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The Hobbit Tarot
The Hobbit Tarot

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE HOBBIT TAROT:

In this imaginative new deck by Peter Pracownik and Terry Donaldson, Bilbo Baggins heads down the Royal Road of the tarot, following in The Fool's footsteps. The Tolkien-inspired version of the hero's journey is captivating, lively, and emotive. The cast of characters go about their business in their magically illustrated world, simultaneously ignoring the observer and seductively signaling to us that we are welcome to join them if we choose. Each card presents its own mythical world, offering insight, wisdom, and empowerment. Whether you use the deck for readings, for meditation, or just look at the pictures, this deck is a delight.

Pracownik and Donaldson previously collaborated on the highly successful Dragon Tarot and Lord of the Rings Tarot. This exciting new addition adds another star to their collection.

-- Anna Jedrziewski, on Tarotwise.com


The Hobbit Tarot is a 78-card theme deck, following the traditional structure of the Tarot, with the overlaid theme of J.R.R. Tolkien's work The Hobbit. The 22 cards of the Major Arcana are defined as the major mysteries/themes around which our lives orbit (birth, death, love ... things that are universal to all of us), while the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana are said to represent situations and events in life. Traditional titles are kept for the Major Arcana, with Strength at VIII, and Justice at XI. Some of the cards in this deck evoke traditional Tarot well, some do not. The Magician is a card that works, but not in the traditional manner. All of the elements are represented, but we do not have the traditional "As Above, So Below" gesture, and the magician himself, represented by Gandalf, is older. The Hieropant, represented by again by Gandolf, works well. He is working with deep magic through the crystal on his staff, and the owl above him representing wisdom is quite appropriate.

In the introduction to the accompanying LWB (Little White Book), Donaldson notes that the world that constitutes "The Hobbit" is a world of gentle magic and mystery. He likens the journey of Bilbo Baggins to the journey that we all follow in life, clinging to what is known, with a disdain for change.

There is a very special section where spreads relevant to the Hobbit theme are presented, including The Ring of Gollum Spread (giving a great over-view/snapshot of where the Seeker is at the time of the reading), The Sword of Aragon Spread (an expanded Past/Present/Future spread), and The Arkenstone Spread (a spiral spread that is read in storytelling fashion). In this deck we see superimposed on the traditional Tarot a world of Elves, Dragons, Dwarves, Wizards, Trolls, and the occasional Human. This is a collectors deck for those that connect with the Hobbit theme, or those that like mystical, fantasy art. It is not a deck for beginners, and it is not a deck to learn from. As an addition to any collection, it is invaluable, as it stretches the imagination and brings new perspective to the world of the Tarot and the world of Bilbo Baggins.

-- Bonnie Cehovet, on The World of Tarot


Tolkien fans will delight to see Bilbo's adventures brought to life in this deck.

Those of you familiar with the Lord of the Rings Tarot deck will find a very different look in The Hobbit Tarot deck. Although developed by the same author/artist team, the cards are much simpler in presentation, without suit symbols or text descriptions. The result is a "cleaner" feel that draws you further into the story of The Hobbit, but presents challenges for effective reading. Because The Hobbit story has more the tone of an "adventure", in contrast to the epic "hero’s journey" so well-chronicled in both the Lord of the Rings and the traditional tarot, melding the story of The Hobbit into a tarot deck was likely a greater challenge for the developers.

The card backs are nicely done, with the elvish runes of The Ring inscribed in an octagonal grid on a dark blue background. The artwork in the cards is dominated by greens and blues of mountain and forest backgrounds. Characters and scenes are depicted in a mainstream fantasy style -- neither too cute nor too harsh. The space at the bottom of each card gives the card title, following the traditional RWS card names. This is important, because few of the cards give any other indication of the tarot relevance. While most of the Major Arcana depicts characters or concepts more or less appropriate to the card’s traditional meaning, some of them illustrate specific scenes from the book.

The LWB also includes suggestions for three spreads. Using one of these, I was surprised at how well the cards "read", in spite of the limitations described above. By letting the artwork speak for itself, without trying to interpret specific scenes from the book, it worked. However, some of the card messages would have still been incomprehensible to me without "hints" from the printed titles. This deck grows on you if you take time to work with it. Those readers who can relate to The Hobbit story as a model for life may resonate well with this deck for routine use. For others, it may work well for those special readings, which probe an "adventure" or pursuit of a specific goal. Certainly, it is a deck for Tolkien fans, and it will no doubt find a welcoming market once the movie is released.

-- Nancy Waterstone, in ATA Quarterly Journal


Since the tarot is itself a graphically represented journey, it is also a handy template for another archetypal grand story—The Hobbit—with all the characters and creatures found in Tolkien’s amazing tale. I read The Hobbit so very long ago…seeing Peter Pracownik’s wonderful illustrations and reading Terry Donaldson’s review for each card, many showing specific scenes, is a special way to both review and comprehend the journey of Gandalf, the Burglar and his Companions, while at the same time finding parallel signposts along my life within the tarot journey. Although small, the companion book is complete with the full set of interpretations, Hobbit references and with introduction, spreads suggested, and information about the author and illustrator. There are meanings given for card reversals; some more involved and others somewhat brief.

The cards are sturdy and long, with an intriguing design on the card backs of the rings of power, superimposed on an extended, modified, Kabalistic Tree of Life. The overall color theme is darker blues, with green and muted bright colors standing out. Each of the 78 cards is clearly labeled and there are many scenes from The Hobbit, including multiple variations of the same event. Human and other creatures, animals too, are rendered fairly realistically, with the artwork displaying a wonderful balance of figure/s and background scene.

I have enjoyed utilizing The Hobbit Tarot, experimenting with the suggested spreads—The Ring of Gollum, the Sword of Aragon and The Arkenstone Spread—as well as successfully finding that The Hobbit cards work in many other spreads (such as the Celtic Cross and the Horseshoe). A set of bright, spotted red toadstools are repeated in the foreground of a number of cards, and the dragon Smaug finds his way into the Tower, the World, the ten of wands, and the Devil. The standard suits are found with the variation of coins for pentacles.

As a storyteller, I love the appearance of the loved, and despised, Hobbit characters; Gandalf, Bilbo, Gollum, the Dwarves, giant Eagles, Wargs and Goblins, and so on. Court cards show generic figures—such as a woman from Laketown—and also at times named characters. Peter Pracownik’s art is described as visionary, and some of his creative graphic symbolism is shown, for example, as the Arkenstone appearing as a crystal with sacred geometry, the repetition in the sky of seven stars, a dark and silhouetted horse rider, rune inscribed stones and artwork showing specific swords—Orcrist, Sting and Glamdring.

I recommend this deck for its utility, beauty and as a fascinating companion to the great work of Tolkien, with The Hobbit being, like our own lives, an Unexpected Journey…

—Thomas Freese, author, art therapist, tarot reader, and clinical counselor

$9.95
Tarot for Magical Times Book
Tarot for Magical Times Book

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT TAROT FOR MAGICAL TIMES BOOK:

We are in transformational times -- the authors take this one step further and present the Tarot as being a prophecy for this transformational change, and a guide to a rebirth into a new world -- both on the individual and the community/world level. Through the use of full-color images and astutely written texts, the authors offer us a new way of thinking and a new way of being. The presentation is as magical as the concepts.

-- Bonnie Cehovet


Tarot for Magical Times is the best sort of modern tarot book in that is has enough new meaty information to make it interesting to an advanced tarotist, and enough practical instruction to make it appropriate for even the most nervous tarot novice. That the authors refer to times of difficult global upheaval as "magical times" captures the essence of the book itself. While sugar-coating nothing, this book presents tarot as a useful tool of positive perspectives and helpful advice during times of personal and planetary difficulty.

-- Christine Gaudet, Tarot Grandmaster


This is a gorgeous little book that offers photos as well as tarot images which help cement the concepts particularly well in the astrological portion. Don't be fooled by the slim profile. There is a ton of information packed in these pages.

-- Stephanie Arwen Lynch, President of the American Tarot Association

$11.00
Sun and Moon Tarot
Sun and Moon Tarot

What customers are saying about Sun and Moon Tarot

Illustrator Vanessa Decort has created a stunning yet simple deck with her Sun And Moon Tarot. On close inspection, there is a richness and complexity that draws you in and lends new, subtle nuances to your tarot readings. Decort describes the deck this way: "The Sun And Moon Tarot considers universal archetypes and cultural symbols, and also incorporates the artist's own personal symbols."

Based on the Thoth deck, it stays true to the titles that Aleister Crowley used (ex: 7 of Pentacles - Failure; Art - Temperance; Princes and Princes rather than Knights and Pages). I've always been somewhat intimidated by the Thoth deck but Decort has taken that influence and infused it with an almost playful, childlike essence. This could be because she has a background as an illustrator for children's books or perhaps she simply wanted to deliver the wisdom of the Thoth deck in a more whimsical and accessible manner. The result is an inviting, fun deck that never loses its Thoth roots.

This is a well-made deck on sturdy card stock with a somewhat matte finish. It felt great in my hands, shuffled well and seemed built to last. This is very important to me as I tend to be hard on my decks through constant use. The back of the deck is a gorgeous black and white mandala - and it's reversible, another small detail that I like.

Each image is framed by white borders with titles (in English) and numbers clearly printed. Colors are bold yet muted. I especially liked the choices for the Minors suits - neutral, earthy tones for Earth; dark grey, burnt sienna and orange flames for Fire; rich midnight blue for Water; and light sky blue for Air. These color schemes make sense and allow the reader to instantly know which suit they are working with before they even glance at the title.

There are strong Kabbalah and alchemy influences throughout the deck - each Major has a Hebrew letter and the elemental symbols appear on every minor. Yogic images are scattered about - fro the OM symbol in the Hermit to the dancing Shiva as the Universe (World)!

The Major Arcana is especially rich with symbols - the yin and yang in the Temperance and the Phoenix in the Death card convey the meanings clearly. Astrological symbols are featured throughout the Majors - for example, the Cancer symbol on the chest of the driver in The Chariot or the ram's heads and lamb (Aries) in the Emperor.

One of the things I liked the best about this deck was the multicultural imagery. Rather than "standard" RWS people, there are all races represented here - black, white, dark haired, redheads and more. This gives the deck a "modern" appeal and I happen to like that as my own personal life is diverse - so seeing this detail made me feel more connected to the deck.

I'm giving this deck two Swords up. It is a unique and interesting deck for any tarot lover's collection.

—Theresa Reed, “The Tarot Lady”

 

 

$21.95
Deviant Moon Tarot Deck -- Premier Edition
Deviant Moon Tarot Deck -- Premier Edition

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DEVIANT MOON TAROT:

I've seen hundreds of Tarot decks over the years, and I can honestly say there is nothing on the market that rivals the sumptuous textures, masterful artistry and utter originality of the Deviant Moon Tarot.

For months now, several images of the Deviant Moon Tarot were posted to the web, capturing the imagination of Tarot enthusiasts worldwide. Many were clamoring for news, more card images and a definitive release date with an almost desperate excitement.

Tarot fans, rejoice! U.S. Games has now unleashed the highly anticipated Deviant Moon Tarot upon the world! And let me tell you, if the exquisite, highly-detailed online images whetted your appetite, the actual deck goes above and beyond expectation.

The Deviant Moon Tarot expands on Rider-Waite imagery with a gloriously twisted perspective, reflecting common associations in dazzling patterns, striking colors, and surprising juxtapositions (e.g. a tree that bleeds red, a Page that has created himself out of spare parts and a sharp-dressed masked armless woman with a wheel for a left “foot"). The 9 of Cups, usually deemed the "Wish Card", aptly depicts a genie who's just emerged from a child's magic lamp.

I’m pleased to report that not only is the Deviant Moon Tarot a solid reading deck, but also unexpectedly insightful.

So despite the unusual characters populating the world of the Deviant Moon, they still speak messages relevant and purposeful to discerning individuals. This would make a great journaling deck, too, as well as one for comparative Tarot studies.

-- Janet Boyer, Tarot Channel


Artistically, the cards are incredibly strong and equally consistent from the Fool all the way through to the King of Pentacles. They are dark on the surface and underneath; photographs from cemeteries and tombstones have been morphed and twisted into other elements of the cards: clothing trim, headgear and shoes. The backgrounds are urban and industrial, scenes are often set outdoors but there is little natural environment; the moon rises over smokestacks, dull and dirty skies, fortified buildings -- all created from photographs of a mental asylum. The figures in the cards are non-human, with layered faces and moon-like masks, wide staring eyes, bird-like feet and often elongated bodies. Despite the lack of regular human facial expressions and body language, the figures are remarkably expressive. It’s a deck of the subconscious, of bad dreams, of visions from a bad trip come to life. Patrick’s symbolism comes from childhood dreams and imagination, a visual dedication to his interest in the ‘more melancholy side of life’. It’s reminiscent of its Rider-Waite heritage but really has a feeling all of its own. It’s a nice change to see imagery with such polish and dedication that also has an obvious familiarity with the tarot’s symbolism; it stays true to tarot but brings to it a new and disturbing approach.

The cards depart from traditional elements of symbolism in many ways but the card’s tarot meaning is still clear. As in the Nine of Cups, the well-dressed character releases a genie from the bottle and looks on with surprise; a very appropriate image for what is traditionally known as the ‘Wish’ card. The King of Wand isn’t seated on a throne, and instead holds woodland creatures by the hand and strides through the scene, but still comes across as the confident, charismatic leader.

The Moon card is literally the puppet-master of the figures below, holding the strings that connect them and controlling their movements. Ugly but strangely elegant, Death has a red scarf wrapped around her skeletal horse head and a pregnant belly, signaling both the end and the beginning inherent in transformation of Death. The cards do have an uncomfortable edge, even in traditionally positive and usually pretty cards like the Star.

The companion booklet is entirely in English and for each card shares a description of the imagery and a few keywords for the upright and reversed aspect of each card. Reading the booklet really not necessary to use the cards -- all of the depth is in the imagery itself, there is little further background or explanation needed. There’s an original ten-card spread as well, based on cards arranged simply in a circle.

A little tarot knowledge is always useful, but it’s not mandatory to use the Deviant Moon. The dark and strange beauty of its imagery takes a new approach but is true enough to the tarot archetypes to be useable by readers from novice level to the well experienced -- as long as you’re prepared for a little excursion into the dark side of your subconscious.

-- Solandia, Aeclectic Tarot


I received The Deviant Moon Tarot on a Monday and spent four days doing nothing but pursuing the cards.

The images themselves are absorbing surrealistic humanoid figures in abstract settings, that are at once attractive and haunting. Many of the faces are 'split' between a light and dark half, some faces appear to be masked, and on others the masks are faces, some appendages have multiplied beyond the two that we’d see in a humanoid ... we expect to see some things, and we see what we expect ... and then are left unsettled as the images unfold.

Patrick Valenza accomplished something quite unexpected, facilitated because he used a surrealistic approach to the Tarot. He has his static humanoids performing the dynamic actions that pertain to the card’s meaning. For most cards, it is a simple matter of 'what is this character obviously doing now' (or just completed, or about to do). Because of the organic and narrative approach to the subjects, we are also able to understand how each of the characters feels.

The Tower is a tower, and the Devil is a devil (great feet), Temperance pours from one container to another, there are stars on The Star.

However the images keep unfolding.

There were little details that popped out during the readings, and I had to go to the source for some answers.

"Uh Patrick, I notice there are a few oddly placed clocks with unexpected times displayed, for example in the Eight of Pentacles the clock displays eleven fifty-eight."
"Thanks for noticing" answered Patrick, with a wry smile, "Yup, two minutes to midnight ... all the work you do in a day, and there is always more to do the next. Day in and day out. Hoping for something to show after all of this work ... maybe you won't see it today, but maybe tomorrow."
"How about the Four of Pentacles, the clock there displays nine forty."
Patrick pauses and leans back. "There’s a background story here. My father-in-law was a greedy, materialistic man. Everything in his life was based on what he owned, and always put himself over his children. Well, the day came when he finally died. We heard the news at about 9:40 one morning. Nobody was particularly heart broken. I always wondered what he thought, lying there waiting to be cremated ... does he say to himself, 'I wish I spent more time with my children as they grew up', or was it, 'DAMN, I didn't make enough money!' So in this card, the death angel leads the miser to the fires of the furnace, with the symbol of time dangling from her mouth. The miser looks back on his possessions in fear that he will never see them again, while clutching a few golden pentacles in a last attempt to "take it with him".
I ask "How about the Hanged Man. His clock says five eleven."
"I used to work at the most mundane job years ago ... a real nine to five. Many times, I would work a bit past the whistle. I found it a total waste of time, but back then I had little choice. I felt I was in limbo, and had to make a real effort to break free of my suspended life. This clock represents my lost time there and the times I worked past 5:00."
One last question Patrick, tell me about the borders ... "
"The mixed colors come from the cards I created when I was 15. Truthfully, the colors on the majors just looked good with the color compositions of the individual cards at the time, so I just carried that over when I re-began the deck in 2004. However, the minors were different ... these colors relate to the citizens of each realm. The borders on the suit of Swords are Red for their strife and pain of the heart. Cups have Blue for the calm purity of the sea. In Wands I used Green for the earth and the natural world. And with Pentacles, Black for the materialistic void they have in their souls."

So now that we have more information, we’ve also left the antiquated suit meanings in the past where they belong, in the latter half of the Victorian era. Even Majors refuse to pay homage to this era by using the Continental numbering system.

This is a great deck for the reader who does not want to read a book and be told what meaning is.

But I have to provide a strong caveat ... if you are a reader who prefers sunny bunny over truth -- don’t visit this deck. The Deviant Moon strikes to the heart of issues, with the same ease that it pushes aside six hundred years of Tarot myth-takes; it dives directly towards the truth. That will unsettle many.

It’s often difficult to remember, that the voices that whisper in the darkness from the peeling walls, often speak the truth.

-- Dan Pelletier, The Tarot Garden


The Deviant Moon Tarot is a Moon theme RWS based deck. The art appears very abstract, medieval and is inspired by ancient Greek art. It is a bit on the darker side, but I would not call this a dark deck. It actually appears to be a very workable deck. It will appeal to many, both Readers and Sitters This deck will be especially attractive to those who are fond of the non-traditional or maybe even looking for something a little creepy.

The Little White Book included with this deck, gives meanings for the Majors and the Minors, in both upright and reversed positions. The spread in the back of the LWB is the Lunatic Spread, which is a ten card spread. It’s nice to see someone take some creativity with their LWB!

Patrick Valenza created the Deviant Moon Tarot, basing it on childhood images and visions seen through his imagination and brought with him, into adulthood. His art ranges from detailed colored pencil and acrylic drawings to photographic manipulation that is used in combination with digital drawings, which was used to create this deck. Each card began with a drawing that was scanned into a computer, then they were manipulated. The background buildings were created with photographs that he took of a local abandoned insane asylum.

I particularly like what is going on in the background of each card. There are many unique old-style buildings, which look like old factories, churches and abandoned buildings. There is a lot going on in each card. All of which can apply easily to your readings.

-- Terri Clement, American Tarot Association


For me the first impression of the artwork was startling. But as I began to flip through the cards the little characters began to grow on me. They are sort of gothic and whimsical at the same time and as I looked even closer I saw some interesting symbolism coming through as well. I loved how the characters on the cards had lunar faces- the bright half of the face, which I took as being the conscious self, has an open eye while the dark half, the possible subconscious of the face, has the eye closed. All the cards have titles except Death and the numbered cards. I found this interesting and mysterious it made me want to find out why.

Then my almost 16 year old daughter came in the door and she fell in love with the images; they were just her style. She loves the whole Corpse Bride/Goth scene and this deck was made for her. She is also a budding photographer and loved the idea that the pictures in this deck are made from manipulated photographs.

Then as I continued to flip through the cards I laughed out loud at the 10 of Swords. It’s the typical 10 of Swords image but the little creature is biting on his own hand while a little demon is biting on his shoulder. Somehow this scene just cracked me up. The cat made me laugh too just because it didn’t look very healthy (not that an unhealthy cat is humorous but you have to see this card to get my meaning.) I was starting to really like this little deck with its endearing dark little characters. Then I saw Patrick’s 6 of Cups and knew the Deviant Moon Tarot creator and I had found common ground. There was a puppet show the same idea I had for my MAAT Tarot 6 of Cups.

In my opinion I think other people will come to find Deviant Moon to be a sweet little deck. Congratulations Patrick. I’m looking forward to shaking your hand at some Tarot event soon.

-- Julia Cuccia-Watts, New Moon Trading blogspot


When I was asked by US Games if I would be interested in receiving an advance review copy of Patrick Valenza's new Deviant Moon Tarot, I was very excited. I had seen a few scans of this deck in progress months earlier, and was quite interested in seeing the finished product. When I opened the deck, I was blown away. I had expected that after the first few cards, they would all begin to blend in together, just more of what I'd already seen. Card after card, I was surprised and delighted at every spectacular new image. I have never been more fascinated and impressed with a deck.

The magic of this deck is in its ability to captivate and lure you into this fascinating world. Many times when I'm looking at a deck that strays from traditional RWS imagery, I tend to see flashes in my mind of the RWS equivalent meanings as a comparison. While the Deviant Moon doesn't follow traditional imagery, as soon as I look at one of the cards, I automatically know what card it is, and I've found that before my mind is able to flash to the RWS "meaning" in my head, the artwork forces me to bypass that step, as it pulls me in further and asks more of me. I am drawn to delve deeper into the card, experiencing additional layers of meaning.

There is some talk among the tarot community of this deck being really dark. However, I don't see it that way at all, and when communicating with the artist, he confirmed that it wasn't ever intended to be a dark deck. He explained that it was based on his childhood imagination, a twisted world which is at times a bit melancholy, yet includes elements of humor as well. After working with the deck for a week, I can definitely attest to the fact that the images inspire imagination. The characters, for the most part, aren't maniacal or creepy. They are unique and engaging, and not without emotion. I find the artwork captivating and intriguing, though I do not consider it a dark deck.

The Cards

Valenza's use of color is striking and leads your eyes on a parade around each card, so that you notice the smallest details, down to the color of toenail polish on the characters' feet.

The Aces in this deck really stand out, as they are extremely elaborate. Rather than featuring the usual solitary symbol of a cup, wand, sword or pentacle, the Deviant Moon Aces are fully illustrated with characters.

The originality of Valenza's mastering and blending his artwork with tarot is stunning. I am completely enchanted by the Wands suit of this deck. Ordinarily, it's visually my least favorite suit. This deck has made me love Wands, and that's no small feat! In fact, this deck features so many cards that immediately stood out as my favorite version from any deck, due to their original portrayal.

How it Reads

In addition to my daily draws, I have done a few other readings with the Deviant Moon this week, and have found the deck to be equally as forthcoming and clear in those readings as well. Once the initial overview is clear, the images then draw me in further to elaborate and refine the reading. When laid out, the cards flow together so well and tell stories as though the artist had designed those cards you selected to specifically go together.

Final Thoughts

It should be glaringly obvious how enchanted by and enamored I am of the Deviant Moon Tarot. The originality of this deck far exceeds any other I've seen, and the power it has to draw you into the world of imagination is amazing.

-- Tarot Dame Blog


A bit Dali, a bit Picasso, and a bit Cirque du Soleil, Valenza’s fascinatingly unique creation, the Deviant Moon Tarot, has an idiosyncratic beauty that is mesmerizing and compelling. There is an almost hyper-realism in the clean lines and the crisp colors and textures in the artwork, which presents a vivid contrast with the dreamlike surrealism of the scenes in these cards and the strange figures who cavort within them. Indeed, the cards are populated with bizarre and grotesque characters that seem to have been inspired by a medieval bestiary or imagined by a child fearing what might be lurking under the bed at night.

Valenza’s use of traditional Tarot symbolism on these cards is spare, but he has compensated for this by lavishing upon them whatever his imagination could dredge up from the depths of his subconscious. In this way, he has created a deck with a very creative take on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery.

-- James Ricklef


To say The Deviant Moon Tarot deck is just another deck in Rider Waite Smith tradition would be an understatement. The deck takes you into another world of ying/yang insectoid creatures populating a bleak industrial landscape. Patrick Valenza subliminally inserted images from cemataries and an abandonded insane asylum into the images. My first impression upon my receipt of the deck that it was too dark for me to do readings with for people I ordinarily would read for; but for those whose tastes lean to the unusual I'm sure it would work fine. The symbolism of the images maintains traditional interpretations in most cases, but give it a new twist. I think this is an excellent deck for collectors as well as those whose tastes and insights gravitate towards dark imaginings. Valenza is a talented surrealist, and more than just in a deck of cards, the images belong in a museum as each are a unique work of art, making the old new again and reinterpreting it for our times.

-- Thomas Santomartino, Amazon customer


I have over 50 Tarot decks and this is the best symbology I have yet to see. I especially love the Death card with the pregnant mother and her having to exert some gentle force with her foot on the previous child to remind him that going back into the womb is not a possibility. It really gets to the nature of the Death card being permanent, can't go back, can only go forward change - change with or without our initiation. I love how most of the characters have more than one layer to their face - it invites you to ask, "How deep do you want to go?". The Lunatic Spread is great for getting to the meat of a matter and is an added bonus. The LWB is adequate but the real prize is the thought provoking scenarios on each of the cards. Well done!!!!!!

-- Deborah, East Texas, Amazon customer


I can’t say enough about how much I love this deck! The imagery is spectacular and just the feel that was needed in the tarot world. The deck is very high quality and the minor cards are wonderful. This is exactly the deck I have been waiting for!

-- coli0157, Amazon customer


The Deviant Moon is a gorgeously alive deck. I thought just the artwork was appealing to me, but the more I work with these cards the more impressed I am. You can really sit down and have a conversation with the populace of this world, and they speak clearly. If you wonder at all about getting this deck, don't hesitate. Their world is not perfect, but they are not dark by any stretch of the imagination, and it is a deck that truly only requires reading the cards, no memorization, no confusion. The coating feels like satin, and the colors are amazing. I can't say enough good things about this deck, and I thank the creator, Patrick Valenza, most heartily!

-- Amanda Hilbrecht, Amazon customer


Valenza's highly stylized drawings are evocative, provocative, and fabulously unique. Each card is painstakingly illustrated but lacks the glitzy clutter of so many over-fluffed decks out there that lose themselves in dumbed-down beauty. This deck demands that you pay attention to the meaning of the card, not just how lovely the pictures are. As the author mentions in one of his interviews, there are no "filler" cards in this deck ... and it shows.

So far, the readings I've done using these cards have been full of wry humor and straightforward truth. This deck has a crystal clear "personality" that refuses to compromise. Absolutely no fluff here, just an unabashed and incisive approach to "traditional" Tarot reading.

-- Tessa Dagger, Amazon customer

$25.95
Deviant Moon Tarot Deck
Deviant Moon Tarot Deck

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DEVIANT MOON TAROT:

I've seen hundreds of Tarot decks over the years, and I can honestly say there is nothing on the market that rivals the sumptuous textures, masterful artistry and utter originality of the Deviant Moon Tarot.

For months now, several images of the Deviant Moon Tarot were posted to the web, capturing the imagination of Tarot enthusiasts worldwide. Many were clamoring for news, more card images and a definitive release date with an almost desperate excitement.

Tarot fans, rejoice! U.S. Games has now unleashed the highly anticipated Deviant Moon Tarot upon the world! And let me tell you, if the exquisite, highly-detailed online images whetted your appetite, the actual deck goes above and beyond expectation.

The Deviant Moon Tarot expands on Rider-Waite imagery with a gloriously twisted perspective, reflecting common associations in dazzling patterns, striking colors, and surprising juxtapositions (e.g. a tree that bleeds red, a Page that has created himself out of spare parts and a sharp-dressed masked armless woman with a wheel for a left “foot"). The 9 of Cups, usually deemed the "Wish Card", aptly depicts a genie who's just emerged from a child's magic lamp.

I’m pleased to report that not only is the Deviant Moon Tarot a solid reading deck, but also unexpectedly insightful.

So despite the unusual characters populating the world of the Deviant Moon, they still speak messages relevant and purposeful to discerning individuals. This would make a great journaling deck, too, as well as one for comparative Tarot studies.

-- Janet Boyer, Tarot Channel


Artistically, the cards are incredibly strong and equally consistent from the Fool all the way through to the King of Pentacles. They are dark on the surface and underneath; photographs from cemeteries and tombstones have been morphed and twisted into other elements of the cards: clothing trim, headgear and shoes. The backgrounds are urban and industrial, scenes are often set outdoors but there is little natural environment; the moon rises over smokestacks, dull and dirty skies, fortified buildings -- all created from photographs of a mental asylum. The figures in the cards are non-human, with layered faces and moon-like masks, wide staring eyes, bird-like feet and often elongated bodies. Despite the lack of regular human facial expressions and body language, the figures are remarkably expressive. It’s a deck of the subconscious, of bad dreams, of visions from a bad trip come to life. Patrick’s symbolism comes from childhood dreams and imagination, a visual dedication to his interest in the ‘more melancholy side of life’. It’s reminiscent of its Rider-Waite heritage but really has a feeling all of its own. It’s a nice change to see imagery with such polish and dedication that also has an obvious familiarity with the tarot’s symbolism; it stays true to tarot but brings to it a new and disturbing approach.

The cards depart from traditional elements of symbolism in many ways but the card’s tarot meaning is still clear. As in the Nine of Cups, the well-dressed character releases a genie from the bottle and looks on with surprise; a very appropriate image for what is traditionally known as the ‘Wish’ card. The King of Wand isn’t seated on a throne, and instead holds woodland creatures by the hand and strides through the scene, but still comes across as the confident, charismatic leader.

The Moon card is literally the puppet-master of the figures below, holding the strings that connect them and controlling their movements. Ugly but strangely elegant, Death has a red scarf wrapped around her skeletal horse head and a pregnant belly, signaling both the end and the beginning inherent in transformation of Death. The cards do have an uncomfortable edge, even in traditionally positive and usually pretty cards like the Star.

The companion booklet is entirely in English and for each card shares a description of the imagery and a few keywords for the upright and reversed aspect of each card. Reading the booklet really not necessary to use the cards -- all of the depth is in the imagery itself, there is little further background or explanation needed. There’s an original ten-card spread as well, based on cards arranged simply in a circle.

A little tarot knowledge is always useful, but it’s not mandatory to use the Deviant Moon. The dark and strange beauty of its imagery takes a new approach but is true enough to the tarot archetypes to be useable by readers from novice level to the well experienced -- as long as you’re prepared for a little excursion into the dark side of your subconscious.

-- Solandia, Aeclectic Tarot


I received The Deviant Moon Tarot on a Monday and spent four days doing nothing but pursuing the cards.

The images themselves are absorbing surrealistic humanoid figures in abstract settings, that are at once attractive and haunting. Many of the faces are 'split' between a light and dark half, some faces appear to be masked, and on others the masks are faces, some appendages have multiplied beyond the two that we’d see in a humanoid ... we expect to see some things, and we see what we expect ... and then are left unsettled as the images unfold.

Patrick Valenza accomplished something quite unexpected, facilitated because he used a surrealistic approach to the Tarot. He has his static humanoids performing the dynamic actions that pertain to the card’s meaning. For most cards, it is a simple matter of 'what is this character obviously doing now' (or just completed, or about to do). Because of the organic and narrative approach to the subjects, we are also able to understand how each of the characters feels.

The Tower is a tower, and the Devil is a devil (great feet), Temperance pours from one container to another, there are stars on The Star.

However the images keep unfolding.

There were little details that popped out during the readings, and I had to go to the source for some answers.

"Uh Patrick, I notice there are a few oddly placed clocks with unexpected times displayed, for example in the Eight of Pentacles the clock displays eleven fifty-eight."
"Thanks for noticing" answered Patrick, with a wry smile, "Yup, two minutes to midnight ... all the work you do in a day, and there is always more to do the next. Day in and day out. Hoping for something to show after all of this work ... maybe you won't see it today, but maybe tomorrow."
"How about the Four of Pentacles, the clock there displays nine forty."
Patrick pauses and leans back. "There’s a background story here. My father-in-law was a greedy, materialistic man. Everything in his life was based on what he owned, and always put himself over his children. Well, the day came when he finally died. We heard the news at about 9:40 one morning. Nobody was particularly heart broken. I always wondered what he thought, lying there waiting to be cremated ... does he say to himself, 'I wish I spent more time with my children as they grew up', or was it, 'DAMN, I didn't make enough money!' So in this card, the death angel leads the miser to the fires of the furnace, with the symbol of time dangling from her mouth. The miser looks back on his possessions in fear that he will never see them again, while clutching a few golden pentacles in a last attempt to "take it with him".
I ask "How about the Hanged Man. His clock says five eleven."
"I used to work at the most mundane job years ago ... a real nine to five. Many times, I would work a bit past the whistle. I found it a total waste of time, but back then I had little choice. I felt I was in limbo, and had to make a real effort to break free of my suspended life. This clock represents my lost time there and the times I worked past 5:00."
One last question Patrick, tell me about the borders ... "
"The mixed colors come from the cards I created when I was 15. Truthfully, the colors on the majors just looked good with the color compositions of the individual cards at the time, so I just carried that over when I re-began the deck in 2004. However, the minors were different ... these colors relate to the citizens of each realm. The borders on the suit of Swords are Red for their strife and pain of the heart. Cups have Blue for the calm purity of the sea. In Wands I used Green for the earth and the natural world. And with Pentacles, Black for the materialistic void they have in their souls."

So now that we have more information, we’ve also left the antiquated suit meanings in the past where they belong, in the latter half of the Victorian era. Even Majors refuse to pay homage to this era by using the Continental numbering system.

This is a great deck for the reader who does not want to read a book and be told what meaning is.

But I have to provide a strong caveat ... if you are a reader who prefers sunny bunny over truth -- don’t visit this deck. The Deviant Moon strikes to the heart of issues, with the same ease that it pushes aside six hundred years of Tarot myth-takes; it dives directly towards the truth. That will unsettle many.

It’s often difficult to remember, that the voices that whisper in the darkness from the peeling walls, often speak the truth.

-- Dan Pelletier, The Tarot Garden


The Deviant Moon Tarot is a Moon theme RWS based deck. The art appears very abstract, medieval and is inspired by ancient Greek art. It is a bit on the darker side, but I would not call this a dark deck. It actually appears to be a very workable deck. It will appeal to many, both Readers and Sitters This deck will be especially attractive to those who are fond of the non-traditional or maybe even looking for something a little creepy.

The Little White Book included with this deck, gives meanings for the Majors and the Minors, in both upright and reversed positions. The spread in the back of the LWB is the Lunatic Spread, which is a ten card spread. It’s nice to see someone take some creativity with their LWB!

Patrick Valenza created the Deviant Moon Tarot, basing it on childhood images and visions seen through his imagination and brought with him, into adulthood. His art ranges from detailed colored pencil and acrylic drawings to photographic manipulation that is used in combination with digital drawings, which was used to create this deck. Each card began with a drawing that was scanned into a computer, then they were manipulated. The background buildings were created with photographs that he took of a local abandoned insane asylum.

I particularly like what is going on in the background of each card. There are many unique old-style buildings, which look like old factories, churches and abandoned buildings. There is a lot going on in each card. All of which can apply easily to your readings.

-- Terri Clement, American Tarot Association


For me the first impression of the artwork was startling. But as I began to flip through the cards the little characters began to grow on me. They are sort of gothic and whimsical at the same time and as I looked even closer I saw some interesting symbolism coming through as well. I loved how the characters on the cards had lunar faces- the bright half of the face, which I took as being the conscious self, has an open eye while the dark half, the possible subconscious of the face, has the eye closed. All the cards have titles except Death and the numbered cards. I found this interesting and mysterious it made me want to find out why.

Then my almost 16 year old daughter came in the door and she fell in love with the images; they were just her style. She loves the whole Corpse Bride/Goth scene and this deck was made for her. She is also a budding photographer and loved the idea that the pictures in this deck are made from manipulated photographs.

Then as I continued to flip through the cards I laughed out loud at the 10 of Swords. It’s the typical 10 of Swords image but the little creature is biting on his own hand while a little demon is biting on his shoulder. Somehow this scene just cracked me up. The cat made me laugh too just because it didn’t look very healthy (not that an unhealthy cat is humorous but you have to see this card to get my meaning.) I was starting to really like this little deck with its endearing dark little characters. Then I saw Patrick’s 6 of Cups and knew the Deviant Moon Tarot creator and I had found common ground. There was a puppet show the same idea I had for my MAAT Tarot 6 of Cups.

In my opinion I think other people will come to find Deviant Moon to be a sweet little deck. Congratulations Patrick. I’m looking forward to shaking your hand at some Tarot event soon.

-- Julia Cuccia-Watts, New Moon Trading blogspot


When I was asked by US Games if I would be interested in receiving an advance review copy of Patrick Valenza's new Deviant Moon Tarot, I was very excited. I had seen a few scans of this deck in progress months earlier, and was quite interested in seeing the finished product. When I opened the deck, I was blown away. I had expected that after the first few cards, they would all begin to blend in together, just more of what I'd already seen. Card after card, I was surprised and delighted at every spectacular new image. I have never been more fascinated and impressed with a deck.

The magic of this deck is in its ability to captivate and lure you into this fascinating world. Many times when I'm looking at a deck that strays from traditional RWS imagery, I tend to see flashes in my mind of the RWS equivalent meanings as a comparison. While the Deviant Moon doesn't follow traditional imagery, as soon as I look at one of the cards, I automatically know what card it is, and I've found that before my mind is able to flash to the RWS "meaning" in my head, the artwork forces me to bypass that step, as it pulls me in further and asks more of me. I am drawn to delve deeper into the card, experiencing additional layers of meaning.

There is some talk among the tarot community of this deck being really dark. However, I don't see it that way at all, and when communicating with the artist, he confirmed that it wasn't ever intended to be a dark deck. He explained that it was based on his childhood imagination, a twisted world which is at times a bit melancholy, yet includes elements of humor as well. After working with the deck for a week, I can definitely attest to the fact that the images inspire imagination. The characters, for the most part, aren't maniacal or creepy. They are unique and engaging, and not without emotion. I find the artwork captivating and intriguing, though I do not consider it a dark deck.

The Cards

Valenza's use of color is striking and leads your eyes on a parade around each card, so that you notice the smallest details, down to the color of toenail polish on the characters' feet.

The Aces in this deck really stand out, as they are extremely elaborate. Rather than featuring the usual solitary symbol of a cup, wand, sword or pentacle, the Deviant Moon Aces are fully illustrated with characters.

The originality of Valenza's mastering and blending his artwork with tarot is stunning. I am completely enchanted by the Wands suit of this deck. Ordinarily, it's visually my least favorite suit. This deck has made me love Wands, and that's no small feat! In fact, this deck features so many cards that immediately stood out as my favorite version from any deck, due to their original portrayal.

How it Reads

In addition to my daily draws, I have done a few other readings with the Deviant Moon this week, and have found the deck to be equally as forthcoming and clear in those readings as well. Once the initial overview is clear, the images then draw me in further to elaborate and refine the reading. When laid out, the cards flow together so well and tell stories as though the artist had designed those cards you selected to specifically go together.

Final Thoughts

It should be glaringly obvious how enchanted by and enamored I am of the Deviant Moon Tarot. The originality of this deck far exceeds any other I've seen, and the power it has to draw you into the world of imagination is amazing.

-- Tarot Dame Blog


A bit Dali, a bit Picasso, and a bit Cirque du Soleil, Valenza’s fascinatingly unique creation, the Deviant Moon Tarot, has an idiosyncratic beauty that is mesmerizing and compelling. There is an almost hyper-realism in the clean lines and the crisp colors and textures in the artwork, which presents a vivid contrast with the dreamlike surrealism of the scenes in these cards and the strange figures who cavort within them. Indeed, the cards are populated with bizarre and grotesque characters that seem to have been inspired by a medieval bestiary or imagined by a child fearing what might be lurking under the bed at night.

Valenza’s use of traditional Tarot symbolism on these cards is spare, but he has compensated for this by lavishing upon them whatever his imagination could dredge up from the depths of his subconscious. In this way, he has created a deck with a very creative take on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery.

-- James Ricklef


To say The Deviant Moon Tarot deck is just another deck in Rider Waite Smith tradition would be an understatement. The deck takes you into another world of ying/yang insectoid creatures populating a bleak industrial landscape. Patrick Valenza subliminally inserted images from cemataries and an abandonded insane asylum into the images. My first impression upon my receipt of the deck that it was too dark for me to do readings with for people I ordinarily would read for; but for those whose tastes lean to the unusual I'm sure it would work fine. The symbolism of the images maintains traditional interpretations in most cases, but give it a new twist. I think this is an excellent deck for collectors as well as those whose tastes and insights gravitate towards dark imaginings. Valenza is a talented surrealist, and more than just in a deck of cards, the images belong in a museum as each are a unique work of art, making the old new again and reinterpreting it for our times.

-- Thomas Santomartino, Amazon customer


I have over 50 Tarot decks and this is the best symbology I have yet to see. I especially love the Death card with the pregnant mother and her having to exert some gentle force with her foot on the previous child to remind him that going back into the womb is not a possibility. It really gets to the nature of the Death card being permanent, can't go back, can only go forward change - change with or without our initiation. I love how most of the characters have more than one layer to their face - it invites you to ask, "How deep do you want to go?". The Lunatic Spread is great for getting to the meat of a matter and is an added bonus. The LWB is adequate but the real prize is the thought provoking scenarios on each of the cards. Well done!!!!!!

-- Deborah, East Texas, Amazon customer


I can’t say enough about how much I love this deck! The imagery is spectacular and just the feel that was needed in the tarot world. The deck is very high quality and the minor cards are wonderful. This is exactly the deck I have been waiting for!

-- coli0157, Amazon customer


The Deviant Moon is a gorgeously alive deck. I thought just the artwork was appealing to me, but the more I work with these cards the more impressed I am. You can really sit down and have a conversation with the populace of this world, and they speak clearly. If you wonder at all about getting this deck, don't hesitate. Their world is not perfect, but they are not dark by any stretch of the imagination, and it is a deck that truly only requires reading the cards, no memorization, no confusion. The coating feels like satin, and the colors are amazing. I can't say enough good things about this deck, and I thank the creator, Patrick Valenza, most heartily!

-- Amanda Hilbrecht, Amazon customer


Valenza's highly stylized drawings are evocative, provocative, and fabulously unique. Each card is painstakingly illustrated but lacks the glitzy clutter of so many over-fluffed decks out there that lose themselves in dumbed-down beauty. This deck demands that you pay attention to the meaning of the card, not just how lovely the pictures are. As the author mentions in one of his interviews, there are no "filler" cards in this deck ... and it shows.

So far, the readings I've done using these cards have been full of wry humor and straightforward truth. This deck has a crystal clear "personality" that refuses to compromise. Absolutely no fluff here, just an unabashed and incisive approach to "traditional" Tarot reading.

-- Tessa Dagger, Amazon customer

$21.95
Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition
Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT DEVIANT MOON TAROT:

The Deviant Moon Tarot is one of my all-time favorite decks. Now U.S. Games has released a borderless version of the deck, making the brilliant and edgy illustrations even more powerful.

If you’ve seen any of Patrick Valenza’s work, you won’t be surprised to learn that, as a child, he loved spending time in cemeteries. The intensely lyrical look of moonlight casting shadows at midnight, common in 1940s black and white movies, lends a tinge of something deliciously eerie to Valenza’s offbeat cast of characters.

He began drawing tarot cards at the age of nine. This deck was decades in the making and the final product demonstrates what he has learned during those years of study. Nearly grotesque, but never morbid, I wrote in a review of the original deck that it was Valenza’s humor that pulled the illustrations back from the edge. My current evaluation is that it is his passion for and knowledge of the tarot wisdom that elevates the deck from “zombie chic” to transcendent 60s edgy.

Whether in this bold version or the original format, this remains one of my symbolic and creative favorites.

—Anna Jedrziewski, Tarotwise.com
$21.95
Art of Life
Art of Life

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ART OF LIFE TAROT:

As I have confessed before, I am a quotaholic: I am powerless over a good quote. And what better way to have a quote a day to fulfill my quota than The Art of Life Tarot Deck by Charlene Livingstone. This stunning deck combines three of my passions: art, tarot and quotes, but what really impressed me the most was the packaging. The cards come in a box where the lid folds up into a nifty little pop up frame, complete with a clear plastic cover, making this a wonderful accoutrement for your desk or altar.

The Art of Life can be used for traditional tarot readings but for me works best as my daily affirmation. The Art of Life Tarot is indeed a treasure and will be treasured for generations to come.

-- Kayla Garnet Rose, on The Enchanted World of Rambling Rose


The Art of Life Tarot is beautiful. And it can hardly help but be given that it's made up of 78 art masterpieces. Charlene Livingstone has taken her experience as an art historian and used it to curate an absolutely gorgeous fine art Tarot. Renoir, Klimt, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and da Vinci are just a few of the many masters represented. She's also included quotes on each card from the greats of philosophy and literature, people like Emerson, Thoreau, Plato, and Lao-tsu. As a mini art-gallery with inspirational commentary, these cards are amazing. The fact that they're structured as a Tarot deck makes them even better.

Though not at all a standard RWS deck, the paintings Livingstone chose to represent each card loosely follow the general themes of the Golden Dawn tradition. And many, in fact, are very clearly RWS inspired. For instance, Gauguin's portrait Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers is a beautiful depiction of the traditional 8 of Pentacles, as is Raphael's Pope Leo X with Two Cardinals for the Hierophant.

Though an understanding of the RWS or Golden Dawn Tarot systems will likely add insight to your readings with this deck, it's not at all necessary. These cards stand alone, both metaphorically, and quite literally. One of the especially nice things about the Art of Life is its oversized cards and the beautiful box they come in. The box allows you to display a card as if it were a little framed painting on an easel. It’s pretty cute, and perfect for the contemplation of a single card and its message.

This is a really nice deck. I recommend it to Tarot reading art fans, bibliomancers, and collectors alike. It's not just a Tarot deck, it's a magical fine art collection in a box.

-- Georgiana Boehnke, on The Tarot Room


What a delightful tarot, appealing to the eye with colorful classic art, and adding as well poignant quotes and combining both within the classic tarot structure. I’ve enjoyed the Art of Life tarot, to ponder meanings that are layered by combining great paintings with compelling bits of literature. The Art of Life Tarot comes in a very clever box; the top lid slides upward and locks into a slot, leaving the plastic see-through front as a ready display easel for whichever card one wants to gaze on…voilà la! The box becomes a miniature gallery.

            The little white book gives all the meanings for (upright) cards of the standard 78 card tarot, and as mentioned above adds the image of a notable painting with an apt quote to match. Each card has the tarot title on the top, a color art image that covers most of the card and below is a quote. For example the Eight of Cups has “A Son of His Father” by N.C. Wyeth; the depicted painting shows a young man with suitcase, leaving his home, while what appears to be his mother, head down, with a handkerchief over her mouth. And the quote reads, “In each loss there is a gain, as in every gain there is a loss. And with each ending comes a new beginning.” Thus both the artwork and the quote reinforce the booklet meaning for the eight of cups (page 16): “change, loss, leaving something behind.”

            So there is much to discovery here, in the linkage of great art with tarot and life experience symbolism. Each adds to the meaning of the other, and much of the art is from a time gone by, so gazing into the soul of the subject is traveling with one’s mind through time and space. The box measures 4 5/8 x 6 1/8 x 1 5/8 inches, and the deck of cards stack to just under one inch.

            The Art of Life cards are fair size, larger than a Vegas deck; they measure 3 ½ x 5 inches and have rounded corners. The card backs are uniformly one image, the “Tree of Life” painting by Gustav Klimt. While technically not symmetrical on the vertical or horizontal axis, the nature of the image does not distract from shuffling where one might otherwise be tempted to track whether the card would end upright when turned over. The 32 page booklet has a few black and white images and offers a fun new spread of five cards—the Creativity Spread. I’ve done that spread and Celtic cross and single draws and all worked well for me with this deck.

            I’d recommend the Art of Life Tarot not only for art lovers but also for those who wish to add another layer to their tarot study; the numinous images and thoughtful quotes enhance the self-reflective element of using the tarot. Well done!

—Thomas Freese, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Board Certified, Registered Art Therapist.
$17.95