Since we are touching up on the subject of inner darkness lately, I figured it was the best time to unearth the Darkness of Light Tarot by Tony diMauro from my vault. I’ve been meaning to review this deck ever since I first got it, but now is when I finally have the ability to sit down and contemplate it. I guess I wanted to dedicate myself to this deck to really get to know it and have some more educated impressions.

The web site for the Darkness of Light Tarot states the following:
The deck strives to paint an honest portrait of nature: it doesn't shy away from dark themes but instead embraces them, weaving both darkness and light together to tell the story of the Fool's journey. Tony diMauro

The inherent darkness of this deck really appeals to me. This deck is unapologetic for its darkness, which is tastefully depicted. A lot of these illustrations look like they could be transitional scenes in dark dreams or nightmares. The darkest cards are powerful, and even the happiest ones have an aura of darkness that pulses through the reader. The feelings evoked aren't murky; instead they resonate very clearly with the reader. Sometimes I can hear sound in my mind that is evoked from the action in the cards. Delightful whispers from my work tools!

Something that really impressed me about this deck is how well it reads out of the box. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned expert, there is life in these illustrations. You can read according to tradition, or because the cards take on life of their own. They read very easily no matter how seasoned of a reader you are. These cards would be fun to meditate into for spiritual work or simply for the purpose of bonding with your cards in a creative way. I want to learn to read them using every little detail, and that comes with getting to know them over time.

Will the inner voice I hear when I read with them change? The deck almost has a shape shifting vibe to it. If you have a taste for darkness, then this deck is certainly for you.

I have always wanted a deck like this. There was much need for it! Mostly black, beautifully artful renditions of people, and natural aspects that seem to come alive. I appreciate that there are no bright pops of color, and that what is rightfully light is sources of light. I definitely pay attention to the time of day and the mood of the environment in the cards, and use those indicators to influence my readings.

This deck is doing for me what The Wild Unknown Tarot did for a lot of people in the tarot community. When the Wild Unknown Tarot came out, it spread like wildfire for its connection to nature and the stylized black/white pen & ink illustrations with pops of color. But it didn't have humans in it. I can't use a deck if it doesn't have the human figure in it, and this one does.

The values in these cards all go together really well as an overall system. Even though I think these cards are digital paintings, to me they almost look like stylized oil paintings and I love that. I also enjoyed the use of darkness to create a somewhat ethereal space that makes you feel like anything could happen. Magic!

I look over all the cards and there is not a single one I don’t like. That’s an achievement! You enjoy reading with a deck more when you agree with all the cards and how they depict these archetypes we have grown to know and love.

What is your most important characteristic?
Three of Cups. The completion of this project merits celebration. Not only does it fill a necessary void that existed within the options for decks to read with, but it is also a skillful rendition of something that can be both dark and beautiful. It is also elegant, which is a feat in itself to pull off. We start this card interview off with a celebration of the achievement it is. It’s a strong deck that is dark and still manages to keep a balance. I appreciate that it isn’t at an extreme. It is just right!

When it first came out, this deck was definitely celebrated. I was off on holiday so I was unable to connect with it until I got back. And now that I am, I understand the hype. This deck sings!

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Eight of Cups. Try not to fit this deck in only as a Rider-Waite clone if you can help it. Seek out the elements that set it apart as an artist’s original work. Look into how it is different and admire it for its individuality. It ventures away from tradition ever so slightly.

Know your strengths. If you walk away from something, let it be because you don’t have the energy to invest in it to do it justice.

What are your limits?
The Sun. There are areas of your life that you may be more attached to than you are willing to admit. Even if you are close to something and feel you have a clear point of view, be open to the possibility that there may still be parts of the situation you don’t understand.

If your pride or ego get in the way, it can’t be helped. The Sun in a negative position in a spread is only slightly less bright. It’s really a positive indicative.

What are you here to teach me?
The Star. I am here to teach you how to find the light in the darkest of situations. So long are you are open and vulnerable you will be able to tune into something outside of yourself. You will just come to understand, and by then you will know what you have to do to act.

Standing vulnerable before others is not easy. It takes courage to open up to someone and share your personal truth also. Trusting is a vulnerable act because you are sharing something intimate about yourself with somebody else. We have this same trust in our fate sometimes.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Ten of Coins. Find your comfort zone. Make the space moody and conductive for the experience you will have with your cards. Go there in your mind as well. Make yourself present and aware, then begin. You can find warmth and comfort even in the darkness. It helps if your reading space is conductive to focus and introspection.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Three of Coins. It's going to take some work and experimentation reading for different types of people with it. Concepts will change on the intent for them to be manifesting. Once you understand how to peel back the layers to find deeper meaning you will also find yourself more comfortable trying new things. Be patient! Work through it.

Which card do you want to show off?
Five of Wands. There is beauty even in the darkness and even in the difficult cards to draw. For every difficult set of news to tell there will be something to buffer and hold us over. It is important though that we accept what is outside our control and commit to work through the negativity instead of getting taken under by it.

How do you see me?
King of Cups. Tuned into empathy and compassion, easily influenced. Seeking out something more when there is something good just beside you. The restlessness is to catch something prized when in reality you already have a lot going for you that is worthy of praise and admiration. Try not to focus so much on what is outside your control, it makes you feel heavy. There is no reason to subject your feelings to that.

How do you see yourself?
Queen of Swords. Sharp and tough as nails. No one shakes your perspective or sways you without first facing the sharp end of your blade. At your best you are eloquent and immaculate with your words. At your worst, you decimate people.

This is the kind of world I live and thrive in, a world of darkness. Those of us that dwell in Gothic subculture especially will have a fondness for this deck. It speaks to us in a way we understand, because we live a life of dark glamour and this is the closest to our interests as we will ever get in the tarot. I love this deck! Thank you for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the eloquence of your review so closely matches the artistic mystery and magick of this deck! The imagery is so dreamlike, it feels like twilight rather than darkness, so very drawn to that...a familiar kinship...