Today I want to talk about a very special deck of tarot cards that came into my life this past Christmas. It was a very thoughtful gift from my boyfriend J. After unraveling the box, I had in my hands the ethereal Shadowscapes Tarot deck by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The paper has a nice glimmer to it when you turn the cards over, it’s always an oddly satisfying quality. I was compelled to try it out in a reading as soon as I finished looking through each card. I kissed J lightly before I shuffled, then I focused my thoughts on a question with my eyes closed. When I laid out the cards, I winced back. The message was clear and very strong for such delicate cards. Nice!

Every time I flip through them, I’m amazed at how dreamy they feel. Every card feels like a portal to another world in which color mixes with reality. Sometimes I feel as if they are snapshots of actual dreams from the artist. The use of color feels like  mix of emotions and a clear indicator of the element of each suit. The complexity of the Major Arcana makes it so that you focus on a different aspect of the card every time it is turned over.

I was surprised the very first time I shuffled the Shadowscapes Tarot deck. The reading was surprisingly clear, it didn't sugarcoat anything for me. I can appreciate a deck that cuts through the sugarcoating and tells me what I need to hear as it is. Sometimes we get caught up in the dreamlike aspect of soul searching and feeling our way through the journey, when what we need the most is the straightforward answer to our question. That won't happen with this tarot deck, although I do admit that I get caught up staring at the pretty pictures rather than interpreting what they mean. I get distracted by the beauty weaving all of the elements together in the cards! Regardless, every time I draw cards from Shadowscapes Tarot, I feel that this tarot tells me exactly what it needs to. It doesn’t motivate me to contemplate higher meanings of my life as much as it tells me, “hey, listen! You’ve got to do this…” or, “you’re not taking that seriously.” It speaks in a quiet tone, but one reinforced with certainty and presence. There’s no missing that quiet whisper, not a chance!

I have always been partial to dark tarot decks. They read surprisingly well because they resonate with my personality and I really like the way they look, which is a huge bonus. However, I admire decks that are beautiful and ethereal as long as they can carry a message accurately and directly. I don’t often like to get caught floating in the clouds if I can help it! I have also noticed a tendency to prefer reading decks with actual pictures in collage or digital painting that makes it seem like a lifelike illustration. Novices have a harder time connecting with illustrated tarot decks, especially if they can’t recognize the symbols yet.

Don’t be fooled by the swirls and the whimsical mystique! The Shadowscapes Tarot delivers bone-chilling readings. To be honest, I half-expected an optimistic outlook, but I was very wrong to think so. This tarot is as accurate as the leading ones, with the perk of being really lovely. As always, the tarot is very unpredictable, and you need to be open to the message that you will be receiving. We don't always like the sound of what we need to hear, but we ask anyway... for a reason.

When I find a treat for my eyes such as this, I treat it like rare candy that I only sample on weekends or special occasions. In this case, I’m trying to spoil myself now and then by unveiling secrets with the Shadowscapes Tarot.



3 of Swords. I have never seen a more beautiful illustration for this card! The very first time I saw it, I thought to myself, "that swan looks so beautiful as it surrenders to its defeat!" It reminds me of instances in which we are so blinded by pain that we choose to manifest it for others to see, just to make it more real. This card reminded me that sometimes the pain remains internal, and that others don't need to know how we feel all the time. It is a reminder that feelings are individual and that by including others in the subject, we're extending that pain rather than dealing with it. It's hard to nurture from a disappointment if you're focused on manifesting it. Sometimes it's difficult to keep quiet, but it's also the more mature thing to do. This card says that one should accept heartbreak with grace and poise.

6 of Cups. My impression is that the Shadowscapes Tarot states that it has good intentions and noble impulses. It will tell us what we need to hear and it will try to tell us in a comforting tone, but often times it will just come off as blunt. Even if we try to sugarcoat our messages sometimes, the truth remains cold and unchanging. Regardless of that, this tarot deck has a very lighthearted feeling to it. It makes even the most aggressive cards nice to look at. The Shadowscapes Tarot  stands out for enjoying the simples pleasures and joys that life has to offer according to the original meaning of this card.


Queen of Wands. By intuition, I can tell that the Queen of Wands is creative as well as passionate. The suit of Wands pertains to the element of fire, which ties in to hard work with passion. The Queen of Wands plays a harp that comes from a tree, which leads me to infer that she creates beauty using day-to-day things, and seems to play the music for herself even though others are listening. The atmosphere is vibrant with life and energy, but flows harmoniously.

According to the Shadowscapes web site, the description for the Queen of Wands is as follows:
She is dedicated, engaging, and attractive. Her presence exudes confidence, and the knowledge that she can handle anything and anyone. It is not arrogance, but a simple understanding and truthful assessment of her skills and abilities. Mesmerized by this, the world hushes at her entrance to hear her, see her, bathe in her radiance. Her exuberance in life sings out as her hands dance across trills and runs and glissandos upon her living harp.
That is not a bad definition at all! I hope you enjoyed my review of the Shadowscapes Tarot! All of the images in this tarot were illustrated by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, and most of the original paintings are still available for purchase.


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