Hello fellow Tarot Nerds, I’m back with another Tarot review! This time I will cover the stylistic deck, The Golden Thread Tarot by Tina Gong from Labyrinthos.
Tina markets herself as a designer, developer, and Pokémon master. A Woman after my own heart hahaha. She’s made several decks but the Golden Thread Tarot spoke to me most. Other decks are the Luminous Spirit Tarot, Seventh Sphere Tarot de Marseille and the Seventh Sphere Lenormand deck.
What her style has in common is that in general there’s a very graphic and stylized imagery to be found, which sets aside her Luminous Spirit deck most, which is more sketchy illustrated. Every deck she’s made features some sort of luminescence or a metallic element.
The Golden Thread features a metallic print on either side of the card, as well as on the box. The cards feel special, just like the Seventh Sphere decks, because the cards aren’t made of regular cardstock, but waterproof, eco-friendly plastic. No more worries when you spill your tea on the cards anymore. The fact they are made of plastic also means the cards are entirely black to the core, so no white cardstock edges either. This deck doesn’t come gilded like some others, but with both sides dressed in gold, I can hardly complain.
The cards are regular sized and not too thick. I think they are quite comfortable to hold.
What makes this deck different from most is that it doesn’t come with a booklet. Instead, you can download a free app from the app store, appropriately called the Golden Thread Tarot.
The app features a couple of things. You can let it do a daily reading, or choose to do more extensive reading yourself. In the first case, the app will generate a card for you, present its meanings and then let you mark the feelings you got from the reading. (See below.)
In the case of doing a reading yourself, you can pick from several types of spreads. Some are more general popular spreads like the Past, Present, Future spread, but there are also theme specific spreads present within the app. After picking your spread you can choose to use the digital deck or the physical deck to do the reading with. If you choose the physical deck it will present a shuffle timer – which you can skip – and then you can fill in the appropriate cards in the right positions in the app after laying them out. The app will then help you with the meaning and representation of the position of the card to do the reading with. In the case of the digital deck, you just tap the positions and the card will be revealed. When you log the reading, in either case, it will ask you to insert the question followed by the feeling and emotions as shown above.
Below you see the menu, the topics on tarot explained and some of the spreads that are present within the app. In the Mirror it shows statistics of what topics and emotions occur most, in the Log section you can read back on any readings you have saved in the log in the past. There’s also a database present in which you can look up specific cards and their meanings for when you are doing readings yourself and want a quick check. There’s also an option to purchase the deck through the app.
I just want to say real quick, this is my opinion. The things I mentioned above are as objective as I could write them to let you decide on yourself what to make of it.
Now there are a couple things I want to say about this deck:
- This deck is my favorite when it comes to replacing the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. It features pretty much the same imagery and symbolism, but in a much more modern illustrated context, something I really enjoy. I personally don’t connect too well with the RWS deck, but the Golden Thread is one of my go-to decks when it comes to doing readings for others.
- I love the aesthetic of the deck. I very much love dark themes things, and I think the gold stamped imagery is a stunning contrast to the black plastic cards. In certain lighting, the gold looks silver or a different color, which just makes it feel more special to me.
- The cards, while made of plastic saving me from water damage fear, do have their downsides. They are a little bit too bendy for my taste, so sometimes I’m a little nervous that would damage them. Also, the gold foil does seem to give off little glitter like particles every now and then so I am nervous about it losing its gorgeous imagery at some point due to frequent use and the appropriate wear. I would’ve preferred if the cards had the typical cardstock thickness and sturdiness, but that may be a more personal preference.
- I don’t find the companion app’s readings accurate at all. I did give it a try but it seems way too random for me to be useful. I do like that there is an option to use your physical deck and use it accordingly but that’s pretty much it for me… I do like the huge amount of spreads present in the app, although I haven’t really used them, it is nice to be able to try something else in the future if I want to. Overall, I don’t use the app. I actually had to reinstall it to include it in my review. It is very well made though. Decide for yourself if it works or not.
- The app is a good place to start for people who want to learn the cards, although for that I would probably recommend using their app Labyrinthos Academy.
- On my copy, the gold stamping on the back of the box itself was off center, which is just a small detail but being a perfectionist it does bother me whenever I see it. Just a small thing, doesn’t influence the deck itself at all but just wanted to point this out.
Would I recommend this deck for beginners? Yes, definitely. If the thickness/sturdiness of the cards doesn’t bother you and you like the imagery then go for it. Because it is mostly based on the RWS symbolism I think it is great for beginners or people who don’t like the RWS decks. (Given you do like the imagery on the Golden Thread that is).
Even though this deck has it’s pro’s and con’s I very much enjoy using it and it is absolutely stunning. While I probably won’t purchase any other decks from the Labyrinthos store, I do think Tina did a great job on creating all the decks and I will definitely keep an eye out for any future product.
Also if you like the style imagery of this deck and are looking for appropriate altar decor, I recommend checking out her Map of the Universe altar cloth. It is huge, but of very good quality (but fragile, don’t let your cat put her nails in it…) and it currently lives on the wall above my main altar space. (You can see peeks of it in the image above.)