The Field Tarot created by graphic designer and artist Hannah Elizabeth Fofana definitely intrigues me. It feels a bit like a futuristic mystery thriller with an indie ethereal, quasi-vintage (the floral patterns evoke this) aesthetic.
The deck was created to guide readers through the sacred space (“the field”) where the tarot narrative takes place. Noted in the guidebook: “The prominent horizon line used throughout many of the cards puts you, the reader, within this space, allowing you to connect the traditional tarot journey to your own.”
With Justice in the place of Key 8 and Strength as Key 11, plus something about how the deck resonates intuitively, this feels deeply Thoth-inspired.
Something about The Field Tarot reminds me of the Fountain Tarot. I’ve also seen several reviews comparing it to Light Seer’s. I admit I don’t really see the Light Seer’s connection, but Field Tarot definitely feels like a softened version of the Fountain Tarot.
Fofana’s strong product and graphic design skills come through here. The layout is well-done, and I love the use of botanical patterns. You can see that Fofana as an artist has a clean, principled point of view. There’s strong use of balance, symmetry, and color contrast to give this otherwise sensual, warm deck a certain sharpness.
I love the Golden Dawn-esque keywords in the Minor Arcana. I find that keywords decks can fall into two categories: keywords denoting card meaning and keywords that are thematically evocative. The Field Tarot’s keywords fall into the latter camp of thematically evocative.
I don’t know what the art medium is, but it appears to be digital, mimicking the textures of watercolor and oils. There’s great use of texture to create visual interest, and minor details add so much, like two of the chalices in the Seven of Chalices being upside down.
You don’t get a lot of depth perception with the imagery in this deck, but that feels intentional from the artist– it’s intended to pictorialize that “field,” or other-worldly dimension. Imagine landscapes in that liminal space. This doesn’t feel like our world, not the material, physical one; it feels like a counterpart to the world we know.
The fox on the Seven of Swords, keyword: Deception, excites me. And the way Isolation is represented in that Eight of Swords is powerful. Although Tarot of Mystical Moments is more ornate, and distinctly in a different style, I could see how a tarot enthusiast who loves one will also love the other. It’s that “translucent abstract multi-layered dimension of lucid dreams” I talked about when reviewing Tarot of Mystical Moments.
Back in the day, one of the painting techniques I liked playing with was to lay masking tape across the canvas, and then paint. After you remove the masking tape, you get these sharp lines dividing up the composition, and you see that technique applied in repetition throughout the deck art, giving it cohesion.
Something that stood out to me was the Prince of Disks, compared to the other Princes, all of whom are less clothed, symbolic of more vulnerability. Yet here, out of the four Princes, the Prince of Disks is heavily armored, and the shield is the stand-in for the Disk of the suit.
Elegant, minimalist, modern, and yet hermetical, The Field Tarot by Hannah Elizabeth Fofana walks that grounded, centered path between abstract and humanistic. Although I’d still describe the deck as minimalist, the diversity of textures along with the soft imprints of flora achieve a high level of ornamentation and detail. Overall, a contemporary, readable tarot deck that’s great for beginners.
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 Field Tarot from the publisher for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion.