Newly published tarot and oracle decks arrive on Amazon, Etsy, crowd-funding platforms, and in bookstores every month. Today there are literally thousands of decks to choose from, including out-of-print decks as well as published ones. Reviewing a deck is a subjective judgement intended to help readers determine if they want to own the deck.
The critical review of a deck for AskAstrology involves looking at the quality and size of the cards, visual accessibility of the art, quality of the companion book or booklet, and potential usefulness in professional practice. This month I have chosen to review the Disney Villains Tarot by Minerva Siegel (author) and Ellie Goldwine (artist).
From the introduction in the booklet:
Seeking answers to some of life’s toughest questions? Look no further. The Queen, Maleficent, Scar, and all their most dastardly friends and allies have the answers … at least for those brave enough to ask for guidance from a bunch of outright villains. Starring the most famous and beloved antagonists from Disney’s iconic animated films, this deck presents these sinister, calculating (misunderstood?) characters on their own terms. The result is a truly twisted take on a classic tarot deck.
About the author:
Minerva Siegel is a writer, nonreligious witch, and author. A Sagittarius with a Capricorn moon and stellium, she haunts her historic manor in Milwaukee, WI, with a Virgo-heavy Taurean husband and their beloved pack of rescue dogs. Minerva is a disabled wheelchair user who’s often found meditating with crystals, practicing divination, or watching historical dramas with a snoring English Bulldog in her lap. You can find her on Instagram @Author.Minerva.Siegel. (Amazon authors page)
About the illustrator:
Ellie Goldwine is an illustrator, embroiderer, tinkerer, and full-time mommy to two magical pixies. She was born in the USSR and raised in Russia, and she currently lives in the heart of the Cotswolds, UK. Ellie is fond of extremely long walks, classic literature, history, and the macabre–mostly crepuscular. You can (and probably should) find her at @elliegoldwine. (Simon & Schuster author page)
Card Stock and Shuffling
Printed on thin to medium card stock, these cards have a matte finish with rounded corners. They are easy to shuffle because they flex easily and the finish does not allow the cards to stick together. On the down side, if the deck is used heavily, it will need to be replaced after a relatively short period of time.
Artwork and the Visual Accessibility of the Deck
The artwork is well-done, befitting animated characters. The artist does a good job showing the villains best image or an iconic scene from the movie. Unlike the DC Comics deck previously reviewed, this deck uses character images in the minor suits, making this a much more enjoyable deck to work with. The Major Arcana show the prominent villains from across the Disney animated world, and are beautifully drawn.
From the booklet:
Shere Khan, like the Emperor, is a powerful composed ruler who commands authority and respect. Shere Khan values order and structure and is determined to protect the jungle by keeping Man out of it. The Emperor tarot card is a reminder to make decisions with everyone’s best interest in mind. Whether or not you’re the fearsome ruler of the jungle, you can set an example for others by being responsible and taking your duties seriously. (20)
The Two of Coins
From the booklet:
The Two of Coins represents the balance between work and home. It can be tough to manage responsibilities while still making time for the things and people that mean the most to you. This tarot card serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a healthy balance. If reversed, you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to manage your time, money, or energy. It is a time to reevaluate your priorities and commitments. (77)
Four of Cups
From the booklet:
There’s a decision to be made, and the Four of Cups tarot card is a reminder to consider your options carefully. Remember, you don’t have to accept everything you’re offered. Listen to your intuition, and don’t be afraid to decline opportunities that don’t feel right to you. If reversed, take a moment alone to check in with yourself and gather your thoughts, then pick up where you left off. Introspection and self-reflection can be really positive, but make sure to stay connected to the world around you. (107)
Explanation of the Cards
This deck does have a companion booklet that is very good, with clear explanations. The Major Arcana cards have a brief description of the character and more detailed upright/reversed meanings. The Minor Arcana cards just have the upright/reversed meanings.
As a professional reader, I can say that this deck is fun for both personal and professional use. The artwork is quite nice and there are plenty of Disney villains to fill out the 78 cards of a tarot deck. It would make a good deck to use in a public setting where you want to keep the reading tone on the lighter side.
I would recommend the deck for personal use and limited professional use. You definitely want to own it as collector, especially if you are Disney fan and want some pretty good artwork for most of the characters. The character cards are creatively drawn, and you might even consider buying an extra deck, laying the cards out, and putting them in a frame for a display.
I give this deck 4 out of 5 stars. The Major Arcana and Minor Arcana upright and reversed meanings in the booklet are well-written, and follow the meanings of the Rider Waite tarot. Insight Editions has a tremendous licensing advantage, and this deck is one of their better efforts.
Where to Buy this Deck
If you like this deck and wish to purchase a copy, you can do so on Amazon.