by Jody Bergsma
U.S. Games Systems Inc. (March 31, 2013)
44 cards / 28-page booklet
TOP LINE (formerly Bottom Line)
There is a lot to love about this deck, with its pleasing colors, evocative art, and empowering messages. I like the way certain words in each inspirational message are emphasized by printing them in the calligraphy-style font used for the card's title/keyword. The keywords chosen by Jody Bergsma appear to cover every possible aspect of life, tuning in to common human emotions, perceptions, desires, and needs.
I'm looking forward to trying the spreads from the Little White Book, especially the Five-Card Elemental Influences Spread, which is designed to answer the questions "Who are my allies?" and "Who walks beside and within me?" Watch this blog for the result!
THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY
"Created by popular artist Jody Bergsma, this beautiful deck presents 44 inspirational images and affirmations. Bergsma's unique watercolor art combines her love of native wildlife, fantasy creatures, and geometric design. A 28-page guidebook accompanies the deck, and provides gentle yet powerful messages to help you achieve your greatest dreams."
The creator of this deck, Jody Bergsma, began painting at an early age, encouraged by her mother to express her emotions and illustrate her dreams. A love of mathematics prompted her to earn a degree in engineering. After she graduated, she realized that she could combine her imaginative art with geometry, and a career was born. The creator of thousands of paintings and inspirational sayings, Bergsma has written and illustrated fantasy books. She also illustrated the Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Each of the 44 cards in this set bears a title/keyword at the top in an elegant, calligraphy-style font. Examples are Elegance, Partnership, Cycles, Destiny, Strength, Friendship, Nature, and Expectation.
A circle in the center of each card contains the central portion of each illustration, but the illustrations extend, in paler color, beyond the confines of the circle.
At the bottom, Bergsma provides an inspiration saying or words of encouragement, set in plain type, all caps, except for certain words, which are rendered in the font used for the title.
For example, the card titled Dance shows a fairy dancing with a winged frog in the center. At the bottom are the words: "Find your heart's rhythm. Step lightly and swing with the melody. Close your eyes and let joy lead the way." The words "rhythm" and "joy" are emphasized by using the calligraphy-style font. The entry in the LWB reads: "Today is my day to dance lightly with life. I will sing wild songs, find my rhythm, and follow the drumbeat of my heart. I will dance with my friends and family...and sometime I will dance alone. I will invite moonbeams and dragonflies to come out and play. My spirit will soar and no matter what happens, I will find a reason to dance."
APPEARANCE, SIZE, QUALITY
This deck is packaged in a high-quality, very sturdy flip-top box, much nicer than the thin, lightweight boxes often used for Tarot and Oracle decks.
The oversized cards measure 5 1/4" x 3 1/2". They are printed on reasonably sturdy stock, although not very thick. I have seen the finish described as "matte" by other reviewers, but I consider it glossy -- perhaps not as "high gloss" as some decks, but certainly not a true "matte" finish.
Card backs feature linked circles in bright rainbow colors on a dark background.
Each card features gorgeous watercolor images and each has its own "color scheme" from green to blue to lavender to reddish brown to mauve to yellow. There is no apparent relationship between the color of the card and its title, message, or illustration. Depicted on the cards are animals (both real and imaginary), various beings such as fairies, mermaids, and humans, and geometrical designs.
The Little White Book includes a brief section titled "To Begin Your Readings," in which Jody Bergsma describes how to use the cards, how to interpret reversed (upside down) cards, and how the booklet is organized. At the end of the booklet we are given a Single Spread Card idea, a 3-Card Empowerment Spread, a 5-Card Elemental Influences Spread, and a page "About Jody Bergsma".
The watercolor paintings are truly lovely and inspirational. The animals and people are realistic yet have a fantasy feel. On one of my favorite cards, Pilgrimage, a white-haired, bearded man (who reminds me of "Father Christmas" or perhaps Merlin) appears to be moving forward, accompanied by several white animals including a wolf, bear, fox, deer, owl, and hawk. Another favorite of mine is Humor, which depicts a young fairy girl in a rainbow-striped dress dancing with a winged cat. A white dove flies overhead, spreading rainbow colors across the sky.
In accordance with the FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, I hereby disclose that this product was provided by the publisher for free. Other than the occasional review copy, I receive no monetary or in-kind compensation for my reviews. The substance of my reviews is not influenced by whether I do or do not receive a review copy.