Deviant Moon Tarot

Deviant Moon Tarot
by Patrick Valenza
Published by US Games Systems, Inc., 2008

Review by Karen Shelley

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“The Deviant Moon shines its influence across the land, affecting one’s mind, dreams, and destiny with her silvery glow.”  — Patrick Valenza, Deviant Moon Booklet, p. 40

Wow! (Can I start with that word?) I’ve seen and owned hundreds of tarot decks and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a unique work of art such as this. I have to congratulate US Games for finding such a talented artist and bringing this deck to the masses.
In the LWB, Patrick Valenza describes his fascinating process of photo manipulation for creating these individual masterpieces, using images from tombstones, cemeteries, and abandoned insane asylums.  T
he images in this deck are very surreal, bizarre, and sometimes grotesque, seemingly designed to take you out of your comfort level. There is a very strong dark current running through these images that will take you to the edge and beyond if you let it.

My journey with this deck in the last two weeks as already taken me for quite a ride. I was so excited to first receive this deck as I had been waiting for months. When I first looked through each image, my heart stilled as I grasped what kind of deck this was. But the more I spent time with the images, the more they opened up to me, revealing a strange new world. Of course, THEN I began working with this deck, and that little knot began building again in my stomach. This deck doesn’t pull any punches; it gives you much to consider and brings to light things you may want to keep hidden. So, you’ve been warned! 🙂

Majors are traditionally titled with Justice as VIII and Strength as XI. As in the Marseilles tradition, Death is untitled. The borders on the Minors are unobtrusive; there is a simple Roman numeral at the top of each minor with no other title. Beginners need only look to the image for the suit. The Majors and Court Cards do have a title at the bottom, with the additional Roman numeral at the top of each Major.

The card measurements are 5 3/8 x 2 inches ( 13.6 cm x 7 cm). The Premium Set includes a larger box (to help prevent pilferage), and enclosed is the deck in its own box with a spread sheet made specifically for this deck. It displays the layout of Patrick’s 10-card Lunatic Spread that’s given in the little booklet. The background of the spread is done in a “typical” Deviant Moon art style. The LWB included with the deck is written by Patrick Valenza and gives some interesting little tidbits for each of the cards. Of course, a deck this rich really deserves a full-length book.

The real magic comes when you read with this deck. Although the images aren’t of humans, the figures still manage to weave an intricate tale. And don’t forget to look to the surroundings in each of the cards. Most cards will have a moon in one of a variety of phases, which can be using in a timing capacity in a reading. There are also some cards with clocks in the background set to specific times that are also symbolically significant. Oh yes, this deck holds much more than just pretty pictures!

For your viewing pleasure, I chose images that I didn’t already see in other reviews. See these reviews by these people of the Deviant Moon Tarot for more images and opinions of this deck:

Aeclectic Tarot Reviews by Solandia and Dan Pelletier
Tarot Dame
Stephanie Arwen, Musings on the Tarot
Julie Cuccia-Watts
Bonnie Cehovet
Janet Boyer

I highly recommend this deck for collectors of tarot decks and of art, and for those who are not afraid to explore their shadow side.

Illustrations from the Deviant Moon Tarot deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyrights by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.

EarthAngel2911 and For the Love of Tarot © 2004 – 2008 All Rights Reserved

Written 15/Jul/08