WRITTEN BY: Nic
Nic is a member of TABI and has her own little tarot reading service called Coffee Cup Tarot. Currently she is a free reader for TABI and going through the endorsement process.
I am well versed in Kawaii; my (what I resent to admit) gothic lifestyle means I tend to rub shoulder to shoulder with those who love Lolita, adore studio Ghibli and refuse to listen to anything other than J-pop. Lost?
Allow me to translate.
Kawaii is part of a “cute face” culture derived from Japan, Lolita is a clothing style… okay nothing has prepared me in life to describe it but google image it and you will see. Studio Ghibli is a very “cutsey” style anime studio and J-pop is literally Japanese-pop.
But I digress.
The Kawaii tarot lured me in for three reasons, the first being that it was familiar in lifestyle to my own. I can’t get on board with Alchemy Gothic style decks with their cheesy fonts and recycling of devils and size 6 vampires.
Secondly, it is so incredibly minimalist and bare thst it actually has an attractive aesthetic that is purely focused on the Kawaii image. Finally, it was very cheap. Its hard to be mad at a £10 tarot deck.
The presentation box is very appealing, if not the case of style over substance. It is a beautiful and sturdy and opens out like a book. There is no little white book here but instead a little booklet slotted into a carsboard sleeve which goes over an introduction, elements and a generous level of detail on each individual card meaning upright and reversed. They’re spread suggestions are also worth noting with an unusual choice. The obligatory single and three card options are there but rather than assigning a spread, they instead offer suggestions of what you might use so you can easily adapt these. There is a week-ahead spread and an elemental along with the also predictable Celtic Cross. They do include the Romany spread, which I personally only have really seen in oracles and fortune telling cartomancy, so I am definitely eager to give this a try, as large a spread as it is.
The biggest flaw (though aesthetically cute, I’ll grant it) with the presentation box is that rather than offer one box with 78 cards neatly stored inside, there are two boxes with them split which is hardly deal-breaking but not ideal to be trying to evenly split the cards every time it comes to putting them away.
Now, the cards. Cute, playing card sized cards making them refreshingly easy to shuffle and feel comfy with. However, these are not beginner friendly as there is absolutely nothing to work on in any of the cards. A ferris wheel for the Wheel of Fortune, a tower with a lightening bolt for the tower and a trumpet for Judgement. Very easy to see what the major arcana card is but not self explanatory to interpret.
The minor arcana are fairly predictable – discs and discs, swords are swords, cups are cups and wands are candy canes and lollipops. Depending on the number of the suit depends on how many of each item you will see. Some cards have halos or flowers added or shaped in a particular way.
The other thing to note in the Kawaii Tarot is that the colours are made up of yellow, green, peach/pink and purple:
Yellow – material/gold
Blue – intellect/wisdom
Purple – heart/emotion
Peach – fire/passion
This can help to assist how you might read some of the cards, depending on their colours but that’s about all the help you’re going to get.
So the verdict? The verdict is that I actually really love these cards. They have a positive, beautiful feel to them. It’s simple, charmingly childish. I absolutely love them. They aren’t overly detailed and petite, unassuming cards. It feels refreshing and lets me clear my mind.
I feel like there is a risk that these could be underestimated but in all honesty, you could do a lot worse than get yourself a budget tarot deck which peels away from some of the noise. The biggest issue is that of it’s practicality in terms of storing the cards and one little error (that or my counting skills) where the 9 of wands appears to only have 8 in them. Luckily there are subtle differences to each card so you can come to learn that it’s the 9 of wands, though it is a little strange.
Author : Diana Lopez
Pulisher : Sterling Ethos