If you’re plugged in to the online tarot community in any way, even minimally, then you’ve been hearing buzz about this deck. It’s self-published and I’ve got to say, recently the self-published decks have been beating the traditional publishers. Hey traditional publishers: what are you people doing? Get with the program.
Even non-tarot people (many from the fashion world) have been getting into the Wild Unknown tarot deck. Imagery from the cards are just freakin’ everywhere. I remember first seeing an Instagram photo of someone’s tattoo and thinking, “That kind of looks like a tarot card” only to realize it was. What is going on?!
But the few glimpses of cards I saw here and there made me think that this deck would be one of those “its own unique system” decks where I’d have to do a lot of learning before I did any reading. And I’m getting to that age (sadly) where I don’t know if I want to learn any more “new tarot traditions.” So at first I thought I was going to pass.
And then the imagery. The card’s artwork kept drawing me in, beckoning. “You want me.” No I don’t! Go away. “You want me.”
Then a few weeks ago I set a goal for myself (unrelated to this deck, and totally unrelated to tarot) and said if I met that goal, I’d reward myself with the Wild Unknown tarot deck. I met the goal and the first chance I could, bolted for the computer and placed my order.
And wow. WOW. Best decision ever. The Wild Unknown is easily one of my favorite tarot decks now.
This is one of the highest quality decks I have come across in a long time in terms of the cardstock, the matte finish, and the box packaging. Kim Krans renders the images in hand-drawn black ink illustrations, with just a touch of color here and there so beautifully and intuitively done that they are sure to activate chakras while you read with this deck.
I’d categorize the Wild Unknown as a Marseille-based tarot deck. After all, Key 8 in the Wild Unknown is Justice and Key 11 is Strength (as opposed to the standard RWS, which is 8/Strength, 11/Justice). However, going through The Wild Unknown Tarot Guidebook that Krans graciously included when I purchased this deck, I see a lot of card interpretation crossover from both the Rider-Waite-Smith and Thoth. In that sense, the Wild Unknown would work very well as a beginner’s deck, though such a beginner would have some work to do if she were to later try to learn the traditional Tarot de Marseille, Rider-Waite-Smith, or Thoth. So in that sense, the tarot practitioners who are calling this deck its own interpretive system have a point.