by Barclay Mountain Co
This is an independently produced Oz Tarot deck that includes illustrations inspired by the whole of the Oz series by L. Frank Baum.
It comes in a sturdy, 2-piece rigid box for easy shelf storage. The interior of the box is the yellow brick road, which was a delightful detail to discover. The cards are standard tarot size with the seal of Oz in a (fitting) green and gold color scheme, printed on sturdy card stock, with gold gilded edges and slightly rounded corners. They shuffle easily and have a slightly glossy finish.
This isn’t really an Oz deck for fans of the Judy Garland classic movie adaptation. This is definitely oriented toward fans of the books, but if you prefer Return to Oz, then this deck will be a great match (I fall into the latter category.) You’ll find Quadlings, Tick Tock, China Princess, Princess Ozma, Queen Lurline, King Pastoria, the Nome King, etc. I was honestly surprised not to see Wheelers and Queen Mombi, but you can’t have everything.
In the guidebook, the major arcana cards provide the context of each card and names characters and/or scenes that explain the connection. Minor arcana cards don’t include this, which I think is an oversight because it’s not always obvious (for example, is Queen of Swords Queen Mombi? She could be, but it wasn’t immediately clear to me, and I like the books and Return to Oz.) This doesn’t prevent enjoyment of the deck, it’s just a missed opportunity in my opinion. If you read tarot intuitively and don’t often visit the guidebook, this won’t make a difference, but for tarot readers who prefer guidebook accompaniment, this bears mentioning. Guide also contains a very brief overview of tarot, abbreviated instructions for care and reading, and a standard 3-card past/present/future reading.
The deck assumes an intermediate knowledge of tarot, due to the brevity of instructions and the length of the guidebook. You could foreseeably give it to a beginner without any real issue, but I would say the deck is best suited for intermediate tarot readers and/or fans of L. Frank Baum books, who are the demographic most likely to truly appreciate the deck for what it is.
I am enjoying working with the deck because though there’s a dark edge to the Oz books, there’s also an optimism and joyfulness that comes through in the cards.