I had this deck on my wish list for a while but when the third edition was released I eventually decided to go for it. The reason being that these are dark, moody and mysterious images and not having the greatest of eyesight I initially worried that I just wouldn't be able to see the cards properly. Then when the third edition was shown to have white headers and footers, they gave the images a little more light. So I went for it. The increase in light has not in any way detracted from the shadows in the cards, so if you are looking for a dark deck without any vampires or cartoon ghosts in there, this could be the deck for you. Here's what we found with the Darkness of Light Tarot.
Stand Out/Favourite Cards
Each of the four suits have a different colour tone to differentiate, in the case of Pentacles, it's brown. These three cards stood out as being different from the RWS to me. The Queen of Pentacles benefits from the land and animals but there's less show of wealth. The Five of Pentacles shows the protection and support from the established source but the dog is moving straight towards the help, rather than passing by. The Three of Pentacles makes me think of that Stanley Kubrick film version of a Clockwork Orange. A lot more frightening that the RWS master craftsman and his team.
The colour tone in the Swords suit is a darker blue and in the Wands, a pink. Each of these cards stood out for having a slightly different take on the traditional meaning, There's no boat in the Six of Swords but there is a clear path ahead and in the Four of Swords the stone effigy is replaced by a grave stone. Although the triumphant warrior returns on the Six of Wands, the ordinariness of the surroundings fits with the overall theme of the deck. The Ten of Wands shows the heavy load but with its blossoms and position, it almost looks like a pheasants plumage, perhaps suggesting that keeping up appearances is what is wearing the bearer down.
The colour tone in the suit of Cups is a paler blue and this is probably the lightest of the suits. Many of the cups are filled with reddish blossoms and I found the contrast between the Two of Cups and the Lovers card interesting. There's a lot more balance and equality with the image in the Two of Cups indicating this could relate to a more equal partnership.
The Star, Moon and Sun cards are often a sequence I like to look out for when deciding to buy a deck, here they each bear faces with expressions reflecting the meanings of the cards. If you are looking for the scary in this deck, look no further than the Death and Devil cards. Death is shown rampaging with his scythe and the Devil dancing on the podium his captives are chained to. The movement in these images adds extra atmosphere to the cards. So be careful if you are reading for others as turning that Death card will send your clients pulse racing.
This is the best deck for…anyone wanting a dark, scary and mysterious deck but without the kitsch of vampires and werewolves. This is a serious and maybe a bit of a gloomy deck. But if you like old black and white scary movies this aesthetic might be just what you're looking for.
Where to Buy?
I bought mine direct from the Artist website darknesstarot.com and had no problems at all, it was delivered promptly and in great condition. If you'd prefer to purchase from an established trader you're familiar with, you can also buy from Etsy.