UDP&R: Tarot Of Shadows

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Tarot of Shadows is a Russian indie deck available in a standard edition and a special edition. The deck is full of imagery from mythology, folklore, traditional witchcraft, demonology, and grimoire occultism. This deck was once only printed in Russian but now has an English version being sold. The deck is divided into Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, with the only noticeable difference being that the Major Arcana has Roman Numerals while the Minor Arcana has the more common Arabic Numerals. The four suits are almost impossible to discern the difference between them, having no reference to a suit.

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This deck steers far from traditional tarot, but is a very well conceptualized deck with a lot of thought put into it. It comes in a nice flip top box with a magnetic latch and a hardcover book to help you navigate this creative and intelligent vision, which alone has a lot of really interesting information on the topics displayed on the cards. In the cards you’ll encounter demons, gods, mythological creatures and spirits, magick rituals (such as the black mass, witches sabbath, exorcism, necromancy), deadly sins and vices, astrological concepts, magickal tools, herbs, and more.

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One of the things I love about this deck is the aesthetic choice. There’s a simplicity to it and it’s not a bunch of black cards with red and brown art cluttered all over it, as you usually find with topics involving darker magick. The white background and silver sheen borders give it a very interesting feel and the art of each card evokes the feeling of older fantasy illustrations in books. While this deck is obviously not going to appeal to everyone, those who are drawn to it will love it. The book recommends that you keep the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana separated and provides three unique spreads: personality characteristics, shadows in the mirror, and the pentagram. Ideal uses of this deck would be exploring shadow issues, detecting and discerning malefica, or just those who feel drawn to work with darker forces in their craft.

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