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 Kawaii Tarot Deck by Lulu Mayo.
From the publisher:
With this deck and guide, you’ll learn to use your intuition to interpret the cards’ messages, manifest your intentions, and connect with your inner self while being surrounded by the cuteness of kawaii! Find insights on where you are and figure out your next move with the help of supercute kawaii characters like Lucky Cat, Princess Poodle, and Fancy Unicorn.
About Lulu Mayo:
London-based illustrator Lulu Mayo is passionately committed to daydreaming in the fantasy art world where mysterious creatures and cute animals live. She started her studies in business before realizing that she was at her happiest drawing. This led her to pursue a master’s degree in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London. She loves the quirky and the fun and enjoys bringing energy and humor to her artworks ranging from books, greeting cards, and editorial designs. She has 18 books under her belt. Her best-selling A Million Creatures to Color series has been successful worldwide—having been published in more than 20 different territories.
Card Stock and Shuffling
Printed on thin card stock, these cards have a glossy finish with curved edges. They are easy to shuffle, and a little slick when you first get them out of the box. They may slip out of your hands until the cards get some wear from handling and repeated use.
Artwork and the Visual Accessibility of the Deck
The artwork is very fun and light-hearted, and Lulu Mayo is a clever and talented artist. Unfortunately, the artist and her artwork do not easily convey the meanings of the cards, so you will need to rely on the companion book to know the meanings the creator selected. The deck mostly follows the Rider Waite Tarot, keeping many of the design concepts, but using very cute characters instead of human figures.
The Hanged Man
From the booklet:
Sometimes things look worse than they are. It could be time to look at everything from a newer, fresher angle. You may also be in a place of contemplation. Take the opportunity to reconsider old assumptions.
From the booklet:
There is confidence in strength. Some may see this as victory or triumph. But it is also potentially a place of thoughtfulness and compassion.
Ten of Wands
From the booklet:
You might have been taking on too much. This may be a time to think about what you have accomplished, the effort it took, and whether you should have asked for help.
Explanation of the Cards
This deck does have a companion book that is beautifully designed; and the explanations keep with the simple artwork by being very direct and easy to understand. The author describes the Major Arcana as, “If the tarot were a professional sport, these cards would be the big league. The 22 Major Arcana cards represent archetypes drawn from mythology and medieval society. Given their status these cards will more often concern deeper, more life-impacting matters. Although they can be read for their individual meanings, they can also be seen as part of a larger, even mythic journey.”
And the Minor Arcana are, “The 56 Minor Arcana cards are sometimes called the Lesser Arcana. It’s true that these cards do not deal with quite the same level of life altering situations as the Major Arcana. But these are not inconsequential cards. They deal with money, decision-making, and relationships, just to name a few topics of interest. Crucial things!”
As a professional reader, I can say that this deck is definitely fun, and not entirely frivolous; it certainly works for reading in public spaces. Even the most difficult cards in the deck – Death, The Tower, and the Ten of Swords, are not going to cause any anxiety when they show up, at least not from the pictures. It’s a great deck for keeping the reading experience light, or for sneaking in some serious work in a non-threatening way.
I would recommend the deck for personal use, collecting, and general professional use. This deck is beautifully drawn; people will likely consider getting a reading from the deck if they can see the cards. I mean, really, who does not love some super cute animals, which really show off the imagination of the artist.
The deck is just plain fun, visually-speaking. The art conveys the meanings in a limited way, so you will need to learn what the creator intended them to be by reading the booklet explanations. The companion book that comes with the cards is good, and fits with the artwork, so they are nicely paired. The flexible card stock makes shuffling easy, and it will get easier once some of the initial slick sheen wears off with frequent repeated use over a long time. I give this deck four out of five stars.