So many decks, so little time!
I know there are people out there who do not care for the original RWS coloring, however inexplicable that may be (tongue firmly in cheek, everyone’s entitled to like what they like for whatever reason!) and there have been many recolored versions of the deck: Carol Herzer’s Illuminated Tarot were probably the first I heard about; the Universal Waite; the Radiant Rider-Waite; Albano-Waite; De Laurence’s colored versions, etc.
I guess it was after I ran across Simon of The Hermit’s Cave (YouTube) video about the Pamela Colman Smith recolored version published by Lo Scarabeo (now out of print, but being reissued as a borderless edition over the summer, available from LS directly, or Llewellyn, or even Amazon) that I stumbled on the Darker Moods Tarot deck on Etsy. I love the darker coloring, I think it highlights aspects of the cards that may go unnoticed in other versions.
The cards are standard 2.75″x4.75″ and come in a printed , glossy-finish tuck box. There is no LWB or instruction card, however. I did spring for the “premium edition” which he warns could take 3-4 weeks to arrive, so I assume he doesn’t keep a stock of those on hand. It arrived pretty quickly, however, I don’t think it took 3 weeks. There is a standard edition which ships immediately (as of this writing).
The artist has a number of other decks, some are other recolorings/redrawings of the RWS, some not. There is also a “Hermit’s Cave” deck, so clearly he’s a fan of Simon’s channel!
My scanner puts a weird grainy texture on the images. I tried to compensate for it, but can’t quite get it. Suffice to say they have a nice smooth coloring in person.
There are no numbers on the Major Arcana, so you can put Strength and Justice wherever you like. They were in 8 and 11 respectively when I got it.
I will say I don’t particularly care for the font used for the numbers on the minors. The 1’s look like backwards “P”s.
Also, I have never modified a deck before, but I really am going to have to cover the backs.
Possibly the worst card back I’ve ever seen. I found a nice sort of sparkly, black faux granite contact paper on Amazon that I think would complement the deck nicely.
Despite the backs, these cards will make a very dramatic layout when reading for yourself or others. And for those who have decks that they use during certain seasons, this seems a natural for autumn/Samhain. It’s a nice addition to my collection. Let me know what you think!