This deck, for me, was a very impulsive purchase. I saw pictures from it on the Aeclectic Tarot website and I went straight to Amazon and bought it immediately. Now, for people who know me, making an impulsive purchase isn’t anything out of the ordinary. I don’t resist little indulgent impulses very often unless I really need to.
The Happy Tarot is published by Lo Scarebo and illustrated by Serena Ficca. Her art style is adorable, cupcakes and hearts and flowers. So you might think that this deck would be entirely to fluffy and sunny and just plain sugar coated to actually work with. But you’d be wrong.
Granted, in a deck where The Fool is literally stepping off a cupcake, this isn’t going to be the deck for everyone. It’s over the top sunny candy filled colorful cards could put off some readers who like a more serious aesthetic in their cards. But if you enjoy sugar stars and a whole of of adorable animals and people, this could be your deck.
Whenever I get a new deck I like to use a Deck Interview Spread to get to know my new deck and see how I might work with it. In my interview with the Happy Tarot I learned that it would help me to unblock blocked emotions and see my way through issues that I didn’t think I was ready to deal with. Because how could you not be willing to listen to adorable sugar laden cards of cotton candy and cupcakes?
The deck is based around the Rider-Waite-Smith deck imagery which makes this a great deck for someone just starting out reading tarot. It features, as others have said, ‘dudes doing stuff’ which makes it more accessible for interpretation. Some of the features of the deck that I really enjoy is the attention to detail in the cards, sure the three of cups shows three people celebrating, but there are also happy bunnies running around, music notes in the air and a rainbow in the clouds. There’s a lot to look at and lots to help you divine the meaning of the cards.
Here are some of my favorites:
Strength shows a cute little girl singing to a lion after she’s removed the thorn from his paw. She has the traditional infinity symbol over her head and the mountains in the background so she’s easily recognizable. What I love about this rendition is how relieved and grateful the lion looks. His pain is gone.
I also love the use of light in these cards, in Strength you can see the rays of light coming from the upper left. When you’re working with these cards in spreads you can often see a progression of light through other cards which gives an extra way of interpreting the cards. If the light from the Emperor’s card shines down into the Four of Swords how does that change the way you read the card? It’s a wonderful way of getting a clearer picture of their meaning.
The next card that I want to show is The Hermit. The Hermit is a favorite of mine. As an introvert sometimes there is nothing more important to me than my alone time. The Hermit understands me.
This card is visually beautiful, much more subdued than the Strength card here we see a night sky filled with flowing stars and a lantern casting a soft glow over the Hermit as he moves through the candy landscape. Ficca’s beautiful use of color and shading make this card really draw you in. Your eyes flows immediately to the glowing lantern and makes me want to lean closer to hear the Hermit’s wisdom.
In a green robe instead of the RWS grey the Hermit feels more approachable and kindly in this deck. This fits very well with the gentle vibe this deck has. It doesn’t shy away from giving you the messages you need to hear, but it’s also not going to slap you in the face with them.
The last card I want to share is The Empress. She is the ideal of the soft nurturing figure of a beautiful mother in nature. She could even be pregnant in the picture where she rests on her simple throne surrounded by animals. As a symbol of fertility and natural abundance she has a very appropriate family of bunnies at her feet. A cat sits near and a bird has landed on her scepter. The familiar crown of stars rests on her head. Instead of the dark forest behind her that you see in the RWS deck, this is a verdant grassy meadow, a waterfall cascades behind her and a golden field of wheat grows to the right. If you look closely you can see a pomegranate at the base of her throne. This card also has those distinctive rays of light shining down on her.
Reading tarot spreads with this deck is a joy for me. I’m really glad to have it in my collection of working decks. It might not look like a deck for serious work at first glance, but after working with a great deal, I’ve gotten some excellent insights and advice from these cute cards.
I would recommend this deck for: anyone who likes cute or kawaii things, someone who is new to tarot, someone who is a little intimated by tarot, or younger readers (there is some cartoon nudity, but nothing I would call objectionable). Don’t let the cuteness decieve you. This deck is charming and effective.