The Guided Hand Tarot is a Rider Waite Smith variant created by Irene Mudd and is comprised of the standard 78-cards. I was able to get one of the first edition decks that has silver gilt edging. I rather like the silver edges as it is subtle, which goes nicely with the muted color palette of the cards and backs. This edition of the deck did not include a little white book, which the next edition is supposed to.
When I first heard about this deck, my feelings were mixed. It’s a collage deck, and unlike some of my fellow reviewers, I am not a big fan of collage decks. I always want to like them but I find they often don’t speak to me. Even as I went to look at the Etsy listing, I was expecting not to be interested. (I try to look at the decks the other reviewers are really excited about.) Then I saw the sample cards and went “Oh. I want to spend time with this deck.”
The way that Irene was able to make the various elements work together was remarkable to me. The images, ink, and lettering added to the story contained within that card. It didn’t feel like things were just on there because the card was supposed to have a certain element. Of course the sample cards should be the best example, but the entire deck is well done. In the Etsy listing for the deck, Irene states that this deck was designed from “a queered, feminist perspective.” In addition to that, it is also a diverse deck that includes a multitude of skin colors and non-human elements. Instead of the changes seeming to random, the image choices are well-thought-out.
This is a delightful deck that would be easy to add to a reader’s repertoire. It stays true to the intention of the Rider-Waite-Smith but includes diversity that would feel welcoming to those being read for. The Guided Hand does have a guide book that is offered separately to the the deck. If you already have a generic tarot book like “Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack, it would work well with this deck.