Monday, September 4, 2017
Review: Ostara Tarot
Authors: Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard & Julia Iredale
Schiffer Publishing, 2017
Description: 78 cards and a 112 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.
“The Vernal equinox, Ostara, wakes the city after winter. Through 78 stunning Tarot cards and an accompanying guidebook, delve into the fantastical world of traditional symbolism and contemporary themes that will return you to the wilderness and explore the feminine.”
The Ostara Tarot is one of those love it or hate it decks, but with a twist. You may find you like one suit and hate the rest of the deck. You may like the whole deck except one suit. There's a reason for this breaking apart of interest within the deck.
Four talented women have formed a group and created a deck together. They each took a suit, and then split up the Major Arcana cards. This gives you varying styles throughout the deck. Below, I think you'll quickly see the startling effect of the styles.
I also found some of the cards difficult to classify with its suit. Above, you see some are relatively obvious, like the Swords and Pentacles. Can you tell which suit the bottom two corners belong to? The left is Cups and the right is Pentacles. Of course, this issue can be overcome by simply becoming more acquainted with the deck.
I really do love these cards. The talent that went into this deck is extraordinary. Even the backs make you stop and stare. Yes, there are a few I don't particularly like, but I like the majority of the deck. And, I do favor two of the artists over the other two, but again that is a style issue.
The Guidebook has a brief preface and the rest of the book is devoted to the individual cards. There's a full color image on one side, and card information on the other page, including Card Title, Keywords and Card Details of both the upright and the reversal. At the bottom of the Major Arcanas, the illustrator's name is given. And at the end of the guidebook, there's a brief section on each artist and her assigned suit.
"In this deck, you will discover a journey that loosely follows traditional Tarot symbolism, while also exploring themes of wilderness, surrealism, and feminine intuition."
I'm not sure if I would recommend this deck to a new reader of tarot, but then I can't really say that one couldn't pick it up and go with it. The world of Tarot and Oracle cards seem to get more entangled as we move forward in our journeys. So, I can't see why one couldn't learn this deck from the ground up and gain an intuitive connection worth exploring.
Take the Seven of Swords, for example, which is pictured above. For an experienced reader, it is easy to see the Rider-Waite influence in this card. But even new eyes could decipher what this little rascal is up to.
The Six of Cups could get tricky. "Six cup-bearing figures stand around a surfacing whale." Now, I'm not saying it doesn't, it may, but what does that have to do with childhood, memories, or innocence?
With all that said, I'm in love with the deck and look forward to getting to know it and all its hidden bits.
Grab your copy from Schiffer Publishing.
(Review Product supplied by Schiffer Publishing)