Today I am here to offer an update to the previous review I did for The Snowland Deck : Life Themes Edition. In the ensuing years, husband and wife team Ron and Janet Boyer have finished the full version of the deck and brought so much more to the card reading table with it. Described as an Unbound Book, with whimsical wintry images suitable for all audiences, the Boyers have produced a masterful deck which closely follows tarot themes and structure, but has completely left out esoteric symbols and jargon, making this an accessible reading deck for most anyone.
The Snowland Deck is self published and hand crafted at every step of production by Ron and Janet Boyer, and is available from their website. I have now received two decks from them, one the Life Themes Edition, which contained the 23 Life Theme Cards, correlating to the Major Arcana, and the full deck version, containing 82 cards, closely following the structure of a tarot deck, with a few surprises. Both decks were lovingly prepared and shipped, with an attention to detail that made each package a true delight to receive. The deck comes in a customizable hand sewn bag to protect it and a digital copy of the guidebook. A separate Snowland Intuitive Workbook is also available to augment your work with the deck.
There are 22 Life Theme Cards, which are easily recognizable to the tarot enthusiast as correlating to traditional Major Arcana, but most are renamed. The Fool has become Beginnings, The Emperor is now Commander, and The Devil is now Chains, to name a few of the changes. The Life Themes Cards bear their title in navy blue type on the bottom of the white bordered cards, but do not have any numbers on them, leaving each reader free to arrange them as each sees fit. There is an extra card called Chillaxin which is a moment caught in time, created by the Boyers' son Noah.
The deck includes four cards which are referred to as the "Soul GPS significator cards", which come in handy so that you do not have to remove a card from the deck to use a significator, if that is the way you like to read. These cards correspond to each of the suits, which take on updated names of Energy, Emoting, Mental, and Material. These suit names will be easily recognizable to most readers, and have done away with the somewhat outdated traditional suits by transforming the theme of each suit into a language that the modern reader can easily relate to.
The Court Cards are known as Approach Cards, and again they have done away with the feudal system of Page, Knight, Queen and King and replaced it with a more relatable Youth, Quester, Nurturer, and Director. This has the added benefit of erasing gender specific stereotypes and better allow the reader to embrace the concept of each card rather than getting hung up on, What does a King mean? The Approach Cards include many familiar characters expressing the archetypal energy of each card, and they really are a brilliant approach to the often tricky Court Cards!
There are fourteen cards in each suit, simply numbered in a color which corresponds to their suit. Energy is red, Emoting is blue, Mental is grey, Material is green. There is nary a Wand or Pentacle or any esoteric symbol at all to be found in the deck, but the images have so succinctly distilled the meaning of each card that seasoned readers will have no trouble recognizing most cards, and new readers will also find the images easy to read and the energy recognizable.
The Snowland Deck will appeal to lovers of winter, whimsical images, fairy tales, and the folksy art that pervades the deck. It is good for creatives, intuitives, children, teachers, parents, and anyone who likes to be delighted by thinking outside the box. It is not a great deck for people who are married to tradition or who are not interested in a different approach to the cards. While shadow energy is easily expressed in these cards, there is no darkness in them so people who prefer a gothic or darker edge to their cards may not enjoy the deck as a main reading deck. I have found my readings to be very true to life and not overly whitewashed, but as a whole there is a sweetness to the art that will not appeal to all readers, but there are plenty of different decks for each preference.
The magical world of The Snowland Deck is open to all, and the Boyers have graciously posted all of their images to see and enjoy there. They also offer many other charming and whimsical divination and creative tools which are well worth a look!