The Osho Zen Tarot is a deck of 79 cards illustrated by artist Ma Deva Padma. These cards emphasize being in the present moment and making the NOW your point of power. The cards come with a substantial companion book that explains the meaning behind each card and introduces eight different spreads.
- Deck has a nice feel to it, particularly when shuffling
- Cards are a creative and spiritual interpretation of the classic Rider-Waite deck
- Self explanatory cards are easy for anyone to read
- Cards bring you into the present moment
- Roman numerals on the Major Arcana (confusing!!!)
There are a million things I love about the Osho Zen Tarot, but my favorite thing is the way they feel. The cards are sturdy enough to be durable, yet bendy enough to shuffle nicely. The finish is somewhere in between matte and glossy, so they aren’t annoyingly slippery. Also, the card dimensions are perfect – cards measure 3”x 4.25” so they are slightly shorter and wider most tarot cards, making them easier to shuffle if you have dainty hands like myself.
The Osho Zen Tarot has taken the Classic themes and images of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot and re-imagined them from a spiritual, Zen perspective. The result is so refreshing and inspiring! Cards that often leave me feeling cold and hopeless in the Rider-Waite deck, such as the Five of Pentacles, have a real sense of possibility in the Osho Zen Tarot and it is easy to see ways breaking free from your current struggles.
The Osho Zen Tarot re-imagines the traditional tarot in a way that is positive and empowering, but without being too wishy-washy or nauseatingly upbeat. For example, The Ten of Swords is replaced by Rebirth (10 of Clouds), so instead of a guy with ten swords stuck in his back, we see a young boy rising out of a lion which is rising out of a camel. This picture makes it obvious that the card is about rising above and moving through different phases, always evolving. Its so easy to interpret this card in a way that is helpful and empowering.
A unique aspect of the Osho Zen Tarot is it’s incredible ability to reveal the dysfunction of our minds and the ways in which our egos keep us prisoners – all the while making it possible to identify escape routes and solutions to our problems. For example, “Clinging to the Past” replaces the Four of Cups and the image is so clear in illustrating what this cards meaning is and what we need to do to instantly feel better.
Which brings me to another great aspect of the Osho Zen Tarot – pretty much anyone can read with these cards. Each card has one or two words on it which capture the essence of the card’s meaning. So if you have been struggling to learn Tarot and find that a lot of the more traditionally structured decks, such as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, don’t resonate with you, this deck could be your saving grace.
Cards that have always stumped me in the Rider-Waite deck are crystal clear in the Osho Zen deck and I find myself thinking “oh, now it makes so much sense!”
Court cards are easier than ever to interpret and you won’t ever find yourself staring blankly at the “King of Swords” thinking “what the &#%* does that mean?”
Buy this deck if:
- You have struggled with learning the Rider-Waite deck
- You find traditional tarot decks to be kind of scary or negative
- Court cards are your nemesis!
- You are more concerned with the present moment than the future
- You have an interest in meditation and Zen
The Osho Zen Tarot is one of my absolute favorite decks and I use it frequently when reading for myself and for professional readings. I find that the Osho Zen Tarot inspires me to live in the NOW and to turn inward in order to understand and change what is going on outside of me. These cards just radiate wisdom. In fact, reading from this deck is like having your own enlightened Zen master sitting in your living room with you!
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Do you own the Osho Zen Tarot? Share your opinions in the comment box below!
14 thoughts on “Osho Zen Tarot Review”
What if we get a reversed card in osho zen tarot
I do not agree with the explanation of schizophrenia in the Osho Zen Tarot. It is not Split Personality which is now called Multiple Personality Disorder. Schizophprenia is too much dopamine in the brain causing mixed messages, paranoia, pshycosis and with all that comes fear.
I love your interpretation of this deck. I was given this deck a while back. It seems that every time I use it, I end up with a very negative reading. In fact it is so negative that I have put it away in a drawer and never use it. How odd that you all have found it so positive. Maybe I will pull it back out, “unsee” what I thought I saw in the deck and try again.
Kat, I completely get what you mean! I have had phases where I get really negative readings from this deck too, and I’ve put it away in frustration. In fact, the last time I took this one to a Tarot party to do readings for others, I got consistently negative readings for nearly everyone there! It was actually a bit awkward. Other times I get wonderful readings. You might want to try taking out all the negative cards for a couple of weeks, then slowly reintroduce them back into your deck. Just so you would be able to break the cycle of having a negative association with that deck.
Oh my how awkward would that be!! What a great idea. I don’t normally like having to take out the negative cards, because there is negative in life. But I guess it might be good to “train” this deck lol. Thanks for the idea
Like many other Tarot readers out there, I, too, own and love the Osho Zen cards. While I have personally noticed that they do not do so well predicting future events (as Ma Deva Padma made quite clear in the companion guide), the cards do a magnificent job of showing someone the current situation and EVERYTHING that surrounds it. They put a lovely spiritual twist on even the most mundane inquiries a client may come to me seeking answers to. Definitely a deck that I would not, could not function as a Tarot reader without.
Chris, I wholeheartedly agree! Thank you for your comment 🙂
I was just given a gift of this deck and was wandering around Google looking for reviews. Yours is a wonderful one! Thanks!
I had this deck a long time ago and ended up passing it along. But twenty years–and a lot of tarot decks later–I’m appreciating its clarity and self-reflective/present-moment focus.
Thanks Jamie 🙂 That’s great you are enjoying this deck. It’s funny – the first time I saw it (a friend had it) I really didn’t like it. I thought “why would I get that deck?” but then a few years later, it suddenly appealed to me and I got it and I love it!
I love this deck! It is my first deck, it’s easy to read, and the illustrations are beautiful. However, I’m relatively new to reading tarot so this question goes out to anyone and everyone, and I’d love to receive feedback. When reading this deck, I usually use specific layout’s that are in the back of the book that came with it. So for instance, in the “Diamond” layout when the second card is supposed to be the internal influences that you aren’t aware of, and I’ve gotten cards that literally do not make sense in that situation. Like getting “The creator” or “The Master.” (These are just random examples). I guess what I’m trying to say is how do you read the tarot in a specific layout with cards that don’t correspond with what it’s supposed to? I hope this makes sense and I’d love for some input! Thank you!
I have been working with OZ deck for a few months,
And have very limited Tarot knowledge. However, I can share
A few pointers that may help you with the “Diamond” spread
as I use that spread often.
I think what is helpful to understand about OZ that although
It is “technically” a Tarot deck it functions more
like a very in – depth and “meaty” Oracle Deck. OZ had a unique
” voice” of its own , and I think when a reader tries to make the
meanings ” fit” with that of a traditional deck not only
can it make the reading more confusing, but it also
compromises the spiritual nature of the cards. First,try not
to interpret the keywords to literally as that can
limit your understanding . For instance, in the Diamond Spread,
if the ” Creator ” card comes up in the “unknown influences”
position don’t automatically think ” King of Wands” instead
think about how the card is speaking of the concept of
a person that needs to learn how to learn how to use their
ambition in ways that are productive so they don’t ” burn” others
in the process of going after what they want. If the “Master” card
appears in the “known” position look at us as the person may have
the intellect or wisdom of the their spiritual path but
had not developed that to “walking” the path. The Master card is one
Who has gained enlightenment so this card cannot really be fully applied
to anyone having a reading because if they were they would not be having
a reading LOL! This type of deck gives the best readings that incorporates
Spiritual concepts and ideas and with a reader that not only wants
a reinterpretation of Tarot but a Transpersonal experience. Good luck!
This is my main deck that I bought when I decided to learn tarot. I also bought the companion book (not just the one that comes with it), which has a chart in the back comparing the cards to the corresponding cards in other major decks.
I like how simple and optimistic it is too, and the beautiful flowy illustration.
Since divination is basically a reading of current energies, it makes sense to me to focus on the present the way this deck does.
I agree, Erin! I have the book as well and its great – I bought this deck way back when I knew very little about Tarot and so it was one of the decks I learned with. Another deck which is wonderful is the Tao Oracle – it is by the same artist and its fabulous as well 🙂
I also love the Soho Zen and found the illustrative art spook impact, that I go, wow, in my mind. One of the first I had held was the one for Schizophrenia. I was soon blown away.As I had facilitated for womens shelters and different support groups, I could “see” just what those whom we were helping with this were experiencing.