Shadowscapes Tarot Deck Review

Shadowscapes Tarot Review

Written by : Misha (Tarot By Misha)

Will be published in May’s TCBA’s monthly newsletter

I had a surprise on my front steps yesterday morning when I went out to get the mail. It was a delivery from Llewellyn which contained their spring release tarot deck Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pu-Mun Law. The cards are done by Stephanie and the 264 page book that comes with it was written by her along with Barbara Moore. “The Mystic Dreamer Tarot” which was done by Barbara is one of my favorite decks so I was really anxious to have my hands on “Shadowscapes Tarot” and I was not at all disappointed.

It is springtime and Easter was not that long ago which could be why the pastel colors used immediately reminded me of dyed Easter Eggs. I hadn’t even opened the box yet to view the cards and was already drawn into the magical world that Stephanie created. I anxiously opened it up to admire the cards and was not at all disappointed, they are gorgeous. Stephanie spent six years creating this mythological, legend and folklore inspired deck and no wonder it took so long. They are done from watercolor and the backgrounds are what made me think of Easter Eggs.

The first thing that I do when I get a new deck is to go straight to the cards and just go through them to get a feel for them and see which ones really draws my attention. Then when I have a quiet time to sit down and really focus on them I go through them slowly, one at a time and really have a good look at each one. The book is always the last thing that I open as I like to get my own immediate impression of the deck and then later read the book and get the creators perspective.

The images bring you right into the mystical world that Stephanie created; the background and the “being in the skies” look is what draws you in. Although trees and/or mountain cliffs are depicted in the majority of the cards, those that aren’t still bring you to another dimension in the skies. The deck is based on the Rider Waite deck with some unique depictions which had me pause and reflect on certain cards.

The Hierophant is portrayed as a tree and I had to really reflect on that as upon first seeing it without “looking” at it, it had me scratching my head. Then it “clicked” and I was really impressed with that connection of The Hierophant as a tree. The Hermit is usually shown in his cave or somewhere similar to seek his answers and that is not the case with this deck. In Shadowscapes Tarot, The Hermit holding his lantern is on top of a high cliff that reaches the skies. A pheonix bird in flames in the branch of a tree high in the sky is in place of the Grim Reaper which is commonly seen with the Death card.

The Three of Swords was one card that stood out because of the painful reaction it gave to me. Seeing something as delicate, innocent and pure like a swan being pierced by the swords touched me in a way that no other Three of Swords ever has. Pentacles is the Earth element and as I go through the cards one by one and get to the last two cards they also stand out to me. The Queen and King of Pentacles are again very uniquely done. Are they the tree or are they emerging out of the tree? I will let you decide and find out when you read Stephanie’s write up on it in the Companion book included with the deck.

The book does not just tell Stephanie’s story of the cards and Barbara’s writing of the tarot meanings, it has an introduction written by Barbara Moore covers tarot basics to reversals and reading the cards. The end of the book gives spreads to do with positioning.

The quality of the box this was packaged in is lacking and disappointing. If someone is going to use this deck as one of their regulars to read with then they will definitely want to store the cards elsewhere. The box is not at all resilient for constant use because of its thinness. In the few days it has taken me to write this review in completion the corner of mine has already torn. Not to mention the fact that once the cards are unwrapped out of the plastic they slide down the sides of the inside “stuffing” so you have to make sure you have all 78 cards or have a tarot bag to put them in if keeping them stored in the box.

I would not recommend this deck for someone who is a brand new beginner and just learning the tarot. Someone that already has a basic knowledge of the card’s meaning or has more experience would not have a problem with them however. There is no worries when using this deck for in person reads of having to worry if children are around as there is no nudity or “scary” looking images. The release date is scheduled to be in a few weeks, in May 2010.

Shadowscapes Tarot

Created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Text written by : Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore

Publisher: Llwellyn

Release Date: May 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7387-1579-7

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