I’ll be straightforward: this is a brilliant, well executed deck. It is fantastic for pragmatic questions, topics on mundane affairs, and concerns dealing with the tangible, material world – yet it is far from being a dry, uninspiring deck. In fact the only thing dry when working with this deck is the martini you’ll be savouring as you shuffle the cards from the immaculately clean kitchen table :)
Let’s start with the package: a well made, sturdy box that serves as a filing cabinet, with tabs for the Major Arcana, Minor Arcana, and the instruction book: a perfect start towards domestic orderliness.
The deck is a collage of retro images from 1950s Americana, complete with vintage cars, domestic bliss (or nightmare!), scotch on the rocks, a plethora of martinis, the start of suburbia and kitchen appliances, and let’s not forget the politically incorrect (that Justice card, in particular…) Strictly speaking, I am not a fan of retro vintage art, however I love the creators’ clever use of words, colour and decor that bring the message across with ease.
The design is based on the Rider Waite tradition, and, for the most part, keeps well in line with the Rider Waite interpretations.
The suit of Wands is all about cleaning – now I don’t know about you folks out there, but this is a brilliant choice. As a fire sign myself, and knowing quite a few other fire signs too, I can attest to our love-hate relationship with keeping the house clean. Most of us end up hiring a cleaner at one point or another, since there’s just too much going on out there in life, than sweeping floors and wiping windows. Sure, I want a spotless home to come to, but in reality I am faced more with a 10 of Wands scenario at the end of the month, rather than that admirable 6 of Wands above.
The suit of Cups can be summed up in one word: Martini! It’s great to have a deck where there is no room for ambiguity or grey messages in a card. In the Four of Cups above, the woman is leaning away from what she is being offered: a full glass is being handed to her, while 3 empty ones sit in front of her. This is a great visual interpretation of not taking an opportunity when offered, which is something most people do at one time or another. Unless, of course, she’s an alcoholic – and then of course it is a wise choice ;)
The suit of Pentacles features mostly plates or dishes – in the Nine of Pentacles above we have, what must have seemed at the time, the ultimate in kitchen fulfilment: the invention of the dishwasher.
The Major Arcana is equally ingenious and quirky – in the Temperance card we find “a delicious and healthy combination of opposite sides of the spectrum – a heaping helping of compromise or cooperation in marriage, relationships, or partnerships. Spoon this mixture into every aspect of your life“, the little book sagely guides.
In Judgment we find a literal interpretation – still a common experience in many women all these decades later, the constant inner and outer judgements of how we look, how much we weigh, etc etc. It gives an immediate visual visceral punch: no matter the circumstance, the message is simple: you are not good enough.
Throughout the deck we find a liberal encouragement of cake making, martini drinking merriment. Heck, the devilish little package even comes with a few inviting recipes, such as “Madame Marlena’s Mystical Martini”, to go with their Martini spread, because, as the little book explains, having a dry martini will “enhance the effect of a reading.” Well if you say so, who am I to argue? I also need to point out the little book is excellent and the messages contained fit the cards well. This is no generic little white book, and the creators have done a brilliant job of succinctly getting the message across without getting too fluffy about it.
My favourite card? It would have to be the Tower: just check out how happy our lovely protagonist is! For she’s breaking from convention, she’s breaking from the known and comfortable and secure, she’s breaking the mold. What a brilliant Tower moment – for anyone who is afraid of it, for anyone who fears that limitless unknown, this is the card to see every time you wake up and face another day in the mundane mediocrity of conformity: break free, be yourself, and be joyous.
To conclude, this deck, my dear reader, is certainly worth your moolah: at worst, you’ll enjoy a few martinis and give the bathroom a good scrubbing. At best? You’ll get a deep, sensuous satisfaction of the simple life: a home in order, a garden well maintained, a wardrobe meticulously put together, a pantry well stocked, a decent martini at the end of a well lived day – even if it may all very well just be a vicarious experience and not in the least related to the actual state of your ramshackle, chaotic and messy life.
Many domestic blessings to all,