Do you know how whenever a favorite product is reformulated, whether it is Coke or our best conditioner or whatever thing was recently changed for no good reason and it irritates you? I sincerely doubt you will feel that with this deck. The card stock is better, the colors much more saturated, the images crisper and cleaner, and more space is left for the enchanting art. Size does matter when it comes to real estate on a card for art versus border.
If you want to just read the specifics of the deck, go ahead and skip ahead, but I will share a few small details before I go on-
Me & the Deviant Moon, A Love Story
My own personal story with the Deviant Moon Tarot is a long and deep one. For over 15 years, I had one tarot deck, and I was very happy with it. It never occurred to me to get another tarot deck, for what was the need? But one day, broken hearted and nearly drowning in my own sorrow, I was compelled to pick up a new deck. It was not this one, but another beauty which I doubt you will ever see me use, for it served its' purpose in my life of helping me to heal and to use it again just doesn't feel right now. It is Legend: The Arthurian Tarot, and it will always remain dear to me, but is no longer a reading deck. But once I had two decks, and since the first was my soul mate and the second a heart-saver, I decided why not have as many beautiful decks as call to me (and I can afford), and seven years and thousands of decks later I have never regretted that decision.
Published in 2008, the Deviant Moon Tarot was one of my original ten decks, maybe even one of my first five decks, and the first one that I watched being created at Patrick Valenza's site, and while many more decks followed, this was the first deck that I had to have. The artwork called to me. I yearned to hold this deck in my hands, physically yearned, and the images danced through my foggy dreams at night. I was obsessed, and no other deck could fill the need I had. At much trouble and expense, I was gifted the deck by a man with a beautiful soul and smiling eyes, the day it was released, and I tore into the package like a six year old into their Christmas morning presents, no elegance or delicacy in my manner at all. And it was everything I thought it would be. No, it was even more. It even told me when I would reconnect to my now husband ("That long?" I had sighed and the Deviant Moon was silent because we must be respectful of the answers we are given, even when they are not the answers we want in a given moment.)
|Self Trimmed Deviant Moon Tarot|
On a practical level, publishers usually use borders because it is easier to cut the giant sheets of cards into a deck when there is a border to work with, and aesthetically, art often looks better framed. That is, after all, why we spend so much finding just the right mat and frame for our treasures. But for me, tarot is more than art, and most decks work better for me when they are borderless, and many colors, especially in a moody twilight deck like the Deviant Moon, are washed out by a white or conflicting border. Note in the image above, my Deviant Moon deck which I released of its' borders how much deeper the colors look, and the printings are the same.
But deck trimming is not for everyone, as it is a labor of love, resulting in sore thumbs and while I am perfectly happy to use my slightly irregular decks, if you can have better, why not? U.S. Games Systems deserves a huge round of applause for taking consumer feedback seriously and adjusting to provide their customers with something they want, as the new Borderless Edition shows a commitment to listening to what is being said. Sometimes we, as collectors and readers, forget that tarot is a super tiny niche in a very small market, and physical publishing in our ever more digital world leaves little margin for error, because unsold copies can lead to financial disaster for even large publishing houses, and even more so for the small independent publishers of tarot decks. I want to extend a large thank you to Stuart Kaplan and everyone in the company for responding to what we, as consumers, asked for in forums, blogs, social media, and emails.
|Deviant Moon Comparison- Wheel of Fortune|
2008 Original on left, Borderless Edition on right
(click to enbiggen)
There are 56 Minor Arcana, divided into the suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Aces, made up of elemental beings, mostly angels, with one notable exception, are titled with the same black strip and "Ace of ..." handily written across the bottom. The Court Cards, which are the Page, Knight, Queen, and King, are given the same treatment, while the fully illustrated pip cards are simply graced with their Roman numeral at the top of the card. There are the proper number of each suits' symbol, 10 Swords, for example, 3 Cups, so each card is readily identified, although the pictures are truly worth a thousand words. This is a deck firmly rooted in Waite Smith tradition, with its' proverbial tongue sticking out and its' own unique voice which expands the meanings. A small booklet of meanings is enclosed, and the images are quite easy (for me) to read, but this deck will also benefit from a companion book when it becomes available.
|Deviant Moon Tarot Comparison- Four of Wands|
2008 Original on left, Borderless Edition on right
(click to en-biggen for detail)
Do you need the Borderless Edition if you have one of the original copies? I would say yes, as I expect the success of the Borderless Edition will render the original printing an artifact, and besides the pronounced difference having a border versus not makes, this printing is, in all ways, better. The lines are sharp and crisp, which I never realized was an issue until I had something even better to look at, and the colors are deep, dark, and fully saturated. As mentioned before, the colors become somewhat washed out next to their white borders, and fairly sing against a reading cloth without them.
|Original- Left, Borderless Edition- Right|
The lovely bag in my images to the right is by Tarot by Sulis, and the quality is unmatched. The random scribblings notebook is all original, by me, probably rubbish, and the Borderless Edition is on the left, while the original is on the right.
If you love the Deviant Moon Tarot in any form, a companion book with Patrick Valenza's unique insights into this immersive world he has imagined into creation is forthcoming, and his other art projects, including more tarot decks, is sure to delight. I own several prints and they proudly grace my walls, and I feel confident recommending this Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition as a not to be missed deck!
These cards are from the Deviant Moon Tarot Borderless Edition by Patrick Valenza, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.