I'd waited for this deck for a while - I'd seen it on Kickstarter, been motivated to back it by the contagious enthusiasm of the creator, Nicole Piar, and watched as the deck grew and unfolded into the finished article. Shipping, as always, was a bit of a ballache, waiting for it to reach the UK, while enthusiastic Tarotistas on the other side of the pond were ripping opening the packaging and getting to grips with their new deck!!
But arrived it has, I've ripped open the packaging, and been enthused by the gentle energy, beautiful colours, and all round cuteness of this particular deck.
It's presented well, in a colourful 2-part slide-apart box, excellent quality and very robust...and my version came with the little Kickstarter bonus of a wooden coin, with the Spirit Cats symbol on one side, and a little lunar kitty on the other - very cute!
The cards are square, measuring in at a healthy 3 3/4 inch square (that's 9.4cm), so they're a good size, lending themselves well to the presentation of the art. The card stock is good indie deck quality - not too thick as to be unpliable, but none of that mass-produced flimsy nonsense either - and it has a pleasant matte finish which helps to give the artwork an almost ethereal feel, which, I suspect, is what the artist was aiming to achieve! It also makes the cards easy and pleasant to shuffle...it's been a while since I've handled a square card, so it was a bit hit and miss to start, but I quickly got to grips with the shape!
At 48 cards, the deck isn't huge, but it has a good breadth and depth of content - cards such as Trust, Vision, Expression, Road Less Travelled and Threshold giving some wonderful creative insights and real room for intuitive reading and storytelling style readings. The cats on each card are presented in a various styles and colours - some bright and cheerful, others muted or dreamlike in their presentation; some stark colours, others black and white; some on their own on a white background or portrait style, others presented surrounded by scenery or set on a watercolour wash; but the entire deck blends so beautifully well together, with that ever present cat theme, and a giant dollop of cuteness and not a little sass to go with it!
The cards are presented in the 'modern oracle' style - that is to say, they're non-reversible, have no 'back' per se, instead opting to present the image on one side, and the name and meaning on the reverse. Each card has a title, each cat has a name, and the artist has provided a good introduction to the theme, feeling or aspects of the cards that she considers important from their creation, giving a good guiding hand to the reader to familiarise themselves with each individual cat, and yet leaves room for further exploration and greater depth by the reader!
Perky, fun, cute and sassy, this deck is a breath of fresh air in the face of some of the more serious decks out there in the market - it doesn't take itself too seriously, the artist clearly enjoys the cat theme and makes the absolute most of a breadth of presentation styles, so that it doesn't become monotonous or boring!
My favourites? Curiosity, Peace, and Trust - each of them have a 'solid' feel to them, and remind me variously of cats I've known in my life...and that, I think, is part of the appeal - cat enthusiasts especially will be able to sift through the deck and pick out at least 1 or 2 which remind them of real world cats in either appearance, personality or just that little silver-cord tug of connection and recognition on a spiritual level.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the deck, or about your experiences in using it!
The Spirit Cats deck is by the lovely artist Nicole Piar, and available at her website