Shadowscapes Tarot Deck
This is one of the most beautiful decks I have ever had the honor of connecting with and reading with. I was introduced to the artwork of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law while in training in Oceana VA. My roommate and fellow pagan, pulled out a collection of prints she had of Stephanie's and fawned over them like a giddy teenager. She pointed out a gorgeous depiction of some foxes and told me this would be one of the pictures in the Tarot Deck Stephanie was making. I was drawn to the flow of her artwork, the way it draws you in, both bringing your attention to the main character of the drawing and it's surroundings.
In 2005 I was given my first deck by my mother, she gave me an unopened box with the Mythic Tarot inside, which I found out years later is the original 1980's first print of it. This deck gave me my most accurate readings along with the satisfaction of being part of my personal pantheon. It was the best possible deck to give me to bring me into the world of Tarot. When I joined the military this deck found its way to me even across the ocean on the island of Oahu almost a year after having left it and many of my possessions behind. In 2009 I was handed a beautiful deck, which I won't name till I do the review on it, by my friend Glory. I look back and see that deck for what it was, it was with me very shortly and did not come with a book, which frustrates me but it was mine and picked me. My Mythic deck had gone cold and is now retired, this other deck was only active till I came to Jacksonville Florida where Shadowscape's deck jumped at me in a Booksamillion one day.
This is the only deck I have ever bought for myself! It is believed that decks given as gifts are the most powerful, I follow this but that does not mean that decks you buy yourself are not good or just as powerful! This deck tells me things I need to know without me asking.
I was shuffling the deck just this past weekend and there is a major conflict with a person from my past and my current situation. The two cards it threw at me basically said what I already knew and was ignoring, these are some of those cards whose meanings are kinda set in stone and out of all the cards to fall out of that deck.. makes me wonder.
In the past three months I have been able to become more acquainted with myself, I have plastered my life with my favorite color, purple. I have layered my tiny room with stuffed animals and my pagan books/tools. I have my own little den that is tainted by no one but myself. Upon getting the deck and opening it I found it be printed in the most beautiful shade of purple I could think of which tickled my fancy more than the rose colored deck I had been using.
Stephanie Pui-Mun is a water color artist that has been gifting us with a glimpse into her world since 1998, her books and works met there peek in 2008-present.
I personally am drawn into the flow of her work, the way the water colors bring out the images. For example in her card, The Empress, the illustration you see on the box for the deck and most commonly online, is a wonderful mix of purple and oranges, the variety of colors within the butterflies and The Empress herself draws your eyes to every corner of the card.
The Empress: “Lady Mother,” Call the wondering souls. “We bring you gifts.” They fly near the Empress, dancing in the sky. They paint synchronized kaleidoscope choreographies for her pleasure, and she smiles as she takes it in. Her mind and her thoughts are the conductor to this visual symphony.
Gently, they lay a crown woven of the first buds of spring across her brow. “Jasmine and Lily of the Valley have graciously donated their first buds for your coronet.” the spirits sigh.
“The Apple Tree Man has gifted you with his fruit, and the Lady of the Fields, her grains.” These they lay in her basket.
Wish a sudden flourish. The spirits whirl together, then spin off in an explosion of light and music. “Farewell, dear Lady!” they call.
Meaning: Creativity, generosity, patience, love. The Empress is about abundance, experiencing the senses, and embracing the natural. She is a creator. She is the Mother, fertile and nurturing. Clasped to her body like a child, she holds a basket of the earth's bounty: fruits and sheaves of wheat and glorious flowers. She is the primal essence and embodiment of life, and is deeply tied to nature. Crowned in ivy, she is clasped in garments the colors of the world around her.
The explanations of the empress is Stephanie's world as she created these cards, this glimpse into how she envisions the majesty of The Empress is so vivid to me that when I look up on this card I feel like I can step inside it, that I am in a grove of fairies and she is the queen within the center greeted by spring it self upon butterfly wings. This is the feeling I want from my decks and she delivered it almost to the T.
I am only going to share the Empress with you and picture of the Fool because I do not wish to over expose this deck to anyone so that they may go and get to learn from it themselves.
The Fool is a towering and wonderful beginning to this deck, she is perched upon the precipice of her own choices, dancing in the center of the card like a warning or beckoning for you to continue. I am highly impressed with the layout of the card, though it lacks more to it than what is depicted in the center I am happy with what is there. The pillar with which she stands is a complex expression of life to me. I see the security of that on which she stands but she still looks onwards and up for freedom and the unknown. Like all of her work, the best way I can describe it is that it flows so beautifully together. I know I've over used the word flow previously but it is to me the only way to portray what I am seeing.
As far as Tarot cards go, I personally am more attuned to cards with a lot going on in the picture. I am highly empathic and more in touch with feeling energies than seeing anything so tarot for me needs many avenues for my eyes to following to relay the messages for me. I have a deck with so little on it that I can't do a reading to the full degree with which I know I can but I have no heart to give it away because it was a gift from someone very close to me.
I highly recommend this deck to even beginners, Shadowscapes companion comes with this deck, written by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore. It is comprised of easily understandable lay outs, each card has a comprehensible description, as shown in my glimpse of The Empress card above. It is easy to see that both Barbara and Stephanie have a passion for this deck and their work while reading the book, and that is one of the most import things I believe every author and writer needs. I hope you can find the joy and knowledge within this deck that I have, and will in days to come.