Today I’m excited to share with you a review of the Luna Sol Tarot, a new deck by Mike Medaglia. The Luna Sol Tarot takes traditional RWS images and themes, presenting them in a soft color palette with occasional modern twists, and it’s especially delightful because of the diversity of characters it features. The people depicted on this deck come from a variety of races and have a variety of body types—something we don’t see enough of in Tarot publishing.
Looking at the Major Arcana, the imagery is fairly standard, although a couple of cards have been changed in noteworthy ways. As a more esoteric reader, I was delighted to see how much Qabalistic symbolism worked its way into this deck. It doesn’t hit you in the face, the way some explicitly Golden Dawn decks do, but anyone who’s familiar with using Qabalah in Tarot will find familiar symbols and themes throughout the deck: The Venus sign on the Empress’s shield, a fish on the Death card (not pictured), and so on.
The Minor Arcana are familiarly named: Wands, Swords, Cups, and Disks. The art style is simple and in some cases not terribly realistic, but it’s also charming and wholesome. This is, I think, a good deck for skittish querents who think Tarot is Satanic, or a “family friendly” deck for public readings. (Although I should mention that there’s nudity. The nudity is never sexual, but if you’re reading for a corporate event and somebody will flip out over nipples, this is not the deck to use.) The colors are done in a soft pastel palette, giving the whole deck a gentle, heartwarming vibe, and each of these cards brings a soft smile to my face when I sit and look at it.
Once my Tarot collection reached a certain size, I got to a point where most decks started to look largely the same to me. The things I look for to distinguish a new deck are the little details—a creative take on a card, a distinctive artistic flourish, and so on. This deck is full of those details. I love the way the woman in the Four of Cups is dreaming about the three spilled cups, and the split-image Two of Cups does a wonderful job expressing the themes of that card.
And there are details like that on just about every card. I adore this Ten of Swords. The flowers growing out of the man’s wounds express such vulnerability and delicateness, in a way I really don’t think I’ve seen before. And ye Gods, the Four of Pentacles reframed as someone who literally can’t move forward unless they put down the things they’ve been hoarding? Fantastic.
The Court Cards have a great deal of personality. They’ve been reordered, so that the Queen is at the top of the hierarchy. Looking through the LWB that accompanies the deck, I don’t believe the meanings of the cards have been swapped—that is to say, I think the Queen of Wands still has the personality of the Queen, but occupies the position in the deck previously given to the King.
This is a delightful deck, and it’s easy to read, to boot. Anyone familiar with the RWS system will have a good time using this deck, and I think it would be an excellent beginners’ deck. However, it’s not only for beginners. The card images are simple, but there’s a great deal of depth packed into their symbolism, which more experienced readers will be able to explore. This is one of those rare decks that I would recommend without qualification; I think that regardless of a reader’s experience level or the way in which she uses Tarot, she’ll be able to form a meaningful relationship with the Luna Sol Tarot.