Friday, 16 January 2015

Ellis Tarot Overview

The Ellis Tarot (self-published, 2013, 3rd edition 2015) is a very funky, colourful deck.  It follows traditional RWS notions, but rendered in an almost sci-fi manner.  And it reads beautifully!

Let's take a closer look.  Having said the deck is colourful, the Major I drew to illustrate this post is Justice, which is black-and-white.  This works very well, emphasising the kind of thinking that can often appear with this card. Justice is frequently seen as being about weighing things up, assessing them, deciding what's right or wrong.  And yet, realistically, things are never that simple, that one-dimensional.  Life is colourful and messy, and while we may want to find a clear answer, to achieve a perfect balance, it's never really possible.  Still, sometimes we have to act as though it were, making the best decision we can on the facts available. 

With the Queen of Cups, we return to full colour.  Her skin is bright blue, emphasising her connection to water, to emotion.  Yet, there are also some red highlights, she has passion, as well.  And look at her huge cup!  Certainly enough there for herself and her family or whomever she chooses to include in her domain.

The Aces in this deck are nicely clear and simple, and the suits also have a theme colour.  Interestingly, for Swords Taylor Ellis chose pink, not necessarily an obvious choice.  Yet, our thoughts often affect our sense of loving others or ourselves, so I think it works.  The dark bird on the sword's hilt speaks of the suit's element - air - and the thoughts and words or messages it is associated with. The jagged black shapes below seem like magma rock, and the pink background adds a touch of warmth.  The nicks on the blade are a nice touch: there is a price to pay for wielding our minds or words!

As for the Three of Swords, it retains the simplicity of RWS tradition.  Two of the swords have bird hilts, and the jagged black buildings/rocks look rather bleak.  The pink, though, brings a warmth to it that belies the dried blood  on the sword's blades.

In terms of cardstock, this deck is printed on plastic, which at first I was unsure about.  It does feel a little different than card.  However, it means the cards are sturdy even though thin, shuffle beautifully, and aren't overly glossy.  

Altogether, I'm much enamoured of this deck.  I like its playfulness, and the strangeness of the characters works like Steve's Silhouettes or like animal decks.  It opens up the potential meanings of the cards, allowing us to impute different emotions and motivations to them than a photo might. 

6 comments:

  1. Although it is not a deck for me I do see its beauty and clear symbolism!

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    1. I haven't been as into "dark" decks of late, but this one for me is playful enough that I still love it!

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  2. I didn't think this deck was my "style," but its stories behind the cards (whose symbolism is easy to read) changed my mind completely. This is one of those decks that make me think of my mother trying to make her child eat something new: "You won't know if you like it unless you try it!" :)

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    1. LOL! Yes, I can just see that, Bev. I'm really impressed with this deck, and can imagine using it a lot :)

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  3. Amazing insights and tidbits you dug out of this deck. Impressive!

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