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The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Guidebook (Official Keepsake Box Set) Hardcover – November 8, 2016
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The cards are matte, vibrant, and made of a sturdy cardstock material. The illustrations themselves are amazing and the artist definitely knows how to use colors in a minimalistic yet rich, dynamic way. Also, the deck & guide containers are sturdy too.
I've added pictures of all of my favorite cards from the deck (they look better in real life, trust me).
This boxed set is an incredible bargain. It is beautifully made. Within the outer protective cardboard sleeve is the large, sturdy box, which has a flap with a magnetic closure. I love that; it's so easy to open and close. A silk ribbon lifts the guidebook out, to reveal underneath the actual deck, in its own box. That box too has a silk ribbon to help you easily lift out the cards.
The guidebook is all hand lettered, and offers some excellent interpretations. They really get to the heart of the matter. Some Tarot books give so many possible meanings to the cards that they almost have no meaning at all. That has its place, because we all know that meanings shift and change depending on the individual, the other cards in the layout, etc. But it can also be refreshing to have a simple, straightforward, no-holds-barred "this is what's happening" interpretation.
This is an honest, tough-love deck, in my opinion. I don't think it's a deck I will go to when I (or a client) am feeling emotionally very fragile. It incorporates all the raw, primal, honest energy of nature-- not fluffy, airbrushed nature but blood-and-bones nature-- and you really need to be ready to hear and accept the raw truth when you use this deck. Some days I feel very drawn to use it; other days I feel I can't handle it. It's that kind of deck. But that's part of what makes it such a great deck. Reading for oneself is always hard, because we have a tendency to want to see in the cards the outcome or the meaning we desire, and so it's difficult to be objective. With this deck, you really have no choice. It's going to get right to the heart of the matter. If you're ready to face the deepest truths, this is your deck.
For that reason it's a great deck for shadow work, for working with our innermost fears and secrets. In this sense the deck can be very healing, used with journaling, meditation, etc.
The artwork is stunning and absolutely unique. Some people have likened the pip cards to the Marseille deck. I can see that, and yet they aren't really in the stylized, almost geometric patterns of the Marseille. If you study the card, there really IS a picture there, though the absence of any human figure or even an animal figure makes it more difficult to perceive. The Major Arcana are especially beautiful and evocative.
One of the most unique Tarot decks that I've seen or own.
This deck is so blunt it's like getting hit by a building. It will go straight to the heart of the matter, whether you want to hear the truth or not, and it will not shy away from telling you off for asking too many questions (usually, the 7 of Swords is what comes up when I'm being facetious like that, they're delightfully snarky). The vague descriptions in the guidebook allow you to figure out what every card means for that particular reading, instead of forcing the reading to the rather narrow implications of the cards. They're incredibly flexible in how you can interpret them, which gives them a bit of an edge in my opinion. Obviously this means they're not really meant for people who need that constant assurance that yes, they memorized the card correctly.
The Wild Unknown is more for people who can think in the abstract and look at the images in different ways, using the context of the reading to pick out the minute details of each image. Back to the 7 of Swords, when upright there are 6 swords floating above a fox curled up as if sleeping, but with one eye open and rather obviously hiding the 7th sword in the image. This can mean something's hidden from you that you need to find or seek out or whatever in order to do the thing or solve your problem. OR it can mean that someone or something is an active threat against you, keeping that watchful eye open and waiting for the right moment to hurt you. OR it can mean YOU'RE the fox, concealing your intentions from others for reasons (good or bad or neutral, I don't know the context of your reading), and this may be a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know, I don't know the context of the reading. OR, if you're like me and ask far too many questions when the cards are being chatty, it simply means "You're being annoying, we're not going to give you any more answers, at least on this subject, go do something else". OR it can mean something else ENTIRELY because I do not know the context of the reading this card showed up in.
And that's just a few possible UPRIGHT meanings of ONE card. The WHOLE DECK is like this. You have to be supremely careful how you read the cards to make sure you're getting it right. If they like you, they'll make the meanings more obvious. If they don't, best of luck to you, friend.
On the plus side, I can honestly say I've had better conversations with this deck than with some people.