Tarot, Visual Art

Unboxing the Shadowscapes Tarot

I first discovered Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s Shadowscapes tarot deck when it was still a work-in-progress (I think I was still in college or high school at the time), and I’ve been wanting to get a hold of it for years now. So when I saw it just sitting on a shelf in Fully Booked, I knew I just had to get it.

Shadowscapes Tarot box

The box comes with a guidebook that contains the card descriptions and meanings, as well as some basic tarot reading tips for beginners and nine spreads (all written by Barbara Moore). It includes some notes from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, who talks about the long journey it took to create this deck. She started the project in 2004, and completed it in 2010.

Shadowscapes Tarot deck and book

As expected, the cards are absolutely gorgeous. You can really see all the hard work the artist put into each and every card. Every card is an intricately-detailed watercolor painting with layers and layers of beautiful and meaningful elements.

My special favorite is the Death card just because I feel it conveys the card’s meaning much better than any other deck I own:

Shadowscapes Tarot card Death

But the song of the phoenix…ah, the song of the swan cannot compare. When the phoenix sees death beckoning, she lifts her voice in a tragic song of pain, of rending, of sorrow…that yet cannot mask the most intense joy, for she knows that as the flames lick at her heart, the heat is quickening the egg in which her successor sleeps. Her deathflame is its lifespark; one is linked inextricably to the other.

As you can see, Barbara Moore’s writing is just as beautifully crafted as Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s art. Not only does each card have a meaning – each of them has a story that brings their meaning to life. This unexpectedly perfect combination of words and art makes me really happy with this purchase, and I cannot wait to start reading with this deck!

You can view all of the cards (accompanied by descriptions and meanings written by the artist herself) on shadowscapes.com, where you can also buy the deck directly. The deck is also available on  Amazon.

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