This is one of my favorite decks and one that I can easily read with. You know how it is when you collect tarot decks and there is just nothing that really speaks to you? Well, with Shadowscapes tarot, I simply knew this was not the case. It follows a visual storyline that I can fully relate to, and this shows in my tarot readings as well. Everything is just so smooth and accurate, sometimes is uncanny!
Having worked with this deck for a year now, I've decided to review it in the hope that you'll be seduced into buying it and reading with it as well.
So read along and enjoy the ride.
This tarot set is absolutely beautiful, and includes the major and minor arcana. The art was lovingly crafted over a period of many years and I've been waiting since I saw the first couple pieces for this set to be complete. I love her use of themes of her own for each suit in the cards.
The Shadowscapes Tarot Deck - The Visuals
The Shadowscapes tarot is a real beauty to look at - and we're not even talking about reading with the deck yet.
The cards have a soft quality to them, a subtle yet vibrant style that enchants you right from the start. The author, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law has done a great job in evoking a wonderful, dreamy and fascinating world that you can follow along as you go through the major and the minor arcana.
However you might not find this deck so enchanting if you don't like to read with pastel (and girly) type of cards. The main characters in the deck are fey-like, from a world of fantasy and imagination.
The sheen on the cards is simply gorgeous, and I remember when I first got my cards in the post, it took me a full afternoon just to go through each card and see the many rich details on them.
On the various tarot boards and forums many people compare this deck to the Paulina tarot, however the majority of the people prefer the Shadowscapes to Paulina. In all honesty, me too!
Do You Have Already The Shadowscapes Tarot?
Studying The Shadowscapes Tarot Cards
One of the best ways to get to know your tarot deck is to study each card one by one. Yes, I know, it might seem initially too time consuming, however personally I found that my readings are much better if I am already familiar with the cards.
You can do this in a few different ways.
For example you can devote each day to studying one particular card. Simply shuffle the cards and pick one at random, one card that feels it wants to be picked up. Then look at the details of the card and jot down in your journal (you do have a tarot journal, right?) everything that jumps out at you.
Look at the smallest thing that you might otherwise overlook. Then read the meanings of the card and jot those down too. Eventually your mind will create its own meanings that you will always remember because the source if varied, and it will be just right for your next readings..
You can also meditate with the tarot cards. Without reading the meanings from the book that comes with the deck, simply look at the card for a few minutes until you memorize every detail. Then close your eyes and start meditating on the card. Enter the card and talk with the characters (be it human-like or animals). Look around you. What do you see? Any smells, anything that you hear or sense? Once you finish the meditation, open your eyes and write down all your impressions and conversations that came through from your meditation on the Shadowscapes tarot.
What I found over time is that every time I look at the cards in this deck, I notice details that I haven't noticed before. This helps me understand the cards so much better and it enriches my readings with the cards. There are a lot of details in the card, yet it is not overly busy. But just full enough to make it fun discovering new things with each new reading or studying.
Shadowscapes Tarot - The Major Arcana
The major arcana cards in this tarot deck are truly breathtakingly beautiful. Usually artists do strive to make the major arcana something special (more so than the minor arcana), and this artist succeeded quite well in this.
Just a quick refresher if you don't remember the major arcana cards. They are:
The Fool 0
The Magician I
The High Priestess II
The Empress III
The Emperor IV
The Hierophant V
The Lovers VI
The Chariot VII
The Hermit IX
The Wheel of Fortune X
The Hanged Man XII
The Devil XV
The Tower XVI
The Star XVII
The Moon XVIII
The Sun XIX
The World XXI
While the deck follows the Rider Waite tradition, as with most modern artists, this deck also has a few cards changed. For example the death card shows a phoenix, which is the symbol of rebirth. This help alleviate any bad feelings that people have when they see the Death card.
Also while the High Priestess is quite motionless in most RW type decks, here she is quite active, so the meaning of this card changes lightly as well. Of course the book that comes with this deck explains every card in detail, so there is no problem understanding exactly what the artist meant when she created each separate card.
Shadowscapes Tarot - The Minor Arcana
The minor arcana is populated by various animals and lovely critters, such as foxes, felines, fish, swans, crows and birds. Also the colors are lovely pastel, including various shades of blue (in the suit of Cups), violet for the Swords card and various shades of greens for the Pentacles.
That the minor arcana cards are also rich in details is an understatement. Every card is rich in meanings and in details, and you can get some great and extremely accurate readings with them.
For example the 4 of Pentacles shown here shows a lot of strong negative emotion. The dragon with its strong claws and the lowered head is hoarding a treasure and is feeling miserable at the same time. Key words such as destruction, possessive, limitations, a need to be always in control, denial of being weak are all quite relevant to this card, and can be used in readings depending on the situation.
The Shadowscapes Tarot In Action
If you don't already have this deck, do you want to get it?
My Personal Review Of The Shadowscapes Tarot
I'm in love with this deck. Of course it helps that I love fantasy, mythical creatures and dream world (as long as they're not horror).
My readings with this deck are quite accurate, maybe because the cards show the strong emotion behind them, and the images are not 'static' as in many traditional Rider Waite decks.
You look at the card and have a feeling right away about it. Usually this feeling is correct and you can easily describe the emotions coming through to the querent (to the person you're reading for) and they can absolutely identify with this feeling. Like I said before, sometimes it's downright uncanny.