by Alison Williams
Artwork by Sarah Nowell
78 illustrated art cards
96-page companion guide
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.9 x 1.8 inches
TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)
This is a high-quality art deck that does an excellent job of showcasing Sarah Nowell's individual style. I like many of the paintings, and I'm always drawn to bright, bold colors like those used on these cards.
As a reading deck, drawbacks might include the key words at the bottom of each card, the wide borders, and the departure of many of the images from the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. For the latter reason, this probably isn't a good deck for someone who is just learning how to read Tarot. On the other hand, a beginner who doesn't care about studying the RWS symbols and imagery might do just fine using the key words and interpreting the cards with intuition alone, like an oracle deck.
I plan to do a reading with this deck in the very near future, and I will let you know how it works for me.
THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY
"Born from a love of fairy art with a colourful twist, these cards are beautifully illustrated with fairies, elves, magicians, and other fairy folk. This exciting color deck brings every Tarot reading to life. The companion guide details the meanings of each card and provides a quick-start for reading cards right away. Find out why the Death card isn't actually so bad, and why the Sun is the most positive card in the deck. Use this Tarot deck for guidance through hectic times and learn how to get what you want out of life along the way!"
MonkeyPea on DeviantART) has been drawing fairies, unicorns, and dragons for as long as she can remember. She views Arthur Rackham as one of her greatest influences.
The 96-page companion guide for Otherworld Tarot includes the following sections:
- Introduction to the Tarot
- Reading the Tarot (Getting Started, Setting the Scene, Telling the Story, Dealing with Difficulties, Most Popular Card Spreads, 3 Card Spread, Celtic Cross Spread
- The Major Arcana (with a separate introduction)
- The Minor Arcana (with a separate introduction)
- About the Author, About the Artist
Major Arcana cards bear traditional titles. Justice is Trump 8 and Strength is Trump 11. Suit names are Swords, Wands, Pentacles, and Cups. Court Cards are titled King, Queen, Knight, and Page. Each card has the card title at the top of the card and a key phrase at the bottom. For example, the Nine of Pentacles is subtitled "On the Right Track" and the Two of Cups is subtitled "Balance."
APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY
The cards measure 3-1/2 by 5 inches, a nice size for displaying the artwork but awkward for shuffling if you prefer to use a poker shuffle. Cards are printed on sturdy laminated stock, attractive but slippery to handle. Like other Schiffer decks, this one comes in a high-quality, sturdy box with a lid that holds the cards and the guidebook. The guidebook includes black-and-white illustrations of each card.
The card backs feature a wide purple border with an inset that consists of two flying unicorns and an S-shaped strand of pink flowers inside a lavender-framed, black rectangle.
In most cases the scenes on the cards are relatively simple, without a lot of detail. Many of the images on the Majors and Court Cards follow the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, but the Pips typically depart from tradition, relying mostly on suit symbols and various objects and creatures to convey the message.