Gorgeous, modern, fresh, achingly simplistic yet wonderfully expressive, clear and joyously colourful, this deck is a real tour de force when it comes to modern vector-graphic decks!
The deck is a good size for the hand, measuring in at a comfortable 4 3/4 by 2 3/4 inches (11.9cm by 6.9cm), the deck is printed on a light but robust card stock with a light, semi-shine coating - a smooth shuffler with no stick makes it a joy to handle, shuffle and deal.
It's a 79 card RWS-sympathetic deck, with an additional major called "Magic", given a question mark, rather than a number as part of the Majors cycle. Two of the suits have been renamed to Stones (Pentacles) and Arrows (Rods/Wands), with the expected Swords and Cups rounding out the expected four. The Stones are represented by rocks, boulders, precious gems and stones; the Cups by coffee-cup or mug-style vessels; the Arrows are colourfully fletched, portrayed in flight, embedded in their target or in the quiver; and the Swords are a variety of blades from daggers, through shortswords and scimitars, to broadswords.
The card backs are a gorgeous fully-reversible design, featuring a flower circlet and quartz crystals, with keys, moons and stars dangling from it, all on a blue-green background. The deck itself is presented in a light tuck-fold box, which is enough to protect your cards at the outset, but mightn't hold up well to prolonged or frequent handling.
There are no human characters in any of the cards (although three of the cards feature human skulls in them), and only 5 of the cards have any kind of wildlife/fauna in them - the rest using natural scenery, flora and the minor arcana to convey their meaning.
Some of the card images are instantly recognisable, like the 6 of Cups, its cute kitschness only slightly (and creepily) offset by its frilly pink nod to Dolores Umbridges parlour, while others are beautiful interpretations, such as the High Priestess, represented by a stone circle set against stark mountains and a moonlit sky, all beneath a stylised aurora borealis. There are some wonderful characterisations, such as the explosive Tower, and the polar-opposite Sun and Moon cards, each bold and confident in their expression.
The Majors all follow a stylised interpretation of their inherent energy or power, and the Court cards are cleverly represented by the suits icons in various states of growth, size or power.
The colouring, as you'd expect from a modern-style and graphically designed deck, is bright and fresh, bold blocks of colour capitalising on the simplicity of lots of the imagery, and using a punchy style to get the message across to the reader.
The Idiosyncradeck doesn't come with a LWB, but it does have a downloadable pdf guide book, which is 15 basic pages, but presentable, giving a little background to the artists route to producing the deck, some keywords and short interpretation for each card in its upright position, and then a single 'finding the key' short spread, which is great for quick questions or solution sourcing! There's nothing new here to push the experienced reader, but it's certainly enough to get a novice up and running, with the bare bones covered.
A couple of the cards haven't resonated with me initially, but I haven't had the pleasure of drawing them in a reading yet, allowing me to see and feel their particular insights into a given question or situation...the Judgement card I initially mistook for the Tower card, although I can now see how the former is expressing its 'hear your calling' approach, but the Justice card still eludes me with it's imagery more akin (for me) to the Death card, but I'm certain that it will yield its story in time!
In my estimations it's right up there with the Ellis Deck, a firm favourite and daily staple of mine - while they share a modern take, and a graphic design approach, they're quite different in their expression, with the Ellis Deck being more story-telling and descriptive in its imagery, while the Idiosyncradeck is simpler symbology and conveys its own fresh take on the meanings of the cards.
The Idiosyncradeck Tarot is self-published by the talented Jessica Bott. Images are C and used with kind permission. The deck can be purchased directly from the artist at her Etsy store and there's a Tumblr by the artist as well.