R E V I E W
Mystical Cats Tarot
_Llewellyn Publications_ (May 8, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0738733881 / ISBN-13: 978-0738733883
Book: 8.5 x 5.4 x 2.4 inches; 216 pages
Cards: 2-3/4 x 4-5/8 inches
Yeah, yeah, I know. The cat lady has acquired another cat-themed deck and what do you know? She likes it! What do I like about it? Well, for starters, even though this is not what anyone would call a Rider-Waite-Smith clone, the situations and activities shown on each card do call to mind the comparable RWS card.
On the Nine of Sky (Swords), instead of someone in bed with nine swords hanging over her head, we have a sleeping cat tossing and turning, clearly distressed, as visions of a vicious dog, angry cat, sharp-taloned bird of prey, and firecracker do a frightening “dance” in its head. On the Four of Sea (Cups), an obviously bored or depressed cat totally ignores four capering lobsters in the background. On the Three of Fire (Wands), a cat gazes upward in a manner similar to that of the man on the RWS Three of Wands, who gazes out at the sea.
I also like the way Lunaea Weatherstone sets the stage for each card interpretation by bringing us into the situation depicted on the card – in other words, the cat situation – before moving on to explain how the card might reflect our situation and advise us on approaches we might take. Reversed meanings are right on target, offering useful and realistic suggestions.
Mickie Mueller’s art automatically goes in the “plus” column for me, and I love the way she captures the expressiveness of a cat’s face, eyes, and body language. I like that she incorporates many different breeds and colors of cats.
To see a reading I did with this deck, click HERE. I look forward to doing more!
THE PUBLISHER'S PRODUCT SUMMARY
"Anyone who has ever owned—or been owned by—a cat knows its wild and mystical nature. Open the door to a magical world of feline enchantment that offers eternal and ancient wisdom with the Mystical Cats Tarot.
Discover amazing artwork of various domestic breeds that look and behave like normal cats, but face many challenges, relationships, and life lessons that reveal the answers to our most important questions. Organized by elemental suits—Earth, Sea, Fire, and Sky—and cat-based court cards, this deck presents the descendants of the Cat Goddess in all their furry glory."ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Lunaea Weatherstone is a priestess, writer, teacher, and tarot counselor who has been serving the Pagan community for more than twenty-five years, since her days as owner/editor of SageWoman magazine. As Grove Mother for the Sisterhood of the Silver Branch, she offers year-long programs in goddess spirituality. Lunaea has been working with the tarot for more than forty years.
This deck follows the traditional Tarot structure, with Major Arcana cards, Court cards, and Pips.
Majors: Some of the Majors have undergone a “name change” in this deck. For example:
- The Fool … The Cat
- The Magician … Cat Magic
- Justice … Consequences
- The Hanged Man … The Floating Cat
- Temperance … Grace
- The Devil … Demon Cat
- Judgment … Good Kitty
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Minors: The Minor Arcana cards have the traditional four suits but they are given the names Fire Clan (Wands), Sea Clan (Cups), Sky Clan (Swords), and Earth Clan (Pentacles). Court Cards are titled Kitten (Page), Tom (Knight), Queen, and King.
Sections in the introductory pages of Tales of the Mystical Cats (the 201-page book that accompanies this deck) address Mixing the Cards, Reading the Cards, About Reversals, Care and Feeding of Your Deck, in which we are told: “The ‘proper’ way to care for a tarot deck is whatever feels right for you. . . The important thing is always to treat your cards with respect.”
Each card receives a two-page spread, with a black-and-white version of the card on the left and a discussion of the card on the right. The material on the right includes a description of the card, The Cat’s Advice, and “If the card is reversed…”
In the section for each suit, we have a black-and-white illustration and a one-page description of the qualities of the suit and the cats that belong to that element.
Four spreads are included at the end of the book, each accompanied by a drawing that incorporates the layout. These spreads are titled At the Threshold (3 cards with the Two of Fire as the center card), Shield of Sekhmet (3 cards), Council of the Five Tigers (5 cards), and Nine Lives Spread (9 cards).
Following the spreads we have an Appendix containing “Sketches from Mickie Mueller’s Old Wooden Art Table.” This behind-the-scenes glimpse of some of the images in the deck are accompanied by annotated captions from Mueller herself.
The cards are printed on typical Tarot card stock with what I would call a semi-glossy finish. They fit comfortably in my hands and are the right size for shuffling. The packaging includes a white cardboard box that is clearly meant to hold the cards, but it is really too big for them (4 x 5-1/4 inches). It’s better than nothing, but I would rather not use it.
Cards are borderless. Card backs are reversible.
Each card has the title of the card at the bottom in black ink printed on a dark gold banner. I found the titles a bit difficult to read, but that could be due to the age of my eyes.
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Mickie Mueller’s art is superb, as expected (I have long been a fan of her work!) As someone who has been owned by cats for most of my life, I recognize the feline expressions, body language, and activities that Mueller has been so successful in capturing. The colors are rich and vibrant. The coloring on the Minors expresses the nature of each suit’s element beautifully.