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Deviant Moon Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $13.32

ProductID: alt853

Shipping and handling:   US $4.99
Each additional item:    US $0.00

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About this item
  • The Deviant Moon Tarot has surreal, very unique, and sometimes disturbing moonlit artwork. It's inspired by (and incorporates) images of cemetaries and mental asylums, and designed to illuminate deeper parts of the subsconscious. The talented illustrator is also a tarot student, and the deck is the result of three years of artistic work. Now also available in a orderless edition.


Specifications
Name Deviant Moon Tarot
Creators Patrick Valenza
Publisher US Games 2008
Publisher US Games 2014
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Mixed
Minor Arcana Style RWS-Based Scenes
Suits Cups, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards King, Queen, Knight, Page
The Fool is 0
Strength is 8
Justice is 11
Card Size 2.75 x 5.13 in. = 6.99cm x 13.02cm
Card Language English
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Brown leather look with white crescent moons and circles.
Companion Material 48-page little white booklet in English.


Reviews

Patrick developed his artistic style in adolescence and has been working on his imagery for many years. Not only an accomplished artist, he also has knowledge of tarot and has studied the traditional cards closely. His website shows thirteen hand-painted major arcana cards made when he was fifteen, with very recognisable characteristics – some only slightly altered in appearance (though recreated via photo manipulation) for the published deck. His very unique style has been expanded across the full 78 card deck, with no less attention to detail and variation in the theme.

Artistically, the cards are incredibly strong and equally consistent from the Fool all the way through to the King of Pentacles. They are dark on the surface and underneath; photographs from cemeteries and tombstones have been morphed and twisted into other elements of the cards: clothing trim, headgear and shoes. The backgrounds are urban and industrial, scenes are often set outdoors but there is little natural environment; the moon rises over smokestacks, dull and dirty skies, fortified buildings – all created from photographs of a mental asylum. The figures in the cards are non-human, with layered faces and moon-like masks, wide staring eyes, bird-like feet and often elongated bodies. Despite the lack of regular human facial expressions and body language, the figures are remarkably expressive.

It’s a deck of the subconscious, of bad dreams, of visions from a bad trip come to life. Patrick’s symbolism comes from childhood dreams and imagination, a visual dedication to his interest in the ‘more melancholy side of life’. It’s reminiscent of its Rider-Waite heritage but really has a feeling all of its own. It’s a nice change to see imagery with such polish and dedication that also has an obvious familiarity with the tarot’s symbolism; it stays true to tarot but brings to it a new and disturbing approach.

The cards depart from traditional elements of symbolism in many ways but the card’s tarot meaning is still clear. As in the Nine of Cups, the well-dressed character releases a genie from the bottle and looks on with surprise; a very appropriate image for what is traditionally known as the ‘Wish’ card. The King of Wand isn’t seated on a throne, and instead holds woodland creatures by the hand and strides through the scene, but still comes across as the confident, charismatic leader.

The Moon card is literally the puppet-master of the figures below, holding the strings that connect them and controlling their movements. Ugly but strangely elegant, Death has a red scarf wrapped around her skeletal horse head and a pregnant belly, signalling both the end and the beginning inherent in transformation of Death. The cards do have an uncomfortable edge, even in traditionally positive and usually pretty cards like the Star.

The companion booklet is entirely in English and for each card shares a description of the imagery and a few keywords for the upright and reversed aspect of each card. Reading the booklet really not necessary to use the cards – all of the depth is in the imagery itself, there is little further background or explanation needed. There’s an original ten-card spread as well, based on cards arranged simply in a circle.

As is common for recent decks from US Games, the card stock of the Deviant Moon is very slick and heavily laminated. The backs are reversible and have a dark brown background with geometrically arranged crescent-moon designs. There are two extra non-tarot cards; a title card with the angel from the Judgement card, and a card ‘About Patrick Valenza’ with his background and artistic history. The cards have their own box that holds them and the booklet, and this sits with a fold-out spread sheet inside an equally glossy outer cardboard box with a slipcase cover.

A little tarot knowledge is always useful, but it’s not mandatory to use the Deviant Moon. The dark and strange beauty of its imagery takes a new approach but is true enough to the tarot archetypes to be useable by readers from novice level to the well experienced – as long as you’re prepared for a little excursion into the dark side of your subconscious.


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