Well. I finally broke from my five-deck mentality. I don’t know how I feel about that. I don’t wish to amass a huge collection of Tarot decks. As of now, though, all of my decks still fit within a small box, but there is room for no more.
I had no intention of getting any more decks, but I stumbled across a picture from the Sun and Moon Tarot (SaM) by Vanessa Decort (published by U.S. Games, 2010). I was mesmerized by the artwork. I wanted it. I’ve been mesmerized by Tarot art before, but I’ve never been compelled to buy a deck because of it. There’s something different about this deck that I can’t quite put words to yet.
This deck is a hybrid of CHT and RWS symbolism, with the creator’s own twists here and there. It is the only deck I have that was clearly influenced by Mr. Crowley (aside from his own deck, of course). Decort’s artistic experience comes from illustrating children’s books. With this in mind, it can be easy to think of this deck as childish, but I don’t think it really is at all. Almost all of the figures pictured within appear to be pretty young (the only exception that immediately comes to my mind being the Hermit), and while I do feel like this gives the deck a youthful energy, I do not think it works to alienate older people (but then again, I’m still pretty young myself, so what do I know).
I feel as though this deck has a stronger feminine energy than most, with an emphasis on the Moon in “Sun and Moon”, but I think both genders are fairly equally represented among the human figures. Also significant about the people are their skin tones. This deck is openly multi-cultural, both with its symbolism and with its depictions of people. As much as I like my European heritage, I find this very refreshing. They are mostly dressed in contemporary styles of clothing, which, when combined with everything else about these people, results in a very modern vibe. All that being said, however, the SaM never loses sight of its traditional Tarot roots.
The last thing I have to say about the people is that they do not have faces. Some find this odd, but it actually appeals to me, although I can’t say why. The body language is sufficient to evoke the necessary emotions in these cards, and the blank faces leave some room for interpretation.
These figures are small. In most Tarot decks, the people take up the majority of the space in a card, but that is not the case here. These cards are dominated by open, almost surreal landscapes. It makes me feel like I’m looking into a dream. I love it.
I’m not sure how I’ll be using this deck yet. I tried a couple of readings last night, and kept turning up the 8 of Swords, called “Interference” (keywords from the CHT are used on the small cards, and illustrations are inspired by the RWS). It seems to be sensitive to my inner turmoil. I get the feeling this deck is best used in a relaxed, calm, almost meditative state. That is the energy the cards exude, at any rate, and I think they may work best when that energy is reciprocated. Unfortunately, I’m not quite there at the moment.
Overall, I really, really like the SaM, and while I feel uneasy about expanding my collection,* I feel like this one is here for a reason. It seems comfortable in its spot among my other Tarot decks.
*Actually, if I consider the mini rws, I have a total of seven decks. That is a number that pleases me, as it is significant in many spiritual systems around the world. I realize that my occupation with the number of decks in my collection is strange. I don’t care. As I explained in my discussion of the WWT, I do not want too many Tarot decks. It just doesn’t sit well with me.