Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Deck Review: Bohemian Gothic

Designed by Karen Mahony
Ill. by Alex Ukolov
Published by Magic Realist Press

This is my most recent acquisition. I ordered it from work last summer and haven't had the chance to really use it and get into it, but like some of my others it'll probably grow on me after a while. Here's what I've gotten from it so far.

Comparing it to the Victorian Romantic (whose artwork put me off at first because they differ so much from card to card), the BG is borderless and the scenes expansive. They feel real and the lighting, coloring and styles are pretty consistent. You can feel night coming on in the bluish tinge of dusk many of them have.

That realness is from photographs- some with the handtinted look of antique portraits. Like the pair of little children on the 6 of Cups, holding flowers and standing in front of a grave. Who's? The framed picture on the grave's cross features the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus- probably their mother. A charming vignette.

It's easy to go deeper or psychological with these to see what currents run underneath the reading. But some can be inspiring or just fill you with lunatic giddiness- I thought of my business's name, Moonthrall, by drawing some cards.

Some of my favorite cards will illustrate the macabre and sometimes humorous feel of this deck

The Queen of Wands. A striking card- her bright rose colored gown pops out from the gloomy ballroom. The large room with the chandelier reminds me of the Crystal Room at college, where we had concerts and gatherings. She looks like she's having fun dancing alone.

The 7 of Cups woman has an indulgent, mischievous grin on her face- holds a beautiful glass of red "wine" and strands of dark pearls and gazes up at the full moon.

The 4 of Wands. Three women hang out in their yard at night and look very happy to see you. Almost too happy. Hey, I like going for walks at night, too.

The 2 of Cups. Like a scene from the Munsters- a nice distant cousin is courting the "normal" one. What with his slicked back hair and shiny button up boots, he's a catch.

And the Knight of Wands just reminds me of the hunchbacked cousin from Adams Family Values- the one Wednesday has to dance with. The old formal getup, creepy gaze and red bouffant must do it.

Much of this deck is RWS based, but all offer other ways of going in completely different directions. Through the imagery and overall feel, you'll have many opportunities to see things you wouldn't in any other deck. Like a horrified skeletal man who may have just realized he's entombed in a catacomb. Oops.

No comments:

Also of interest...