Exotic Astrology

Your Introduction To Rare Astrology, Sprituality and PseudoScience

Heart & Hands Tarot by Liz Blackbird (US Games 2021)

The future of tarot in the digital age is exciting and full of possibilities. There are many different ways to use a deck, such as for readings, meditation, or just for entertainment. This deck is an exploration into what the future might hold for tarot.

The heart emoji is a tarot deck that will be released in the United States in 2021.

The Heart & Hands Tarot is a black and white deck by artist Liz Blackbird. It was originally crowd-funded on Kickstarter as an indie deck, but it gathered so much traction that it was bought up by U.S. Games for the mass market.

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This deck reminds me a little of the Wandering Moon Tarot, which I just reviewed, but the graphic styles are quite different. Whereas Wandering Moon used pointillism to evoke stardust and galactic matter with a smidgeon of Shel Silverstein, Blackbird’s Heart & Hands is illustrated in a strong, dramatic Art Nouveau manner.

1633617387_412_Heart-Hands-Tarot-by-Liz-Blackbird-US-Games-2021(Click to see a larger version)

The Major Arcana were created while the artist was in her early twenties, “when I was least enlightened, but yet most confident and sensitive to my own creativity,” as she puts it. There’s a lot to admire here, from the skull’s head moth in the Death card (with that caption being the only one shaded in while the other captions are white), to a figure cocooned like a chrysalis in The Hanged Man right before we see the moth, the androgynous Lovers card, to the eye shape that the Key number 2 is encased in in The High Priestess. The Empress card’s abstract slightly-hidden-side-profile is one of my favorites.

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As she went through her first love, she drew the suit of Cups. The heart on the chalice in the Ace (1) of Cups is beautiful, and the clouds are drawn in an East Asian manner. There’s also a modern-style look to the woodcut engravings.

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As she graduated from college and went out into the world outside the ivory towers that students had known for far too long, the court cards appeared to her. The faces of the court card drawings came to her as she traveled and encountered individuals from various walks of life.

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She worked on the Pentacles outfit while working full-time for the first time. This suit of money passing hands has a recurring visual motif. In the Prince of Pentacles, the person in a suit carrying a suitcase with a three-card reading attached onto the side of that bag is provocative. For the King of Pentacles, I really like the chthonic god imagery.

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When that first love died, Blackbird created the Swords costume, which included dramatic images of swords slicing hearts and hands. The tale does, however, come to a happy and uplifting conclusion: when a new love and profession developed, her suit of Wands sprang to life. Light beams and hands regaining control of their surroundings may be seen in this outfit.

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The author of this deck also identifies Justice as Key 8 and Strength as Key 11. The start of the Majors gave me the sense that the inventor was leaving from the RWS, but the Minors seem very much inside the RWS world. In this case, the hybrid method works well for me.

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The art style of Blackbird reminds me of linocut block printing. Her style of painting human figures reminds me of the Efflorescent Tarot (particularly if you’re comparing the original black and white version of Efflorescent).

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I’m not sure whether less white margin space would have helped the overall look of the cards. Perhaps some decorative pattern around the margins to soften the harshness of the broad white borders.

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By the way, I’m not sure what kind of finish U.S. Games used on this deck, but I really like it! It provides the cards a nice slide, allowing me to spread them out over my reading table smoothly. As they glide under your hands, they shuffle wonderfully and feel magical.

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The deck was completed in Blackbird’s 30s, and it had taken a decade to build. The attention to detail in the card back design is fantastic. The companion guidebook is packed with information! It has little empty space and contains a description of the picture on each card, as well as some comments on its inspiration, the card’s upright meaning, and finally the card’s reverse meaning. There’s a seven-card Open Hand Spread that reminds me of a cross between palmistry and cartomancy, and I’m all for it!

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The use of decorative patterns to fill shapes and space in the compositions truly amazes me. This is more apparent when you zoom in and examine the artwork up close.

I’d like to end by citing from Cassandra Snow’s interview with the deck designer, which you can read in full here. “How does your deck communicate to disadvantaged and LGBTQ audiences?” Snow inquired of Blackbird. Blackbird’s answer is as follows:

I attempted to create this deck in a manner that avoided assuming heterosexuality or a masculine viewpoint, and that featured people of color, since I identify as queer, and because queerness was so closely linked to how I first got interested in tarot.

Many of my figures, particularly my Lovers, are extremely androgynous, and all of my number cards are zoomed in to show just the figures’ hands in order to avoid assigning them a definite identification.

To achieve gender equality within the court, I decided to utilize a Prince and Princess instead of a Knight and Page for my court cards.

Justice and the World are two prominent arcana cards that feature genderqueer characters.

I wanted to leave room in the designs for readers to assign their own gender and sexuality interpretations to the cards in general.

Liz Blackbird’s Heart & Hands Tarot is a unique and unforgettable deck, and if diversity and inclusion are important to you, this might be the deck for you.

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Disclosure to the Federal Trade Commission: I got this deck for potential evaluation in line with Title 16 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Everything I’ve stated so far has been genuine and properly represents my point of view.

As an example:

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Related

Frequently Asked Questions

What actually is the heart?

The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood throughout the body.

How old are Ann and Nancy Wilson of heart?

Ann Wilson is 76 and Nancy Wilson is 72.

Can you eat avocado with heart disease?

Yes, I can eat avocado with heart disease.

Related Tags

  • heart love
  • heart function

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