Roberts deck is based closely upon the classic Rider-Waite Tarot artwork. Hand-drawn and colored in pencil, they have a decidedly human touch; the simplicity and innocence of the drawings, to me, circumvent the ego and open the heart so the archetypes and motifs can get to the deepest parts of our understanding. They feel very personal, eliciting a sense of trust, even while guiding us into the darkest shadows that may be calling for our attention.

Despite the simplicity with which they are drawn, there are plenty of details that in themselves speak volumes, and draw the eye to see a particular facet of a situation with clarity. A particular card may come up in several readings, but the light of the mind will approach it from exactly the right angle for understanding to pierce the veil of understanding. So, a color, an expression, a glint of light, some element in the surroundings may pop into the spotlight for that particular reading, to great effect, and the interplay of levels of awareness begins.


I hope you enjoy these cards and find the power behind the charm of their design. Of course, the use of cards for divination is a highly personal interaction. What’s your favorite deck? I encourage you to translate the weekly layouts here to the decks that speak most intimately to you.

Illustrations from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot deck reproduced by permission. Card images are © Copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.

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