The Mystic Shadows Illuminated Tarot is a large format variation based on the Dark Crystal Rose Tarot deck. It has been altered significantly, with full glitter and iridescent paint. It is a one-of-a-kind deck that cannot be replicated, it was done through feeling and exploration. As I tilt the cards to the sides to survey them closely, I see many little details layered over one another in paint and glitter. Carol Herzer painted this over a period of many months from 20132014. She signed me the title card.

The deck of all decks. The one ring to rule them all. Perhaps my most unique treasure, or one of them. Certainly the one that has dented my wallet the most by far.

Each card has been painted and over-painted with much attention to detail, building up a magical and mysterious sense of space, light, and color. The layering of color creates unnamed colors, and the effect of the iridescent adds to the magic, as it will appear differently as it changes with the light and angle at which it is viewed. the pictures here just barely give a suggestion of the glitter, it simply does not like to be photographed, it needs living light to be seen.

The deck is larger than standard and feels really good when you hold it all together with both hands. Shuffling it is difficult given I am not used to handling larger than standard cards, and the lamination is delicate. I will opt to just fan the cards out and pick, or to deal them into random piles of 6-8 and put them back together. If anybody has any recommendations on another way to shuffle, please let me know.

The backs of the cards have stars and snowflakes, and have been painted with fine glitter and iridescent paint. The blue shimmers like jewels; it’s a pretty spectacular sight when the cards are fanned out. It has a purple tone to it. I honestly can’t tell if the backs are blue purple or not, that’s just how they look. They kind of change colors when I tilt them this way or that.

The pouch that the cards come in have a platinum mint sheen to them and they are in fine Tibetan brocade. There is a hyper bejeweled Star card on the front of it, and it folds over itself to close. It is lined on the inside with a fabric of the same platinum mint color. It’s as stunning as the deck itself.

What else? These cards are a dream. I love getting lost in their intense landscapes and skies. It’s like real colors have shifted, and instead I get to view life through the lens of an alternate assortment of colors. Beautiful!

What is your most important characteristic?
The World. I have a bit of everything, and I boast great skill. This tarot deck is unapologetic for its use of color and how the glitter plays with light. I will open your eyes to new realities that amaze. Everything is big, in full color and with much to dazzle. You will be challenged with a new way to see the same old things.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Queen of Wands. I am ablaze with energy, and I am meant to inspire you to reach worlds beyond what you could have imagined you could reach. Use me as a tool to leave lasting impressions. I am out there, I am brash and I make no apologies for what I say. Chances are, what I have to say is what needs to be heard.

What are your limits?
Page of Cups. Dreams can only take you so far. You need an open mind and an open heart to receive all the healing energy that is to be sent your way. Let compassion be your guiding sense, and give all those who cross your path a reason to feel loved.

What are you here to teach me?
Five of Coins. I am here to teach you that you don’t need a blinged up treasure to tell fortunes. However, I am also going to remind you that those things that are beautiful are also delicate. Handle me with care if you want to protect me and your investment.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Temperance. Be patient, meditate on the cards and let the messages come through your heart. Instead of paying so much mind to intuition as you always do, let these messages come from your heart instead. They come on swift wings and from pacific waters.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Emperor. You are already boxed into a tradition and a routine that you follow. It will not be changed. However, that is not to say you can’t enjoy the wealth of what you have worked for. With great responsibilities also comes great reward.

Which card do you want to show off?
Four of Wands. I am built upon a foundation formula that has worked for many years. With my new decorations and my wonderful colors, I deviate from all else that is out there. I am a truly unique rendition of a deck you have grown to understand over the years, but now I bring my own solid wisdom with it.

How do you see me?
The Sun. The radiant child with the contagious love for divination. You run with your passions, parading them like a flag and passing the fever to whoever is willing to catch it. Keep spreading the love!

How do you see yourself?
Knight of Coins. Steady, reliable. There are parts of me that are shrouded in mystery, but I promise the same reliable readings you get from any other of my colorful incarnations. In time, our bond will strengthen and you will find me worn in from use. That’s okay.

I wish I could share the sparkles with you. The cards don’t photograph well enough to show the effect of coming alive. The way the light hits them makes them jump out of their borders, wrapping around my world and turning it into jewel magentas and blues.

I am in the process of crafting a special spread to be used in readings with this deck. I’ll share it soon! — Been a while since there has been any new spread here...

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