Having spent the past few years combining Tarot and Oracle cards when performing daily divination readings, I am a big fan of when creators make matching sets. I often scroll through Instagram looking at the latest divination deck designs and every now and then I spot something that stands out on my stream, the Creatures Tarot was one of these thus I contacted Sara Kathleen to see whether she’d be interested in working with me to promote her work.
Sara Kathleen explained that not only did she create the Creatures Tarot but she also made a matching Oracle deck. As you can imagine I was rather excited to get my hands on a copy of each of these and to share them with my readers.
Sara Kathleen is an artist, illustrator, pyrographer, writer, tree witch, pagan, divination deck creator, and a professionally curious whim-follower based in England. Amazingly, Sara Kathleen has created not just one but four divination decks over the past year. Though this wasn’t her original intention, she couldn’t help but get caught up in the creativity and this resulted in four fabulous divination decks all of which are available to purchase via her website.
The Creatures Tarot
Recently funded via a Kickstarter campaign, The Creatures Tarot is an 80-card, simple, human-free, thoughtfully designed Tarot deck that uses the traditional Rider Waite Smith setup and archetypes though steers clear of tradition when it comes to design. This creative, cute, creature-based Tarot deck is a modern twist on the traditional Tarot featuring a range of bold, bright backgrounds with the silhouettes of creatures taking the place of the traditional figures.
The Creatures Oracle
The Creatures Oracle is a continuation of Sara Kathleen’s ‘creature-based’ artwork and features larger cards with collage-style backgrounds with stunning silhouettes of creatures to symbolise the various card meanings.
The messages and wording on each of the cards are very simple, clear, and easy to read/ understand. This deck is designed specifically to help readers gain connections with their inner-self and to initiate a conversation with their deepest knowledge.
Packaging & Presentation
The Creatures Tarot arrives packaged in a pretty pink sunset-style, sturdy cardboard case with plain white internal decoration. The simple guidebook/ leaflet fits nicely along with the deck in the packaging which is ideal for both storage and display purposes.
The Creatures Oracle is packaged in a simple cardboard tuck box decorated with a bold blue and dark green evening scene.
Sustainability & Style
Whilst I rather like Sara Kathleen’s decorative boxes and storage styling I did suggest to her that perhaps she could consider internal decoration, magnetic-clip closing, thumb slots, and perhaps a sturdier storage option for the oracle deck for future prints of these decks. Sara Kathleen agreed entirely but explained that due to environmental issues, she has opted to stick to a particular printer. This printer/ publisher is local to Sara Kathleen thus reducing the carbon footprint created when printing decks. They also use environmentally friendly, sustainable printing styles though have limited options in terms of their storage solutions.
I think it’s great that Sara Kathleen has put the environment first, it really reflects her ‘human-free’ style and setup for these decks.
The Creatures Tarot arrives with a very simple black and white-printed booklet outlining the story behind the Creatures Tarot alongside basic meanings and guidance for each and every card. Sara Kathleen has informed me that at some point in the future, she hopes to write a more extensive Tarot guide. For now, I think this booklet is entirely enough.
The Creatures Tarot is a standard-sized 80-card Tarot deck with reversible cosmos/nebula-style card backs. This borderless Tarot deck has plain white edging and is printed on glossy-matt cardstock making for a very smooth shuffle.
The Creatures Oracle is a large 55-card deck featuring pretty purple cosmos-style card backs with white edging. The borderless cards feature bold, bright imagery with beautiful italic-style handwritten titling, identical in style to that of the Creatures Tarot.
The Major Arcana
The major arcana of the Creatures Tarot follows the traditional RWS Tarot setup and titling. The cards are borderless featuring collage-style backgrounds ranging in colour tone with the silhouettes of various creatures playing the role of traditional figures. Each card is clearly titled with Sara Kathleen’s very own beautiful handwriting which could be very easily mistaken for a font as it’s so neat!
A Second Version
Sara Kathleen not only created four amazing divination decks over the past year, but she also created an entirely separate major arcana for the Creatures Tarot (this can be purchased separately via her website). As it turns out, Sara Kathleen had so many ideas that she simply couldn’t narrow them down to just one set of cards thus she created a second version of the major arcana for the Creatures Tarot featuring differing images.
Sara Kathleen very kindly sent me a copy of her alternative major arcana for the Creatures Tarot which arrived in a very pretty purple, velvet, drawstring bag. I have created a more detailed outline of these additional cards in my walkthrough guide.
Though I adore both the major arcana sets that Sara Kathleen has created for the Creatures Tarot, there are a few cards (particularly the Death card) that I can entirely see why Sara Kathleen was unable to commit to just one design. I’m yet to decide which set or individual cards I’ll choose to use in my copy of the Creatures Tarot – I just love all her artwork so its so hard to decide!
Readers who opt to purchase the alternative major arcana for the Creatures Tarot may either wish to replace their original cards or use this set individually – it is entirely their choice!
The Minor Arcana
Much like the major arcana, the minor arcana of the Creatures Tarot features borderless, bright, collage-style, artwork and follows the traditional setup and suits of the RWS Tarot. The traditional suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles are used alongside the traditional court cards of Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
Whilst flipping through these cards I instantly noticed that Sara Kathleen had portrayed the Kings as rather dark and almost menacing characters. I quizzed Sara Kathleen on this and she agreed that her Kings were indeed portrayed as darker simply due to their deep emotions.
The Suit of Wands
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Swords
The Suit of Pentacles
The Creatures Tarot is an 80-card deck as it includes two bonus cards ‘Belief’ and ‘The Journey’. These stunning cards are to reflect our own personal journeys and our self belief, confidence, and mindset.
The Oracle Deck
Though larger in size, the Creatures Oracle is almost identical in terms of style and design to the Creatures Tarot. The borderless, bright, beautiful cards feature clear, simple titling that is very easy to interpret for all ages and abilities of readers.
This deck was designed to encourage readers to find connections with their inner-selves and to gain guidance and support when needed. Above I have included a photo of five cards from the deck, I have however carried out a full walkthrough of the Creatures Oracle that you can find below.
Let’s Walkthrough the Creatures Tarot
In order to further illustrate and explain the Creatures Tarot and Creatures Oracle I have put together a couple of video walkthrough guides.
Reading & Working With The Creatures Tarot
I’ve spent the past week working with both the Creatures Tarot and the Creatures Oracle deck in combination. These decks work incredibly well together often complimenting each other, so much so that I’d suggest that you possibly can’t have one without the other! I’ve always found that adding Oracle cards to the Tarot offers far more guidance, support, information, and clarity to readings and especially so with the Creatures Tarot and Oracle decks.
Whilst I adore Sara Kathleen’s artwork and styling through these decks, I would suggest that the Creatures Tarot is possibly more suited to experienced readers simply because the artwork featured on some of the cards isn’t quite as easy to interpret and read as perhaps the traditional RWS Tarot. As for the Creatures Oracle, this is entirely different as the simplistic, clear, and succinct titling is ideal for readers of any age or ability.
I’ve found readings with the Creatures Tarot and Oracle decks to be enjoyable, fun, inspiring, intuitive, and informative. I love working with Sara Kathleen’s bold, cutesy, and rather alternative artwork. I’m so fond of the various creatures that she has created and often wonder how Sara Kathleen might draw and colour these creatures if they weren’t silhouettes.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
The Creatures Tarot, the additional arcana, and the Creatures Oracle are available to purchase directly via Sara Kathleen’s website. The Creatures Tarot and Oracle decks each retail at £40. However (as of May 2023) Sara Kathleen currently has a temporary offer available on some of the copies of the Creatures Oracle deck, lowering the price to only £20. The additional arcana (the alternative version of the Creatures Tarot major arcana) is available for £15 and this includes the pretty purple bag which quite frankly is a must for carrying your cutesy creatures whilst out and about thus is worth buying if only to transport your Tarot!
Designed and created by Sara Kathleen, a UK-based artist and illustrator, the Creatures Tarot and Creatures Oracle are simple nature-based, human-free, divination decks ideal for those wishing to branch out and get creative with their cartomancy. Whilst I understand readers may only be interested in purchasing either the Tarot or Oracle decks, I would absolutely suggest that it’s worth buying both as they go hand in hand like gin and tonic.
For further information on the Creatures Tarot, the alternative arcana, the Creatures Oracle or alternative publications from Sara Kathleen visit www.sarakathleen.co.uk
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.