mom11.jpg (26072 bytes)Mansions of the Moon Tarot Deck

This is a collage deck made up of images from magazines, catalogs, and art books. As you go through the deck, you will probably recognize many of the images. However, the artist's imaginative compositions and strong sense of color give these familiar images a life of their own. The cards are larger than average, at 3 3/8" X 5 5/8". The Major Arcana have the traditional names with the exception of card XIII, which has been renamed "Azrael, Angel of Death." Strength is VIII and Justice is XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. The Court consists of King, Queen, Knight and Page.

The art is very good. I have worked a bit with collage and now own several beautifully done collage decks, but I am always pleasantly surprised at each artist's unique technique and style. One of the touches I especially like is the card titles. The edges are literally burnt off, giving them uneven shapes and a wonderful outline. Hogue uses bright colors in many of his images and strong, deep colors in his backgrounds. The overall effect is quite powerful. There is quite a bit of  Pagan imagery, most evident in cards like the High Priestess, The Devil, and the Moon. There is also a bit of Christian imagery -- The Hanged Man, Judgement and the Ten of Swords are examples.

Hogue uses some interesting collage techniques. My favorites are the previously mentioned burnt card titles, and his use of silhouettes, as seen  in the Five of Wands, and Ace of Cups. He is also good at blending disparate images, textures and colors in such a way as to make them look seamless. He seems to like to experiment with shapes, edges and borders. These cards tend to have a lot of images in each scene, so that each time you use it, you will probably find something you did not notice before. Yet, most cards do not have that busy "Voyager Tarot" look. There is only one small "ouch." Some of the images, apparently printed on the artist's inkjet printer, show evidence of printer head misalignment. This causes discolored bands to appear in parts of some of the images. Aside from this, most of the cards in this deck are beautiful. I have many favorite cards in this deck - too many to show them all, but some that stand out in my mind are the Hermit, the Tower, the Moon, Judgement, the Eight of Wands, the Queen of Wands, Six of Cups, Knight of Cups, Six of Swords, Four of Pentacles and Nine of Pentacles.

The artist says he based the deck on the meanings provided by A.E. Waite. You can read his meanings here. Like most collage decks, the images tend to be more meaningful to the artist than to others, but you will find many of the images hearken back to Pamela Colman Smith. I think most people familiar with the Waite deck will be able to read with this deck. I found the court cards especially well done, with the exception of the Queen of Swords, who seemed a bit young for the job.  This deck is available from the artist. It is handmade by the artist from laminated color copies. This is a limited edition of 50 decks. I recommend this deck for collectors and for those interested in collage art.

Mansions of the Moon
Artist: Zardok
Contact the artist for ordering information

This page is Copyright 2000 by Michele Jackson