Deck Title – True Black Tarot
Creator/Artist – Arthur Wang
Publisher - Independant
Date purchased - 2019
I saw this deck in a few YouTube review videos and its beautiful images sparked an immediate “I have to have it NOW” reaction. Then I had second thoughts. What if the absolutely stunning images don’t translate to readable cards? There was a production delay because the deck had a typo on the Heirophant card. From all I've read and heard about Mr Wang, he seems to aim for perfection but fortunately he agreed to sell decks with the typo. I’m not a perfectionist, so having a pristine deck with a little flaw made it all the more attractive. So I went for it and oh my goodness, am I glad I did. It’s beautiful. I’m sorry if it sounds like I'm gushing. This is the most gorgeous deck I’ve ever seen.
III of Swords - the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) three swords through the heart but this time it’s an anatomical heart in the most delicate shade of light pink. As if the drops of blood underneath are the last few leaving an empty vessel.
VIII of Cups - this is the cute card in the deck. A little jellyfish rising up to the surface. It’s also weirdly reminiscent of the spotlight on a solo performer on a theatre stage. Look at me soaring toward stardom!
Temperance -no meek and mild angel of balance and moderation in this deck. This Angel with her flame red hair is more than a match for the Devil who follows her. She shows how extreme opposites can work together.
II of Cups - cheers! Let’s stop and have a drink and get to know each other. The circling goldfish and broken arrow layer extra meaning for me for this card. I tend to see the relationship in the two of cups as one that has already started. The movement in this card evokes that initial meeting much better.
Ace of Wands - a bouquet of beautiful orangey gold roses around the hilt of this sword. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for roses.
The Tower - how do you depict the destruction of structure in a deck full of people? By showing a figure breaking as if it is made of porcelain. The eye behind reminds us we can learn even from these chaotic events.
Knight of Pentacles - I read Hank Green's brilliant book "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing". This Knight makes me think of Carl. He has a purpose but he’s not moving anywhere fast.
The Hanged Man - he is not suspended above ground but it’s almost as if now he’s reaching the end and the golden liquid has drained from his lips, butterflies can lift him weightlessly to the next stage of existence. You can see the layer of gloss overlay at the top of this card showing an image linked to Aztec mythology. Excellently described in the guide book, it gives a warning to anyone who hesitates.
IV of Wands - The movement in the bird depicts perfectly how structure and stability of the delicate branches can help release the chains that bind and allow the energy to soar.
King of Wands - he looks a bit like a young Brad Pitt. He’s really trying to catch your attention with this gaze. Typical King of Wands energy. Stop and look at me! He’s not as obviously overbearing as the RWS but I get the feeling it’ll be hard to shake him off till he’s finished what he has to tell you.
Why choose this deck? Did I mention, it’s beautiful? It’s a top quality, classy luxurious product but it has real depth, energy and layer upon layer of meaning.
Who would by this deck? Well I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw it in James Bond movie. Even if you’re teetotal and clumsy though, this is an aspirational deck and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. After all it is splash and scratch resistant!
Where to buy: www.trueblacktarot.com (not an affiliate link)