I’ve been meaning to write about this deck for a while now and finally had a chance to sit down and work out my thoughts about it.
This is a review of the Ostara Tarot by Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard, and Julia Iredale.
This deck was actually my first deck that I successfully got my witchy hands on- I say successfully here because the first deck I ordered was actually a different deck I wanted way back in my high school years. I did hours of research, finally chose a deck and ordered- only for the seller to forget the cards and send only the guidebook. Dreams: crushed
I didn’t try to order another deck until the pull of Tarot became so strong that I caved in in 2018 and got this one.
Although this was my first tarot deck, I want to say right off the bat that- although I do love and treasure these cards- I do not recommend this deck for beginners to tarot .
There are a few reasons why. But before that, let’s look at what this deck does right
This deck is gorgeous- the side of the cards is brushed with silver so they shine and dance in the light while shuffling. The card stock is * chef’s kiss * quality- they feel so good to hold and work with
The guidebook was written with heart and soul- each card has a full write-up that explores the unique meaning that the illustrator was going for.
It’s a good thing the guidebook is so nice, because you will need it.
The benefit of having a deck made by four talented illustrators is a deck with gorgeous and fanciful artwork like no other. The downside is that the deck feels mismatched- every suit is by a different person.
This doesn’t just affect the look of the cards- some illustrators stuck close to traditional interpretations while others went completely off on their own personal ways to see the cards.
This leaves you with a beautiful deck that is extremely hard to read if you are used to traditional interpretations or are just starting out and aren’t confident in your own personal ways to read.
Not to mention that some of the cards are basically indiscernible for those unfamiliar with the deck. Take a look at the following- can you quickly tell the suit and (without looking at the roman numeral number) the number this card is supposed to represent?
Don’t get me wrong- the art is stunning and this deck has a well-deserved place on any tarot-collector or art-enthusiast’s shelf.
But I can’t help but feel like some artists just put their own fanciful whims on the cards to make them pretty, without paying much attention to traditional meanings, while the others clearly studied some traditional meanings and made the cards in a useable way for tarot readers.
Having gotten that off my chest, I do want to end on a positive note- there’s a reason this deck review is in the Recommendations Category!
While I have a bone to pick with some of the cards, there are others in this deck that take my breath away every time I pull them. I mean, look at that Ten of Swords- that belongs in a museum! Stunning
These cards carry emotion and meaning in a way that is hard for me to find in other decks. And, despite my complaints about how some cards go off on their own little personal tangents, those diversions do help me to formulate new ways to see a card that I hadn’t thought of before.
All in all: This is a GREAT deck for those who collect tarot, have a love of art, enjoy learning new ways to read tarot cards, and/or don’t mind non-traditional decks.
It may not be the best first deck for a beginner and will likely not be enjoyed by a reader who prefers substance over style.
Do you have the Ostara Tarot? Is it a deck you’d be interested in using?
Feel free to share your thoughts!