Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shadowscapes Tarot Review

A couple of weeks ago I went shopping with a coven mate of mine, at one of our favourite local new age stores. It was there that a lovely tarot deck caught my eye. The Shadowscapes tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

I was drawn in by the beautiful illustrations by Stephanie. They have a light airy feel to them with lots of pastel hues. The watercolour and ink artwork is lovely and the images are fairy like with lots of fantastical characters and animals. I personally usually prefer handmade art over most of the computer type animation, so this definitely suited my tastes.
Each suit is dominated by a certain colour and features a certain animal. Swords uses purple hues and swans, Wands has red and yellow and uses foxes, Cups is blue and features fish and mermaids, and Pentacles is green with lots of plants rather than an animal. The major arcana does not feature a single colour or animal, but each image is it's own, reflecting the archetype it represents.
If you are not a fan of borders, this deck does have them, but as they are lightly coloured, it should not get in the way too much. I know there are readers who hate borders but it doesn't affect me personally.
The backing artwork is beautiful and reversible, although the companion book does not include revers meanings. But if you want to read reversals the backing art is fine for this.

Companion Book
The companion book that came with the deck is substantial and the design is lovely with full page reference illustrations. I found that the information is quite good, but I prefer it when the author breaks up the description of the symbols from the divinitory meanings. This is just a personal preference though as it makes using the book as a reference quicker.

The artwork on the box is very beautiful, just like with the cards and book. The box is not very sturdy though so I haven't been storing the deck in it. It came with the book in it and the deck plus a smaller cardboard box. I am not a fan of this style of packaging, as I find the both the large and small boxes have a tendency to fall apart.

The Backing Art

Size and Weight
The cards are not too large or small as they are bigger than playing cards, but not too big for my tiny hands to manage.
The quality of the card stock isn't terrible, but it's not super high quality either. I had my cards in a protective bag in my purse and it rained, and the dampness made them warp slightly which was disappointing.

(Is that even a word?) I would place this deck at an intermediate level as the images are not Rider Wait style and the number of objects (cups, wands etc) are not always immediately apparent when first looking at the art work. The artist does do a great job of conveying meaning in the artwork and the beauty of the images does draw both the reader and querent in.

I would give this deck an 8 out of 10. While I have some issues with the quality of the stock and packaging, the stunning art is what makes this deck, and the companion book is a good reference guide and lovely to look at on it's own.

What are your thought on this deck?

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