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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.