September 1, 2010

Shadowscape Tarot: Deck Review

I had been wanting the Shadowscape Tarot ever since I had seen it on Stephanie's website. But, I held back due to the various reviews on card size and deck quality. Finally I relented and ordered my copy from Flipkart which I received last week. I have been over the deck and book and a couple of readings. Here's my take on it....

Deck Inclusions and Packaging: The deck and book set come in a pretty box (thin card and not study). The box which measures 8 inches by 5 inches (about 2 inches thick) is illustrated with the Queen of Swords. The Book, measuring 8 by 5 inches, is definitely not your usual LWB.It has an introduction by Barbara Moore and Stephanie's thoughts on how you should explore the deck. There is a full page black and white illustration of each card in sharp print with Stephanie's meanings and interpretations. I liked these a lot as it gives the card a new dimension. For example, in the Ace of Cups section, she writes, that a small ripple create larger and larger whirls and ultimately have a greater effect on things than initially anticipated. To note is that the cards do not have a box for themselves which is very inconvenient.



Card Stock and Print: There are no two ways here, the publishers went into cost cutting mode for this beautiful deck. I had been looking at the Shadowscape cards on their website since some time now. These are large and the colors are rich. The actual cards are scaled to the size 4.75 inches by 2.75 inches. They have a purple back with a white/silver wheel and are reversible. The card stock is thin and will have to be used carefully or will easily bend. I stacked up all the cards and the height comes up to 1 inch only. Its almost 50% thinner than my Mythic deck. The front has a think silvery lavender border which needs no trimming. The details are of course shrunk but I took that in my stride since I knew the cards were going to be small. But, what I was disappointed was with the color print quality. It is sharp and smooth no doubt, but lacking in richness. So what happens is the figures will not leap at you, they stay there, behind the window frame.


How the deck reads: The most important part which also happens to be the good part for the deck. The images are very intuitive. Even if you do not read the Guide Book you can understand the differences between this and the other decks by just looking at the cards. The Chariot for example is not trying to control here, it is simply confident and telling the horses to lead the way. Fairy characters and animals dominate the cards of course. Fishes in the cups, foxes in wands, swans in swords and reptiles in pentacles. I tried a number of readings with the deck. The deck, I noticed worked beautifully with relationship readings. They turned out bang on. When I placed the cards side by side they seemed to flow one into the other. For some strange reason, many cards repeated themselves in a couple of related spreads despite shuffling well. I was able to read in a fluid manner without referring to the book. And when I did, it added a whole new dimension to the reading.

All in all...I am very happy with the deck. I will though be using it primarily for relationship readings. They have a lot of depth and read well. My only regret is the production quality of the deck.

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