The box is sturdy, though I’ll probably store the cards in something more decorative once I find a box I like. It comes with a LWB that gives the painting’s details, a paragraph description of the card meaning, and a few brief keywords. The cards are really nice quality, a little larger than I was anticipating. The image quality isn’t quite uniform, given that the images are drawn from Victorian and Edwardian art. They are rectangular images except for one, the Garden (the World card) which is rounded, and I admit it makes me twitch somewhat.
Several of the Majors have been renamed: the Wheel of Fortune becomes the Thread of Fate, the Hanged Man becomes the One Torn Asunder, the Devil becomes the Siren, and the Tower becomes the Shipwreck. The face cards are also changed: Devotee, Artisan, Hero, and Enchantress. Finally, there are two versions of the Empress- one the early interpretation as the sovereign counterpart of the Emperor, and the other the later “earth mother” conception. I’m not sure which I’ll use, though I’m going to leave both in for the interview spread.
1. Most important characteristic: The Empress (sovereign).
Queen Zenobia stands at the top of stairs, leaning against a half wall. There’s a strong sense of power, determination, and leadership.
2. Strengths: Five of Cups.
Andromache stands in a courtyard, shrouded in black. There’s mourning and pain, but the strength to move through it and survive.
3. Limits: Seven of Swords.
A nymph hurries away from a river, unseen by her companions. This card is about impulsivity, stealth, and trickery.
4. Lessons: Eight of Swords.
Andromeda, shackled to a boulder, awaits her death. The card description seems to lean heavily on her helplessness, but the myth says to me it’s more about coming to terms with one’s circumstances, and and that nothing is inescapable.
5. How to learn & collaborate: Nine of Swords.
A guard stands watch as fiery ash rains down on Pompeii. Knowing the history… well, it’s a confusing card, to say the least. (And I briefly wondered if I’d shuffled well enough, except that the cards weren’t in order to begin with.) I think it’s more about the guard, though- he keeps his post, even when the people behind him are fleeing; he remains steadfast in his duty despite his fear and uncertainty.
6. Potential outcome of working relationship: Ten of Swords.
(I swear these were not in order and I shuffled.) Icarus dies, having flown too close to the sun. Obviously the myth is not a great omen here, but the card description focuses on trial and error, and experimentation; the last keyword is “phoenix” which, of course, means burning oneself down to the ashes to be reborn. Painful and powerful.
7. Any entities: the Devotee of Swords.
A Spartan soldier performs a martial exercise (per the booklet). The high number of sword cards combined with the Classical Greek focus on the deck had me leaning towards Athene, and I feel like this cinches it- Athene was held in high regard among the Spartans. Some of the keywords for the card include discipline and organization, both of which are traits she prizes and ones I need to work on.
Bottom of the deck: the Magician.
Medea casts a spell. This says to me that though I am neither a soldier nor a strategist, I can get and be what I want- but the process to get there involves a lot more than learning a list of herbs and how to write spells. I can get where I want to be but the journey won’t be for the weak hearted.
I really love this deck- it’s beautiful and layered, and though it’s going to take some time to really get to know it, it’ll be worth the work!