These wonderful creations by Celia Melesville share the same images rendered in different media, one with a white background, the other with a black background. Each deck has its own charms and is not an exact 'opposite' of the other. You may have a preference for one colour-way and this review will describe what I found with each. If you are someone who likes animal decks, or you like images of people, or perhaps you like flowers and nature, these decks include all. No-one will buy a deck because of the box it comes in, but these independent decks have the kind of production values that only enhance the beautiful images on the cards. So here's what we found when the decks arrived from France.
Favourite/Stand Out Cards
Often trees are chosen to represent the Empress and Emperor in decks, but here the artist has used them to great effect in the Lovers and the Fool. The colouring and different media give a whole different feel to the cards in each deck and sometimes the little details such as the tiny uneven heart shape where the two tree trunks meet in The Lovers cards show up much better in one than the other. The appearance of the clouds in the Lili Black give that additional layer of meaning, that possibly the Fool will take a leap off the edge of the cliff because they think they think the clouds are solid ground.
The 4 of Wands shows the great use of animals and flowers in the decks and also how the images are original while still evoking the RWS meanings. In many of the cards the colouring is just as beautiful and vibrant regardless of which deck option you choose like in the 2 of Swords.
These pairings show the range of images from full colour to monochrome or shades of greyish blue. It surprised me when I realised the beautiful flowering images that were my absolute favourites in the deck represented Temperance. I guess it just shows that balance and moderation doesn't have to be boring!
As I mentioned, there is a range of images in these decks and that includes some that are just scenic. The 6 of Swords leading you on to a new place is a wonderful example of the magnificent colouring and such rich texture you can almost reach out and touch it. The companion book covers both decks and if you're a French-speaker (or if you have a translation app on your phone) is worth picking up too.
This is the best deck for…anyone who wants a seriously beautiful deck. It's not necessary to buy both and you may have a preference for one over the other. Initially I went for the white deck as I thought it would be easier for me to see with my dodgy eyesight but in reality some of the details that I've missed in the Lili White, I've seen in the Lili Black just because of the different colours and mediums. So these decks have animals for the animal-lovers, people for the people-lovers, flowers and trees for the nature-lovers and scenes for the environment and space-lovers. I would highly recommend them both.
Where to buy?
You can only buy these direct from the creators website and they are a bit pricy, but well worth it. The Lili White is currently (at the time of writing) sold out but there will be a second edition scheduled for the end of the year. Lili Black is currently available celiamelesville.com