deck review – Starchild tarot (Akashic)

I’ve really been putting off reviewing this because I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what I want to say, and how, without offending anyone. Benebel Wen just posted a review and  I guess that’s the kick in the pants I needed.

starchild

look at me, trying to be all instagrammy

Cards:

78 non cards with non-traditional art but with traditional tarot structure.

Artist/Author:

Danielle Noel

First Impressions:

“Did I just waste a shit ton of money?!”

Favorite Cards

love

As far as art goes, I have a lot of favorite cards, many more than pictured here (as for meanings, I have maybe only 1 favorite). Just look at these! The artist is fucking brilliant. Her colors and composition are on point. I’d love to have some large prints to keep at my tarot altar. Her art is just so… magical.

Super Favorite Ultimate Awesome OMG Card

LOVE4wands

Be still my heart! There is something about this card that just…. ugh. Lookit. LOOOOK. So gorgeous. So perfect. So striking. Such pretty. Too bad it means jack and shit to me. “Celebration” my ass. I just don’t see it. Do you? Please help!

Least Favorite Cards

nolike

least favorite Sun card ever. Two of crystals: I keep thinking it’s THREE of crystals.

The first card looks like it wasn’t finished. But my main complaint is the box and deck has bits and pieces of art that reeks of a South Western (???) design and it’s just… ugh. It sticks out like a sore thumb in this deck. It doesn’t belong. And I hate south Western Designs. I have hated the aesthetic ever since I was a teeny tiny child and I had a coloring book about Barbie in Santa Fe, I think, and that look was everywhere.

I forgot to photograph the Lovers card. It’s an eyesore compared to the rest of the deck (pretty on it’s own, with no context). It’s almost silly. Slightly almost weird. It feels quite unfinished, like it could have been something.

Disappointing Card

 

9swords

This card depresses me (ha!). Of all the cards to “mess up” as far as meaning/symbology… this one really kind of upsets me. This card is a big deal to me. I always look forward to seeing a new deck’s 9 of Swords. I am disappoint. It was so close to going in the right direction and then… nothing. At least you have a night time setting going on. I’d love to have this as a large print in my bedroom though.

Readability: fuck no/5

If you want to just go completely intuitively… I might give a 1/5 for myself and (as I’ve been going through the deck today I’m actually getting nice sparks of intuition). But if you want to go traditionally, with the book. NO. I have to use the book as a crutch (because I only have like half of the traditional meanings memorized) and it’s a dead fish as far as intuition goes.

I have done many readings with this deck and I plan on using it more in the future, especially if I can kick my intuition back into gear. The readings I’ve done have come out rather nicely despite all my misgivings I have about it. It’s a fair, balanced deck. I always want to use it.

Beginner Friendly: fuuuuuuck no!/5

Read above. And I’ll expand: It’s laughable, really. Look at -any- card and then look at the meaning. The Major Arcana are easier to see meaning in them but even then… ugh. Just UGH. Unless you’re some kind of unearthly intuitive being, do not start with this deck.

Cardstock: sexy yet shitty/5

This deck begs to be held and flipped through. The cardstock is an absolute treat to handle. I love just picking it up, looking at the art, man handling the cards just to feel them.

I have longish fingers, I guess? I can stretch a full octave on the piano without problems. But this deck is huge and beefy, weighty, and just plain hard to riffle shuffle (I refuse to do overhand shuffle with my draw style).

The deck is starting to warp a bit because I can’t flex the cards well at all when I shuffle.

The edges have a matt gold gilding which I don’t think I’ve seen before:

gilded

It’s a really fantastic touch for this deck. I don’t think shiny would have worked. I’d love to see more matt edged decks!

Unfortunately I don’t think the cards will hold up to a lot of use. Almost immediately my 10 of Crystals peeled at the corner. The cardstock is soft, for lack of a better word. It’s almost like it’s a luxury item, sometimes you sit on a shelf and use as a decorative item and occasionally look at.

They don’t clump together, which is nice, and they aren’t very slidy which is super nice.

Art: AMAZING/5

This deck is fucking gorgeous overall. It’s super photogenic (sure to make you popular on Instagram) and it’s just a treat to look at. Many cards can be stared at again and again because they’re so pretty, and have a lot of layers and stuff you won’t notice right away. It took me quite awhile to realize the subtle images in the 5 of Crystals.

Meanings/Symbology: HAHAHAHAHAHA/5

I’ve already complained about this (sorry for the messy review) but… OK so the 2 of Swords does all right with what it’s supposed to mean.

Backs: meh/5

backs

Reversible and pretty but meh. There’s nothing special about them. They’re not bad, just not special.

Book: ewwlol/5

book.JPG

TONS of information! Majors have mini images.

*puts on bitchy Science/logic hat* I don’t think I’ve seen so much woo and fluffy nonsense crammed into such a small space. Akashic, chakras, Starseeds… really? really?! Actually I said the same thing about the Lumina tarot, but I really mean it with this one.

There are some cool spreads in the book that I’ve been trying to de-woo because I see the potential in them.

*takes off hat* If that kind of stuff is your bag, you’re going to love the book. I may sound like I’m hating above but seriously: the deck specific spreads are fantastic and very worth using, especially with this deck. The information is going to be useful for you.

Box: 110%/5

Y’all know I like my nice, thick, compact boxes. This one holds the deck and book perfectly. Very easy to tip to get the cards out. It could possibly be slightly more compact but I don’t have complaints.

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going to sound like a hater again: I cringed when I saw Sagan’s famous “starstuff” quote in the box and the book. I’m no Sagan expert but the thought of a scientist and agnostic being related to something so unscientific and fluffy gives me the heebie-geebies.

I also feel slightly embarrassed that I own this deck. And I feel like I really shouldn’t have it. It’s almost like… if I was seeking wisdom from the Bible or some other religious text (except that’s like an insult to the Starchild tarot, which is nothing like the Bible). It feels like I’m culturally appropriating. I have never got that feeling from a tarot deck before and I don’t like it.

I’m also turned off by indie artists who come out with a “2nd edition” of a deck. I feel like it’s a money-grab situation. Maybe it really isn’t. But it just looks like it, you know?

Not hating section: I am so incredibly drawn to this deck. The combo of the art and the sexy cardstock takes me somewhere. It still feels like a dead fish but I feel like I can take a journey with it, give it life, make it my own. I desperately want to crawl into this deck and use it as an extension of my, uh… “higher self” or whatever.

I’ve been somewhat following the study group over at the tarot forums, and even posted a couple times. I want to participate more and hopefully learn how to read the deck with little to no symbolic help.

Overall: I’m glad I got this deck. It was not a waste of money. I keep this deck near me at home at all times. I am never letting it go.

The artist is making a Moonchild tarot and if she finishes it I’ll be pre-ordered the fuck out of it.

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4 comments

  1. While I respect your personal views of this deck, I feel like this review came from a misguided place & I’m a little confused. Firstly, the deck you’re reviewing is not the akashic deck. The akashic deck is borderless, standard sized & has 79 cards, not 78. You are reviewing the 1st edition of the deck, which I believe also has 79 cards, not 78. This is important for you to know, especially since you expressed your dislike for 2nd editions.

    I also don’t understand why you bought such an expensive deck that is clearly centered around the belief in starseeds, chakras & akashic records if you believe that this is “woo” & “fluff”. In her description of the deck, these things are clearly stated & thus I don’t understand why you would purchase the deck with that in mind.

    Furthermore, the designer has stated before that these cards are meant as a tool for meditation & introspection mainly, not necessarily readings & answers, so of course the general readability is not going to be as straightforward to understand as other decks. But also, I could tell from the beginning of your review, before you even stated it, that you must not have a full grasp of the full meanings of the cards, because while a handful of the cards are hard to interpret via the symbology, MOST of the cards do give you the correct understanding, if you know what you’re looking for. It is also helpful to note that she has an extensive thoth based background & I definitely see some of the meanings of that deck on these cards, which you would need to know of as well.

    I agree that this card is not for beginners, but it also isn’t for those who read tarot without a spiritual background (I don’t know your background, I’m just putting this out there in general). The use of spiritual symbols, sacred geometry & the idea of the akashic records requires you to have more knowledge than just what the cards mean in order for you to understand them. You used the four of wands as an example of a card that doesn’t portray the meaning correctly. However, the full moon is a time of fruition, completion & celebration for what has been achieved during the first half of the moon phase. The wands being placed over this symbol clearly references that idea & stays in line with the meaning of that card.

    What’s the most confusing is your opinion about this decks fluffiness & uselessness, but your final thoughts were that you love it & you would buy her new deck. I don’t get it. If that’s the case, why is your review not centered around that?

    Personally speaking, I think that perhaps before you review an abstract deck, or really even purchase one, you should have a better understanding of the card meanings, & maybe do better research to find out what the deck focuses on. That way you won’t get lost in the “woo woo” translations & understandings & you’ll find a deck that’s more in line with you.

    Like

    1. Heya!

      This is indeed the 2nd edition Akashic version
      http://www.starchildtarot.com/lookbook/

      I have the privilege of being able to occasionally treat myself to an “expensive deck”, and I loved how this one looked. Something that I don’t know if I mentioned is that the art reminded me of dreams I used to have all the time as a child. Such dreams have inspired my own art and creative endeavors so seeing something like this just blew my mind. Actually, I think there are one or 2 other decks out there that have done that…

      Anyway, I love art in general and I collect tarot so it wasn’t a big deal for me to buy it even if I don’t appreciate the starseed thing or I’m unable to read with it right away.

      I actually just recently learned what the full moon is good for and after your explanation that totally makes sense. Thank you! I can be rather dense with symbology until someone points something out so I can’t even say I’d notice that -before- I knew about the full moon, and I have the memory of a goldfish so who knows… And I didn’t know about her background and use of Thoth. That would have been useful information. I don’t know my Thoth well yet.

      And, I have finally re-learned most of the meanings of the RWS cards (again) so I can carry that knowledge over a lot easier if I wanted to. I whipped this deck out last month or so and did some small readings with it that I think went well.

      I missed the memo on this deck being mainly for meditation and introspection. I have actually done one meditation on one of the cards, ages ago. It’s an excellent deck for that.

      And as I stated above, I love the deck for various reasons, mainly the art. I love the art in her new deck as well. Can I not own 78 pieces of art because I want to?

      For the last note, I don’t see anything wrong with reviewing something that I don’t 100% understand as long as I admit it, and I’m pretty sure I did. You’ll notice I didn’t say anything like “Don’t buy this deck, it won’t work for anyone!”. Maybe it would help to reiterate in the post that I’m a non-spiritual atheist skeptic so that’s where I’m coming from but I kind of feel like I’m pimping this deck fairly enough to people who would “get it” or just want to enjoy it on another level. On the other hand, I know this review has helped at least one person realize it’s not for her because we share similar beliefs and she isn’t a collector like me.

      I think it’s extremely important to look at different views of something which is why I wanted to add my own view.

      Liked by 2 people

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