The Fairy Lights Tarot is a new (to me) deck by Lucia Mattioli, who created one of my all-time favourite decks, the Tarot of the Secret Forest. My tastes don’t usually run to the overly sweet (as so many new tarot decks are), and usually anything with “fairy” in the title is an indication that the deck doesn’t really have anything for me.
But – it’s Lucia Mattioli. There was never going to be any question about whether I’d get this one or not.
Mattioli’s style is lush without being over-the-top; whimsical without being twee. Her artwork is, well, painterly, with depth and texture, gorgeous colour (I love the contrast between that raspberry pink and the deep green, above) and a wonderful juxtaposition of fine detail and scratchy unfinished-ness, that leaves the cards open for your own explorations.
The other fascinating aspect of this deck is that each card is actually paired with another, and when placed side-by-side, give a larger picture:
I love that this has been done but without any prescriptive definitions outlined in the Little White Book (it doesn’t even list the pairs) – further reinforcing the fact that this deck is perfect for people who love to discover a deck for themselves, rather than being given prescribed ways to use it off the bat.
One more photo. I think this is my favourite card at the moment:
The Fairy Lights Tarot feels lighter, and more airy, compared to the Secret Forest (which feels like something you’d find if you turned over a leaf in a cool dark corner of your garden). I think the cards themselves also feel like you can “run with them” a little easier than the Secret Forest as well. But like the earlier deck, a great many of the cards don’t really correspond to the traditional RWS card-meanings, and instead rely on atmosphere and emotion to convey meaning. Consequently, I think using this deck should be an intuitive experience, rather than using a straight RWS interpretation.
For the past week or so I’ve just been playing with the deck, shuffling it and looking at the cards (oh, and knitting it a new case, one that I’ve just realised just about matches the colours on the box – weird?):
But today I pulled three cards for a quick deck interview. This is what turned up:
Card 1 – What is your personality? The King of Wands. (I was a bit surprised with this!) More mature than I was expecting. Dynamic, yet responsible. Kind-hearted, but disciplined. Wise but to the point. Not likely to be too waffly.
Card 2 – What type of readings are you good at giving? Temperance. This deck touches mind and body, heart and soul. Any sort of reading where the querant might feel out of balance, this deck can provide an enlightened perspective. Also: the DNA twist makes me think this deck will be good at pointing out things that are hidden. Not in a mystical way, but it’s interested in looking at the true nature of things. A bit of a scientific or analytic deck, despite its fairy exterior!
Card 3 – What do you think of me? Four of Wands. (Hopefully doesn’t mean it thinks I’m sneaky! – though that does remind me of something my mum said of me once, when she was describing what I was like when I was a teenager. She said I was “sneaky and lazy”. Sheesh, thanks Mum!) I’d like to think this is saying I’m resourceful, perhaps a bit cheeky. I know my limits, don’t take on too much. Maybe even that I like solitary landscapes, hate crowds, and enjoy doing my own thing, though that might be pushing it a little…
But seriously, this is a strong, confident deck. It’s confident in its approach of not needing to spell every little thing out to the reader. It’s gorgeous and lovely. It’s definitely going to be staying on my desk where it will get good use in the coming days and weeks.
Fairy Lights Tarot By Lucia Mattioli Copyright © 2011 Lo Scarabeo ISBN: 978-8865271988