Reviews

Deck Review: Slow Holler

I got this deck around Christmas last year and I’ve put off this review long enough. It’s taken me this long because I haven’t been able to find the right words for what this deck does to me. It finally came to me the other day when I saw someone post it on Reddit: “I have such a very strange, unexplainable reaction to it. It feels like a diary that I don’t want anybody else to know I have.”

*edit* I forgot to mention! When I got my deck the last 7 cards of the cups suit were missing. I contact someone through their website and they got back to me quickly and got the cards in the mail right away. If you have any problems with missing cards, let them know!

Initial Impression

I was quite smitten when I flipped through this deck the first time. It’s got a unique vibe. It’s got presence, a personality. If it was an element it would be earth.

Packaging

It came wrapped with the book in a lovely handkerchief that matches the deck. There was a red piece of yarn tied around it which I’ve since misplaced. The material is kind of rough (to me). I’m sure it would soften up with a wash or two but I wouldn’t want the lovely print to wear off.

 

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nice easy way to contain the deck. really wrinkles the fabric though

 

Cardstock

It shuffles very well but it’s so thin it’s sad. It’s probably about as thin as the Tarot of the Vampyres, but it’s less springy/more bendy. I didn’t think it was possible to be shittier than the Vampyre deck but they somehow managed. Congratulations 😦

My deck took on a bit of a curve after just a week or two of use. I think the price for the deck is too high for the card quality. If the price was lower I’d pick up a backup deck.

Backs

 

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me gusta

 

Art

I love the art! None of it is really something I’d hang on my wall. It’s not that kind of art. But it’s very earthy, sometimes grungy. It says something. This is a collaboration deck involving queers and or southerners, which makes it extra special with different art styles. But the color palette is limited to red, white, black, and gold which ties it all together. It’s very cohesive.

LWB

It’s perfect bound with 191 pages of nice, smooth paper. The cover is a heavier cardstock and both front and back are a flap style so you can unfold them to use as a sort of bookmark.

The text is very “do whatever the fuck you want” friendly. Use reversals, or not. Use your instincts, or not. There’s a nice enough blurb for each card (no thumbnails provided), along with a line or two for reversed meaning.

I’m disappointed that there are no custom spreads that come with it. The back of the book lists contributors and who did what.

Notable

Several Mijors were renamed, as well as all the suits, and court cards which “break from the gender binary”. Cool. I won’t list them all here but they seem to work rather well. I’d prefer they weren’t renamed but hey. What can ya do.

The Nine of Knives is very anxious to me but it is striking and well done. The 10 of Knives looks cool. It works. The Chariot and 6 of Knives are my least favorite. The vehicles bring a modern element which is sort of jarring to me. There are other modern bits here and there in the deck but they’re not nearly as obvious.

 

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favorites on top, leave favorite on the bottom

 

Readability

So this is where it gets tricky. I have a bit of a hard time “getting” many of the images. I have to really stop and think about what I know from the RWS and translate it over. I haven’t been reading with it for a few weeks so I got rusty with it rather quickly. Would not recommend for a newbie.

Quickie Test Reading

I can’t remember the exact question I asked when I laid these cards the other day. I think it was “How do I grieve?”. I didn’t have any positions in mind. I just needed to toss some cards out.

 

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2 of Wands, The Tower, 8 of Cups

 

I’ll quote some bits from the book:
“Breathe new life into a project. Breathe fire. Let yourself be catalyzed, not inhibited, by the past, and you will flourish. Let go of what holds you back, and let the vibrant life inside you surge forward.”

“Embrace change and chaos. Light a match. Let it all burn down. Release attachment. Open to profound clarity. Align yourself with the energy of creative destruction, and welcome the winds of renewal.”

“Allow your mourning to be generative.Turn the ashes of what was into the fertile soil that welcomes what is to come. From your grief, new connections can grow – if you let them.”

I’ll just leave that there.

Final Impression

I really do love this deck. It will always be a top favorite despite the name changes and shitty cardstock. I don’t think it would appeal to most people though.

 

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I edged it. I like how it adds to the dirty earth vibe going on.

 

Reader Review: Fables Den on Etsy

2017-02-23

I discovered Kimberly of Fables Den last year or so on YouTube and liked her immediately. Maybe it’s because we both like the Dreaming Way tarot. Maybe it’s how genuinely excitable and down-to-earth she is while still being spiritual, or that she has some unique things to say that make her stand out from all the other card slingers out there.

 

She did a little contest on her channel to give away some readings and I won! Of course I didn’t think I’d win so well… I was in love with how her readings looked and they were on sale so I bought the Wonderland reading. A day or two later I found out I won and she offered me a refund for the Wonderland reading, or I could keep the free one for later. I felt like I wanted to keep one for later so we went with that.

(I’ll cover the first reading here, and maybe I’ll do another post later about the 2nd reading. I’ll include some screenshots that might be a little awkward because I don’t want to share everything.) 

This was my first professional reading and what I’d consider my first “real” reading, so I can’t compare it to other paid readings. I’ve gotten a couple little freebies online before but they weren’t too special or memorable. The last one I got was not bad, actually. But you know… kind of a big deal, my first paid tarot reading. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t exactly know what to expect but much less nervous than I felt looking at other people’s shops. Her graphics and outline in each listing are rather informative and really sparked my curiosity!

I got 11 pages total, including a sort of cover page, and a final page with a quote. It was such a beautiful presentation! She also included this bit on the cover page, which was cool:

 

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I was only sad for a moment that she didn’t use the Dreaming Way 😉

 

I purchased the reading on October 29th, 2016 and she delivered the PDF on November 4th. We had exchanged a few messages over a couple days before she started the reading. She was super nice to talk to, understanding and patient with my paid-reading-newbness.

 

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just a little selection on the first card. Isn’t the presentation lovely?

 

The reading for each card is a nice length. Enough to sink your teeth into. Some cards had more to them. And did I mention presentation?

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This is for the 2nd card. As you can see, she goes all out. She goes into character while keeping it relevant to your reading. I don’t feel the word count was wasted using this method.

There is lots more to the PDF of course, and more than one character’s PoV.

This reading really rang true for me. It gave me something to think about (to be fair, EVERYTHING gets me thinking). It was warm, creative, fun to read, and actually helpful. Of course, it put the ball into my court and I think that’s what a good tarot reading should do.

Now… I very rarely get readings from others because I am quite happy to read for myself. I guess I was lured in by how novel her readings looked and I was curious how it would come out. Would I pay again for a reading like this? More importantly, would I pay full price? It’s hard to say. It really was a treat talking to her and getting this fun, unique bit of, I dare say, art? I do like to support indie artists. But, again… I am quite happy reading for myself.

If I ever do buy another reading from anyone, I would go to her first and be quite happy about it.

So… over 9000/10. Fables Den is wonderful and you should certainly check her out!

Deck Review – Quantum Tarot 2.0

This is a deck that I got shortly before moving so it ended up in storage for over a year. I didn’t think I was into it and figured I’d give it away, but I wanted to review it first. In the process of reviewing I kind of fell in love ❤

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yasss mommy likey

Initial Impression

It was so long ago but I remember kind of thinking “well the art is pretty but hard to read”. It wasn’t providing me any clues to go off of intuitively so I never ended up using it. I also loved how sciency and spacy it is.

Packaging

It’s my favorite kind of tarot packaging. A nice, super sturdy box with just enough room to hold the cards and the LWB.

Cardstock

Perfect for shuffling. Thin, as expected from a standard Lo Scarabeo deck, but not too thin.

Backs

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I wholeheartedly approve.

Art

It’s very pretty and soft? ethereal? Maybe a little too soft, in a way because there isn’t much weight to the imagery to anchor the scenes. Does that make sense?

And I’d like to quickly mention that I like the borders.

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upper row favorites: heh. I’m 12 and the ace of wands looks like a wang.
lower row: the Devil here doesn’t do much for me. The rest break the whole spacey vibe of the deck.

LWB

It’s great! I love it. It has a “basic course” which includes a science related alternate name for each card (e.g. 0 The Fool – The Big Bang), a mini traditional tarot description, and a question relevant to the card (e.g. for the Fool: What journey are you ready to embark upon?) and in the next section each card has a longer, science related description. It has English

The next section is called “advanced course” and has a good size paragraph about something sciency that they’ve tried in with the card and expand on the meaning of the card.

There is English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. However English is the only language that includes the “advanced course”.

One last thing worth mentioning is that there are 2 spreads included. They seem all right. They don’t show card positions but that’s all right. I show the results of one of the spreads below.

Notable

The cards are matte, but there is glossy embossing on every card. The frames are all embossed and then there’s always a little extra embossed.

The cards are matte, but there is glossy embossing on every card. The frames are all embossed and then there’s always a little extra embossed. Usually, it’s there to enhance something that’s already there. It sort of acts as the anchoring I spoke of as above. It’s a fairly unique feature as the only other deck I can think of that does this is the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn.

Also notable is there are 2 extra cards. I don’t use extra cards but it’s cool they were included.

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the extra cards: The Phoenix and The Universe. Here I tried to capture the glossy embossing. Lovely, yes?

Readability

So I did one reading with them and feel like I need to play with them a lot to get used to the different sort of imagery. The reading I did I had to lean heavily on the book but it was a great reading.

Quickie Test Reading

I tried out the Relativity Spread. The cards are Space – where are you at the moment? Time – what will change in the near future? Gravity – what is attracting me?, and I left out the last card but it’s Relativity – key to integration.

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Final Impression

I’m glad I decided to review this deck. I think I may end up using it. I do feel like I’ll be using the book as a crutch but I’ll see what happens!

I wouldn’t recommend this for a beginner but if you love science or even just the art, it could be worth grabbing at some point.

mini review – my first deck: the Goddess tarot

I often reminisce on my very first tarot deck. I have a crummy memory so I was never quite sure on which deck was my first, but I’m fairly sure it was this one: the Goddess tarot, art by Kris Walderr published by US Games in 1997.

 

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3 of my “favorite” cards.

 

Fair warning: I do not have a favorable opinion of this deck!

I believe I bought this deck in 1999 at a Target. I was so curious and desperate to get started for tarot and pretty much bought the deck without getting to preview it first. I did not connect with the deck at all. It was quickly set aside and my next deck was given to me around a couple years later.

My main beef with this deck:  while the actual art is nicely executed, the color palette is just not my thing. My secondary beef is the multiple borders. There’s technically four. I think if the art took up the whole card I would be able to stomach the palette a little bit better.

Things I like about this deck: I guess the cardstock. I’ve always liked US Games’ cardstock. Oh, and the backs are pleasant enough.

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An interesting thing to note is that the majors are named after goddesses. This doesn’t do much for me but it is mildly interesting. Something else to note is that the cards are wider than a standard deck.

This deck has spent 99% of its existence in storage and I haven’t missed it at all. The last few years I’ve thought about it and wondered if maybe it would grow on me. I got it back from storage last summer. lolnope! I still don’t like it. I’m ready to give it away and luckily I have someone in mind.

I’m curious about if you’ve had a deck for years and years and years, hoping that you’ll end up liking it…. what happened? Did it grow on you, or did you still not like it?

Quick Impressions of 5 Decks

Oh hi I’m still alive! I’ve still been doing tarot but I haven’t come up with much that I think is worth sharing. I am working on an interesting Yes/No spreads experiment but I lost steam when I left for a trip. I’ll post about it if I manage to make something of it.

I went quite awhile without buying any new decks then all the sudden I had 5 new ones! I wanted to do a quickie post about them. So here it is.

OK let me be straight with you. This won’t be quick and short. It will be rambly. Because it’s my blog. And I just need to talk. You’ve been warned.

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sorry for the huge pic. But I wanted you to see details if you click on it.

Starting in the top left we have the Faerie Oracle deck! I have been wanting this deck since I first saw it in the early 2000’s. I believe it came out in 2001? I was absolutely broke back then and whenever I saw it in a shop it was marked up to $30+. That was pretty much an arm and half a leg to me back then. So I wasn’t able to buy it.

Eventually it ended up on my Amazon wishlist and it sat there for what must have been years and years. I think I was put off on buying it these last few years because I realized I wasn’t into oracles. But I decided to buy it the same way I manage to buy everything else I can’t justify: through a drunken haze.

I love Brian Froud and his art and recently looked him up. He actually looks like my dad. It’s creepy. Even my dad agreed with the resemblance!

The first section of faeries blew my mind a bit. I don’t recall seeing them in reviews before. They actually remind me a lot of some of my hypnopompic hallucinations and it was rather eerie to see them so suddenly.

I don’t think there’s too many cards I don’t like. I think it’s rather interesting how the deck almost looks like there were different artist working on it. The variety of faeries is fun. I don’t think any 2 look quite the same. I had a fun little theory pop into my mind about that but of course now I don’t remember what it is.

I will be needing a bag or box to keep it in.

Next up we have the English Magic tarot. I first heard about this deck through Kelly’s channel. I didn’t think much of it and went on my way. I then watched Johnathan Strange & Mr Norell and heard “English Magic” so many times that it made me curious about actual English Magic. Like… was that a thing? I had so many questions. Then I re-stumbled across the same video by Kelly and something clicked. I had to get it! So I did.

I read the book, save for the Minor Arcana, on the train to visit my parents. I chose an interesting time to pick the book up. It was when the scenery went from blugh barren boring brown ew to lush greens, trees, flowers, a variety of colors signalling that yes it actually is autumn! Hallelujah! The extreme sort of “cleansing” (*twitch*) feeling I got from finally going back to what I find relaxing, cozy and beautiful, combined with the wonderment that the book gave me… I can’t really describe it. The descriptions of the cards just made so much sense. I haven’t used it yet. I feel like I actually want to study the LWB (which is not so L) before trying to use the cards.

I was disappointed at the huge ugly border on the minors and the color palette isn’t fantastic but I do love the art. And the approach to the cards in general. This could end up being a rather special deck. And again, I’ll be needing a bag or box for them.

The next deck is the I-Ching Holitzka Deck. I have adored this sort of imagery for quite a long time so when I saw this deck it went straight to my wishlist. But this was another one of my “can’t justify it” things. So I got them at the same time as the faerie oracle. 

I think there are at least 2 ways to use the deck: one being according to the directions in the book and the other as an oracle. I don’t 100% understand the process in the book. And I don’t like that I’d have to rely on the book… but at the same time I kind of like the idea of using a system that has concrete rules.

The images are absolutely beautiful and they are a great kick to inspiration and intuition. I actually feel like I could use it like the tarot, but as an oracle if that makes sense. It’s better than any oracle I ever have in that aspect.

Then we have Joie de Vivre tarot which is a sister deck to my Paulina deck. I got the latter as a birthday gift from my bf back in ~2011 I think. I have sort of wanted the Joie de Virve ever since my last move because I left Paulina in storage. The problem that was holding me back was I couldn’t remember which deck I had since it’s been so long. Finally I asked the bf to check his order history so I knew which one I had. So yeah. Anyway.

I absolutely love the art for this deck. It’s whimsical and fun and highly detailed. And I think it’s those details that kind of make them hard to read for me. But I could just kind of be off my whack right now (isn’t everyone?) so I’m not ruling them out for reading.

The last deck is the Shadowscapes deck! I have put off buying this deck for long enough. It was another drunk-buy. This is probably the most photogenic deck I’ve ever seen. It would be even moreso if the cards were bigger to show the details. I find it helpful to look at the much bigger black and white rendition in the (big)LWB. The backs are the prettiest I’ve ever seen other than Crystal Visions (don’t have, on my wishlist).

Other than the beautiful details being crammed into such a small space, I actually sort of dislike the silvery borders. They’re kind of distracting in the right (wrong?) lighting. But they also could serve well as portals for entering the cards for meditation.

The cardstock is standard blah and I need a baggie or box for them. I have them residing in a black velvety bag that some jewelry came in from Killstar but they’re too bright and light for that. I’m thinking I’ll stick my Vampyres deck in it instead.

I kind of wish I had my sewing machine so I could sew something up for all these wayward decks.

Final Thoughts

So that’s my post for the day! It was nice to get to sit down and ramble about all of this. I think out of all of these I may use the English Magic and the I-Ching decks the most. The others will take some getting used to, or just become something pretty to look at. Which is fine, I guess, since I absolutely love art anyway.

I’m curious… how many decks have you bought even though you couldn’t justify buying it for whatever reason? What’s your way with dealing with that feeling? Or do you stick by your guns and just don’t buy what you can’t justify?

 

 

 

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

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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.

oracle review: Fallen Angel

It’s no secret that I’m not really into oracle decks. I want to be but there’s just something lacking, y’know? I think that thing may be structure. I like that Tarot has structure.

1

Cards

72 cards

Artist/Author

Nigel Suckling

First Impressions

Ohhh so pretty and gothy! And yet so empty and uninspiring.

Favorite Cards

4

Picking favorite cards is a bit tough. Most of them are rather wonderful to look at. Flauros is cool because of the bird person who looks awesome. Vuall amuses me because it makes me think a Weeping Angel is riding a camel. Valefor amuses me because at first glance I always think it looks like a sex scene. I like Aym because that shadow looks like a cat or dog person. I like Furcas because that old dude reminds me of the Hermit and why not take advice from him?

Least Favorite Cards

OK I can’t really pick any.

Readability: -3/5

Nah bro. The images may be pretty but I get nothing useful out of them. I tried doing the rather neat Solomon’s Seal spread but it just… ugh. It felt so wrong. I think I even had a chuckle about how ridiculous the attempt was. I will attempt a 3 card spread soon and post it.

Beginner Friendly: yes?/5

I mean sure, if you think oracles are for you I think this would be a great first deck. The book is pretty great, I don’t think you can go wrong. My hesitation is mainly because the art rarely reflects what the card is about, and that might be rough for a newb.

Cardstock: 3/5

Rather thin, plasticy but thankfully not shiny, but right amount of bendy/sturdiness and slipperiness. This deck is a delight to shuffle! The riffle poker shuffle, from the sides, the corners… they all work well. Of course I prefer the poker shuffle. I think if you did it by the sides or corners the deck would quickly warp.

Major complaint is the edges started to show damage pretty fast. There’s even a white patch of paper on the back of one of the cards where the print peeled up and off somehow. And a different card has 2 patches on the front of the card. There’s probably more damage I haven’t seen yet and you can tell it’s beat up by looking at the sides of the deck. Not cool, bro.

Art: 4.5/5

The art is awesome. If you’re a regular ’round these parts you know I love me some collagy type stuff. And it appeals to my goff nature. Again, the art doesn’t give me any clue whatsoever to what the card is supposed to be about. That bums me out. It makes me think that Mr Suckling just dug up some old art, fiddled with it, and turned it into a deck instead of actually thinking about symbols, connections, meanings. And that’s fine, I wouldn’t mind doing that myself. But still. Eh.

Backs: 3/5

 

2

The back as art is lovely but as a back? I don’t even care too much that it’s not reversible. I’m just not a huge fan of a proper art image, something that can stand on it’s own, being on the back. That’s just me though.

Book: 5/5

3

The book was rather nice to read! There’s stuff about angels and history of this and that. Very interesting. The layout, look, and feel are all very nice. It’s 64 pages, not a lot but doesn’t leave much me wanting more. As you can see the book is in color. There are some spreads but the only one that interested me is the Solomon’s Knot which I plan on using with Tarot.

Box: 5/5

5

I had to take the stuffing out because it kept trying to eat the cards. They would get knocked around like this if you’re running around with the box in your bag so you may just want to get a pouch for them. Or if you have another deck (in it’s own bag) or a reading cloth you have room for it right in there.

And of course I always prefer boxes like what the Golden tarot and Lumina tarot come in but this one is still nice. Very thick and sturdy, a nice display piece although I’ve been using mine to prop up my laptop for airflow.

Final Thoughts

 

I have been having fun using this deck for occasional daily draws (posted on my IG, as seen to the right). I prop the card up on my keyboard and get to enjoy the art throughout the day. It’s a helluva lot easier and cheaper to do than buy giant prints and hang them all over.

Luckily this deck was cheap,  around $15 on Amazon. I don’t think I would have bought it if it was much more than that.

I don’t regret the purchase and I’m going to try to actually use it for readings because I really want to.

What do you think about this deck? Do you have it? Do you have as many problems with oracles as I do?

deck review – Ceccoli tarot

OK so this is one of the decks I picked up later last year and I could have sworn I reviewed it at least twice by now although I can’t find any proof of that. Also I keep mixing it up with the Dreaming Way tarot. Yeesh.

Cards

78 cards with standard suits.

Artist

Nicoletta Ceccoli

Author

Lunaea Weatherstone

First Impressions

“This is going to be hard to read but oohhh look how pretty.”

Favorite Cards

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There are many stunning cards in this deck! It was difficult picking just a few to show off.

Least Favorite Cards

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I didn’t like the devil cards and the fool because they’re so underwhelming, compared to the rest of the deck, but they do get the point across. I just don’t like The Hierophant because I can’t stand monkeys.

Readability: maaaybe 4/5

I think if you’re used to RWS and what cards mean traditionally you won’t have too many problems, as long as you don’t rely on the images. But the images are very illustrative on their own, even if you get your own definitions from the art or go intuitively, it’s very readable.

Beginner Friendly: no/5

Nope. See above.

Cardstock: 6/5

It’s perfect! It’s that semi-gloss standard stuff and it’s a dream to shuffle and I just know they’ll hold up for a long time. And, if I may be so bold to say, this is my favorite smelling deck. I don’t know what they put in this ink or cardstock but it just smells wonderful.

*edit* I forgot to mention… these cards are pretty slippery!

Art: 5/5

I love the art! I knew I wanted this deck at the very least to admire the art. I am a collector of dolls and like creepy and weird shit so this is perfect for me. And you know I don’t even mind the borders, which are pretty nice to look at. They don’t feel like they’re interrupting the art.

Backs: Meh/5

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I would have preferred no borders for the backs. And even then, it’s just… meh. It doesn’t “go” with the art, y’know? Could have been a lot better but I don’t really care.

 

Book: 4/5

 

It’s a fairly standard Lo Scarabeo book with very brief descriptions in multiple languages, a key for the court symbols, and a very awesome little spread called the Bittersweet spread. It’s simple but the one time I did it it was very insightful. The book is very useful for clarifying the cards in a pinch.

Box: 4/5

It’s just a standard tuck box thing. Nothing special or worth showing off. It does it’s job so I can’t complain.

Final Thoughts

This is an art deck which means that the art on the cards was not made specifically for tarot. They did an OK job with that. One could probably do a whole series of posts about it.

It does do some nice readings but the imagery so so far removed from being “tarot” that I’d almost rather call it an oracle deck. Probably if you handed this to me, before I ever heard about it, with trimmed borders… I would have thought it was an oracle. And that’s fine, nothing wrong with that.

I do kind of want to try reading with it more to see if it grows on me or feels meaningful but I also feel more like I should just set it in my “Pretty to look at” pile… which I should get around to doing soon, actually.

Would I recommend this deck to read with? Eehhhh no? To collect? sure!

deck review – Lumina tarot

It’s about time I did a review of this deck!

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Cards

78 cards with standard suits. RWS meets TdM?

Artist

Tegan Swyny

Author

Lauren Aletta

First Impressions

“It’s like the Wild Unknown, but better!”

“THE ART IS SO PRETTY!”

“98% of these cards are dead to me. WTF does this even mean? It’s pretty af but it doesn’t mean anything.”

“omg I want to take these everywhere and do everything with them and get paint and dirt on them and tell them secrets and hold hands walking down the beach with them.”

 

Notable Cards

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Judgement (incredible!), The Tower (very cool interpretation), The Hierophant (FAV CARD. BEST CARD. SO PRETTY. LUV. )

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The Devil card is absolutely amazing. The other two here are very beautiful.

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I wanted to show these to point out the artist’s awesome ability. That beetle is amazing! The expression in the mouse is fantastic!

Not So Noteworthy

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A small sampling of cards that I just don’t “get”. With much effort I can see where the artist was going with Ten of Wands. But the others? Nope. I HAVE to use the book because I never learned the traditional meaning of every single card. Still love the art but don’t like the TdM aspect.

Scoring

Readability: no/5

Yeah no. I mean if you are familiar with traditional meanings and like the TdM you may feel at home with this deck. But I do not (and I didn’t realize it was like this when I bought it. I fell in love with the art style and the major arcana that I saw so I caved and bought it.

Beginner Friendly: no/5

Nope. See above.

Cardstock: sexysexy buttery cardstock/5

It’s so smooth. And smells nice. It’s thick and buttery. Clingy, though. I wish more commercially printed decks were a little more like this. Nice enough to shuffle. But with the butteryness I feel like it makes the cards harder to damage. At least one card has been damaged already. One corner got kind of dog eared where one layer of paper got bent over. I can’t find that card now, thankfully, but when it happened I nearly cried. I put the deck away for several days 😦

The cards are matte which I love. I wish all decks were matte!

thiiiick

Standard UW on left, Lumina on right. It’s a thick deck and very nice to hold.

 

size

Taller/wider than standard UW, but not too big.

Art: YES, PERFECT/5

As you can see from the pics the art is very nice! And there’s tons of sacred geometry. I know shit about 99% of sacred geometry but I love it when I see it.

Backs: Blah/5

backs

I really like that symbol but it’s just a really boring back. Reversible though.

Book: 2/5

It’s a good size, it’s very pretty and nicely laid out but the content within is too fluffy for me. Like I haven’t seen so much fluff and woo in such a small space. That said, I can’t read with this deck without it. I’m more of an intuitive or whatever reader so I rely heavily on the book.

It talks about 3 different spreads but there are no diagrams. I know placement doesn’t really matter but I like placement!

Box: 5/5

It’s perfect! Thick and sturdy, holds the cards snuggly, and it’s not too bulky so it makes carrying the deck easy. Will not need a separate bag or box for this deck.

Final Thoughts

I really like this deck for the art and cardstock. If you don’t mind woo and the suits I think you may like it. I have had some pleasant readings with it and look forward to using it in more.

I feel like I really want to beat the shit out of it, and I mean that in a loving way. I want to lay it out in the dirt outside, read with it on a mountain and get it all dirty, carry it in the rain. If I was painting nearby and it got a bit of paint splattered I’d just wipe off the excess and not worry about it (although fucking up that corner really bothered me for some reason).

There is something about the art and feel and vibe of this deck. It wants to be part of everything physical and I want to oblige.

Deck Review: The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

So this might be a bit pic heavy.

Cards: 78, good ol’ fashioned RWS

Artist/Author: Kat Black

First Impressions

I got these near the end of December and I don’t quite remember my first impressions. Seems I was quite smitten with them! I had a helluva time shuffling them but I just loved the art, despite the Christiany vibes.

Also couldn’t get over the super shiny mirror-like gilded edges. So much nicer and smoother than the Tarot Illuminati and it didn’t make the cards stick together. I didn’t have to sort of rip them apart like I had to do with the Tarot Illuminati.

 

Notable Cards

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Really need to learn to do these types of shots better

Ten of Swords is quite gruesome and detailed, I love it. Favorite 10 of swords ever? Wheel of Fortune amuses me. Look at that creepy fucking baby. Look at the creepy fucking animals watching. WTF is that guy doing? What did you do, dude? WHY ARE COOKING ON THE FLOOR?! I love this card. Five of Cups: “I could get you another cup if you wish, Sire-” *king throws a tantrum* “I don’t like this blood! Get me better blood!” *mopes*. ily, 5 of cups. Four of Cups: I don’t normally “get” this card, but for this deck I do. So I like it. Ace of Wands: Neat card, also amusing. “Ayyy lmao you should ttly smell this flower, man.” Death: I like this Death card. It may be less intimidating to some readers/sitters. And it’s amusing! little angeles “Shhh… go sleep now. Quick, grope her hair!”. 10 of Cups: This was before warnings of everything saying “Not for Children under 5!”. Look at that babby about to strangle itself. And that creepy toddler <3. 10/10 would draw this card again. 3 of Swords: I don’t see this card depicted with a person very often, so it stuck out. I also just love the art overall.

last but not least: The Queen of Wands. This is the image on the box. I just love it, it’s very striking. She’s so lovely. It’s such a well executed picture.

Scoring

Readability: yes/5

It’s very RWS with enough wiggle room that you’ll notice the differences. So to me it’s very readable.

Cardstock: 4.5/5 could be worse

It’s thinnish but very sturdy which is nice. They’re very glossy which I’m not a huge fan of but still love the deck. BUT it’s hard to shuffle! I kept trying to poker-shuffle last night but it was just really chunky and choppy. I was going to do it today and take pics. I automatically went with the corner shuffle which I just started doing recently and it worked like a dream. I took pics anyway so here ya go:

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And then I was like fine, I’ll show them how poorly it’s been shuffling in the normal way. That’ll disgust them! Well:

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I don’t know what happened. Maybe I was a couple shuffles away from the cards breaking in? Seriously though like this was really hard to shuffle before! I SWEAR.

Another bummer thing is the edges are already seeing some wear. I haven’t used this deck very much. Was I that rough trying to shuffle?!

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just not quite as pretty as day 1.

I imagine it’ll wear gracefully though.

Backs: 4/5 meh, could be worse

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Book: 7.12/5

I read about 80% of it in one go one night. It was such a good read. Kat Black has a nice easy writing style (and it sounds like she’s a fellow atheist!). It was nice reading her thoughts on making the deck, and the little historical tidbits scattered throughout the book. LOVE. Oh and the book quality is very nice.

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Possibly the best part about the book is that she cites references of the art she used!

Beginner Friendly: Probably!/5

RWS, great LWB. I’d say this is a good solid 2nd deck for the starry-eyed but serious beginner.

Art: !!!!!!!!eleventy1/5

I love collage. I love historical shit. Kat Black did a brilliant job. It it looks 87% not collagy (it would have been fine if it did). It’s just so perfect and smooth.

The border isn’t too bad though of course it would have been better without.

The Box: 10/5

It’s very sturdy, holds everything nicely. It’s easy to get stuff out. It’s not too bulky. It’s perfect. I wish all decks came in a box like this, as default.

Final Thoughts

Yeah I’m late to the Golden Tarot scene (spent YEARS not in The Know) but I gather that it was quite anticipated and beloved when it came out. I can see why. It’s utterly perfect. I want to make this a main reading deck. Kind of makes me want to retire my dusty old UW deck.

And as a bonus thing for me, the Christiany vibe didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t think it would but I was slightly afraid it might have a leaning. It doesn’t really and I am glad it was made by a non-Christian.

TL;DR THIS DECK IS BEST DECK GO BUY NOW