The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot is simply… fantastic! How can I describe this deck?!! It is so unconventional and yet so direct when reading with it. There is no hiding what is going on when using this deck, another sumptuous creation from Baba Studio. As the title hints, the pictures present a menagerie of animals, taken from original works of art by 19th century artist J J Grandville. The drawings were political caricatures, full of sharp wit and ridicule aimed at the ruling class, and thus in a reading the facial expressions and postures of the many who make up the menagerie are eerily human like.
This means one can not only relate to the scenes, but understand them too. Personally, I think this deck will continue to grow on me over the coming years. I didn’t instantly bond with it because the drawing style does not resonate with me, yet I simultaneously can tell it is one of those “wise” tarot decks. I bought mine in a pack that came with an excellent companion book which covers full card descriptions, stories for each card as well as spreads and sample readings to help you understand the deck. I should note that the cards are very, very thin, and do not appear to be laminated so I advise extreme care in handling these cards (card size 7.8cm by 12.9cm). Unfortunately, Baba Studio no longer have any copies for sale, and the few remaining out there are already reaching some astronomical prices online. Mind you, I’m sure if enough people write to Karen and Alex over at Baba Studio, they may just think about doing a deluxe version, you never know! In the meanwhile, I include a good selection of cards below to give you a taste of what to expect from this deck.