Friday, 6 February 2015

Wizard's Pet Tarot Overview

Pamela Steele's Wizard's Pet Tarot (self-published, 2014) is clearly a Rider Waite Smith clone.  However, it is a very fine one.  There is so much to like about this deck, I hardly know where to begin!

The card stock is lovely, with a lavish, material feel to it.  The cards themselves are playing card size, extremely easy to shuffle, and perfect for children, too.  The backs are reversible, with an outer blue border, a green knotwork border with purple inlay, and a central yellow/green/red knotwork tree image.  The card fronts are borderless and all the colours are rich and deep, without being CGI flat.  The set also comes in a sturdy box, with both a companion book and a colouring book :D

Turning to the cards, many of the Majors and all of the Courts have dragons on them, as illustrated here.  In the Devil, a yellow girl dragon with a pink bow and a red boy dragon with flames dancing behind him are held captive by the reverse-pentacle crowned Devil.  Their chains, as ever, are loose.

As for the Queen of Swords, I especially like the medusa-type figure on her throne, present but less obvious on the RWS version.  As for her painted red lips, they make me laugh, that bit of feminine vanity in a woman otherwise so clear-thinking and speaking.

Although I didn't draw a Knight, I had to mention them.  They all ride toy steeds of one kind or another: a rocking horse (Swords), a horse with wheels (Pentacles), a broomhead horse on a wand (Wands) and a horse-headed swim ring (Cups, of course!)  These are just so much fun, they are some of my favourite cards in the whole deck :D

As in this Ace of Pentacles, all the Aces show a dragon's hand holding the suit object.  Once again, the landscape is straight up RWS, but the bright red nail polish is a different matter :)

The Three of Swords has an interesting liquid effect where the swords enter the heart, and cute, sad-faced clouds.  I also love the clouds in the Two of Swords, where there is a bat shape forming a mouth and two little eyes, for a bit of spookiness.  RWS, but with that touch of playful whimsy...

I also really like that there is some cultural diversity shown.  While many of the humanoid figures have pointy elf ears, these elves seem like a cultural melting pot.  There are all kinds of skin tones, hair styles and facial features, suggestive of, at least, Native American, Indian subcontinent, Asian, Rom, Mexican and African descent.

Altogether, this is a vibrant, fun, extremely readable deck that would be highly appropriate for children of any age!

5 comments:

  1. I agree this to be very suitable for children.I wish I had known about it it when mine were younger :)

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    1. Well, it only just came out... Still, there are some other nice decks for kids - the Whimsical Tarot, for instance. Often, though, I think kids can surprise us with what they like :D

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  2. I love what Chloe had to say in this review she got me to notice things I hadn't noticed on some of the cards she mentioned - I recently bought this beautiful deck of Pamela Steele's great art work & being a tarot card lover great deck - I haven't got to practice with it other than a new deck spread but am anxiously awaiting to read with it for some of they younger ones soon :-)
    Scamphill/Nancy M Doucette

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  3. I love what Chloe had to say in this review she got me to notice things I hadn't noticed on some of the cards she mentioned - I recently bought this beautiful deck of Pamela Steele's great art work & being a tarot card lover great deck - I haven't got to practice with it other than a new deck spread but am anxiously awaiting to read with it for some of they younger ones soon :-)
    Scamphill/Nancy M Doucette

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    1. Maybe you could use it to read for some of the young at heart, rather than waiting for the younger ones? :) I'm sure there will be years worth of new discoveries in these cards - so lovely!

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