I received this deck and was so excited about it that I couldn't hold back, so I did a video on it. My first one! You can tell how exciting this event is, right?
It seems James R Eads' studio is really near to my apartment. I got the deck on the next day after they shipped out, which happened to be Valentine's day, and they were so beautiful! The card stock is glossy, thinner than the Light Visions Tarot. It shuffles with ease and slides perfect. It also has silver edges and jewel colors. I love it! There is nothing not to love about it. When you fan out the backs, the backs look very nice too. I am particularly fond of the color he used to compliment the woodblock style illustration of the eye. It's not too obvious when you get reversals, but still enough of a hint to know what you're dealing with, which I can appreciate. I've always preferred for my decks to be this way.
I really love the fact the Minor Arcana are a really long scene that you can rearrange as you like. When I first got it, I spend some time rearranging the cards and looking into them to see what they would say to me. Even better is being able to piece them together in readings. They add a fresh take to the style with which you read. Now we are not only piecing the cards together in dialogue, we also have a much bigger picture to look at as we read the spread visually in its entirety. Talk about chatty cards! They can be read as a scene, or looked into closely for easter eggs and symbolic interpretation.
I feel this deck is very narrative, and we can see some continuity as well as some rewinding to explain certain concepts in the situation. Overall, it takes some understanding of how Rider-Waite Smith works, but if you give yourself the chance to just look into it without previous context, the cards really come alive and show you something new. The color use is broad and can also speak to you in an intuitive way. By this I mean you'll get different meanings not necessarily tied to RWS tradition, but rather, related to the client or to your personal life.
James R Eads completely reinvents the RWS tradition into something that you can interact with in a new way. While the RWS elements are still there, I believe that you can get much more from this tarot deck with fresh eyes and an open mind. His contribution to the world of tarot is really great, but let's let the cards speak for themselves.
I'm really happy I got this deck. It's really beautiful and the narrative quality to it is wonderful. You can easily get lost in its colorful story, tracing connections from a world of whimsy to your own life. I will definitely be promoting it because I believe in endorsing creatives with the courage to self-publish their work. Since it is a deck that was self-published, James has had the luxury to make the important decisions, but I feel he caters to a broad audience. Whether it be collectors of limited editions, or just people who are inspired to get started on this journey because they are familiar with his artwork. It's really stunning and worth the investment.
The journey you're going to go on with these cards is not at all linear, it's more like going down the rabbit hole. Or if we can get really imaginative, more like walking through the world with kaleidoscope glasses. They're vibrant and they really make the scenes come alive.
You'll have to spend some time getting acquainted with them and trying them out in different types of readings to really get something out of them. They were meant to be used, so get yourself a backup copy if you're weary of wearing down the gilded silver edges. I've got mine!
♡ What is your most important characteristic? Page of Coins. I’m new, fresh youth and hot off the press. There is so much potential still, as everything is in development. The seed has been planted now, and the growth that comes will serve a beautiful legacy of its own.
Taking a closer look, there are strawberries growing on the ground as well. A sweet, kind of tarty treat contrasted from the lush greens of the garden. It stands out, as this deck does.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck? Ace of Cups. I bring you solace, love and compassion aplenty. I am an offer of all the best things this world has to offer, and this offer has been handed to you. Made with love, made to help others with their emotions and their biggest worries. It can be used as a powerful tool for romance readings, or deep work with emotions.
♡ What are your limits? Eight of Coins. Work in progress, work with others. It’ll take lots of dedication in order to get to the point in which you can help others work on their own. This is a brand new world, but it looks like a very appealing one. Everything is in bloom around you, so get ready for things to take off soon!
♡ What are you here to teach me? Seven of Coins. There is still much work to do. You’ll have days in which you won’t be able to tell if your intuition is working or if you’re forcing it to be what you feel it should be, but there are also days in which you’ll feel as if everything is falling into place.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you? The Hermit. Take some time alone under the pale moonlight to meditate on and jump into the scenes. Breathe in the lovely world of color and feeling. It shines in a spiritual sea of living emotions, glistening with purpose and with intention. Dive into it.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship? The Star. Inspiration, going past the limits of what you can immediately perceive and into a world that only your senses can take you to. Take flight and back in the experience.
♡ Which card do you want to show off? The Empress. A fruitful product and an explosion of color. Artwork is not just the feminine, but it is an expression of beauty that is as divine as it can be relevant to our world.
♡ How do you see me? Strawberries. A wildcard, a burst of possibility. The fruit that comes ripe, is offered to be plucked and consumed by those who need it. A sweet treat for the world, even when diced into pieces that are given as an offering. As a new addition to the world of divination and tarot.
♡ How do you see yourself? Six of Coins. Willing to collaborate, willing to help. That’s actually what I’m here to do; I’m an aid offered to help you grow along your life. I nurture you so that you can nurture others.
Since I have various cards of the same suit, it looks a bit like a picture book that has been cut up and rearranged to make a story. It’s quite beautiful, but I will need to learn to piece stories together based off the full picture as well in spreads such as this. When they show a panoramic view, they show much more than just a typical tarot spread.
I was scrolling through a forum, and I found this:
"I received the deck yesterday. Oh, it is so beautiful. I like the 'Strawberries'. It reminds me a story told in Neil Gaiman's American Gods:
“There was a tale he had read once, long ago, as a small boy: the story of a traveler who had slipped down a cliff, with man-eating tigers above him and a lethal fall below him, who managed to stop his fall halfway down the side of the cliff, holding on for dear life. There was a clump of strawberries beside him, and certain death above him and below. What should he do? went the question.
And the reply was, Eat the strawberries."
The story had never made sense to him as a boy. It did now.”
Get your own copy today! The collector's edition is still available!