Hello, soul friends!
Today's review is covering a deck that caught my attention as soon as I saw it on Instagram. After checking out the owner's Instagram account, as I figured it would be something different than the other 15 or so Tarot decks I own, so it would be a fun addition to my collection. I am eclectic and don't like to purchase similar decks. Plus, I love seeing other Indie decks, and checking them out!
I hope you enjoy my review and generous pictures!
The Fountain Tarot
I received this deck from my best friend as a Christmas gift. As stated above after seeing a few posts on Instagram showing these gorgeous cards, I knew that I wanted to get my own. Luckily, my friend was on the same wavelength. I found it to be an intriguing and interesting deck. I love the simplicity, striking artwork, and also the fact that it is an independently published deck.
The Fountain Tarot Deck website description:
For us, creating a quality Tarot deck meant honoring the tradition of Tarot, while creating something new. This meant LOTS of research. We compared hundreds of elements, distilling them down in terms of: visuals, meanings and reversals, archetypes and symbols, story arcs, design elements, typography, booklet length and features, quality of paper and packaging, and many others. We read books, searched the internet, and bought and studied WAY too many Tarot decks - from the earliest Italian and French collections, to the most popular and iconic, to some of the newer decks, ranging from "niche" to quirky. In the end, we were left with the essence of Tarot, and from there, we began creating.
About the authors and Creators
Andi Todaro, Designer of The Fountain Tarot, is a prolific artist, maker, and creator. Her graphic design work for corporations and educational non-profits are the counterbalance for her work in fashion modeling, fine art and general awesome weirdness. She embodies and believes in the fierce spirit of The Wands.
Next time you find yourself standing in the ethereal Templo de San Cayetano in Guanajuato Mexico, look up, just like Andi did when she was searching for the inspiration to design the striking backs of The Fountain Tarot cards.
"I wasn't certain at first how best to unify these incredible paintings into a cohesive visual story in one impeccable image. It couldn't fight with the opposite side, but couldn't be uninspired on its own. Plenty of decks have backs that feel like last minute decisions, ones which don't support the beauty of the deck as a whole. I wanted it to be classic and modern, so much of the geometry is based on the ceilings of old Mexican churches and chimes in the geometries of modern times and my love of math art. The color and texture was another hurdle, so using samples from the paintings themselves seemed like the best way to accomplish a design that felt part of the deck and not just put on top of it. It has samples from The Fountain card inverted, The Lovers and others, finding special little moments of texture, gradient and color."
- Andi Todaro, designer of The Fountain Tarot
The artwork of Jonathan Saiz makes up the 79 oil-painted images of The Fountain Tarot and his work is featured in international private and corporate collections.
His 2012 alchemy-inspired series "ALKAHEST" for Minima Gallery, Mykonos Greece was featured in Juxtapoz "New Contemporary", BOOOOOOOM.com and recent works 2015-16 are featured in Elle Decor Magazine and Vogue.com - See more at www.jonathansaiz.comMusic by Nathan Hall "24 Preludes - January" (Earth Sea Sky 2015) is available at www.bandcamp.com"
"Ask me a few years ago what the Tarot meant to me... my answer would have been short. Ask me today... and The Fountain Tarot is my own personal wilderness to explore daily - vast and beautiful. I go to bed and dream of ways to capture its full spectrum of everythingness/nothingness and then wake up eager to find ways to invite and inspire others to explore it as their own personal world too.
The Fountain Tarot, as a physical deck AND as a rich, gilded universe of reflections, is still in its youth - like a timeless collective-past newly remembered. It is still curious, hungry for adventure and definitely playful. This small series is my joyful Springtime sci-fi sonnet to the suit of Coins in The Fountain - A collaborative world, my paintings helped to create, which is MUCH more powerful than any singular source of energy I've been fortunate enough to touch before."
- Jonathan Saiz Artist/Creator of The Fountain Tarot
Jason Gruhl's innate sensitivity to the human condition, and his ability to create tools that help others unleash their full potential, make him the perfect architect for the spiritual core of The Fountain Tarot. As the former Executive Director and Founder of The Joshua School (Boulder/Denver, CO), he has impacted the lives of countless children and adults.
His reformist vision has expanded educational programs, and changed the organizations and systems in which they take place. Jason holds a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology, and dedicates his life to Self-discovery through meditation and reflection. He has always loved "The Fool's Journey", the foundation of the tarot, as a metaphor for personal growth and enlightenment, and his growing collection of antique and modern tarot decks affords him a diverse treasury from which to observe and create.
His research and writings contribute to this deck by blending the tradition of Tarot with contemporary spiritual experience. Above all, he is committed to people and their pursuit of happiness. When not writing, Jason is addicted to English Breakfast tea, board-games, Pinterest, and watching zombie movies with his partner and their dog, Coby.
Writer | Visionary | Observer
We love Tarot.
We love Contemporary Art.
We definitely love when these two worlds overlap and collide to create new ways of viewing ourselves and inspiring the world in which we all live. The Fountain Tarot is our personal manifestation of these two great loves, and has become a channel through which to engage and commission other artists in our community to envision their work through the lens of Tarot. With each season, comes a new opportunity to revisit one of the four suits and the Major Arcana. We hope you enjoy these collaborations and artists as much as we do.
XO Jonathan, Andi & Jason
My Personal Review
This 79-card deck is meant to be used as a traditional Tarot deck. I wasn't really aware of what to expect with this deck, so upon opening it up I was a bit surprised at the artwork and the details in each card. I loved the muted tones and contemporary artwork. It is breathtaking art piece, as I found a new layer of depth to each of the cards.
The artwork was something that had called me with this deck, as I stated above and why I was excited to get my hands on a set. It was variously different from anything else I have seen and I loved the unique approach to the whole deck. There is a bit of a traditional vibe in some of the cards, but with a beautiful lens. It is modern and timeless. Ethereal and structured. It really is a gorgeous balance between light and shadow, even some of the "darker" cards are handled with care and executed beautifully. This deck has quickly become my go-to, as I find it versatile and well-received by clients.
The cards have titles, so it helps if you can't readily identify a card by the imagery. Although, some of the Major Arcana images didn't always remind me of traditional RWS tarot imagery, the cards were easy to pick up and use, and also I enjoyed seeing the interpretation of some of the Major cards from a different lens.
The card stock is not very thick, semi-matte finish, smooth to shuffle, and allows you get a nice bend without cracking the card stock. The finish really helps make the artwork truly stand out. They are gilded in silver, which does not crack or flake. A big plus! Also, the gorgeous white border brings uniformity to the deck and allows the eye to be drawn in to the amazing artwork. The size of the cards was an average tarot size. Not too large, and not too small.
The backs of the cards have a wonderful art piece that allows you to pull reversed meanings, as well. Each of the various suits are wonderful and have some fun symbolism. Pentacles are Coins in this deck, but the other suits are well-identified. There is also the Court Cards showing up as the usual players.
Now, I gotta mention the GORGEOUS box that this deck has. It is an amazingly creative box. It has a florescent flash (much like labradorite or moonstone), a magnet to close the lid, and also a gorgeous ribbon, so you don't have to bang your box getting the cards out. It is probably my favorite box for any deck I have ever purchased, aside from the wooden box The Moon Deck comes in, but for practical purposes, this box wins!
Initially, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of a meatier little white book, but the beauty and detail in the artwork completely made up for the lack of in-depth interpretations by Jess. After all, Tarot is beautifully flexible as you don't have to adhere to just one meaning or interpretation of the cards. There are various sources and books out there to help you understand the meaning behind the Tarot. Plus, once I dove in more - I realized the guidebook is quite well-appointed. Not too much and not lacking substance. It allows the tension of offering and devising your own specific meanings.
Here are some extra pictures of this beautiful creation:
Overall, I think this was a beautifully executed deck.
My overall opinion is that this deck is a 5 star choice.
Artwork - 5 stars
Card stock - 4 stars
Ease - 3 stars
Guidebook - 2 stars
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.