I had reservations about artist Paulina Cassidy’s latest “Joie de Vivre Tarot” deck (USG Games ISBN 978-1-57281-662-6) because I was not a big fan of her previous one, “The Paulina Tarot”. The colors were too murky and I found the deck way too hard to read with.
So when I received Joie de Vivre, I wondered – would this be the same eye squinting fine lined dusky type of art? Thankfully, the answer was a resounding no!
This time Cassidy gets it right in so many ways – from better colors to clearer pictures, I found this deck to be highly useable and a delight to read with! In the introduction, the author describes the deck as “designed to access child like energy in each one of us to help stimulate, enhance and inspire joy in our own lives”. While that sentence may hold true, don’t underestimate this deck as some tarot lightweight. I’ve gotten some deep insights and clear answers from it.
The deck contains 78 cards with traditional Majors, Minors and Court cards. The cards are standard size (2.75” x 4.75”) with a smooth finish. I always appreciate the quality of US Games card stock – once again, this is a sturdy one that will hold up well to years of tarot readings. This is a really important selling point for me. There is nothing worse than a flimsy deck – but you never have to worry about that with this publisher.
The images on the cards are whimsical with fantastical creatures that convey the messages in a playful manner. From the Mad Hatter-like Magician to the space mouse on the 8 of Wands, this deck is a quirky and fun tarot adventure that will bring joy to anyone who reads with them.
The artist still favors muted colors but unlike her previous work, this time there is a lightness present that creates a soft and pretty hue. The images are easy on the eyes and I did not have to put on my glasses to read with them. There are fine details that merit a close inspection but again, it was much easier on to see them which was a happy plus for me.
The deck comes with a little white book that includes meanings for each cards as well as for reversals (important for me as I am a fan of reversed cards). What I really found delightful was that the author named every character in the deck! There’s Jaunt the Fool with her bat companion Prudence, Discordia falling from The Tower and Nucleus the space mouse on the 8 of Wands with his alien friends Zoom and Boom – and so many others. Cassidy put full on creativity in this part and I just loved reading these descriptions. Often I will ignore the “little white book” but this one was just plain fun to read!
But all cuteness aside – how the deck reads is always my primary concern.
I asked the Joie de Vivre “how will this deck work for me”? I got the 5 of Coins. The author writes: “Draped in a celestial cape, Vagabond finds five candles glowing in the dark woods. The 5 of Pentacles holds a flame within its shadow, guiding you into an awakening of your inner strength to deal with the challenges at hand.” The figure on the card is wrapped in a dark cloak and she has a furtive look on her face. All around her are branches with lit candles reaching towards her. I see myself as that figure – feeling apprehensive about the deck. The candles represent the light and insight that this deck offers me if I just give it a chance. This deck may be the kindly friend who brings a positive light and hope when I need it most.
I have to say that this lovely deck makes me smile every time I pull it out. It is guaranteed to delight, charm and inspire everyone who decides to enter its friendly and merry world. I would especially recommend this deck to younger readers and those who may be leery of a regular tarot deck. This may very well be one of the sweetest interpretations of tarot ever!
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2011