Deck Name: Pictarot
Creator(s): Peter Thaler and Lars Denicke
Publisher & Year: Pictoplasma, 2010
Quirky decks are my gig and the Pictarot is no exception! I’ve been a massive fan of Pictopasma publishing for many years and still flip through their art books from time to time when I need inspiration. The Pictarot is not your usual tarot deck, it’s sort of a mix between tarot and playing cards. The Major Arcana was inspired from Thoth, pretty neat! You can use the deck as a game or use them for cartomancy, it’s up to you. I love decks that color outside the lines when it comes to tarot systems!
The Pictarot is a collaborative deck that features several artists including Tim Biskup, Friends with You, and Genevieve Gauckler to name a few. The major arcana is fully illustrated, while the minors remain a standard deck of playing cards that can be separated from the rest of the deck if you like.
The cards measure average size at: 2.75” x 4.75”
One card that I adore to pieces is the Lovers. This was illustrated by Ian Stevenson and I love this unhuggable-hug depicted in this card, it brings me pure joy! You have one character who seems extra loveable and the other is so, so sad. It’s such a sweet illustration and I get a little bit of “overstepping one’s boundaries” a bit in this card. The Lovers in general is all about choice in the matter, but you can clearly get an idea that one figure in the card is overstepping that choice in the matter, haha!
Another card that begs my attention is Fortune (Wheel of Fortune) and was illustrated by Alexander Nathan Soto, I just love his style! If you look closely, you can see two faces on this card – one upset face and one upside down smile. This really reflects the whole “you win some, you lose some” attitude that the Wheel of Fortune brings. You just never know if you’re on top or on bottom, it’s the luck of the draw and the spin of the wheel!
Lastly, I just had to include The Universe card. Oh, how I love this card and color palette. Better known as the World in most RWS decks, this carries the same weight. The Universe card was illustrated by Parquerama – it’s about expansion and completion all in one. Nothing is ever finished, it’s just finished for now and there to build upon later on when ready. I always think of this card as a book series…. you complete one book in a series and end it there, or you can continue the series to add more depth, it’s up to you.
CARD STOCK + SHUFFLING
While this deck contains playing cards, you can expect playing card quality cardstock. It isn’t a linen finish like some playing cards have, but it’s still nice nonetheless! The deck shuffles really well and feels great in my hands.
One gripe I have about this deck is the imagery. I so wish the deck was fully illustrated like the major arcana is. With Pictoplasma publishing, they work with so many amazing artists, it would have been awesome to see every card feature a different illustrator. However, the cards themselves are done very well and I love the clean lines of this deck.
The art on the major arcana and courts really pop! The courts are very “cookie cutter” and all match in ways but the colors and props change. I do love the visual that this deck presents, it’s fun and unique!
I’m not too keen on the card backs, they remind me a lot of a standard playing card deck and I get why they did that – the majority of this deck are playing cards. I just would have like to see more creativity go into the back design a little bit more. I have several playing card decks that I use for cartomancy that have stunning card backs despite being just playing cards. Overall, I do enjoy the look of the cards.
GUIDEBOOK + PACKAGING
Let’s start with the box, it’s a typical tuck box and does seem to hold up as well as one would expect when it comes to tarot cards. The deck does come with a little white book that mainly features the major arcana keywords and interpretations, as well as how to play the games. It doesn’t interpret the minor arcana though, I typically would read the minor arcana as I would with marseille – number + suit.
If you are looking for a guidebook to go with this deck, I would highly recommend Tarot on Earth by Tom Benjamin! It’s a marseille book and I think it would pair up pretty well with the Pictarot deck even though it isn’t a marseille deck.
All in all, I actually really enjoy this deck! I tend to use just the major arcana in readings when working with it. I also like to use the cards for manifestation work, they are great and right up my alley when it comes to aesthetics!
Pictoplasma website – https://pictoplasma.com
Buy the deck – Amazon