on 29 December 2009
This deck is quite sick. The artwork is clear and compelling, its the evocative figures that make you feel 'wrong' inside. Its not horrific, gory or bloody, it just weirdly surreal. I bought it to face the 'dark side' as it were, and I am very pleased to own it even though to pick it up makes me feel like I am trying to make myself catch a big ugly spider. I think it has a lot to offer in terms of reading with it and I don't think it turns a reading into negative one but lends more truth to a reading instead.
It is based on the Rider-Waite and easy to read, although not quite as obvious.
The cards are well made, and a bit bigger than usual (taller and slimmer) and come in their own standard box.
on 15 September 2010
As mentioned above, this review is of the second edition of this deck, which was printed in China. Against many expectations, the printing came out better than expected, with brighter, richer colours that are more true to PD's designs. The deck's creator has been selling first-edition decks via his website, and also offers decks wrapped in paper that he covers with his own hand-drawn designs. IMHO, to buy a deck, it's more special to find his website and buy direct from Patrick himself!
Anyway, in sales terms, this deck has been a game-changer, one of the most popular and influential for decades, and as such, does have its detractors. Some people criticise the "dark" symbolism, and say the characters are all in urban surroundings - this completely ignores the fact that all the suit of Wands and many other cards, including the Major Arcana, are in rural locations. Anyone who calls this a nasty, negative or dark deck, can't have seen the Ace of Wands - ot the other Aces for that matter, Temperance, The World, the 3 and 10 of Cups, or the wonderfully passionate Lovers.
When it does want to draw attention to something negative though, it doesn't hesitate to grab you and present you with an image and a feeling than will stay with you far more than any other deck. Many of use who use this deck and compare notes agree that this is a "tough love" deck. If it needs to tell you something straight, it will do so. There's no sugar coating, and no "there are no negative meanings" for the DM. I think of it as the sort of friend who'll support me, but also offer criticism when I need it, and a good kick up the backside if that's best for my own good.
I came to the DM after a good basic grouding in Rider-Waite type decks, and it is very different to those. I don't think I'd say this is not a deck for beginners, but if you are a beginner approaching this deck, understand this is not a standard deck, and many of the meanings will not translate from a standard book. The DM does come with a very small booklet of meanings, however Patrick is right now compiling a full-size companion book for the publisher US Games, which I hope can be expected in 2011.
It might sound a bit new age, but I do believe that decks choose people, not the other way around. If you have seen a lot of the images from the DM and really feel it has something to teach you, go for it. Even with little previous experience, the small booklet included will give you enough jumping-off points for the imagination to get you going. You may then find you start to build up a tarot collection of other decks: feel free! Think of the DM as one voice in a fascinating ongoing discussion, and if this is the point where you want to jump in, go ahead!
This is a wonderful deck and doesn't deserve to be labelled as "dark". It's simply different, and very honest.
on 22 October 2009
This is a strange and beautiful deck, which, although it largely follows the Rider-Waite-Smith conventions (though Justice is 8 and Strength 11), brings new meanings to the cards. The artwork is grotesque and surreal; the backgrounds created largely through extreme photo-manipulation featuring images of cemeteries and abandoned buildings, with of the characters having started out as sketches to which manipulated textures have been applied.
Many of the characters have a strange double face, one side of the face is in profile while the other side looks straight out (think full moon/crescent moon) - difficult to describe but very striking to look at. Characters sometimes have extra or missing limbs, The Empress has three breasts, Death is pregnant, and the figure in the Nine of Pentacles has a wheel instead of a foot...
The level of detail is amazing: the more you look, the more there is to see. The misery of poverty is brought to new heights in the facial expression of the figure in the Five of Pentacles, and in the Three of Swords there's an almost knowing look in the eye of the figure transfixed by three swords: is she suddenly aware of what is happening, or is she, perhaps, playing up to her situation calculatingly looking for sympathy?
The Little White Book is good as far as it goes, but the deck really needs the book that Patrick Valenza is working on. Meanings are given for reversals, and the backs of the cards give no hint of whether the card is upright or reversed.
I wouldn't recommend this deck to a beginner as much of its imagery is quite dark and unconventional, but for a more experienced tarotist this deck has a great deal to offer.
UPDATE: 2013 and the Deviant Moon is still my "working" deck...
on 28 August 2009
This exquisitely designed deck might be a little dark for some but it suits my tastes and is excellent to use. Valenza worked on this deck for several years and as I'm in the process of designing a deck myself it's easy to appreciate the work that has gone into producing this beautiful set of cards. I've found I use it as my main deck but even if your preferences are for something lighter, it would be a wonderful addition to any tarot collection and has rightfully taken its place among the more popular of recent tarot publications.
on 11 May 2015
At first, I was totally repulsed by this deck, as it seemed too dark and sinister, with it's bizarre and misshapen images. I simply could not see myself using such cards for public or private readings.
I was wrong. The Deviant Moon Tarot definitely grows on those who "bite the bullet", and eventually purchase this deck, as I did.
From the first time you use them, these cards give amazingly precise and accurate readings, especially when answering "yes and no" questions. Where some other decks, although very pretty, seem almost hesitant to give straight answers, this is not the case with Deviant Moon. This deck virtually shouts it's answers at the reader and gives you the honest and sometimes blatant truth.
If you can persuade yourself to look beyond the weird appearance of these cards and allow them to speak to you, I can promise that you won't be disappointed. The Deviant Moon Tarot is a marvel that really delivers the goods.
Well - what can be said of these strange Cards?
I stumbled upon this very unusual Tarot Deck quite by chance - and am I glad that I did! You simply won't find any other Set quite like them - anywhere you look!
They seem to be a bit 'controversial' from reading many different Reviews from all over the Internet. (and not just from Amazon) Many people are claiming they are too 'dark' - even scary - but for me, they do not come across this way, For me they are more 'surreal' and 'fantasy' like, and I have to confess; I was so taken with them that after placing my Order I eagerly awaited (almost sleeplessly!) until they arrived - I was so excited about receiving them! They are a very exciting Deck indeed; the images are quite unique in style and inspire all sorts of imaginings - and if like me you love all things 'Moon', then you'll be delighted with the fact that all the imagery is bathed in the soft glow of atmospheric moonlight!
Now, despite all this, whether one could actually use these Cards for serious Reading or not is another matter, since though based on the standard symbols of Tarot, the imagery is such that I would say one might simply be too distracted to Read accurately. (and naturally distracting for the Querent too)
I got these myself to add to a small Collection that I have - I may attempt to use them for myself only at some stage, but would probably avoid using them for others - unless I had an enemy who knew nothing of the Tarot and wished to scare them to death! : - )
I was staggered at the amazingly cheap price of this package, since they are really superb quality, are large, come in a large box, including a special little Booklet, but more excitingly; this Set comes with a large poster-like Spread Chart for Readings and Card Placements which is really neat!
Quite honestly, I can't think of anything negative to say about this Deck. The only people who are not going to like them, are those who wish to Read for people not understanding Tarot - but Collectors, or those with plenty of 'imagination' will simply adore this unique artwork! I should also imagine, that one day when they are out of print, this is the sort of thing that would go for a sheer fortune on Sites such as eBay!