Nov 29, 2011

Deck Review- The Cat's Eye Tarot

"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine 

Anyone who is, or ever has been owned by a cat, knows that cats work on their own agenda and despite their aloof nature we love them anyway. I first became aware of The Cat's Eye Tarot several years ago, when Debra Givin first began her creation of this deck and followed it's progress with each card. When US Games announced that they were going to be publishing it, I nearly fell out of my chair with excitement!

There are several cat themed decks out there but this one is truly special, not only does it follow the Rider-Waite style, each card tells a story from a very unique perspective...A cats! What better way to see the world than through the eyes of a beloved cat. Debra, a practicing vet for 22 years, exclusively in feline practice, she has absolutely captured the essence of cats in this deck and with each card there is no doubt as to what is going through these glorious kitties minds.

This deck is simply perfect in size and works great for those with smaller hands as it's not too wide to shuffle and handle properly and it has an amazing glossy lamination. I'm big on the art of the card backs and have been known to choose decks in part by the wonderful imagery on the backs and this deck does not disappoint. It features a brown long haired tabby with mesmerizing green eyes that nearly fills the whole card save one thin border of white.

The Major Arcana are graced with cats of white, calico, ginger and tabby, black and siamese all lovingly painted in scenes of blue and plum tones that make these little kitties pop right out of the cards. I always look for a select few cards when considering a deck and the Star is among one of them. I love the way that Debra has portrayed a little calico gently reaching out to the reflection of a star in chilly stream and it brings to mind the phrase "reach for the stars" what a great way to get the meaning of hope across!

The Minor Arcana are just as charming with the suit of Wands picturing fiery ginger cats, the suit of Cups showing wonderful jellicle kitties, the suit of Swords featuring the talkative siamese and the suit of Pentacles with it's tabby striped beauties. Also featured alongside these fabulous felines in the Minor Arcana are fish, reptiles, birds and mice.

I had the best time while working with this deck, I found that it reads very well and I had no problems getting clear and concise messages, just like ones I receive from any cat when he/she is letting me know how it is! I may not recommend it as a beginners deck, however, I think that a basic knowledge of the Rider-Waite symbolism would be helpful but this is truly a deck for anyone who loves and shares their life with cats.

Publisher: US Games
Artist: Debra Givin
ISBN: 978-1-57281-685-5

Images used with permission from US Games

Nov 12, 2011

Deck Review- Joie de Vivre Tarot

From the amazing creatrix  Paulina Cassidy, of the Paulina Tarot comes her latest addition to the Tarot community, The Joie de Vivre Tarot...what a truly charming and chatty deck that when translated, means Hearty or carefree enjoyment of life.  I had been eagerly awaiting this deck, watching it's progress and marveling over her unique artistic style and now that I have it in my hot little hands it is absolutely wonderful and quite child-like in it's energy.

The Joie de Vivre Tarot is a 78 card deck that is just the perfect size to work with and shuffle with ease. It comes with the standard LWB (little white book) of interpretations and each card and character is described in loving detail and absolutely inspires a truly joyful feel. I thought rather than to review this deck as I usually do, I would perhaps do an actual interview of it instead and I was not disappointed by it's lively and straight forward answers. Here are a few of the questions I asked and how the deck responded...

Tell me about yourself, what is your most important characteristic? King of Swords- "The King Sagacity possesses the wisdom and courage to obtain all his desires. His dove companion, Justice, helps him work against dishonesty."  What a terrific card to pop up when describing this decks most important characteristic! The King of Swords encourages the use of logic and intellect to navigate the path ahead and will definately get to the heart of the matter so buckle your seat belt, this deck will take you on a journey to see through all the clutter and fog to show you what the issues really are!
What are your strengths? The Moon- "Illuminating hidden truths, the Moon's energy brings clarity to the surface." Here we can see Phantasm and his three owl companions Daze, Haze and Maze sitting on a branch, illuminated by a huge full moon in the background. The Moon calls attention to the shadow in all of us and leads us to becoming consciously aware of any fears and anxieties that may be projected onto your external surroundings. The Joie de Vivre tarot tells me that it will turn these fears around and into more positive and constructive energy, illuminating a path through the unknown.
How can I best learn from and work with you? Knight of Cups- "Intrigue, the passionate and poetic Knight of Cups is the messenger of ideas and opportunities." This Knight is in touch with his intuition and emotions, and The Joie de Vivre will teach me to blend my imagination and logic to make dreams come true. this deck will bring inspiration and encourage me to undertake the journey of imagination and creativity to which the unconscious will guide my path. What a beautiful statement this Knight makes, I'm filled with an expectant anticipation of this journey with The Joie de Vivre Tarot and can hardly wait to get started!
This is truly an amazing and energetic deck full of excitement and wonder, it would make a fantastic deck for beginners and seasoned readers alike. I love Paulina's imagery and the whimsical yet charming characters that flow through this deck and I had a terrific time reading with it. I heartily encourage you to check out the Joie de Vivre Tarot and see where your imagination and intuition take you!

Publisher: US Games
Artist: Paulina Cassidy
ISBN: 978-1-57281-662-6

Images used with permission from US Games Systems