Deck Name: The ArCANIS Tarot
Creator(s): David DePasquale
Publisher & Year: Self-Published, 2017
Back in October of 2016, I remember coming across an illustration of the Devil card posted by David DePasquale on Instagram. When I saw that it was tagged “tarot” my heart skipped a beat! I’m a big fan of David’s work and when I got word he was creating a tarot deck, I was elated!
The ArCANIS Tarot is a fun, simple styled deck that features animals we all know and love. The deck ranges from cats to snakes to birds, and it even features a full suit of dragons. With a background in graphic and character design, David really brings this deck to life with these sweet creatures with a playful energy. It’s a deck that is sure to catch anyone’s attention!
A little about the artist himself, David DePasquale is based in Los Angeles. He has done work for Disney TV, Nickelodeon and is currently employed at Dreamworks focusing on a secret project coming to Netflix soon! How exciting!
The cards are fairly large and measure roughly at 3.5” x 5.5”.
There are so many great cards within this deck, my pile of favorites grew rather quickly! Two cards really stuck out to me that I thought I would share in this here review, the Devil and the Hanged Man.
I’m a huge fan of bats and seeing a bat used for the Hanged Man was brilliant, I love it! Bats spend most of their lives upside down, what a view! Whenever I think of the Hanged Man in general, it always urges me to look for a fresh perspective like turning upside down to see if you can see things from a new angle. It’s a moment of release and pause, not quite a full rest.
I love a good Devil in any deck, the Devil in the ArCANIS Tarot had me smile. Normally most decks present the Devil as a ghastly beast who you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley, but in this deck they almost look innocent and dangerously calm. They remind me of the type of creature you see in cartoons where the hero has to sneak past a sleeping dragon in fear of waking them up and being noticed. What happens when the Devil opens their eyes? I don’t want to find out!
CARD STOCK + SHUFFLING
This is a fairly large deck, but that gives the illustrations room to breathe. The cards are still easy to shuffle and handle. The card stock is 350gsm and seem to have a semi-gloss like sheen, the cards themselves are flexible and easy to shuffle. I’m quite happy with how it handles and I can tell already that this deck will hold up to a lot of use.
The imagery of the ArCANIS Tarot is bold, minimalistic and simply adorable! My first reaction to this deck was that it reminded me a lot of the cartoon, Samurai Jack, with this sharp edges and lively design. Each card features an animal and most cards are follow close to RWS if you are more familiar with that system. Some of the minor arcana cards are done in a more pip like fashion but still leaves plenty of room for interpretation! I personally don’t mind this one bit, it brings a pinch of Marseille to the table in that sense.
The artwork itself was done in ink that reminds me a lot of watercolor. They were all beautifully done! All of the cards stick to a limited color palette except for the World card, it contains all the colors and it’s one of my favorite cards in this deck. The card backs are all black with silver foil details, the silver foil can also be seen on the fronts of each card as the borders.
When it comes to the suits, I noticed that each suit carries a specific animal or creature kingdom, this helps to identify suits fairly easy in a reading! They are: Wands (Dragons), Cups (Cats), Swords (Birds), and Coins (Dogs). It was very clever and well created! The Major Arcana is a big mix of animals and creatures from monkeys to otters.
GUIDEBOOK + PACKAGING
While I did not receive the guidebook with this deck, I can talk about the box! The box is a standard tuck box, I heard that it features a limited edition design. I love the minimal and sleek look to it, I’m a huge fan of clean lines and negative space in designs. It seems fairly sturdy so I’m confident that it will hold up pretty well!
The deck does not come with a little white book in the box but you can purchase the actual guidebook with the deck or separately. I’ve heard only great and fantastic things about the book and its design!
The ArCANIS Tarot is an absolute delight to own and work with! It was mindfully created and beautifully presented. I would recommend this deck full heartedly to animal lovers and those who are a fan of clear, eye-catching art. It’s purely a unique deck that deserves to be in the spotlight!
Purchase this deck here – https://arcanis.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
David’s website – www.davidadepasquale.com
Also, check out David’s Instagram – www.instagram.com/davidadepasquale