If you have not purchased decks at The Gamecrafter before, I want to explain a little bit about how they work. They primarily print card and paper based games by independent creators who may not otherwise find a venue for their creation. Our ever crafty deck creators have discovered it makes a great way to make their work available to the masses without the commitment of finances and energy that a mass printing takes, and it works great! I tend to buy more than one deck at a time from The Gamecrafter to make the reasonable shipping worthwhile, and since they are a print on demand company my order gets in line and I wait, usually for two weeks or so. I have ordered many decks from them, and each one is great quality. I have not created any decks, but this seems like a great option for people who are having trouble getting a mainstream publisher, don't want to invest the time and money into self publishing, or who need to create prototype decks to help bring their vision to life.
The Wickwillow Tarot is a gem of a deck that goes much further down the Thoth based road than most currently published decks do, and it is quite refreshing! It will arrive from The Gamecrafter in a cardboard tuckbox, and mine came with a typwritten instruction sheet. I did receive mine directly from the creator, so I am not sure if each deck includes that, but the images fall into one of two categories- easily recognizable and readable on an intuitive level, or distinctly Thoth based, for which a plethora of really good reading exists.
The cards are a very handy size, 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. This printer knows what they are doing when talking about cards for shuffling, and these are quite easy to manipulate, with that cushiony and slidey feeling that the best playing cards give, while remaining easy to hold and use. The backs are a lovely design that is ever so slightly off center, which will only affect the most discerning of readers when reading reversals. Subsequent versions have had this corrected and should not affect a new deck at all.
There are 22 Major Arcana who are completely devoid of numbers or words. Most are instantly recognizable, but a few take on the creators' own vision for the meaning of the card, as when The Empress becomes an elegant green lady playing her harp in the woods, and The Hierophant is depicted as a sage crone in her warm digs. Despite my earlier promise of a Thoth based offering, the remaining Majors seem to nod to Waite Smith tradition when they bother to nod at all, and when they do not, they have a unique take that certainly adds to my understanding of the card.