Deck Name: Sabrina Tarot
Creator: Indica Twins
Publisher & Year: Self Published 2019
Yes, yes, YES, to all of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fans, there IS a fanart Sabrina tarot deck out there, and it’s just waiting for you. Before I dive into this review, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. So, if you want to watch the show and haven’t, I would recommend doing that first, just in case. Having said that, let’s get into it!
This deck does the show justice by capturing the creepy, sometimes scary aesthetic of Sabrina while still infusing the cards with cheekiness and magic. The colour scheme alone does the trick. Black borders holding in a parchment-toned back drop for the blood-red and pitch-black lines forming the haunting images. If it feels like Halloween every day in Greendale, then it feels like Halloween every time you bust out these cards. Spooky and fun, with a delightful chill running down your spine. The meanings line up nicely with the Rider-Waite tarot, so it’s great for beginners or experienced readers alike.
Card stock and packaging
First off, the cards are much larger than your average tarot deck at 4.25 inches by 6.75 inches. This is officially the largest set of tarot cards that I own. I got creative with how I shuffle the deck, so I am personally fine with it, but to each their own. I couldn’t decide if the card stock felt slightly thinner than average card stock, or if it just feels thinner because the cards are larger and therefore have more surface area to bend. Some prefer more bendy card stock, and others prefer less bendy cardstock. Reader’s choice. You have the option to purchase the deck with or without a custom wooden box. I have many tarot bags, so I opted for the boxless option. This option also comes with a zine-like guidebook that has the same artistic theme as the cards. The colouring of the pages look like old parchment and a few of them have ominous blood running down the pages, giving the book a delightfully chilling feel. One tarot spread is provided, and each card is listed with a couple of sentences to explain the meaning of each card. There’s a wee typo in the book, where the Emperor is listed before the Empress, so for any newbie readers out there, this may have caused confusion. Getting these books and decks just right is a challenge and a half, so while some feel very patient with little typos or errors, others would rather know about them before making the purchase.
Artwork and Imagery
Again, this is a fan art Sabrina deck, so the images are the artists interpretations of each character in the show. And the creators must be fans indeed, because their artwork captures the essence of the show throughout the entire deck. Not only that, but their choices of who to put on each card spoke to how well the artists know this show. Zelda Spellman on the Strength card? A thousand times yes. Class and poise and fierce inner strength and protectiveness, with a side of compassion that we see served up in a few episodes. Sabrina as the Magician? Someone with all the tools they need to make their magic happen, who takes action to manifest what they want. A battered Hilda coming back from the grave to represent the hope and healing of the Star? There were a couple of characters who showed up on cards that surprised me, but I respect the artistic vision and decisions of the artists. Some may disagree with the interpretations, others will love them, and that’s just part of the fun of decks based on shows/books/artists we love.
As I said in the intro, the cards follow a simple and effective colour scheme. Each card has a thick, black border that contains a parchment backdrop for the images. The only other colours present are pitch-black and blood-red, providing a thrilling and spooky style of art that Sabrina herself would love. Some of the images are cheeky, some are downright scary, some make you think, but all of them make you feel like you’re in Greendale.
As a huge fan of both tarot and the show, choosing just three favourite cards was a fun challenge! But really, that’s a good indicator that the deck is great, if almost every card is equally loved and appreciated.
- Temperance: the artist chose Prudence to embody the card of Temperance, a choice that may surprise some and thrill others. If we examine the character archetype of Prudence, we watch her go from a few different extremes. She goes from a fierce protector of women who will hunt down misogynistic and abusive men, to a bully who needs to be taught a lesson, to blindly following Father Blackwood’s orders, to a righteous vigilante determined to hunt him down and save her baby siblings from a super gross, incestuous fate. One could argue that she seems to find her place and to find some balance by the end of season 2. Balance, learning to take the middle ground (sometimes) and learning to respect other people’s opinions and perspectives, even if she doesn’t initially agree. She is never a push over, she’s fierce and strong, but she isn’t without compromise or reason. Despite fiercely wanting to be Queen of the Feast, she takes the middle ground and listens to Sabrina. She could have ignored her, cursed her again, banished her from her space, but she listened. She still held her ground and made her points known, too, demonstrating the strength that isn’t always mentioned in this card. She initially betrays Zelda to Blackwood, but after learning more of Blackwood’s future plans, she decided to help Zelda and the rest of the coven. She’s a force, but she isn’t without reason and her goals are achieved through balance and moderation. Our minds may not have immediately gone to Prudence to represent Temperance, but this creativity behind choosing the characters is engaging and interesting, it adds an extra layer of meaning and an edge to this card.
- Strength: As I mentioned already, Zelda Spellman as Strength gets top marks. Strength is all about inner strength. Our heart muscles and how they quietly bulge and flex. Zelda is class and poise and there is never a hair out of place, even when she’s burying her sister. Despite her occasional snobbery and chilling demeanour, Zelda is patient, compassionate, just, and fierce. We see her compassion when the Red Death comes to claim first born sons in Greendale. Instead of hiding with the rest of the coven, Zelda decides to do what is right, and protect the lives of the mortals, despite what others may think of her or the peril she puts herself in. And after she comes out of that disgusting Stepford wife spell that Blackwood had her under, she goes back to him and PRETENDS to still be under his spell in order to gather intel. Ugh, the thought of having to play nice with someone who pulled a stunt like that is enough to make anyone run and gag, but Zelda has the patience and fortitude to play the long game and make the sacrifices that she needs to in order to be triumphant. We know that she has an inner beast, what with her familiarity with sex demons and casual mention of “long pork”, but she keeps it in line when necessary. All of these character traits and more make Zelda an excellent choice for the card of Strength.
- The Wheel of Fortune: The decision to include the malum malus in this card thrills me to no end. What does this card tell us? Generally, that life is full of ups and downs, and that while there isn’t much that we can do about it, we always have free will to make choices about how we behave and react. Fate has dished something up, and it’s up to us to decide what to do. Fate + free will. This is embodied by the malum malus story arch in the show. The malum malus shows Sabrina a future, and she decides if she’s ready for it or not. It comes about, but not entirely without Sabrina having a say in how and when. Interestingly enough, if she had chosen NOT to believe the vision from the malum malus, would that future have even happened? Hard to say when one is discussing the hands of fate, but our actions and intentions should not be ignored or undervalued.
This fanart deck is full of haunting imagery, thoughtful and wicked character choices for the cards, and spooky colours. If a larger deck doesn’t bother you and if you’re a fan of the show, this deck just might cast a spell on you. As previously mentioned, the deck is great for beginner or experienced readers a like. You could get the guidebook, but any guidebook based on the Rider-Waite symbolism will be just fine. Get ready to hang out with Ambrose, Prudence, Sabrina, the Aunts, and all of your other favourite characters from the show. They’re ready to make some magic with you!