If you love an animal deck then you'll love the Oriens Tarot. I chose to go for the mini deck version and at 3.5" x 2" the cards are very easy to handle. They're in a smooth finish card stock, not glossy but not fully matt which makes the shuffle very comfortable. They have silver mirror gilding on the edges that looks great and doesn't adversely affect how you manipulate the cards.
The background to most of the images is a rich brown colour which gives an overall impression of this being a 'dark' deck. Not in feel but in colouration. So if you have difficulty deciphering darker colours, this deck may not be for you. I found that although some cards were a little bit more difficult to make out at first glance, once I focused on the image, it was clear enough. If you do have any difficulties with vision but you love the look of these cards, it may be that the full size deck would suit you better.
There are a couple of things that have stood out since I started working with the Oriens Tarot. Firstly, it's quite a unique deck as far as I am aware. The only other comparable deck that I own is the Brady Tarot. However, that has a different art style than the Oriens. This deck definitely feels less fussy. It's neither too cute nor too scary.
It's all animals, birds, fish and insects, there are no humans in the deck at all. There is an accompanying guidebook either in PDF form for no extra charge or sold separately in hardback. If you purchase the hardback and the deck together this does make things a little bit spendy but the guidebook is definitely worth a read as it tells you why each animal has been chosen.
The second thing that stands out about this deck is the quality. The packaging is a book-style magnetic closure box that you would usually get with a full size deck but in this case it's been sized down and is very cute. The card stock is the perfect thickness for its size and if you do go for the hardback book, its beautifully bound. All of these factors make you want to reach for this deck over others, just because it feels great.
Overall, this deck is something new, something different, but not radically so. It fits in a niche I didn't know existed. It's more serious than the Way of the Panda and has a wider range of inhabitants than the Oak, Ash and Thorn. It's not as fussy as the Brady Tarot and is more flowy than the Naked Heart. So if you are looking for an animal deck, consider this one, it's a little gem.
Where to Buy?
This deck is available in the UK from Little Red Tarot in both its full and travel size versions littleredtarot.com/product-category/all-cards/tarot-cards/