Mid-2018 I was pining after Baba Studio’s Victorian Romantic Tarot, roaming through several tarot trade groups desperately seeking the first or second edition. In one of these groups, someone posted a link to a kickstarter campaign. I clicked on the link and found that the campaign was for a beautiful tarot deck by artist and photographer Liz Huston, The Dreamkeepers Tarot. The art for the deck is photo-montage combining, acrylics, oils, and watercolors. I don’t have experience with photo-montage tarot decks, but this one was something else. The colors and shadows had a dreamy and ethereal quality that I was instantly drawn to. After glimpsing this deck and deliberating the matter in my head for about a day, I opted to forgo searching for the Victorian Romantic and joined the campaign to get the deck published. Towards the end of November, after a successful campaign, the deck arrived in my hands.
It is a fully illustrated tarot deck, inspired by the Rider Waite-Smith system, with interesting and slightly different illustrations of the traditional cards. As I mentioned, the deck itself is a mixture of photo-montage and mixed media, see this mini video for a glimpse of the process. The technique for creating the deck allowed for a distinct nostalgic and affecting quality. The tone overall is muted, soft, with an emphasis on shadows. Also, the images within the images gives a depth to the illustrations that is stunning, allowing for a contemplative mode when reading the cards. The entire deck, 78 cards, took about ten years to create, which I feel is evinced in the thoughtful explorations played out in Huston’s interpretation of the classic Pamela Colman Smith art.
In the slideshow you will find some of my favorites cards, although truthfully I find the whole deck beautiful. Some of the standouts for me are the Queen of Wands, The Empress, The Hierophant, the three celestial cards The Star, The Moon, and The Sun. Also, the Page of Coins, the Knight of Coins, and the Four of Swords. I only have the borderless version of the deck, and I really appreciate the art having no borders. When reading the cards it is almost as if the images bleed into one another.
The card stock is supple, buttery, and more on the thin side, and it has a soft linen finish. It shuffles smooth. The linen finish reminds me of Uusi Design Studio decks. The backs feature an ornate black Victorian aesthetic design on a grey-ish background, it is also non-reversible. It came in a standard tuck box, with a small little white book that only has keywords for each of the cards, and a silk black tarot size bag with drawstrings.
Sampling a reading:
Who are you?
I am she that looks ahead and to the past, a message that spans generations, a connection that enriches life. I bestow gifts and reveal secrets. I open your heart while engaging your intellect. Come to me amenable to hear my voice.”
All in all, The Dreamkeepers Tarot is an art deck with a delicate touch of romanticism that makes using the deck a real treat. It is has the quality of transporting the reader into another realm of half-light, dreams, and the past. Making it the perfect companion for exploring dreamscapes, and for contemplation.
- To order the deck, visit Liz Huston’s website.
- Please excuse the quality of the images, my hand was shaking more than usual as I took the pictures. The images belie the real beauty of the cards.