A treasure of a divination system in a box that you’ll cherish, Morning Calm Oracle by trained shaman Seo Kelleher invites you to engage with a world of spirits, divinities, and nature magic from the Land of the Morning Calm, a name of endearment given to Korea.
The box design, sigils, and the tactile experience of handling the cards are an exemplary representation of East Asian magic. Those who are sensitive to energy will even feel the difference in the vibrations of this deck in hand compared to other decks you might have in your collection.
I am enchanted by the effortless beauty and the beneficence of this deck. The artwork is done by Alodia Yap, whose artwork is moving and melodic. Yap’s art style here is impressionistic. It works in perfect harmony with what Kelleher set out to achieve.
Tillie Walden is an award-winning American graphic novelist and comic book artist who has teamed up with the incredible small publishing house Liminal 11. Together they’ve created the Cosmic Slumber Tarot, an epic hyperspheric dimension of tarot space brought to life through manga.
This deck reads like a graphic novel, which makes sense given the artist’s background. Walden’s color choices and pairings are gutsy. If I may be permitted to use a fashion metaphor (it’s just this random area of life I’ve got an interest in), this would be Betsey Johnson meets Alexander McQueen inspired by fairytales told through hallucinogen-induced dreams.
By the way, love that Empress card, reminiscent of the Nursing Madonna, paying homage to the history of painting the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus.
You get a full-color hardcover guidebook that tucks snugly inside the box with your cards, which I always appreciate. These card meanings are comprehensive enough for the deck set to be user-friendly to total tarot beginners.
The Muses of Tarot is a book and deck set by Ethony Dawn, with illustrations by Lena and Sasha Semenkova. The book is about 13 muses of the tarot that came to Ethony in her visions and channeled messages to her that correspond with the 78 cards of the tarot deck. In addition to the book, you get a set of 13 Muse oracle cards, 13 altar cards for those Muses, 13 invocation cards, and 7 chakra energy amplifier cards.
The 13 names of the Muses are original conceptions by Ethony that describe universal or archetypal spirits, and by “spirits” here I mean an embodiment that our superconsciousness can take on. They also represent 13 types of tarot readings. For example, Adoria is the Muse of love & relationship readings. Brujula is the Muse to invoke for tarot readings about big changes coming up in your life. Divina is the Muse of predictive tarot readings. Holistix is the Muse of health, healing, and wellness readings. Veilia is the Muse of mediumship. And so on.
In terms of production quality, you always get luxury from Ethony. Everything from cardstock, full-colored guidebook pages, and every fine detail of the packaging design is top rate. The finish on the box, book, and cards is this velvety rose petal texture that’s ultra matte. The box features a magnetic strip closure and every aspect of the graphic design is clean, fresh, feminine, fun, and has that cosmopolitan vibe to it.
When it comes to production values, this is perfection. This is what deck creators ought to strive for. Love it all. Now let’s talk about the content.
The premise for this deck and book set, and the manifestations of the 13 Muses must have been a comet of divine inspiration that nose-dived straight into Ethony’s inner genius. I love what she says about the Muses:
“When I work with my creative muses, I believe I am making an agreement with a daemon to bring something from the ether into the material world. . . . The muse and I have a creative love affair. I bring my background, experience, personality and flair to the project, but I am also working with an element of pure magic.”
These images are provided to the public for free download and under a Creative Commons Attribution license, which means the following:
You can share the images. You are free to copy and redistribute the illustrations in any medium or format.
You can adapt the images. You are free to transform, build upon, redesign, edit, revise, and in any way remix the illustrations for any purpose, including commercial purposes. Yes, you are free to profit financially from your adapted images of the SKT Vitruvian Majors, Aces, and Archangels.
Attribution or credit notes. My preference is that you make it very clear what part of the image or adapted image is attributed to my original work and what part is attributed to your creative additions. In other words, if you color in one of these black & white images and then sell your colored in SKT image, please make it clear in your product description that I am the artist for the black & white image while you are the artist for the coloring application. If you have traced part of my original art and then redesigned it, transforming it from the original, please include a note about what parts were my original and what parts you’ve redesigned and transformed. I say “my preference” because if you unintentionally forget to do that, I’m not going to be mad at you. =) But just please try not to forget.
While this license is free, if you do commercialize your SKT-based work, I’d be beyond thrilled to receive some merch! =) Send to the below address.
P. O. Box 20021
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Tarot of the Divine by Yoshi Yoshitani has become one of the magnificent tarot gems of 2020. And for me in particular, it’s a special kind of joy to encounter a fellow Asian American who is also into the tarot.
The deck is published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House. The Big Five publishing houses are taking a greater interest in tarot, witchcraft, New Age spirituality, and the occult, whereas back in the day, it would be just the specialty publishers like Llewellyn, Weiser, Hay House, Schiffer, or U.S. Games publishing tarot and oracle decks. That this deck was picked up by one of the bigger publishing houses was another factor for my intrigue in this deck.
I love the color palette– bold, bright, with just a touch of whimsical magic to awaken your inner child. The combination of Yoshitani’s illustration style, the enormous amount of research that went into this undertaking, the fairytales, and the tarot is a stroke of divine genius.
The Edgar Allan Poe Tarot by Rose Wright and illustrated by Eugene Smith brings to life the dark, macabre world of Poe, envisioned through the tarot. This deck is a creative writing major’s dream come true. The rich references to Poe’s works throughout the tarot illustrations are sure to delight.
The Angel Tarot and Occult Tarot by Travis McHenry first came out via Kickstarter, and then got picked up for traditional publication by Rockpool, which launched earlier this year. I’ll be covering both in this review.