Friday, 19 September 2014

Alice Tarot Overview

The lovely box
As I mentioned on Monday, although this is the Standard Edition of the Alice Tarot (Baba Studios, 2014), rather than the Special Edition, it comes with shiny, metallic finishes.  These are just gorgeous, and add a really luxurious feel to the cards.  The Standard edition also comes in a lovely, sturdy box, which opens smoothly down the middle.  It is so nice and easy to use that I'm considering leaving my deck in the box, despite having bought a beautiful bag for it!

I also went for a copy of the companion book, written by Karen Mahony.  As with other books she has produced, this one is detailed, well-written, nicely illustrated, and shows the depth of thought and research that has gone into this deck. 

Take the Empress: showing the Duchess and her baby, you'd hardly say she was the image of womanliness!  Yet, as Mahony points out, there are no good mothering figures in either of the Alice books.  So, while giving traditional RWS ideas about the card, she also suggests that when this version comes up we might think of more dysfunctional mothering relationships, like having the Empress reversed.

There is a lot of humour in this deck, too.  For instance, the Page of Cups, rather than having a fish in his cup, is a fish himself.  This character from the book is a fairly good fit, being a dreamer who tries to be helpful, but in an often naive way.

As for the Aces, these follow the slightly surreal but very readable format of the deck.  For example, the Ace of Swords shows a knife spreading butter in the Mad Hatter's watch: a caution to do some research and planning before acting on a new idea.  As for the Ace of Coins, it shows Alice about to eat a cake that says 'eat me'.  Doing so causes her to change in size, and isn't the boon she hoped it would be, at least until she learns to find the right balance.  This leap into a new physical experience is a funny invitation to try something new.

Finally, we have the Eight of Coins, showing a plate with eight jam tarts.  These are beautifully presented, with little hearts in the centre of each.  A reminder that, in cooking as in many other material pursuits, mastery comes with repetitive practice.  And with the added 'Alice' warning to beware of others who may wish to steal your hard-earned success.

The companion book also contains abridged versions of both the Alice books, with small scans of the card related to any particular section.  This is perfect for a quick read, and for a deeper understanding of the cards.

Altogether, this is an absolutely wonderful, somewhat surreal, and delightfully shiny deck.  It will appeal to Alice fans, as well as fans of RWS decks who also like a touch of the bizarre.  Colourful and crazy, I look forward to reading with it much more.

8 comments:

  1. Still ummm-ing and ahhh-ing about whether or not to get this deck. After reading this overview I'm more motivated to place an order. I absolutely adore that Page of Cups! Thanks for sharing, Chloe :)

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    1. You're welcome, Lisa :) Hope you enjoy it if you do get it!

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  2. Hi Chloe! Wonderful deck! The images are beautiful and seem to be very suggestive.
    Happy Finde y Muchísimas Estrellas!!!!! :)

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    1. Hi LM, yes, I think it's very readable, and the shiny bits make it feel sumptuous and almost decadent! Espero que tuviste un buen finde, y que la semana te vaya muy bien!

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  3. MRP decks don't do it for me, but their production values are always top notch. Glad you love it. :)

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    1. Well, I'm a huge Alice fan, having listened to the audio books again and again as a kid. And I'm a huge fan of shiny things. So, this deck really ticks all my boxes :D

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  4. I feel these two repeatedly create the exact same deck. Over and over and over again, the same mish-mash of art scanned in from other sources mixed in with the kitchen sink and a dash of rainbow bright colouring.

    Seen one, seen them all.

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    1. Interesting how we can have such different perspectives. As I understand it, they do their own photo shoots, and are careful of details, specially choosing fabrics for clothes, getting together appropriate items such as the crockery and cupboard in the background for the Empress. My impression is that their decks are intelligent and well-thought out. Still, horses for courses, and as Carla says, they don't float her boat, either :)

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