In the event you’ve ever walked down the aisle of a bookstore and instantly stopped in your tracks when a canopy catches your consideration due to its gothic-fairytale, dark-academia-fantasy vibes, then it is best to have a duplicate of the Darkish Wooden Tarot in your shelf. Written by the educated and skilled Sasha Graham, with artwork by the extremely proficient Abigail Larson, whether or not you’re a tarot obsessed collector, are asking your self “what’s tarot?”, or similar to fairly fantasy issues, I can’t suggest this deck sufficient.
As a child witch, means means again, earlier than I used to be too scared to overtly declare that I’m a witch… earlier than I realized that it’s okay to be as eclectic and solitary (or not) as I’d prefer to be with my apply, the various types of divination sucked me in, and for the previous 15 or so years, I’ve let that impulse pull me wherever it desires me to go.
So once I was strolling down the principle aisle at my native Books-A-Million and this deck banshee screeched to me that I should have it, I didn’t query it. I grabbed the final copy on the shelf and let the mysterious hooded girl together with her lantern illuminating the shadowy forest behind her take me by the hand and lead me into the Darkish Wooden. (Sure, my play on phrases was intentional, I couldn’t resist).
Now that I’ve gotten to spend a great deal of time with this 78 card, Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) fashion set, (which is a factor fellow tarot lovers will perceive… and if you happen to’re facet eying the display screen like I’m a number of playing cards in need of a deck… simply roll with it), and the full-colour, immersive guidebook, I really feel like I can lastly write a overview that may do that work of tarot mastery justice.
So first issues first…
In the event you’re questioning if it is a tarot deck anybody can dive proper in with, even when they’ve by no means touched a tarot card of their life, then let me guarantee you, sure, you possibly can completely begin with this one. If the quote from The Empire Strikes Again on the second web page of the guidebook doesn’t put you comfy with it’s popular culture familiarity, the straightforward to comply with guidebook that walks you step-by-step by issues, will.
As somebody who has greater than 60 plus books (sure, I truly counted up till that time LOL) on tarot and different numerous technique of divination, and shut to twenty particular person tarot decks (runes had been my old flame, however by no means concern, I’m certain my tarot assortment will catch up!) I need to say that the order during which they put the guidebook collectively (I’m nonetheless swooning over the artwork and all the small print), is extremely consumer pleasant. And in contrast to another decks, they aren’t assuming that you simply already know sure issues about tarot typically, which was refreshing AF to see.
We had been all there as soon as, full tarot newbies, with no freakin’ clue what tarot is, aside from one thing you’ve seen within the films. And the lack of understanding on easy methods to use a specific tarot deck, or what within the hell all of the completely different symbols on every of the playing cards means, might be extremely intimidating if you’re first beginning out. However with the Darkish Wooden Tarot, you begin with an introduction from Sasha, during which you are feeling such as you’re sitting subsequent to her in some distant cottage within the mountains, a cup of one thing scorching in your hand, a fireplace blazing within the background, simply having a dialog between the 2 of you such as you’re previous mates.
From there, you’re given one other 30 pages of relatable written data and recommendations on easy methods to learn tarot, and are inspired to do it in no matter means feels proper to you, not in some formulaic, you have to do that precisely as so and so did, or it gained’t work, kinda means. There are some ideas on easy methods to journal your private notes and observations concerning the deck, and your reference to it, in addition to transient however thorough explanations on the fits, a number of tarot spreads, and different concepts to get you began.
With out revealing an excessive amount of concerning the engaging and shadowy twists Sasha has created based mostly on the normal RSW deck, (and since it could require a novel size article), I can actually say, there wasn’t a single card within the deck that I didn’t love the design or clarification of.
The one and solely draw back IMO of this deck is the standard of the particular playing cards themselves. Thoughts you, the art work is unimaginable on them, and I like the dimensions of them, as I’ve smaller arms, so my shuffling might be tough typically with bigger decks… However the cardstock for this deck shouldn’t be as excessive a high quality I might have anticipated contemplating the prime quality of the field and the information ebook, and I’ve two – so I did evaluate them completely.
I’ve one 1st version second printing (due to Llewellyn for sending me that one!) and the one I purchased which is a 1st version third printing. With each, the guidebook is beautiful and strong, as is the field, however after a number of shuffles of the playing cards, the corners begin to chip, and in some locations it seems just like the art work is peeling up. Add in that they’re very simply bent because the playing cards aren’t as thick as another decks I’ve from Llewellyn, I’d undoubtedly suggest getting card sleeves for these, or simply reminding your self to shuffle them very gently if you happen to’re planning to make use of them typically, as I’ve been.
As an enormous fan of this deck as an entire, each the written and creative components, I actually do hope they arrive out with one other version of those, maybe a bigger, sturdier set, (a fangirl can dream of barely bigger editions of a few of her favorite playing cards proper?) or simply an improve to the playing cards themselves to allow them to stand up to extra day by day use.
I’ve received my fingers crossed for some form of particular version for the vacation season as Sasha Graham does have a brand new novel popping out on October eighth, The Magic of Tarot, and judging by the entrance cowl artwork, it’s meant to be a companion to the Darkish Wooden Tarot ultimately. Relaxation assured, I’ll 100% be reviewing that one as properly, as I’m tremendous enthusiastic about it! However within the meantime, share your ideas on the deck, the artwork, or something tarot associated, as I’m at all times looking out for suggestions of latest decks and books for my assortment!
PS: Keep tuned for extra critiques on tarot decks, witchy books, and an entire lot of witchery coming your means quickly!
Darkish Wooden Tarot is out there from Amazon, Guide Depository, and different good ebook retailers.
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Synopsis | Goodreads
Coming into the Wooden Is Straightforward. Leaving Is a Totally different Matter. How Will You Emerge?
Dare to enter the darkish wooden and uncover your shadow self with this enthralling Rider-Waite-Smith-style deck. As you tackle the function of a witch coming into the wooden, every magnificent card turns into a imaginative and prescient of deep knowledge that guides you to a richer understanding of your self. Study secret wishes and shadowy goals. Discover the unknown recesses of your psyche. This charming deck and full-color companion ebook lead you thru the darkness and into the sunshine that displays your hidden abilities and private energy.