April 27

Universal Fantasy Tarot Deck Review


Being a die-hard deck fiend, I’ve been known to pick up decks after laborious and loving consideration, or on a split-second of whim of impulse. The Universal Fantasy Tarot falls into the latter category.

I wanted some new blood—er, I mean cards—and have my work to justify my habit. I love playing Dungeons and Dragons based games with my man, and thought this would be a cool extension of that interest. The box was pretty. So I grabbed it and went! I would have benefited from giving it more consideration.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing exactly wrong with this deck. I mean, it’s non-traditional. I have no issue with non-traditional. Plenty of the decks I buy (and review) are non-traditional. I love the Truth of the Tarot can be translated and accessed so many ways!

What I wasn’t exactly computing is that the imagery wasn’t just done in the style of a fantastical world, but has specific elements and allegory directly borrowed from the genre of fantasy fiction. In some cases, the scenes mirror more traditional decks, but in many others, they don’t.

Without familiarity with the creatures and stories populating the cards, I have little hope of reading with them. As in, I’d shuffle through, see a puzzling rendition, mentally conjure up the image of the card’s traditional counterpart and try to merge the two. Not exactly efficient for the flow of intuitive insight, huh?

Cards are lightly coated on a stock weight that’s nothing special, a little taller and narrower than most decks. Card labels include multiple languages, same as the Zodiac Tarot, also a Lo Scarabeo deck. I find the Little White Books largely useless, and this one is no exception. And of course, nothing special for the astrology people.

I also have found I have a strong preference for cards that are not overly busy—as gorgeous as I find the artwork on Shadowscapes, I hardly ever pick it up. All that tiny detail just distracts me and leaves me feeling a little old, wishing for better eyesight.

For me, it was definitely a deck mistake. Perhaps your experience is different.

Random sampling of the cards:

What’s your opinion on this deck? You like it, want it or have it?

[amazon_image id=”8883955471″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]UNIVERSAL FANTASY TAROT (cards)[/amazon_image]

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Deck Reviews, Tarot Decks, Universal Fantasy Tarot

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  1. about Shadowscapes, I have made a ritual of using a very special magnifing glass & taking the time to look deeply into the detail of each card as I read it (for myself-it would be difficult to take the time to do for others). I find this increases my focus & depth & results in a very intuitive (no book needed) & trance like reading. Maybe not for everyone but works for me. Shadowscapes is my favorite deck

    1. Excellent suggestion for Shadowscapes, genna. I had thought about using it as a personal development deck instead of a client reading deck. I pull occasional daily cards from it, but that’s about all. With the level of detail and the pastel-ish color scheme on these cards, they’d really be much more useful if their were over-sized…but you found a good compromise, sounds like.

  2. I just did the same exact thing you did; I got a deck on a whim and when I finally got it realized I will never read with it! The artwork is really cool, very gothy, which I don’t mind. But it is not the type of deck you could read a client with. It is the Alchemy 1977 England Tarot deck and I would say it is not for everyone!

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