2020 has been the roughest ride of my life so far, it has been an endless waterfall of problems, upset and tragedy, which has taken some serious soul-searching and strength to get through. I’ve still got plenty of races left to run and I’m still far from the finish line but I’m staying strong and sticking with it.
It is true that one must find strength during stormy weather, this may be physical strength, mental strength, or spiritual strength in my case.
As you may have read (in my past posts) earlier this year my husband gifted me a brand new tarot deck, which in turn rekindled my love for reading the tarot. I have since continued to collect numerous tarot decks and have a particular fondness for artistic tarot decks such as Monica Bodirsky’s recently released ‘Shadowland Tarot’.
Having contacted Monica directly enquiring as to whether she would allow me to review her stunning ‘Shadowland Tarot’ deck, I was overjoyed to hear back from the lovely lady herself and to be sent my very own copy all the way from Minnesota!
Monica is a professional artist, author, and diviner from Toronto, Canada. She worked as a graphic designer, freelance writer and fine artist for many years. Monica was also the History Program Coordinator at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.
Monica is the artist of the Shadowland Tarot, The House of Shadows Lenormand, and The Lucky Lenormand oracle deck. Her fine art and writing have featured in galleries and publications including Cartomaner magazine, The Lonely Planet Travel Guide, Spiral Nature Magazine, and various other online blogs and journals.
Monica also has her very own YouTube channel featuring inspirational and informative videos upon her work.
The Shadowland Tarot
My copy of the Shadowland Tarot arrived beautifully packaged in a bright yellow and black magnetic presentation box, the colours somehow reminded me of the advertising campaign for the Alton Towers ‘Smiler’ ride and given that I love a rollercoaster, I knew instantly that I’d love this deck!
Inside the box is a thick, colour-printed guidebook to the tarot and the deck itself which is housed/ secured within shiny, black cardboard.
The Shadowland Tarot Bag
Given that The Shadowland Tarot is packaged in a large box, this isn’t really ideal to carry the deck when out about. Schiffer has created a matching drawstring bag for The Shadowland Tarot which can be purchased separately to the deck but is a beautiful addition to complete the set.
Unlike my husband, I’m a big fan of instructions and before I tinker with any product I’ve just received, I’ll almost always read through the instructions or guide. Monica’s beautiful guidebook is 208 pages in length and features a fantastic foreword written by Liz Dean explaining all about Monica, her work and the Shadowland Tarot.
Having sat and read through Monica’s preface and introduction, I was instantly aware that I would feel a connection to these cards as Monica’s story and experiences seemed spookily similar to my own.
Monica includes a double-page explaining the meaning of and story behind each card. Monica has included keywords and simple quotes/ passages to make memorising the meanings for each card far easier. At the end of each page is a reflection opportunity where readers are able to ask questions and to make vital links as to how particular cards may be interpreted.
At the back of the book, Monica has included a range of sample spreads, a tarot FAQ, and a super quick-guide sheet to the major arcana and numerology system used within the minor arcana. I personally find these pages really helpful and often leave the book open on my table to make quick referrals from.
Not only is the guidebook beautifully laid out, printed, and written but it also features a cute and quirky page-numbering system- each page number is printed within a little spider which if you flick through the book becomes an animation crawling up or down the pages!
Much-like the black and yellow packaging in which the deck arrives, the Shadowland Tarot features a beautiful black and yellow bat-themed back to each card and due to the symmetrical style, the Shadowland Tarot is very easy to read reversals with. The cards are also edged/ guilded in a luxurious gold sheen which quite literally shimmers and shines when in the palm of your hand.
The Shadowland Tarot cards are the same size in height as a standard Rider Waite tarot card, though ever so slightly narrower. The card stock is high-quality and shuffles beautifully.
Monica’s artwork is something to behold – each card features the most bizarre, beautiful yet stunningly strange creatures and characters.
Having worked with this deck to carry out readings for over a week now, I feel a real connection to each of the characters and am easily able to relate to the visual circumstances and scenes within each card.
There Ain’t No Taboo In Tarot!
I adore Monica’s sketchy artwork and inspiring imagery against the pretty purples which she tends to make heavy use of throughout this deck. The above cards (Justice, The Queen of Pentacles, and the Ten of Cups) are three of my favourite cards within this deck – they are just so pretty!
Whilst tarot reading and the art of divination may be frowned upon and considered as some sort of satanic, witchery, hoo-doo, I personally use tarot reading as a mindful approach to self-reflection. I am a huge fan of art and often find myself just flicking through tarot decks enjoying and appreciating the art as it is exactly that – an art form! The Shadowland Tarot deck is especially engaging as an art form, Monica’s work is stunning!
Pricing & Purchasing Information
The Shadowland Tarot set is available to purchase (as of June 2020) for only £37.95 online from Amazon or can be purchased via Gazelle Book Services for £49.19, a price which I feel reflects the high-quality of this product.
The Shadowland drawstring bags are available to purchase directly from Schiffer Publishing for $14.99. However, if you are in the UK, it is probably easier (due to shipping) to purchase The Shadowland drawstring bag from Gazelle Book Services for £14.99. You can also pick up one of these beautiful bags from the likes of Book Depository who are currently (as of October 2020) selling the Shadowland Tarot drawstring bags for only £14.75 though prices do fluctuate, especially due to the current pandemic.
The Shadowland Tarot has to be one of the most stylish and spookily stunning tarot decks that I have ever come across. With its gorgeous gold guilding and beautiful imagery, the Shadowland Tarot deck is an absolute pleasure to read and to work with.
I would more than recommend adding the Shadowland Tarot to any readers collection, it is quite simply a must-have!
For further information upon the Shadowland Tarot or Monica Bodirsky’s divination and decks visit https://www.monicabodirsky.com
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.