About a year ago I found a strangely lyrical place, filled with art, music and beauty called, The Wild Unknown. There I discovered these amazing art prints of a Tarot deck that artist Kim Krans had been working on. At the time the deck was just offered as art prints for framing, but not an actual deck!
To my surprise a few months ago venturing through random blogs I found, The Wild Unknown Tarot! Despite my urges I waited to click the “buy” button until I had a reason to reward myself.
When the deck finally came in the mail I was rabid, tearing at the package, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Up until that point I had vicariously loved it through pictures, blog post, and reviews on the Internet. Now it was all mine!
The experience began with the box! I held it in my hand, looking at it from all angles. Touching the sturdy cardboard and looking at the fabulous pen and ink illustration that adorned the top. The black and white contrasted by the pops of vibrant watercolor was awe-inspiring.
I tugged at the black satin ribbon carefully placed to remove the lid with ease. Written in a scripted font on the inside of the lid,“Welcome to the Wild Unknown Tarot. You’ll find no wrongs or rights inside this box, only mirrors for reflection. Open your mind, draw a card, and have fun on your journey.”
The words tingled up my spine like a mysterious incantation to step into another world, The Wild Unknown…it felt like Wonderland had begun to seep into my veins. My eyes and fingers itched with anticipation to touch another world.
One by one I explored the cards, studying the delicate and bold inked images. I craved their meanings, I imagined their stories, and I roused them to life. This is no ordinary deck, nothing of the sort. This is a shamanic experience that completely pulls you into a different state of mind.
There are no people found in this deck, only animals, symbolic totems pulsing with life and energy. If you are brave enough to look into their determined eyes they will reveal parts of your soul.
Deer rules the Pentacles. Owls rule the Swords. Snakes rule the Wands. And, Swans rule the Cups. But there is a whole menagerie of different animals to greet you. Some of the cards are illustrated in the style of pips with only the suites emblem and some line work embellisments.
This deck is wild and free. It opens new doors, it blazes new trails, it becomes a key to uncharted territory. But walk with trepidation because this deck doesn’t take kindly to probing and prodding, you have to ask gently and listen. Humbly inquire, and leave your ego at the door. These cards give you answers without any non-sense.
Kim Krans style is very successful throughout the deck. Pops of color amongst black and white sing. Should you need a guide while exploring her new terrain, Krans included a hand written pamphlet guide. She has also written a full companion book for the deck (which I don’t have yet).
There isn’t much to complain about here. Each card is beautifully done. The cardstock is a nice weight, with an interesting, slightly frosted coating and the box offers lots of protection. I am interested to read the companion book because the pamphlet included doesn’t offer much explanation about the intent behind the illustrations, nor do the meanings deviate far from traditional associations…. which is a tad unexpected.
I suggest you seek out a copy of this deck ASAP! This is one indie effort that’s sure to become a collectors item. And if you get the book… let me know how it is!
© Shaheen Miro 2013