Yowzer! In a single morning I’ve remarkably nearly doubled my tarot collection. My eagerly-anticipated Wolf Pack Tarot is now a complete deck, eagerly shuffled through whilst still in bed this morning.
I also received three more tarot decks. The Secret Tarot, by Marco Nizzoli, with it’s stunning, simple line drawings and strong colours. I love the ideas in the cards -Strength, the King of Cups, the Queen of Wands and the Three of Pentacles being standout cards in my opinion. Possibly a few too many lithe, lily-white naked women to thrust this to the very top of my list though.
Next came the lovely Tarot of the Secret Forest, by Lucia Mattioli. These strange and dark illustrations seem impenetrable at first, filled with wings and flowers and foliage and detail. Perhaps a little too fairylike for my usual taste, but a wondeful touch is that on the reverse of the cards is a previous iteration in black and white. The illustrations are also utter reinventions of the traditional images, something which always blows my mind.
Lastly, came what was intended as a novelty gift. It was the Tarot of the Magical Forest, by Hsu Chi Chun and Leo Tang. It’s the surprise Chrismas number one! Having scoured the Lo Scarabeo website many times in the past, I had completely overlooked this deck as one based on the Waite-Smith, rendered in a kitsch, cutesy style which I could never really love. Well, I got the first part right. But as I shuffled through this bright and colourful deck, I found myself ooh-ing and ahh-ing at almost every card.
There’s a gap in my tarot collection where something sweet and cheery might like to be. The Anna K, with its humane realism was getting there, but these gorgeous, earnest little cats, frogs, foxes, rabbits, owls, bears and all the other dwellers of the magical forest have moved on in. I did a short ‘year ahead’ reading for my love. It was simple, clear, acurate and to the point. It was friendly, helpful and sweet. I fell in love. It’s like watching my favourite Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke, or reading Charlotte’s Web and sniffing back sentimental tears.
On the Lo Scarabeo website, the deck is decribed thus:
Imagine travelling through a magic world populated by bewitched animals. With each step our heart is lighter and our spirit soars. The gentle and harmonious images are open windows to the magic forest. The symbolic interpretation of these cards holds infinite surprises.
‘Our spirit soars.’ Yep, that’s just bang on. I’ll not be so quick to judge ‘cute little decks’ in the future, for this one has made my Christmas.
PS Regular readers may also be pleased to find I’ve finally discovered the art of image-resizing – hurrah!
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.