R E V I E W
Wonderland Tarot in a Tin
by Chris Abbey (Author), Morgana Abbey (Author)
_U.S. Games Systems Inc._ (January 20, 2017)
Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.2 x 3.7 inches
The original version of The Wonderland Tarot -- created by the collaborative team of Christopher and Morgana Abbey -- was first published in 1989 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. You can still get the original, but be prepared to part with anywhere from $100 to $400 or more. I’m happy with the newly released version, available for around $15-20, depending on where you shop.
The tin box makes a perfect home for the deck, which has the same art on the cards as the original -- art in the style and flavor of Sir John Tenniel's illustrations of Lewis Carroll's work. The colors are bright and clear, in keeping with the child-like images and “feel” of the deck.
The deck fits the typical Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) system, even though the suits have been changed to Flamingos (Swords, Spades), Peppermills (Staves, Wands, Clubs), Hats (Cups, Hearts), and Oysters (Pentacles, Coins, Diamonds).
Reversible card backs are lavender with a white border, incorporating three rows of black vines with green leaves and red flowers.
The cards themselves are the approximate size of a standard playing deck. The playing-card equivalent of the Minor Arcana is notated in the borders of each of the appropriate cards (e.g., the “Six of Hearts” is noted in the border of the Six of Hats).
In the Little White Book (LWB), Chris Abbey provides an Introduction to Tarot and The Tarot Deck. Abbey mentions that the sources he used to write the booklet were The Encyclopedia of Tarot, volume I, by Stuart R. Kaplan, and The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite. For the Major Arcana, Abbey gives us Alice-related information for each card along with standard interpretations. For example:
At the end of the LWB, we have The Ten-Card Spread, described as a “slightly altered version of the Ancient Celtic Method described by Arthur Edward Waite in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.”
My favorites from this deck include Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee as The Lovers, the Jabberwock as The Devil, and the Walrus and the Carpenter (with the ill-fated oysters) as The Moon.
And now, in addition to doing some readings with this wonderful Wonderland deck, I need to grab a copy of Alice in Wonderland and revisit that fascinating story with its amazing characters!