I have been pulling one card draws from the Light Grey Tarot, keeping in mind that this is a collaborative effort and that a lot of these artists want to bring something new to the table. It is by no means a full RWS deck even though you can notice the strong influences pulled from it. I particularly liked the more abstracted cards because I can pull both RWS and intuitive messages. It's a hit or miss. I personally had to come back to it a few times to digest the new depictions available to my more familiar cards.
Some of the cards are really beautiful. I feel like many of the works included work better than other decks specifically designed for tarot reading. Luckily, more than 50% of the deck is a hit, although the misses are also holding some weight on the final decision. This deck is not for everyone. If you have a light heart and you are open to an artist's new rendering of your favorite card, whether it is based off a knowledgeable foundation — or more likely not — then I'd say go for it. If you want something with intended symbols and deep soul-affecting messages, there's no chance. The deck isn't flat, but it's meant for someone with lightness of spirit. It's hard for me to describe the exact audience this deck is meant for other than aspiring artists and teens. This deck is ideal for clients who are out of the box, artists, friends, comic enthusiasts. That much is clear.
Favorite Cards: The Moon, Queen of Coins, Queen of Swords, Strength, Two of Cups.
Least favorite cards: The Fool, Justice, The Lovers, 9 of Cups.
I don't like these cards because I don't feel the artist took them seriously. I agree in that there is not much to take seriously about a fool, but some of them make me feel distaste. I wish that the artists would have put a little more thought and consideration into the deck because they knew that it would be published as a deck of cards. It was almost obligatory to consider that it might land in the hands of a tarot enthusiast. I know that it landed in the hands of many ATers, but most importantly, it landed in my hands.
I don't think snakes make ideal lovers, but that's based on my history with the cards. I am studying Lenormand, which portrays the snake as a lustful affair or a person that will not bring good things. As an animal, I see snakes as aggressive and phallic. Snakes drag themselves over the floor, they slither and they are blind. None of these traits is romantic to me. You would have hit the mark much more clearly with other animals. The more I look into this card, the more I wish it was Devil or not in the deck at all.
As for the Nine of Cups, I am not digging the drunkenness of the alien lady. She looks like she's having a blast, but I don't get a sense of emotional wealth or good company here. I just see a lack of self-control and a possible problem with alcoholism.
In the end, I can acknowledge that this project was made for a broader audience and was not intended to be so serious. I appreciate the excellent quality of the production aspect. The card stock is excellent and so is the finish. It will stand to long years of use and abuse for some really quirky insight. I love the way the titles were incorporated, and especially the fact that some of the cards intended the use of white space. I have wanted a full tarot deck like that for a while! Two or three cards work just as well to sate that thirst.
I don't think that this deck will be making its way into my main reading list right away. It will take some investment of time to get better acquainted with the images and the intended meaning of the artists, whether it be playful or not. I'm especially going to have to drill the cards that I didn't like because I could not connect them to a more serious system of interpretation; the snakes in The Lovers especially. Perhaps I will surprise myself in the long run and find that I need to read with it tirelessly. I am open to that possibility because I find that I can read the best with the decks that I am least passionate about in terms of their illustration. If I find them too perfect, I have a tendency to struggle in pulling the tableau together to forge a story. This stands true for the Bohemian Gothic Tarot, which is one of my favorites but also ultimately depressing in my readings.
I hope that this review is taken as a constructive critique and not as a personal artist bash. I am merely stating what I think works and what I think does not. I appreciate the time and the effort invested into this project and remain the proud owner of two copies. If you are looking to get your own, check out the store. There are also prints available of your favorite cards!
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
Three of Wands. Wait until the colors come together and it is possible to get a better sense of perspective. Perhaps this deck was intended to be a little difficult to swallow at first, just look at the way this card was rendered! I can't imagine a serious psychic pulling out 3D glasses just to see this image as it was meant to be. That was in my mind a huge miss for the artist and a big mistake in how this card would be perceived. They should have known better. On the flip side, I am certain someone will scope this card out in its intended form. Ask yourself, though, can everyone else understand that?
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Ace of Coins. It is a gift. A gift is not always serious, it is not always what you expect it to be. The intent behind it can shine really bright, though. Th efforts of those who did a good job help this deck stand out immensely. Those that really dared to push the envelope can be proud to say they have set in their two cents for the tarot world. It is unlikely that many that participated in this event will ever make a tarot-related illustration again, so I can see how it is a gift.
♡ What are your limits?
Seven of Cups. This can get confusing sometimes when you have different styles and different intents blended together to make a tarot that works more like an oracle. There are inconsistencies, but in the long run there is also the reminder that this is a collaboration. At least they thought to present the cards in the same way, with the white borders and the titles all in the same place. That was a good call to keep it unified. The backs are nice, too.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
Knight of Wands. I don't get him. He's standing there with a staff, looking quite comical and possibly silly. The scroll was a really bad idea, too. We have here a man from a fairy tale, a stereotypical knight that seeks adventure. He's missing the passion, the sensual fire that you can often perceive from a man that jumps into everything. I see a tired soldier trying to remind me about what it is that I like about tarot in the first place.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Eight of Swords. It's telling me that I am not able for now because I am not open enough to let the meanings in, and I have to admit that it's true. The swords glow with their divine influence in thoughts, but the girl is still tied up and blindfolded. The time isn't right yet, and the deck won't sing until it is.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Knight of Swords. Fast and to the point, maybe even a little snarky. I get the feeling that the relationship would be more sarcastic than sweet or sure. It could even be a little abusive if we consider the shadow aspect of the Knight of Swords. I think it is overkill already to state that this isn't the right time to use this deck yet. So much sass!
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
Eight of Wands. This isn't speed, this is more a card of reflection about combined effort. It is a simple vector showing a man at the top of the hill considering where he will go next. Maybe his messages come from reflection and meditation, but they sure don't come from projected wands...
♡ How do you see me?
Seven of Wands. Well that's silly. As one overcoming the new obstacles placed before them. This rendition reminds me a lot of Frogger, the videogame. I see myself in the otter, which seems possibly... mindless. He sits before the puzzle of logs between them, waiting to hop on and begin the challenge of crossing the river to safety. He's not even standing on land, he's just perched on a floating rock.
♡ How do you see yourself?
Two of Cups. As the perfect marriage of a combination of efforts. They share an intimate moment that is of their knowledge alone and not for others to share. Perhaps I need to take this deck out on a one-on-one date to get to know it better over a cup of tea. I will schedule it for the coming year and showcase it here most likely.