Done? Good! Now back to my dragonflies. I was searching for a tarot deck that had dragonflies. I got a Google hit on something called Tarot of a Moon Garden. And then I couldn’t find the darn thing! I searched all over. Finally, I found it and pounced on it. Then of course, I decided to review it!
My first view of this deck was of the Fool. And my first impression was “Awww, they could have done so much more with the color.” I flipped slowly through the cards one by one and found that my first impression was wrong. Karen Marie Sweikhardt does an amazing job with her watercolor art. The figures at times seem a bit impersonal as though they don’t know what they are doing in the cards, but that impersonality lends itself to the overall ethereal feeling of this deck.
The Major Arcana follows the RWS system and there are many things to look at in most of them. My least favorite was Justice who is a slim woman in a sheath of a dress dangling a sword at her side. There is no imposing figure here, no sense of awe. She holds the scales between her thumb and forefinger as if it were something she wanted to get rid of.
However I look at her Moon card and I’m blown away! The dark face of of the full moon is embraced by the crescent moon which weeps. The crayfish rises up from stylized waves. The dog and the wolf are there as well, but you have to search for them to find them. Likewise the Lovers card has many of the traditional trimmings but here and there are hints of surreal landscapes. That the man and woman embrace with a tree between them lends itself to such depth of interpretation! What is it between them? Or is that the solidness of their love?
The garden theme is self-evident in the preponderance of flowers everywhere. However they don”t lend themselves to a feeling of lightness and joy. Rather, I am given the Nine of Swords when I ask the deck for a card to describe itself. Nine dragonfly swords over over a weepng figure (could be a woman might be a man). They nearly obscure the moon which is bright and full. The message of this deck for me is to not overlook what is hidden. That taking my time and searching this deck will pay off in the long run.
I give this an 8 out of 10 on my personal scale of 0-10. It is a deck I will use. The cards are bordered in white which some will not like, but I like the framing effect. This is a deck that I am delighted to add to my personal collection. If you want your own copy of Tarot of a Moon Garden, I hope you will let me know. Or if you already own it, tell me what your favorite card is.
Tarot of a Moon Garden (set)
by Karen Marie Sweikhardt
Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: U.S. Games Systems; Book & card deck. edition (September 1998)