Feb 14, 2011

Deck Review- The Otherworld Tarot

The Otherworld Tarot is the collaborative work of Alison Williams, a trained teacher and avid tarot reader and Sarah Nowell, who's artwork has been inspired by Brian and Wendy Froud, such films as The Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal and the fairy art of Arthur Rackam. This deck began when Alison  found herself  wondering what it took to make her own tarot deck... remembering Sarah's artwork, some of which she had purchased for her business, she realized that it would make a wonderful tarot deck as a result we now have a unique and lively, fantasy style deck.

The deck is a bit larger than average deck at  5 1/4"x 3 3/4" and was little challenging to shuffle at first but with a little ingenuity and shuffling them from their sides made it just as easy as shuffling the cards lengthwise. The card stock is a nice thickness to work with and the glossy lamination brings out Sarah's original drawings and rich colors. The images are bold and creative and I found myself totally connecting with this deck.

The cards have large borders and are a change from the borderless cards I'm used to using but given the artwork, it seems to enhance them nicely. The Major Arcana are bordered grey and have a Roman numeral at the top, and a keyword at the bottom which can make this an easy deck for beginners. The Minor Arcana also have a wide border with Swords colored slate blue, Wands an olive green, Cups a bluish sage and Pentacles colored a rich reddish brown. The suit and number are at the top of the card and like the Major Arcana, there is a keyword at the bottom of the card.

The backs are a wonderful shade of burgundy with a swirl resembling a lemniscate and two opposing unicorns which make the cards able to be read upright or reversed. This deck comes with a beautifully written 96 page LWB (little white book) that explains the keywords and the meanings of each card and includes two spreads, the three card  Past, Present and Future spread and the popular Celtic Cross spread. In the LWB, there information on the history of Tarot, how to use the cards, how to effectively set a tarot reading scene and how to deal with those difficulties one may encounter during a reading.

The first thing that drew my attention to the Otherworld Tarot was it's color and artwork, absolutely love the little waif like figures and it's strong earth tone coloring which sets it apart from typical decks and I think this would be an excellent deck for a beginner or expert alike.

Publisher: Schiffer Books
Written by: Alison Williams 
Artist: Sarah Newell
ISBN: 9780764333941

Images used with permission of Schiffer Books

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