Ok, so this deck has been on my wish list for a while, folks–the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m late to the party, as it’s been out a while, but by the time I fell in love with it the first edition decks were going for $100+ dollars. Needless to say, I bought the second edition deck and guidebook, which was still at the high end of what I’m willing to pay for a deck at $40 for the deck and $20 for the guidebook, plus shipping. I’m a collector, but not an avid one, so I just haven’t gotten quite to the level of dropping $50+ dollars on tarot decks yet. (I’m looking at you, Alice Tarot!)
Unboxing a new deck is always a very satisfying experience, but for some reason, this one was particularly so. I opened it at my favorite metaphysical shoppe where I am a tarot reader, because it came in the mail right before I had to go do my shift there, and I simply didn’t want to wait until I got home to open it in my sacred space. Luckily, the energy in the shoppe is fabulous, so I knew it would still be a wonderful place to do it.
The box for the cards is very sturdy, thick cardboard, which is a treat, considering that most tarot card boxes are quite flimsy–especially those that are mass-produced. The value of non-mass production wins in this department. It has a lovely ribbon inside for helping lift out the cards, and included is a fold-out sheet that has brief meanings of the cards and simple layouts in lieu of a LWB.
When it comes to the cards themselves, I’m not even sure where to begin. The imagery is really like nothing I’ve ever seen in a tarot deck before. It is mostly black and white ink drawings with pops of color on select cards. There are no human images in this deck; the author chose to stick with animal and nature imagery. At first glance, the images are very simplistic, but on closer inspection, you can see the incredible detail the author put into each illustration.
These cards demand your intuition. Even with the guidebook, which is nicely in depth with the meanings that the author assigned to each card, there is something visceral about these images that makes your intuition tingle. It feels impossible to look at the Empress, for example, and then just go into the rote meanings assigned to that card. The gorgeous tree that represents the Empress in this deck seems to be so much more than traditional meanings–strong foundations, delicate beauty, intuition, complexity, etc.
I’ll confess–I was a little nervous trotting this deck out for a reading because I wasn’t sure it would resonate with me; it’s so different from anything I’ve ever worked with before. My fears were unfounded, however. There is something about it that just clicks, and I think that’s why it’s become such a popular and coveted deck among collectors and readers alike. I think I will be using this deck for readings with clients in the very near future, once I get to know it a little bit better.
In fact, the popularity of the deck has led it to be picked up by a major publishing house, and it will be mass produced this fall. Part of me is kicking myself for paying the heftier price tag, but if I’m honest, I’m terrible at waiting, and I wonder if the quality of the boxing, etc. will be the same. At any rate, if you are wanting something special for your collection, or if you just want a unique deck to connect with, I can highly recommend the Wild Unknown Tarot.