Y’all, I love Tarot so much, I write games using the cards as inspiration. I was thus utterly delighted when offered the chance to review this set of Tarot cards, that adapts the classic Rider-Waite imagery to feature adorable cats of all breeds and colors.
And wow, did this set absolutely exceed my expectations! It comes in a gorgeous, sturdy presentation box that swings opens smoothly and closes tightly, with an A5-ish-sized guidebook inside resting over top of the deck itself. The guidebook is honestly fantastic. It briefly covers the historic connection between cats and the mystical before delving into the Tarot, using clear language that’s great for newcomers to cartomancy while also including material that will pique the interest of long-time collectors and card readers. For example, this was the first place I can recall ever encountering the Cat’s Paw divination spread, which I thought very well-suited to this deck. I even tried out a sample query using it, which I haven’t included here because y’all, it got real personal real fast for being only five cards.
The guidebook also included really smart exercises for interpreting card groupings. I particularly liked the idea of studying the cards in groups by number. The book was also more luxe than the usual guidebooks that come with Tarot decks, including illustrations of each card with their possible interpretations. This makes for really handy studying when you don’t have space to pull up a deck proper but still want to develop your reading skills, especially in relation to these particular cards.
The illustrations are, for the most part, charming and sure to appeal to cat lovers. My favorite cards are the ones that combine humor with aptness: the Four Of Cups, for example, a card that generally indicates stagnation and boredom, features a cat deliberately knocking over a chalice with a look all too familiar to cat owners, the “what are you going to do about it, parent?” expression. And that’s an excellent interpretation of this card, with the cat challenging the reader to do something about that weird state of frustration that sometimes descends in a time of plenty. I was also enchanted by The Hanged Man, which features a cat tangled upside down in yarn. More of my favorite selections are featured in the photo below — I especially loved the spooky season appropriateness of the Six Of Pentacles, a card of communal generosity, which in this deck features a cat in a witch’s hat standing by a jack o’lantern filled with coins.
My only critique of this set is in regard to the nature of the physical deck itself. The cards themselves are fine, if not quite as luxe-feeling in the hand as I’d usually expect. Given that the entire set comes in at under USD30, that’s hard to mind, tho! What does bug me a little is the fact that not all of the illustrations are set correctly in the card faces. One of the troubles with having rectangular-framed images in cards with rounded edges is that it’s really noticeable when the images are offset, as happens on some but not all of the cards here. I honestly don’t have the most critical eye for design, so the fact that this was noticeable even to me really raised an eyebrow. It’s not something I minded overall, but it does seem a little weird that a product this nice should get sloppy in centering the images on its cards.
Overall, I think that this is an excellent set both for collectors and for people new to Tarot, but especially for cat-lovers with an interest in the art of divination, regardless of level of familiarity. It makes a perfect Halloween or Christmas or anytime gift for any of your loved ones (yourself included!)
Cats Rule The Earth Tarot: 78-Card Deck And Guidebook For The Feline-Obsessed by Catherine Davidson & Thiago Corrêa was published September 20 2022 by Abrams Image and is available from all good booksellers, including