Fantastical Tarot has been on my wish list for a decade – and actually even before I knew what deck it was. I found a very beautiful Star image which I printed out and pasted on the hind cover of my Book of Shadows years ago, and I couldn’t find which deck it was. A couple of years later, I came across the deck again online, this time with a title. It was already OOP by then, and available only for very high prices (100+ eur, even without shipping).
Recently I came across an AT member selling the deck for 30USD plus shipping and obviously, I had to get it. Once I opened the package, I felt… I felt really connected. There was clearly a reason why I needed to get this deck.
Because of the eyes (or rather, the lack of them), I’m reminded a little bit of Sacred Rose Tarot, which was my first real Tarot deck.
I flipped through it incessantly, couldn’t wait to find my favourite Star card ever, and there it was, even more beautiful in real life:
The backs of the cards feature a fully reversible stylised white dragon (which weirdly enough reminds me of Dame Darcy’s Mermaid, but that’s probably just me).
I’m not a great fan of the copyright marks that US Games does, but oh well. This is definitely not a trimmable deck (well, everything is trimmable, it’s just that I don’t want to).
The suits and titles are just as they are normally, Strength is VIII so it’s an RWS-based deck. However, the artwork is quite different and very haunting.
I haven’t been able to tell whether the creatures have their eyes closed or they are peering into the abyss. For me, the artwork is not creepy, but I’ve heard people refer to it several times – it’s definitely not for the light of heart, even though there are lighter cards as well.
There is a sense of multiculturality in the deck in the sense that I don’t feel this is a particularly “large-bosomed tiny-waisted gothic witchy druid girls” showing deck, rather the creatures remain mysterious and otherwordly. Well, fantastical.
There are the stereotypical images in this deck as well, but a lot less than in others – in fact, I felt kind of at unease or at least surprise while looking at every single card.
I was able to see so many things about good old cards from a completely different angle. Could not be happier that this made its way into my home. It is an OOP deck, but if you can get your hands on it – highly recommended.
Cardstock and everything else: I tend not to judge card stock when I buy used decks, as the cards might have been manipulated by the previous owner in a manner not recommended by the publisher. However, this one here seems to be better quality than US Games normally – and I love the golden edges. They are not gilded per se, but the golden glare really adds to the drama. The cards stuck together a little, but again, this might be their previous home. Tuck box is fine after 13 years as you can see; the LWB as well.