Deviant Moon Tarot
James Ricklef's Tarot -- Deck Review
This review and all contents of this website (c) James Ricklef.
Deviant Moon Tarot images (c) US Games, Inc.
A bit Dali, a bit Picasso, and a bit Cirque du Soleil, Valenza’s fascinatingly unique
creation, the
Deviant Moon Tarot, has an idiosyncratic beauty that is mesmerizing
and compelling.  There is an almost hyper-realism in the clean lines and the crisp
colors and textures in the artwork, which presents a vivid contrast with the dreamlike
surrealism of the scenes in these cards and the strange figures who cavort within
them.  Indeed, the cards are populated with bizarre and grotesque characters that
seem to have been inspired by a medieval bestiary or imagined by a child fearing
what might be lurking under the bed at night.  

Valenza’s use of traditional Tarot symbolism on these cards is spare, but he has
compensated for this by lavishing upon them whatever his imagination could dredge
up from the depths of his subconscious.  In this way, he has created a deck with a
very creative take on the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery.  

Another noteworthy feature of this deck is the fact that even cards that are typically
considered to be “positive” are a bit gruesome.  For example, the Empress has the
multiple tits of a nursing bitch and the reptilian tail of a dragon, and on the Two of
Cups we see the personifications of Death and Night toasting each other.
Deviant Moon Tarot premier cover
Deviant Moon Empress and 2 of Cups
So I would caution that perhaps this deck might not be appropriate for general public
readings (except at Halloween) unless you feel your querents are ready for such
haunting imagery.  On the other hand, this seems a great deck for delving into the
dread mysteries of the subconscious mind or the darker aspects of life.  Definitely,
though, it will spark your creativity and stimulate your imagination as it leads you into
a Wonderland that even Alice never dreamed of.

Will you like this deck?  That depends greatly on your taste – much more so than is
usually the case for a new Tarot deck.  Certainly if you are fascinated by the bizarre
and macabre in life, you'll love this deck.  But if you're easily spooked or put off by the
strangeness of its images, this may not be the deck for you.  As for me, I fall
somewhere in between those extremes, and I find this deck to be strangely
compelling, although more as a tool for meditative journeys or creative endeavors.  
My suggestion, then, is to consider the example images here (or on Valenza’s
Moon website) to see how they might appeal to you.

Miscellaneous technical remarks about this deck:

*  The back images are reversible
*  The card stock is pleasantly stiff and slick, making for smooth shuffling and
fanning.  Also, I find the somewhat long and narrow shape (the cards measure 2.75" x
5.125") easy to handle.
*  The naming conventions are traditional
*  Justice is 8 and Strength is 11
*  The LWB is not as useless as most, but still, it's little, and thus leaves us wanting
more, especially considering how distinctive and unique the artwork is.
*  Also included is a foldout spread sheet with a nice ten-card spread.  Unfortunately,
the card spaces are a bit too small for the physical cards, making the sheet awkward
to use.
Published by US Games, 2008
ISBN-13:  978-1-57281-611-4
ISBN-10:  1-57281-611-2
Deviant Moon Collection