Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on 22 November 2009
I'm surprised that Barbara Moore lent her name to this deck by writing the book. The interpretations are pretty much the average, although the "use your intuition" questions after each card would be useful in a tarot class.
But the book is not the deck and the deck is the tool. As is increasingly common these days the deck is composed of manipulated images. I would say Photoshopped, but in this instance the artist has chosen Paint Shop Pro as her medium. The artists' acknowledgements section of the book first thanks the stock photographers whose work she has used, and much further down the page she thanks her models.
The deck fails, for me, because I can see, in part, what Ms Darras is doing: that is, I recognise the effects she's using and the knowledge of how each manipulation might have been achieved which detracts from the imagery, and occasionally destroys it (I'm thinking especially of the Ten of Cups - such a cheesy rainbow!). Secondly her actors don't necessarily fit the scene they're illustrating: either their facial expression is wrong or else they're obviously a photograph imported into the scene.
I like the idea of the moon appearing so often to emphasise the deck's title as the Mystic Dreamer Tarot, and the moon sits well in the scenes she visits, even though the blending between layers might not be perfect. Also of note is the fact that many more women are depicted than men, which may appeal to those in search of a more women-centred deck than we usually see.
The deck is bordered with a fake parchment border, which is the same on every card and takes up too much space, making the actual images of the cards too small for these tired old eyes. When I have to squint while wearing my reading glasses to actually make out details there's something wrong!
Although they only get a couple of lines each in the book, the deck does support reversals - looking at the back of the card you can't tell if it's upright or reversed.
This deck is a beautiful idea which has been not been fully realised. I hope Ms Darras returns to this deck and revises it: it could be wonderful...