As of this posting there are only two weeks left of the Reverie Tarot Kickstarter campaign, so please go here and support this psychedelic tarot pop-art project. The simplicity and minimalism here means you need to rely on your intuitive powers, which is what will help you dial up your clairs.
Constance Watkins has penned a dream-like world that brings tarot numerology to life. The Reverie Tarot and Midnight Reverie Tarot set is beautifully paired and would make a great gift to any poet, writer, or artist for them to keep close by on their work desk, especially since Watkins offers a guidebook of card meanings to go along with the deck. I wasn’t sent the guidebook to review and haven’t seen any of it, so you may want to reach out to the Kickstarter campaign for details.
With this deck, instead of examining the surface imagery of your situation, you examine its underlying numerological code. In fact, in addition to a classical tarot reading with the cards, also consider the numerological significance of the numbers splayed out in front of you.
Watkins sought to craft an abstract tarot deck that could bridge your reality with your world of dreams, and she has done just that. The Reverie Tarot is a full-color deck rendered in a pop art style that’s minimalist. You get symbolic and iconic nods to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck designed in to the Arabic numbers.
The Midnight Reverie is a black and white deck, or the negative coloring of the line art. There’s an air of mystique to this particular black and white deck that draws me in. Midnight Reverie is also a black and gold edition, and Watkins tells us it’s “for readings past the witching hour.”
Writes Watkins: “With gold lines printed on the black cards, Midnight Reverie will take you to the edges semidarkness, the time when the light has become flat, the sun has just set or not yet risen. The world is a bit more wild under the blanket of night, and the imagery is open to unbound interpretation.”
The project first began in 2016 and if you check out Reverie Tarot on Instagram, @reverietarot, you are going to find behind-the-scenes insights into the artist’s process and lots of the original sketches. It’s a really interesting Instagram feed to follow, so be sure to subscribe.
The minimalism of Reverie Tarot and the way it relies on numerology and color symbolism offers the tarot reader another way to look at the world. You can also use these cards as a study deck and write in keywords along all that blank space, or write in your own divinatory oracle messages.
Here are a few side by side comparisons of the Reverie and Midnight Reverie.
Constance Watkins is multi-talented. She’s a musician, a design director at Vox Media, and a graduate from the Yale School of Management. With such a background, Watkins has brought an interdisciplinary approach to the tarot. It’s quite a delight to witness.
How do you look at the coding behind the visual culture of tarot? The Reverie Tarot is a back-to-basics tarot deck that has mainstream appeal. It’s a deck for the curious but not yet initiated.
There’s an aesthetic here that embodies 21st century sensibilities, even down to the subtle examination of politics, gender, feminism, and science that you’ll appreciate in the fine details of Reverie‘s line art.
For each suit, the pip card features an outline representative of the suit. For instance, the outline of the chalice you see for the suit of Cups. A line drawing within that frame depicts a whimsical illustration inspired by the Rider-Waite-Smith.
I love that there’s space to participatory and add to the deck in your own way, to really make it yours. This is a tarot deck I see several of my old college professors in the liberal arts departments really enjoying and keeping off to the corner of their bookshelves. This is the tarot deck I see when academics get together for Friday night wine at one of their colleagues’ homes.
There’s also a 21st century Millennial and Gen-Z #witchesofinstagram and #witchyaesthetic that I see in the Midnight Reverie edition.
Above is a side by side comparison of the Two of Swords from the Reverie Tarot (on the left) and Midnight Reverie Tarot (on the right).
The outline shape for the suit of Swords almost reminds me of rockets, which I think works perfectly, drawing in references to advancement, science and technology for the suit of Swords.
The Aces, rather than being represented by the seed or singularity of the corresponding suit, features the letter “A” as the outline. I found this interesting, because I wondered whether that would have been the stylistic choice of a seasoned tarot reader. It felt a little more like the approach a non-occultist would go, drawing the inspiration more from playing cards than from the esoteric essence of the Aces. I still dig it, but it was just something I thought about. Would this “A” have been the intuitive approach of someone really, really into the tarot? Or is this representative of an observer’s perspective for how the tarot Aces might be depicted?
The artist’s eye for picking up on details is nevertheless impeccable. Watkins zeroed in on exactly what the core essence of each RWS card was in terms of illustration and captured it perfectly here in Reverie.
You know what would be a lot of fun? Doing a reading in the day with the Reverie Tarot and then doing the same reading again, at night, consulting the Midnight Reverie, and see what both decks have to say on the same question, playing off one another.
I love the Ten of Pentacles here and the gender neutral depiction. Random side note: I think my brain is too far dialed in to astrology, because when I see scales, especially on a tarot card I guess, I think Libra, and that threw me off a bit on the Ten of Pentacles, but that’s just me.
That aside, by the way, this deck works really well with Holistic Tarot. =) No, really! I was quite delighted by that! You can totally look up the card meanings from Holistic Tarot when using this deck or work through any section of my book with Reverie. There’s something greatly versatile about this deck.
Even if you don’t buy this deck, I hope you’ll support the Kickstarter campaign in any way you can so Watkins can take it to full production. This deck is a valuable contribution to the world of tarot, one that will encourage and invite more into the art of tarot. There’s a widely appealing style to the artwork and design here, and suits a psychology-based approach to reading the cards quite well.
Check out the Reverie Tarot Kickstarter Campaign.
The Reverie full-color version has gold finished edges while the Midnight Reverie black and white has silver finished edges. The cardstock is probably around 330 gsm with a smooth finish (I’m guessing that and speculating, just based on my handling of the cards).
If you want to get a sense for how these cards read, then stay tuned in with me on my Instagram. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing readings with Reverie and Midnight Reverie so you get a sense of how these cards operate in motion.
FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received the Reverie Tarot and Midnight Reverie Tarot from the deck creator for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the deck.