This review is based on a prototype of Boadicea’s Tarot of Earthly Delights deck. The deck is currently a Kickstarter project you can back by clicking here.
I’m not usually a fan of collage-style art in tarot decks. Often they feel and look tacky, amateur, and a bit jarring, even those published by professional publishing houses. That isn’t the case at all with this deck. Paula Millet’s artistry is professional, organic, and masterful. This gives it a look and feel that is anything but amateur. I had a hard time even telling they were collages as they seem like original artwork unto themselves, which speaks to the artistic ability and photo editing ability of Paula Millet. Each image is like a portal into an otherwordly landscape, seamlessly bordering between realism and surrealism. The cards are on the larger size but not unusably enormous like some decks, coming in at 3.5 x 5.5 inches. The cardstock has a lovely gloss finish, and the cards are sturdy without being overly stiff, making them ideal for shuffling.
Boadicea’s Tarot of Earthly Delights is one of the most unique tarot decks I’ve seen in a long time. While the deck follows the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith format, the four suits of the Minor Arcana have been renamed: Fungi (Pentacles), Aether (Swords), Combustion (Wands), and Tentacles (Cups). The overall theme and namesake is a fantastic feminist narrative based on the history of Boadicea, which isn’t just a story of empowerment, but of sovereignty, revenge, and justice. The companion book, co-written by Caroline Kenner, is a generous 6 x 9 inch paperback with full-page illustrations of each card. The book itself is incredibly insightful and, once again, unique. Unique is a word that keeps coming to mind with this deck over and over. While the card meanings are comparable with the traditional RWS decks, making the deck readable without the guidebook for anyone familiar with tarot, each card’s vision is creative, well imaginative, and has great perspectives. Despite the seriousness of the overall theme of the deck, I was delightfully surprised at the unexpected humor sprinkled throughout the cards’ descriptions and meanings. As for divination, my playtime with the deck showed that it’s accurate and has a very original “voice” and personality, which is always something I’m looking for in a tarot deck in terms of usability. I can easily foresee this being a favorite go-to deck for many divinatory card-slingers. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this deck!