Hello, soul friends!
I wanted to start off a section on my website where I review card decks that I have used over the years. I have owned over 80 various decks (currently own about 70), and thought I would write some of my notes, experiences, personal opinions, and information on the decks for anyone out there looking for suggestions. Diving into the world of decks can be a bit scary, fun, and also at times overwhelming with the sheer amount of choices.
There are various differences to the types of card decks people use, but the most common ones are Tarot, Oracle, and Lenormand. Over the years, I have come to collect various and eclectic decks ranging in artistic style and type. I always purchase what grabs my attention, and have learned that my aesthetic is not for everyone. So, as always, purchase what you feel guided to use for yourself.
I am just expressing my opinions and my own personal experiences with these decks and I hope that you can appreciate the candor. As always, use your own intuition and find tools that suit your tastes.
Soul Cards 1
This is one of my older decks additions of my deck collection. A friend of mine was posting pictures of them and they just spoke to my heart. I found the cards to be so beautiful online and had to get my hands on them. They were a departure from any other deck I had at the time.
The Soul Cards 1 is by Deborah Koff-Chapin and is published by Center for Touch Drawing. I purchased my deck directly from Amazon, but I have also seen it available at Barnes and Noble and other bookstores.
From Amazon's Product Description:
This exquisite set of 60 full color cards, created by renowned artist Deborah Koff-Chapin, comes with a 36 page manual which guides you into a living relationship with the images through silent contemplation, journal writing, storytelling, visualization, movement and dream incubation. Dynamic processes for using the cards with another person and within groups are also included.
About the Author
Deborah Koff-Chapin, BFA Cooper Union, is an artist, vocalist, author, and teacher. She has been developing the process of Touch Drawing since she came upon it in revelatory play in 1974. Through her years of Touch Drawing, Deborah has tapped into a universal level of the human soul. Deborah is creator of the best selling decks, SoulCards 1&2 and author of Drawing Out Your Soul and The Touch Drawing Facilitator Workbook. She encourages the dissemination of Touch Drawing worldwide through workshops, media and online community. Deborah’s newest project is the series of five Soul Touch Coloring Journals.
Deborah has presented at many programs and conferences including Esalen, Naropa Institute, Omega Institute, California Institute of Integral Studies, JFK School of Arts and Consciousness, School of Visual Arts, The American Art Therapy Association, and The Association for Humanistic Psychology. She has served on the board of directors of The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.
Deborah's workshops and Interpretive Touch Drawing have been integrated into executive and management retreats for hospitals and health systems. She has been Interpretive Artist at numerous conferences including The Parliament of World Religions, The New Story Summit, Engaging the Other, Sacred Activism, and Seeds of Compassion with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Deborah's artwork and essays have been published in numerous magazines, journals and books. Deborah is founding director of The Center for Touch Drawing. She has convened the Annual Touch Drawing Gathering since 1997..
My Personal Review
This is a 60 card deck which includes a lot of various elements in lavish and illuminating illustrated cards. Each card features the artwork by Deborah and evoke their own meaning. These characters may appear menacing or tranquil. Others may appear like characters within a dream or out of your imagination.
The illustrations are very beautiful and deeply captivating. The cards touch the soul and speak with it directly. The accompanying tiny white book doesn't list any titles or meanings to the cards - the pictures are intuitively understood, somehow their meaning is self-explanatory/evident.
The cards themselves are of typical quality that I have seen - good card stock with shiny coating The combination of the quality card stock with the excellent art, are good enough to be hanged on an art gallery's wall. The cards can be used for both reflection and divination, and I almost immediately started using it for myself in place of my normal decks.
Powerful and vivid, intriguing and entrancing images. I like to use them, not as an oracle, but as a kind of a Rorschach Test. Rather than having the images convey "their" message to me and my clients, I consider what they mean to me, in other words, what my message is to myself. This is a practice of being self-referring and Deborah Koff-Chapin's imaginative images lend themselves beautifully.
This deck works purely by your intuition, and the process of 'touch drawing' renders patterns and colors that will lead you to find new meanings each time you look at the cards. Don't look for a book to give you assistance; it doesn't have one. This may challenge some card readers new to interpreting by their own intuition, but it's very rewarding once you try.
The one small thing I don't like about this deck is that it almost only includes somewhat dark colors, which gave some a first impression of being, well, somewhat dark and scary. The box, which is of good material, doesn't have any mechanism to keep it closed, so I wasn't too happy with that.
And a clarification - this is not a tarot deck in the least bit, and it deviates from a traditional oracle deck style, but it is an intuitive builder. Though some of the cards are comparable to traditional tarot cards, it does not derive from the 78 cards tarot decks, and does not it include suits or Minor/Major Arcanas, or any sort of numbering, wording, or interpretations by the creator.
Product dimensions are 1 x 4.2 x 5.2 inches. The cards are wider than a traditional Tarot deck.
The cards are slightly bigger than a deck of standard playing cards and the card stock itself is solid; I recommend anyone with a new deck spend some time shuffling it and getting to know its feel, in addition to just "getting to know" any new deck. I've found that I can shuffle them quite easily, even with my small hands.
The card stock is thick, and as mentioned above, it has a shinier finish than newer decks (which is annoying when trying to get a nice picture of the deck), and also allows you get a nice bend without cracking the card stock. This quality of card stock seems to be what most mass produced decks I currently own. It isn't my favorite card stock but I overlook this as some of my favorite decks do print on this quality.
Overall, I am highly impressed with the artwork in this deck. I found it to be an extremely versatile and intriguing deck to use with other decks. It is, honestly and simply put, a wonderful development tool. I also found that it allowed me to become unblocked when I have felt stuck with messages. It is a great departure from the structure of Tarot, and the fun guidance you can find within an oracle, and this guttural awakening is exactly the kick in the pants you may need to get back in touch with yourself.
This card deck works with any amount of cards, in any spread. This works well for accessing both the dark and light sides of a person, and can be used with past life spreads as well as looking toward future goals. I feel that this is a good psychic/intuitive development tool.
My overall opinion is that this deck is a 3 star choice.
Artwork - 5 stars
Card stock - 3 stars (not a fan of shiny decks)
Ease - 2 stars
Guidebook - 1 star (no guidance added in guidebook)
I hope that you enjoyed my deck review, and also enjoy other deck reviews that I add to this site. I have a passion for exploring new decks and also finding various ways of connecting to my intuition. I appreciate you checking out my site and taking the time to read my review.