By Light Grey Art Lab
The Cosmos Tarot & Oracle Deck comes with 78 tarot and 22 oracle cards. Each of the 100 cards is created by a different artist and the name of each artist is very discreetly printed on the bottom of each card.
Every card is associated with an element of the cosmos. The oracle cards are associated with the 9 modern planets (including Earth and Pluto), the Sun, Moon and 11 other cosmic phenomenon such as black hole, comet and binary system.
In the tarot deck, the major arcana encompasses the entire zodiac and 10 additional constellations. Each minor arcana represents 1 or 2 constellations. Altogether, all 88 of the modern constellations are represented.
Regarding the pairings of the constellations to the cards, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the zodiacal correspondences differ from traditional associations. For example, Cancer is associated with The Lovers instead of Chariot.
Another interesting aspect of the constellations/cards pairing is that the interpretations are much more heavily focused on the constellations than the traditional tarot card meanings. While some of them fit quite well, others seem to deviate quite dramatically from the common interpretation. Furthermore, there are some cards that I actively disagree with the pairing. For example, the 9 of Pentacles is assigned to the constellation of Pavo, which is about vigilance. I think the 9 of Wands would have been a far better choice.
These unconventional interpretation makes even the tarot portion of this set feel like an oracle deck and, for this reason, I wouldn’t recommend this deck to beginners. Personally, however, I find these alternative meanings very refreshing. After a while, I found that these new correspondences provides uniquely rich interpretations. I get very interesting readings with these cards.
Thus far, my favourite is the Death card’s association to the constellation Caelum. Caelum means chisel – the tool for sculptures. The connection is the idea that, just as a chisel forms by removing pieces, death is the means by which life is refined. I find this combination compliments the traditional meaning of Death very well.
My previous disclaimer that this deck might not be suitable for beginners is about the most negative thing I can say for this deck. I fell in love with it from the first moment I saw it online. After using it for a month, I love it even more. In fact, I love it so much that to call my feelings an obsession is simply an understatement!
This is one of the most gorgeous tarot decks I have ever seen. The cards have gold gilding (I love decks with gilded edges!) and every card has gold emboss on it. With the oracle cards, there are gold linings around certain objects. With the tarot cards, the constellations are imposed upon the images in gold.
While I generally don’t like compilation decks because I don’t like the lack of coherence to their appearances, this deck doesn’t have that disconnected feel. Even though the artistic style varies greatly within the deck, the gold emboss on each card does a magical job in giving the cards a cohesive look.
Aside from the cards themselves, the box it is delivered in is just as gorgeous. And speaking of the gorgeous box, the best part about this purchase is that I bought the discounted version because of ‘slight misprints’ in the gold foiling on the box. While the misprints are different from box to box, the website showed their most prominent examples. I didn’t think the misprints looked that bad so I took my chances…
And I couldn’t be more thrilled with my deck! The misprint is so small that it took me almost ten minutes to find it. To this day, I’m still not entirely sure if the part I’m looking at is the misprint they are referring to. Truthfully, if no one told me there was a misprint, I wouldn’t have suspected a thing was wrong.
However, if I must find some flaw in this deck (in an attempt to be objective), I will say that the cards feel a bit thin. As with many decks, when you first use it, some of the cards are quite sticky. The first time I leafed through the deck, I thought I was missing some cards because they were stuck together and the stuck together cards felt like one single card. But really, this is just nit-picking – although thin, the cards really don’t feel flimsy to me. (And I’m happy to say that the stickiness was gone the moment I pulled the cards apart.)
At the time of writing this review, the only reason why I don’t strongly recommend this deck is because they are sold out! (Yes, even the misprints are now all gone.) However, they have a second edition coming and you should definitely pre-order!