When it comes to what decks I actually read from, I tend towards relatively traditional tarot decks with lovely new artwork interpretations. But I can’t help myself: If I see a deck that is particularly odd, unusual, or even silly I will be tempted to buy it.
So, on a recent road trip, The Spells Deck by Cat Cabral, with illustrations by Kim Knoll, caught my eye and, well, I bought it.
I will be clear right off the bat: this deck is not a tarot deck and does not claim to be one. The back of the (rather nice, sturdy box) reads:
“Enhance your life with magic. This enchanting deck features 78 rituals, spells, and recipes for love, empowerment, healing, and so much more. Brimming with alluring illustrations and powerful practices rooted in ancient traditions, this illuminating deck makes it easy to infuse each day with the wonders of magic.”
Interestingly, the deck does have 78 cards like most tarot decks, but as this is not a tarot deck there are no suits or arcana. Instead, each card gives you a mini magical lesson and a small way to practice what you learn. The cards come in eight categories: Witch’s Tools, Language of Magic, Bonds of Love, Abundance and Good Fortune, Rites of Purification and Renewal, Fires of Passion and Creativity, Intuitive Awareness, and Witch’s Familiars. It comes with a small pamphlet with some additional magical basics and suggestions on how to use the deck.
The deck has a nice feel to it – standard size, with a satiny finish and a relatively standard weight. I did have a couple of cards get wrinkles through them apparently in the printing process.
I have to disagree with the assessment of “alluring illustrations.” The card backs are kind of mediocre modern art, with a different color scheme/swatch and line combo for each of the subject categories. Each card has an icon and title in a sort of gold/mustard yellow, and otherwise is very plain text. The simplicity is easy to read, and illustrations are not really needed for that purpose, but as a very visual person that description is deceiving.
The information here is basic, but it covers the basics well. This is an interesting way to present the magical learning I have read many times in an easily digestible format. Kind of like flash cards for the baby witch. And as someone more experienced, I am mostly pleased with the information they presented. I am particularly happy with everything they decided to include in the “Witch’s Tools” section. I am confused by what deities it chose to include: mentions of Greco-Roman gods and Orishas, but not really any other pantheons, strikes me as an odd choice and I honestly wonder whether that was consciously thought out or not.
Honestly, aside from the novelty of the deck that was the reason I bought it, I can see two solid uses for this deck:
- A solid beginning for the new witch who wants to take things in smaller doses
- A good daily practice deck for the witch who wants to make magic a better habit and can use the cards as a daily refresher.
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The Spells Deck: 78 Charms, Remedies, and Rituals for the Modern Mystic