Tarot of the Angels (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) may be an old deck, in a market segment that is constantly seeing new additions (just like the cat- or pagan-themed decks). Still, it's one that is worth a closer look.
This is not a sugary-sweet love-and-light deck, yet it remains uplifting. The angels are there, it suggests, all around us and always willing to lend a hand or a wing to help. Yet, traditional tarot ideas remain strong in this deck, and life is not always easy or perfect.
For instance, in the Hanged Man we have someone who is going through a trial, a time of hardship from which they can learn. The message, though, is that we can also receive a little succour, some spiritual support, through this challenge.
The Knight of Swords makes me laugh. Look at this figure careening into whatever is ahead of them. Definitely going "where angels fear to tread". Yet, the angels look on from above, and will help and support the daring knight, whether he suceeds or fails in his quest.
The Seven of Pentacles is less traditional, and works on a number of levels. Instead of a man hoeing plants, we have someone tending a fire. Is he trying to melt down those Pentacles, in order to do something new with them? Is the angel at his side helping him to assess whether the work he is doing is likely to be successful, or does the angel whisper to him about doing it for the greater good? Does the man even see those Pentacles above the fire, or is he simply focused on the task at hand, not realising the value he is storing up for the future in doing what he does?
I love that these cards can lead to so many questions about how we are supported by spirit, and how we can bring a more spiritual approach into our everyday lives. Yet, they can also be read as straight-up tarot images giving a simple message - the choice is ours. An angel deck that isn't too in your face, then, and one which is not overly simple or new agey.