Zeke’s Arcana – A pre-publication glimpse

I am so excited to be offering you this pre-publication glimpse of Zeke’s Arcana, painted by Melbourne-based artist and art YouTuber Julia (who also goes by Zeke, hence Zeke’s Arcana).

Her work is often described as “strange, prismatic, and unearthly,” and Zeke’s Arcana is true to those words. Julia and her creative partner Jules teamed up to produce this fresh and bubbly RWS-based deck of cards.

Majors, Key 0 Fool + First Septenary, Keys 1 – 7

The deck project began around 2018, and the journey of creating these cards is documented in a series of videos on the Zeke’s Lunchbox YouTube channel.

A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign launches on September 30, 2021 to fund the production of this vibrant art deck. To retrace the artist’s incredible journey, check out this Playlist of all videos relating to Zeke’s Arcana Tarot.

In this pre-release glimpse, you’re going to see how the Three Septenaries of the Majors are assigned a specific color palette.

The First Septenary, which Zeke refers to as the practical plane, is orange; the Second Septenary, the mental plane, is purple, and the Third Septenary, the spiritual plane, is blue.

The color coordination then continues in the Minor Arcana, mapping out four distinct geographies based on the four elements.

The Major Arcana cards are done in acrylic paint. Watch a video of the artist painting The World card. You can see the saturation differences between the original painting that you see in the video and the digitally retouched version printed for the deck, which you’ll catch a glimpse of later in this showcase.

Continue reading “Zeke’s Arcana – A pre-publication glimpse”

Phantasma Tarot by Paulina Fae

The Phantasma Tarot is an exquisite sequel to the Spiritsong Tarot by Paulina Fae Cassidy. Mythical creatures are your spirit guides through a world of phantasmic daydreams. The deck took four years to complete, and is the artist’s fourth tarot deck creation.

Fae’s art convinces you that these fantastical, magical worlds exist. The lines and coloring are ethereal, and if I had to peg them to one of the four elements– airy. While the deck follows the RWS, Fae also incorporates a lot of her own mythical symbolism. For instance, the dragon in the Strength card.

Continue reading “Phantasma Tarot by Paulina Fae”

Terra Volatile Tarot by Credo quia Absurdum

I’ve had the Terra Volatile Tarot in hand for quite some time now, and I wanted to take my sweet time before writing this review. This is an alchemical esoteric deck created by Ana and Tiago, aka Credo quia Absurdum. I started off with a photo from the additional fifth Vessels suit in this deck, just because that is one of my favorites features of the Terra Volatile.

There are a total of 92 cards in this deck, and you can work with all 92, or customize your own 78-card tarot deck out of the many alternates and options included in the box.

Above, The Fool and The Fooless are two options for the classic tarot Fool card. (The Fooless makes a reappearance later in the Queen of Cups.) You’ll also see The Magician and The Alchemist, two options for Key 1.

Continue reading “Terra Volatile Tarot by Credo quia Absurdum”

The Pocket of Peers Tarot by Jamie Sawyer

I’m the Justice card in Jamie Sawyer’s Pocket of Peers Tarot! What an honor! The two little tiles tilted on top of the guidebook cover are not part of the cover design– I placed those two extra tiles Jamie gifted me with there for the photo.

The Pocket of Peers Tarot was crowdfunded on Kickstarter. It was fully-funded in 95 minutes, which is crazy! Crazy-good that is. I love how supportive the tarot community is toward its members. There’s so much love and mutual respect.

The interior of the box design is magnificent. I mean, just look at that reading table and the library bookshelves behind it, with an Akashic Records vibe. I’m also loving the eight-spoke wheel with the leaf design for the reversible card backs.

To me, it’s also symbolic of what this deck expresses: living knowledge. While there is traditional symbolism on each card to anchor it for RWS readers, the Pocket of Peers Tarot celebrates the living collective of knowledge that the tarot community represents.

Tarot deck art featuring people the artist knows is nothing new; in fact, it’s kind of its heritage. The earliest Renaissance tarots featured portraits of family members from the house that commissioned the painting of that deck. I love that Pocket of Peers is like a time capsule of the tarot community in 2021.

Continue reading “The Pocket of Peers Tarot by Jamie Sawyer”

The Phoenician Oracle by Melia Cogan

Note: Penned-in Taurus glyph and “5” are my own modifications to my copy of the deck.

I love the concept behind The Phoenician Oracle for so many reasons. First, it’s a great study deck for anyone who wants to become more familiar with the Phoenician letters of the alphabet (these are the same letters featured in the top right corners of the Majors in the SKT). And yet secondly, because of the keywords, the cards function as an easy-to-use oracle deck.

While the creator has categorized this as an oracle deck, and it is, I’m going to be adding a link to it under the label “tarot” for my deck reviews, but will include the notation “Majors only.” That’s because I’ve been working with this deck as a “Majors only” tarot deck.

You can buy the deck straight from the creator off Etsy, here. The deck comes with a tri-fold pamphlet with the 22 card meanings and a description of what’s pictured on each card. And this tri-fold pamphlet is pretty much all you need to get started working with this treasure of an oracle deck.

How the cards look from the deck creator, without any of my personal modifications

Aleph (Ox), for instance, features a 3rd century BC mosaic excavated from the ancient city of Volubilis; Beth (House), which in the Torah is a symbol of the lower wisdom, or the “lower Hokhmah” associated with the Shekhinah, features a house from Tunisia; Gimel (Camel) features a floor mosaic from a church in Syria.

Continue reading “The Phoenician Oracle by Melia Cogan”

Your Tarot Blueprint with the Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris

The Relative Tarot, created by the inimitable Carrie Paris and published by Weiser Books, is not just a masterfully done photo-collage mixed media deck that stitches vintage photography with details from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, but it’s also a powerful analytical and psychoanalytical tool. I feel like both Jung and Freud would give their stamp of approval!

What is most special about this deck is its design, created specifically to help you cast your Tarot Blueprint, based on concept of birth cards, inner and outer soul expression cards, and your significator. The companion guidebook– A Guidebook for the Diligent Diviner (love that title, Carrie!)– walks you through how to calculate each card in the tarot that represents a facet of you.

Altogether, they will produce your Tarot Blueprint. Instead of going the route of a run-of-the-mill deck review, I’m going to put my copy of Relative Tarot to use and create my own Tarot Blueprint for self-assessment.

So first off, the promise of the deck is ambitious. In the Introduction, Paris tells you this: With the Relative Tarot, you will be able to answer these three questions about yourself:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What have I come here to do?
  3. How do I find my soul’s truth?

All right, Paris. I’m taking you up on this. =)

Continue reading “Your Tarot Blueprint with the Relative Tarot by Carrie Paris”

SKT Revelation Status Update: Container Delays

No makeup, still in PJs, no filter, 8:30 am morning pic of a displeased tarot deck creator. =)

I gave you wrong information in my previous status update here. That’s because the third-party importer/broker that my manufacturer hired to oversee delivery gave me wrong information. (And that’s also what I really want to go nuts telling all of you all about! What an… ARGH! You’ve got to hear this whole story. Like. Ugh.)

Only after I turned into an all-out full-on Karen did I finally get the name of the warehouse. And still, no contact info was provided to me for that warehouse, so I had to go search for it myself.

I called the warehouse directly this morning (the info wasn’t given to me until last Friday; my status update to you was on Saturday; today is Monday) and spoke with a very kind, pleasant fellow at the warehouse.

It turns out my packages are not at the warehouse yet, as I was told by the broker/importer guy. Thank goodness I took the initiative to look up the warehouse contact and called on my own.

So here’s the real deal. There are 15 containers ahead of mine in line for unloading at the warehouse. Until those 15 containers of goods are unloaded into the warehouse and one by one shipped out by truck to where they need to go, no one is even going to get to me.

While he doesn’t know exactly how long it’s going to take, by his best estimate, it is going to be another 2 weeks before they unload the container that my packages are in and my boxes are delivered to me.

One more ARGH! moment: The guy at the warehouse and I took a long time figuring out what reference number info I had to give him for him to track my package BECAUSE… get this… because the importer/broker guy filled out my forms wrong. ARGHHHH!!

Oh– and (!!!)– I was given the wrong # of boxes in my total shipment. I was told 36 boxes, and kinda thinking in my head, oh wow, each box is gonna be huge (because, math, which means there would be about 100 decks in each box, which means each box is going to require at least 2 people to lift). When I finally talked to that warehouse guy this morning, he said, “Uh, no, ma’am… it’s 63 boxes. You’ve got 63 boxes incoming.” The exact # of boxes matters because that’s how you do your initial headcount, to make sure you’ve got everything before you start opening the boxes up.

Breathe…breathe… okay. I’m calm. Promise. I’m very calm. Everything is fine. Nothing to see here. Happy Monday.

::adds whiskey to my next cup of coffee…it’s not even 9 am…::

Better now. =)

SKT Deliveries Begin First Week of October

Warehouse that our decks are currently located: Summit C.F.S. Warehouse in Oakland, CA

As I’ve been told, the decks are now in a warehouse near the Port of Oakland (here in California) and we’re waiting for our turn for delivery to our front doorstep.

Between my last SKT communiqué and this one, there’s a lot simmering in me that I want to vent and chit-chat about, but I’m going to hold off on that for now, focus on what’s the priority (getting the decks to you), and at some future time, we’ll talk. =) Oh boy, will we!

I still don’t have the decks (inferred by the first sentence of this update, I hope, but I suppose it bears spelling out) but a projection has been given for last week of September. That’s when the decks will physically, literally be in my home.

In the meantime, we’ve done our best to transform parts of our home into a warehouse and assembly line, so the plan is once the decks arrive, we’ll do a final quality check, tally of what’s arrived, make sure everything is in order and we have enough decks that pass superficial quality check to send out to all pre-orders. What I mean by “superficial quality check” is we give the outside box a quick look. For making sure the cards, cardstock, illustrations, gilding, booklet, all the interior stuff, we will open at random a deck here and a deck there a box there and a box here for arbitrary quality checks, and assume if all these random decks we open are fine, then the rest should be fine, too.

Continue reading “SKT Deliveries Begin First Week of October”

End of Empires Tarot (Majors) by Sarah Julig

It was through quite a bit of serendipity and social connections that I got my hands on the End of Empires Tarot, the Major Arcana series, by artist Sarah Julig. There are only 12 totally handmade copies of the first edition, each card hand-cut, glued together onto the card backs, and even the bag it came in was hand-made.

She auctioned off the 12 handmade tarot Majors decks and all proceeds went to BLM bail funds and the ACLU. That’s so cool!

The berry hues (red ink, blue watercolor, and vintage white tempera), ink blot reminiscent style, and eerie dream like quality altogether win me over. The art transports me to an alternate dimension, à la The Upside Down. Above is The Fool, Magician, Priestess, Empress, Emperor, and the Hierophant card in the bottom right corner features a human’s internal organs. An anatomical diagram for the Hierophant… now that intrigues!

Continue reading “End of Empires Tarot (Majors) by Sarah Julig”

Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot by Paul Huson

Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot published by Lo Scarabeo was created under the instruction of Paul Huson, author of one of my favorite books, Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. The artwork is curated and edited by Pietro Alligo.

It comes in a simple tuck box and the card back is reversible. The back’s geometric design here also reminds me of Islamic Golden Age architecture, which fits the deck’s aesthetic.

There is an extra 79th card for the Significator, with what looks to me like a very familiar illustration, one I’ve seen from one of those old medieval medical astrology texts. I don’t know what the art medium is here, but it looks like ink and art markers. I don’t know if it’s the printing, but sometimes the colors can get a bit muddy, like in the robes and seat on The Emperor card pictured above.

Continue reading “Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot by Paul Huson”