The best word to describe the MerryDay tarot deck by artist Louisa Poole is unique. The deck follows the Rider-Waite-Smith system generally, with some variations in both the major and minor arcana.
However, if you read RWS, the differences shouldn’t be a problem for you -- and they make the deck interesting and fun. For example, within the major arcana instead of the traditional Hermit card, MerryDay has the Teacher, instead of The Wheel the deck has
Lady Destiny, instead of The Hierophant, there is the Mentor. The cards are quite beautiful and the pictures are lush. I think my favorite may be The Fool, which is illustrated full circle with The Wizard (the card shown on the cover of the box). The Moon and
the Sun cards also are just beautiful and the minors are detailed and have a storybook feel to them.
The deck incorporates the four principal elements, seasons, and numerology in its depictions (although it probably would add to the depth of a reading, you
can read with the deck without knowing much about numerology). Within the minor arcana the Aces are Dragons (Air Dragon for the Swords, Fire Dragon for the Wands, Water Dragon for Cups, and Earth Dragon for the suit of Pentacles). The court cards have Elemental
cards instead of Pages, Warriors instead of Knights, and the Kings are the King of Air (Swords), King of Fire (Wands), King of Autumn (Cups), and the Winter King (Pentacles – this is one of my all-time favorite King of Pentacles cards ever). There is a guidebook
that goes with this deck but it’s difficult to get and quite expensive.
The cards do have key words on them, which is very useful to new readers, and there is a small insert that comes with the deck. The card stock is on the thin side and the edges wear rather
easily, but it’s not terrible and they shuffle well. The borders are black and unobtrusive. The deck is diverse culturally and has people of color depicted throughout. The cards are an interesting balance and combination of primitive and fanciful/earthy and
Overall, it’s a different deck, an easy deck once you get used to the slight variations, and a deck that offers many layers of understanding and ways to gain knowledge. This isn’t a deck I use for an everyday draw but it’s a fun deck to work with and
it pairs well with other decks for readings and clarifications.