Published in late 2020, The Gentle Tarot was a hugely popular and greatly successful Kickstarter deck designed and created by the terrifically talented Mariza Ryce Aparicio-Tovar (better known as Mari in the Sky). Two years later, Mariza has continued to develop her brand by revamping and republishing The Gentle Tarot as both a linen edition and a pocket-sized version of this gorgeous, graceful, nature-inspired deck.
Mari In The Sky
Mariza Ryce Aparicio-Tovar better known as ‘Mari in the Sky’ is a nature-inspired illustrator who creates beautiful hand-drawn art that is directly influenced by her spiritual background and life which she has spent in and around remote Alaska.
After graduating from Reed College in 2009, Mariza set about her life-long dream of travelling and temporarily settled in various continents including South East Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Mariza has lived and worked in Alaska since 2014 and she began selling her artwork in the summer of 2019 by investing in an eco-friendly printer that she uses from home.
Mariza is inspired by the natural environment, she also explores issues surrounding mental health and self-love with the hope that her work encourages care for both our planet and ourselves.
A Tiny But Tidy Tarot Tin
The Gentle Tarot Pocket Sized Edition comes packaged in a custom-designed tin featuring a top sliding lid, which according to Mariza is a first as no other Tarot tin deck has ever been created with such a lid until now.
Inside the tin are five foam padded inserts that have been glued to each side of the tin, along with a ribbon to help lift and remove the cards when required.
Though I rather like the sliding lid, I have found that it has slid off at times whilst in my handbag and I worry that this may cause my cards to fall loose from the tin and become damaged inside of my bag. Though I understand Mariza’s intentions for placing the foam padding within the tin were to protect the cards, I have unfortunately found that it is quite a squeeze to place the cards back into the tin and I worry this may also cause damage to my cards over time.
Due to its smaller size, the pocket edition of The Gentle Tarot comes without a guidebook, though it does include a special, limited-edition sticker set, on the reverse of which is a QR code that may be scanned using a mobile device to access an online copy of the guidebook.
An incredible amount of love and thought has gone into producing The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition; this version of the Gentle Tarot features gorgeous gold gilding to match the original deck and despite the width and height differences, the depth of this deck when stacked and placed on a desk is still the same, though the card stock used for the pocket-edition is slightly thinner at 300 gsm.
The Gentle Tarot
Dedicated to our furred, featured, finned, four-legged friends, along with the trees, mountains, and the seas, The Gentle Tarot is a nature-based Tarot deck intended to assist the healing of ourselves and our planet.
Each card features incredible artwork surrounded by a coloured border (the colour differs between the suits), the title of the card (which is printed in an artistic, casual font at the base of the card), and numbering which is printed at the top of each card
The Major Arcana
Based loosely on the traditional Rider Waite Smith Tarot, The Gentle Tarot consists of seventy-nine cards, as it offers a bonus major arcana card (The Unseen) alongside the traditional seventy-eight cards usually featured in the traditional RWS Tarot.
The pocket edition of The Gentle Tarot includes not one but two Lovers cards; a human and non-human option. The human option is an updated gender-neutral version. Whilst I personally have chosen to work with the human option, I have kept the two butterflies to one side for when I feel like a change.
The Minor Arcana
The stereotypical suits of wands/ staves, cups, swords, and pentacles/ coins have been modified to suit this gentle, nature-based deck, as the swords as now named ‘thunder’ and the pentacles are retitled as ‘stones’. The traditional court cards have also been altered as the Pages is now a ‘Seed’ whereas Knights are now ‘Roots’, Queens are now ‘Flowers’ and Kings are titled as ‘Harvest’.
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Wands
The Suit of Thunder
The Suit of Stones
Let’s Take A Peek At The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition
I have put together a short video-walkthrough guide outlining and further explaining The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition, this guide includes comparisons to the original version of this deck.
Reading With The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition
I have been meaning to get myself a pocket-sized Tarot deck for quite some time as traditional Tarot decks are fairly bulky to carry around in your handbag thus I was ecstatic to discover The Gentle Tarot was being released in a smaller size. Though it’s not often that I read Tarot when out and about, I do like to have a Tarot deck on my person and I’ve used this deck several times already whilst on the move.
Much like the original deck, The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition has a soft, rose-petal type of finish to the cards and this can cause shuffling to seem a little sticky at times. The imagery is simple and easy to interpret and understand, though the changes in the naming of the traditional minor arcana suits may be an issue for less experienced readers.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition is available to purchase online via Mari In The Sky’s Etsy Store for £44.97, though if you are in the UK postage costs an additional £11.92, taking the total of this deck to £56.87. For customers within the USA, The Gentle Tarot Pocket Edition may also be purchased online via www.thegentletarot.com for $44.
A portion of the proceeds is donated to environmental conservation and advocacy efforts. Mariza is presently donating between 5-10%, the final amount is shared at the end of every year.
Having spent the past year working and reading with The Gentle Tarot, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a pocket-sized edition of this deck, what better than to be able to carry my beloved Tarot cards around on my person whilst out and about? Though the card size has been reduced, the quality is just as good and the mesmeric, soft and sympathetic imagery is still as stunning in the pocket edition as the original deck.
Though I personally feel that the sliding storage solution may have been better as a traditional tin without the chunky padding, I love being able to take my cards out and about and enjoy reading and working with this nature-inspired deck whilst enjoying the outdoors.
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.