I finally received my copy of MJ Cullinane’s Crow Tarot (the US Games version) – how I have been waiting for this one!!!First impressions: I am a fan of the sturdy 2-part box, this deck is very well packaged. I do wish they would stop putting the cellophane on the cards inside the box though – It is unnecessary waste and so hard to get in to…
The guidebooklet has 88 pages that look in to both upright and reversed meanings for each card, as well as providing keywords and elements. There’s also a Crow Tarot Spread specifically designed for this deck which is a nice touch! I really like the simple backs of this version of the deck – I know the original had lovely crow silhouettes on the back but this feels classic as well as classy. The cards themselves are stiffer than some but not so much that this would impact on shuffling. They are a little wider than expected so my smallish hands may need to get used to that!
Looking through the cards, they are as beautiful as I imagined they would be. If I have one criticism, it is that the different styles of borders used for the Major Arcana cards, Court cards, Aces and Minor Arcana cards make the deck feel less cohesive to me. There are different shades of beige, pink and blue used on the borders, the Majors have ornately decorated numbers and large titles, the Courts and Aces just have titles and the Minors only a small, unobtrusive number… all these differences together break up the wholeness of the deck for me. It seems these differences have already been toned down in comparison with the original deck, but for me it still jars at times…The main thing I love about this deck – apart from Crows, obviously – is the way textures are given to the backgrounds. The artist used images of different materials such as sweety wrappers or scrunched up silver foil to provide colours, shapes and texture in the collages that make up each card. This technique works very well for me!
Let’s have a look at some of my favourite cards:
Major Arcana ~ The Hermit immediately got my attention. It is one of my favourite Tarot cards anyway, so I am very pleased to see such a beautiful rendition of it here. The rusty-gold colour is so warm and a nice contrast to the snowy landscape, and that tree… haunting! Love it!Court Cards ~ I adore the sense of movement in this card, I can almost feel the wind rushing past – the Knight of Swords is not usually a card I feel attracted to, so this is a pleasant surprise!Minor Suits ~ these are my favourite cards from each Suit – I think the colours are so attractive and the images are evocative enough to get your imagination fired up and your intuition flowing.Aces ~ I like all 4 of the Aces, they all have clear elements of what they represent – sometimes this gets lost in these themed decks, with the theme taking priority over clarity, but I think the artist has balanced this deck sufficiently well for anyone used to RWS style Tarot decks to find their way when wondering through these cards…
Now all that’s left to do is to get to know this deck and try my hand at a spread or two… but I’ll do that in private for now ☺️ Rest assured you will see these cards crop up in quite a few of my Spreads and pictures to come!
Thanks for looking