Review: Updated Archangel Power Tarot

APTWhen Archangel Power Tarot was released a few years ago, I took a chance on a copy. I’d already enjoyed Angel Tarot and was excited to see what Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine’s second tarot offering would look like. Some may remember my review. I’d been very disappointed with the deck.

In a recent YouTube review of Fairy Tarot Cards, Kelly Fitzgerald explained why the fairies had disappointed her. Like me, she found that the different art styles (some classically-styled and others, ultra-modern CGI) fight against each other artistically in the one deck. Like Kelly, I had enjoyed some of the classical looking cards very much, which only succeeded in making me more disappointed with the computerised images. With a big sigh, I realised what the Fairy Tarot deck could have been.

It was like this with Archangel Power Tarot. As I unzipped The Fool (or Leap of Faith, as it is retitled), I was excited for what was to come. However, the copy and pasted components in so many of the cards became a major irritation. Worse than that, many of the characters were recognisably Hay House authors or friends of the creators. I found it hard to get past this, since some of the photographs used looked forced and decidedly awkward – like snaps you might find in a family photo album. The deck stayed in my possession for a short while before I sold it. I was not the only person to feel this way. Other reviews of the set were written from a similar perspective.

7ArielRecently, someone made a comment on one of my Facebook posts, informing me that the deck has been updated. I wondered if they’d made a mistake until I checked out the free version of the deck’s app on my iPad. As suggested, many of the images (including Doreen in The Moon, Radleigh as The Magician, and Robert Reeves in the 7 of Ariel) have been changed. I can add that the physical deck now carries the new versions too.

Many cards have been given a facelift. Characters have been altered, entire figures replaced, and details have been adjusted. Credit where credit is due. Hay House listened to the opinions of their customers and gave the deck another shot.

MoonLike Angel Tarot, Archangels appear on each of the Major Arcana cards. The selection is different to its predecessor in places though – for example, rather than Archangel Michael, Doreen and Radleigh have chosen Archangel Jeremiel to accompany The Wheel. As oppose to using Archangel Gabriel on this version of The Hanged Man, they’ve chosen Archangel Chamuel as its representative. It’s also worth noting that while the original titles have been altered for a more positive slant in reading, they are quite different to those in both Angel Tarot and Fairy Tarot. Release is Peace (Death) and Ego has become Decision (The Devil), as examples.

As I mentioned in my initial review, I liked the idea of using an Archangel for each of the minor suits – Michael for Air, Ariel for Earth, Raphael for Water, and Gabriel for Fire. As with other tarot decks by Doreen and Radleigh, the Majors and suits are colour-coded, which I like a lot. However, the suit colours for some are different to the choices used in both Angel Tarot and Fairy Tarot – Earth is pink, Fire is orange, and Water is green here. From what I could see, it doesn’t explain the colour choices in the accompanying book. I am no expert, but they seem to follow the chakras – indigo for the Crown Chakra (spirituality),  blue for the Throat Chakra (communication), green for the Heart Chakra (emotions), orange for the Sacral Chakra (energy and vitality), and pink (rather than red) for the Base Chakra (grounding and security). This might be a little confusing for anyone who associates suits with the elemental colours, but with a little time, I don’t doubt it will be possible to get your head around these alterations.

1st 4

Archangel Power Tarot has a Rider Waite leaning. While its pattern has its own individuality, the majority of interpretations follow Waite’s standard. For anyone familiar with Doreen’s other decks, the cards have a summary at the bottom of each. The 10 of Raphael (10 of Cups) shows a Victorian couple (replacing a modern couple from the original Archangel Power Tarot), sitting in a park while their children play behind them. Colman Smith’s trademark rainbow stretches above them and below the illustration on the card, it reads ‘Love and blessings fill your life! Harmonious relationships with family members. Happily ever after’.

While some people might find the switch from traditional suit titles to Archangels a leap too far, I actually like this change. If it had not been for the aesthetics of the original Archangel Power Tarot, I’d have been happily to explore the suits back then. Due to being a patron of creativity, Archangel Gabriel is connected to the element of Fire and traditional Wands. Because of his history with heralding love and important relationships, Raphael rules over the element of Water (Cups). Michael, being a protector and champion of justice  and truth, is used within the suit of Air (Swords) and the manifestation powers of Ariel made her the obvious choice for the element of Earth (Pentacles). Within each suit, the Angel is shown interacting with humans. The ‘copy and paste’ job in some of the cards still exists in the new version but with many of the real life characters  in the pack changed (minus Louise Hay, who is still the Queen of Michael), this is less of an issue.

2raphaelFor a long time, this was a deck I never thought I’d revisit but since it has been updated, I can now appreciate it in a new way. While the colour coding on the minors does take a little time to adjust to, the whole thing is now what I always hoped it would be – a deck I could happily read without too many cringes or sighs. Since the adjustments, the real beauty of some of the cards can be truly appreciated. A few minor bloopers still exist but cards like Change Your Life (The Tower), The Wheel, and 10 of  Michael (10 of Swords) are truly beautiful and the deck is no longer compromised by cards which many felt stuck out like a sore thumb.

2nd 2

Is Archangel Power Tarot now my favourite of Doreen and Radleigh’s tarots? It is not.

Have the updates made much of a difference? A resounding ‘yes’.

While there are still a few left that I would have updated (the 9 of Gabriel being one) and some I’d have left alone (I personally preferred the 2 of Raphael, 4 of Raphael, and 10 of Raphael from the original Archangel Power Tarot release), the update has made a big difference and I will use this version. Of course, if you can find a copy of the original, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a hybrid, combining the ones you like from each, since both have the same format and backs.

michIn short, this is a nice reading deck. If you are interested in combining Archangels with your tarot practice, unlike Angel Tarot, this one uses them throughout both the Major and Minor Arcana. For the most part, the images are punchy and vibrant and the changes to titles actually enables us to stretch our ideas and feelings about the cards. The deck is gender balanced and shows people of different ethnicities, which I also applaud.

In my opinion, the updated version of this set is a step-up from the original. The former was let down by the photographic collage in many of the cards. While there is still the occasional hodgepodge in the renewed Archangel Power Tarot, there isn’t really anything to offend or greatly disappoint those who will purchase it.

Power to Hay House for re-releasing this tarot in this new version!

Images from Archangel Power Tarot by Jeff Bedrick, published by Hay House


8 thoughts on “Review: Updated Archangel Power Tarot

  1. That is fascinating. I never thought people listened to feedback. It is quite possible that the authors hadn’t time to get things just right either and felt they wanted to fix things.

    The fact that Joanna and many of her friends turned up in the Gaian Tarot was what put me off buying that. It’s too personal. I can understand why the people around you would be inspirational but copying photographs of people in your life is really only interesting to you, not a wider audience.

    I’m glad you did this update, it’s so interesting to see the changes.


    • I guess that with time constraints and deadlines, this could be the case, Judy. I had wondered about Fairy Tarot cards. I could well be wrong but I wondered if there were a limited amount of appropriate pieces in the artists portfolio and they simply asked him to pop some computerised fairies on top of existing backgrounds. It could account for why it looks a little rushed, if they planned to publish at a specific time.

      I enjoy the overall construction and ideas in Doreen’s decks, so it does make me a bit sad that they get this kind of treatment. If you look at the decks by John Holland, Colette Baron Reid and Kyle Gray, the artwork is both superior to hers and consistent.

      I’m not so fussed about people using friends in a deck but when they are well known, I can’t build up my own story. I had the same problem with Marilyn Monroe in the Karma Tarot, Jim Morrison in the Ananda, and so many look-a-likes in the Cosmic. While there is nothing wrong with Doreen, Radleigh, Robert and whoever else, recognisable characters dressed up distracted me from the energy of each card.

      It’s great that Hay House have re-issued this. After speaking to their customer services on the phone a while back and seeing this, I can tell that they do value their customers. I hope that the authors are also pleased with the update too.


  2. Upon thinking about it, it’s not the fact that real people are used it,s the fact that they are photorealistically drawn. There’s a difference between an illustated likeness and a photorealistic copying of an actual photograph complete with the background.

    I like drawings of people–leaves it open a bit more. Your Green Tarot has real people but they are in different settings, it leaves it open, whereas the Gaian uses actual photos and composites–too real, you know?


    • Yes, I do understand. I think that photos can work in decks (I recently mentioned the Ghetto Tarot to you) but in some cases, they can look cheesy. I once had a beginners deck which used people dressed up and it looked like a poor school pantomime. I didn’t get anything from that deck because I couldn’t believe in any of the characters. They were too real. This is one of the reasons why I brought silhouettes to my Spirit Within the Shadows Tarot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad I came across this, Steven! I had seen a scan of the updated New Beginnings (Judgement) and The Moon cards online, and thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, because they were different than in the deck I have. Now I know why.

    I may be in the minority, in that the images of the authors didn’t really bother me that much. So, I’m off to get the updated version, and perhaps mix and match the cards, like you suggested.

    Thanks so much for the update on the update! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks James. I often find it diatracting when recognisable people are used in cards – unless it is a whole deck of famous people as its selling point (Heart of Stars Tarot). Obviously, it has nothing to do with the people used here, since I like them, but I prefer when characters are anonymous. It stimulates my intuition more and I can more readily liken them to people in a reading.

      I kind of wish I’d held on to my old copy now, since there are a few I’d have mixed in from the older deck too!


  4. I am glad i came accross this! I hadn’t the chance to buy the original version and I have the updated one and I was wondering why there were images!
    When I saw my friend’s original version I could feel that the cards pour out more energy, I could feel their message easier while with my deck the updated version I struggle. I sadly wish I had the original version, it seems much better.
    However the colors of the minor arcana represent the color of the Archangel that accompany them. Archangel Gabriel has bronze energy, Michael blue, Raphael emerald green and Ariel pink color, I don’t think it’s relevant to the chakras…
    Thank you for your article though! It helped me plenty!


    • I often thought it would be nice to have both so I could mix and match. I’m sure there are probably copies around that can be found. Might even be worth asking Hay House customer service if they have any old copies. I have found them very eager to help. I’m glad that you found my blog and that this was helpful for you Rea!


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