The Simplicity Tarot by Emilie Muniz is this perfect RWS-based deck that checks all the boxes that people keep saying they want in a tarot deck, but don’t seem to notice that Simplicity Tarot exists. It flies quietly, humbly under the radar, and I have no idea why. Muniz’s deck features all the hallmarks for what our community keeps saying we want in a tarot deck, and yet this deck isn’t trending. Why is that?
Here is this deck with imagery that feels classic, timeless, not overly modern, with refinement and elegance, beautiful on any reading table spread, and has the diverse representation so many of us readers today want in a deck.
A beginner with no background in the tarot can pick up this deck and, guided by the keywords, manage a decent reading. The imagery stays true to the Rider-Waite-Smith, and Muniz has done an exemplary job preserving the most iconic symbolism from the RWS. The little guidebook serves as a concise and excellent primer.
As a seasoned tarot reader’s working deck, at first I wasn’t sure how I would approach an opinion on this, but after much deliberation, here’s my verdict: yes. That’s because the keywords in Muniz’s deck don’t necessarily feel “flashcard-y,” but rather, feel like oracle messages that will augment and also fine-tune your intuition.
The keywords are also memorable, so when clients and querents see the spread of cards for their readings, they themselves can interact more directly with their own reading. The tarot reader then becomes a moderator of sorts, more of a facilitator than a teller.
The deck comes with two additional cards, which you have the option of including in your readings or leaving out so you only use the traditional 78. Personally, I read with the two cards in.
I love that the Spiritual Cleansing card can be used in tarot spells. I use it almost as an instructional– let me explain further. I’ll choose three cards from the Simplicity Tarot, thinking of the keywords as affirmations, and set up those three cards like a triptych on my altar or home office desk and then place in front of it the Spiritual Cleansing card.
The Spiritual Guide can be used multiple ways. I might use it in lieu of a significator card, not so much as representing the querent, but setting the intention that this significator is my spiritual guide “in search of” the right cards for my reading at this time. So then the cards that I pull around my Spiritual Guide card represent the messages from beyond.
In terms of production value, here’s why I love it when a seasoned tarot reader produces a tarot deck for tarot readers, which is exactly who Emilie Muniz is– first and foremost, a powerhouse psychic tarot reader, and secondly, a deck creator. You know from the production value that she is familiar with tarot, she knows what she wants, she knows what tarot readers want, and she has done a phenomenal job here.
I love that there is a spread cloth option. I love the drawstring bag, as some readers prefer to leave the deck box at home and carry their decks around in a bag. Now you’ve got one that matches your deck.
And yet the box is my favorite type– two-piece top and bottom lids with the semi-circle cut-out, sturdy, stands on its own, and yet compact enough to store with your greater deck collection.
The cards feature a matte golden edging with a subtle sheen that glints when it catches light, but otherwise is understated. On your reading table from afar, it looks antique. Something about the aesthetic feels like this is your grandmother’s reading deck. If I didn’t know this was produced in 2020, I would have some trouble pinpointing when it was made, because it has that level of timelessness to it.
The card backs are not reversible, however. The crescent moon is waxing when it’s one way, and waning when it’s the other. (And which it is depends on the hemisphere you’re in. For those of us in North America, it’s the waning crescent moon when upright and waxing crescent moon when reversed, and that switches when you’re in the southern hemisphere.)
In terms of shuffling, the high-quality sturdy cardstock becomes a double-edged sword. Only using tactile assessment here (I don’t actually know what her deck specs are), the cardstock feels like it’s 400 gsm quality. Most indie decks that we consider high quality today are 350 gsm, for comparison, and mass market decks are closer to 300 gsm. So these cards are sturdy!
However, that thicker cardstock, while it means your deck will hold up well to wear and tear, it also means it’s harder to shuffle. The matte finish means the cards are harder to fan out, and you’re probably not going to want to riffle shuffle with these. I’m forgiving of the shuffling issue when it comes to indie decks because I know it’s a judgment call that deck creators have to make.
The easy-to-shuffle slippy cards are going to be bendier and more susceptible to wear and tear. When you’re paying top dollar for a deck, you want it to last. So most consumers will prefer the thicker cardstock when it comes to an indie deck. On the other hand, a mass market deck can be easily replaced, and they’re cheap, so lower gsm and greater slip works.
For those who are just beginning a more spirituality-leaning journey, here’s a suggestion for how to use your Simplicity Tarot deck, in addition to reading with it.
Set daily (or weekly, monthly, etc.) intentions with the cards. Turn this into a ritual. In the morning, the first thing you’ll do is turn the deck face up and go through the cards one by one, thinking about what intentions you want to set for the day, or maybe feel open and receptive to the magnetism of the cards and go with the ones that are calling to you. You can pick one card, or two, or three cards– you decide.
For example, one morning, in response to some of the challenges I had been experiencing for the preceding few days, I picked out the Two of Coins (“Juggling & Multitasking”), the Seven of Wands (“Valour & Perseverance”), and the Eight of Wands (“Acceleration & Movement”). Personally, I like to set it out alongside both the Spiritual Guide and Spiritual Cleansing cards, but of course you don’t have to. I set out both because the Spiritual Guide card is my petition that the spirits of these energies fortify my day. The Spiritual Cleansing card acts as a psychic shield.
Recently I was invited to sit in on an Open Dialogue on Inclusivity in the tarot Community, led by Oya’s Girl, which you can watch the full length of here. At one point, the participants talked about what they would like to see in a deck so it’d be more inclusive and how a deck can be sensitively designed. Furthermore, we want to support more BIPOC deck creators. The Simplicity Tarot covers nearly everything the group talked about in terms of what we want to see in tarot decks today and what and who we want to support.
So…. candidly here, I’m a little perplexed as to why there hasn’t been more buzz around Muniz’s deck. Why isn’t this deck trending? Why aren’t more tarot readers promoting, supporting, and talking about this deck?
Initially I fell into the trap of assuming the Simplicity Tarot would just be a good beginner’s deck. To write this review, I worked with the cards routinely over the course of one month and after doing so, had to change my mind. It’s just a slightly different mental, emotional, psychic process that happens, but make no mistake: this is a tarot reader’s deck. There’s nothing “beginner-level” about it. Rather, Muniz breaks down the barriers for beginners, does the heavy-lifting work of paving a clear path for all, but walking that path with the Simplicity Tarot is still a power-packed journey.
When you think superficially, this deck might not be the first that comes to mind for something like shadow work, but actually, it’s fantastic for shadow work. It’s a versatile and reliable personal reading deck. It’s a go-to deck for spell-working with tarot cards. The keywords augment this deck for journaling, creative writing prompts, and giving that extra helping hand in everyday decision-making.
I’ve had the great fortune of meeting Emile Muniz in person before at Readers Studio in New York. She’s got a vibrant aura and a truly beautiful, crystal-clear soul. Muniz has imbued her deck with that energy, which just makes for an all-around enjoyable experience when reading with the Simplicity Tarot.
When the deck description says this is a deck for everyone, it’s right on. There’s something so magically versatile about the Simplicity Tarot. If you’re in deep under the woo, you’ll love this deck created by a psychic tarot reader. If you’re a skeptic, prefer to keep it all psychology-based, but are just a little intrigued by the theoretical premise of the tarot, this is a fantastic deck for you to be working with.
Muniz’s deck and its many optional add-on accessories make a great gift for that friend of yours who is maybe just starting to get a little more interested in personal spirituality.
Buy the Simplicity Tarot from Muniz today. Check out her Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplicityTarot.
Emilie Muniz’s website: Tarot by Emilie
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 this deck for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion.