Ugh, I am so glad I bought this. It’s the tarot deck of everything I want in my life. I got it on Tuesday, and have been kind of, sort of obsessing over it. I will try to try to hold back my enthusiasm, but we all know how that works.
The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn is a sci-fi/fantasy deck, created by Egypt Urnash (Margaret Trouth) and features a total of 99 cards. The one I purchased from Amazon comes with a sturdy box, with a handy guide on the inside of cover, and a companion book that I’m not quite in love with. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed with how much work went into this. There’s a lot of personal imagery (which you can read about here), there’s story like descriptions which fuels the interpretive part of tarot reading as opposed to just “Card X means this” and did I mention the creator actually knows their stuff? I kind of want to write a letter to them expressing how much I love that. I’m a details girl, all day, every day.
The Cards Artwork and Quality
I seem to lose my cards every time I move, and have never felt super attached to them to begin with (A weird super beginner Tarot when I was 15, Vampire Tarot Deck when I was about 16-17, The Steampunk Tarot when I was 20-21, and a Halloween Tarot I have but it’s specifically for Halloween). I was hunting for an everyday deck that would actually resonate with me. I was torn between The Deviant Moon, with its sharp and dark imagery, but was too far into deviant for me to use every day, versus Joie de Vivre or Shadowscapes. Both of the latter appealed to my Wonderland nature, but the watercolor and pastels didn’t do anything for me. They’re beautiful, of course, but it’s not me. I can’t remember how I found Silicon Dawn because it wasn’t in the initial search results, but when I saw it, I knew. Bold colors, sharp lines but not distinctly outlined in black, and each card obviously worked on with care and purpose. Bonus, that is lost in pictures, but I will try to capture it here, is some cards have been finished with…forgive me, if this is absolutely the wrong thing, glossed embossing. So my detail loving heart promptly fluttered wildly and I purchased the damn thing.
(How cool is that?! Q of the Void, top is looking at it face on, bottom photo requires titling the card to see the image on it. Other cards have this feature for details [Fools have wings], the Void Court are like the one pictured here)
**There are also some cards in here that are not necessarily safe work. When I say some, for my own personal level I would remove 1 card for people I’m not familiar with, and someone with a really conservative outlook for display of breasts would remove..about 35 cards for booby business. None of it is lewd or overtly sexual (or geez not even remotely sexual) but if that’s a problem for you (i know it’s a problem for some parents), you know now.
I have no problem with the quality of cards, though I read some reviews that did. They aren’t cheap, but they are thinner than typical tarot cards. I’ve been shuffling them for a while, and as long as you’re not trying to be rough with them they will last. They’re also smaller, but I find that makes them easier to work with.
Speaking of working with…
While this deck features a few extras, it can be used with just the original 78. The deck is designed to be flexible. I prefer the 99, way more fun that way. I borrowed this from a review on Amazon because they summed up the changes concisely.
“According to the author, the Major Arcana draw inspiration from the Golden Dawn, which influenced the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. These are labeled at the top and numbered at the bottom in Arabic numerals instead of roman, but the Fools are devoid of numbers. There are many intriguing cards in the Major Arcana and a few divert a bit from the usual labeling:The Minor Arcana take ideas from Crowley, who designed the Thoth Tarot. These are composed of five suits: wands, swords, cups, pentacles and Void. Each suit is associated to the colors green, yellow, blue, red and black, respectively, and follow this correspondence: Swords-Air, Cups-Water, Wands-Earth, and Pentacles-Fire. This swaps wands and pentacles traditional correspondence.”
If you note my own staccato years of experience, I’m familiar with the basics but I never learned the card associations deeply enough for it to be a problem now. (One or two people didn’t like this part.) That being said, it’s not a deck for absolute beginners. The change in correspondence is carried throughout both suits, not just their elemental associations. The author even recommends that you get a book about the the “parents” of this deck, to help get more information about the cards. Though I think the descriptions from the companion book are enough if you’ve read a book about tarot before.
The Fool is broken down into a total of 4 cards, loosely focusing on the idea that there are multiple phases to beginning a journey. I love this change. From the companion book about the (VOID) “The Void court is the absence, the gaps in your personality, the people you’ve lost. It’s the emptiness. It’s what you aren’t.” With that and how the a few of the other descriptions I think reversals are already built into the deck. (This too was briefly mentioned in someone’s review). The 99’s for the Minor Arcana are kind of a reminder to not take things too seriously, but also to provide a different perspective woven with their suit’s general association. The Extras fit more with the Major Arcana, but they stand on their own since their unique to this deck. I feel they focus on what is normally left out, a kind of fluidity in life that sometimes gets passed over.
The Companion Book-
Pros: It’s written by someone who knows what they’re talking about but doesn’t take themselves too seriously. By itself, it’s an interesting read (like you’ll actually enjoy it). If you like the tone I have with my blog post, then you’ll love her book. It’s casual, snarky/sassy/sarcastic(?) and doesn’t want you to just look up the definition. She’s all about what Tarot is used for, inferring the meaning for yourself.
Cons (Sort of): There’s a section for shorter meanings for different languages (Italian, Spanish, French and Dutch). I wish there was a shorter one in English, but luckily I sort of know French (Je suis une dauphine! I’m sorry I got excited…), so I can use it to brush up. (DuoLingo is also a fantastic language learning app that could help you learn enough to read any of the languages offered in the book, btw). There’s no mention of spreads, but then again there’s tons of sites and books that offer that. I wish there was a bigger book that goes into how much Urnash knows about the Tarot because I would love to read that. Here and there it shows, but ugh, I need more!
I love this deck. I feel a that strong attachment that has been absent from previous buys. I’ll probably do a post about my feeling on Tarot Cards in general this weekend which might explain my love a little. For $20, it’s good, damn good.
Until next time,