The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this deck by the publisher for review purposes.

lost tarot of nostradamusThe Lost Tarot of Nostradamus by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan is a unique and historical deck that will have Tarot deck collectors practically peeing their pants with excitement. I’ll tell you why in a hot minute…

Details: published by Tuttle Publishing in 2012, this deck and book set comes in a nice sturdy box. The cards are of a thick stock with a matte finish.


  • Is a historical, fascinating deck that tells us a lot about the time period in which it was originally created
  • Has a mysterious, old world vibe
  • The companion book is packed with useful information about this deck!


  • Hard to shuffle (thick cards)
  • Lots of popes and other religious figures on the cards
  • A very challenging deck to read with. Plus, roman numerals!

The coolest thing about this deck is the story behind it! In 1994, an undiscovered volume of Nostradamus’ work was found. In it was the drawings for a Tarot deck that Nostradamus had been creating. The authors took those images and created The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus.

nostradamus-magicianReading with this deck really does make you feel like you are traveling back in time to the 1500’s. The cards have a very old, mysterious feel to them, which makes for a really unique reading experience.

This is certainly NOT a beginners Tarot deck. I have been reading Tarot for years and I had to look up the meanings in the book for some of the cards. This was due to the fact that the imagery, card names and suits differ from the standard Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck and the cards have Roman numerals on them. If you’re unlike me and paid attention in school and know your Roman numerals, you are one step ahead.

The companion book is awesome! It has all the information about how The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus was discovered and created, detailed explanations of each card meaning and three Tarot spreads, as well as some additional information about meditating and reading with the cards.

The card meaning section is essential because without it its hard to know what the hell is going on in half of the cards. Much of the symbolism is very different from your standard Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck, so don’t expect to just pop this deck out of the box and begin reading with it. Take your time to get to know this deck.


But what’s really interesting is seeing how Nostradamus portrayed each Tarot card. Studying these cards has given me a new understanding of certain cards, causing me to see them in a different light.

Since the Church played a huge role in 16th century European society, this deck is packed full of popes, cardinals and religious symbols. For some reason, looking at drawings of popes puts me in a pissy mood. I am not sure why. If I had to guess I would say it stems from a past life where I was forced into religion. To be honest, most artwork from this time period kind of creeps me out. But if popes are your thing, this deck will knock your socks off!

Watch my video review of this deck…

Buy this deck if…

  • You are a deck collector and you want something unique and historical
  • You are an advanced Tarot reader who wants a challenge!
  • You have an interest in the works of Nostradamus

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16 thoughts on “The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus”

  1. I have this deck but I donโ€™t use it as much as others because of many of the reasons you listed above. The readings also seem to be darker, if that makes sense, compared to my other decks. But it is a beautiful deck, well made, and definitely interesting to work with.

  2. Hi I really like your deck and I’ve seen a few video reviews but your deck seems nicer, more matt and muted colours.
    I have ordered it but I think I’ll end up getting the thinner cards, which is a shame as I think you must have bought the first print.

  3. Hi Kate,

    Just bumped into your blog and found this article reallly helpful. I just bought the Deck last months and actually have NO IDEA about the meanings of every card, since it has very different symbolism, compared to the Rider-Waite deck.

    Your review really motivates me understand this deck better!

    Thank you!

  4. I kind of bought this out of a whim, and would like to learn how to use them. But as you say, they are different and not for beginners.

    Well I want to learn, is there hope that I could learn how to understand tarots with this set?

    1. Hi Mike, I think this deck would be really tough to learn on. I recommend getting the basic Rider-Waite Tarot (the Universal Waite deck is my fave) and learning on that – you can compare the cards from the Nostradamus tarot to the Rider tarot and learn the deck that way.
      Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Thanks, Kate for this review! I’ve found this rather cheap deck online and wondered what it was like as I’ve never heard of it before. I’m into historical decks, so I liked this deck. Your reviews has helped me to buy many decks and I’m very thankful to you!

      1. Taranna Khetpal

        I bought this deck off Amazon because it was fairly cheap and I thought I would learn with it, I’m fairly new at Tarot and I’m having the toughest time. Made a mistake, should’ve gone with the original Rider Waite deck. But the thing is I kept thinking something is wrong with me and I can’t read the cards right or I can’t remember the meanings but after reading this post I feel much better knowing that it is a tough deck to read. Phew. I just bought the Everyday Tarot Deck because I just couldn’t work with these cards… For now. Thank you so much for your review.

  6. Thank you for the review, Kate. I like the deck very much. I am a collector, but I prefer more serious cards with history behind them such as these. The older decks are more to my liking. I’m not one to go for “cutesy” type cards. I would love to have these and will add them to my wish list!

    1. Deborah, I am glad you like these cards! I tend to go for the more “cutesy” types, but after working with these cards I can definitely see how the older, more serious decks have a certain kind of appeal.

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