The Shadowscapes Tarot was created by fantasy artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and published by Llewellyn in 2010. It is a 78 card deck, based on the traditional tarot imagery and symbolism of the Rider-Waite Smith deck. This deck is an enchanting blend of motion, mood and beauty and it has become one of my top five tarot decks to read with.
- Engaging artwork – you can gaze at a card all day!
- Artwork captures the energy of the card’s meaning
- Deck has a good feel to it – cards are the right thickness and texture
- There are no “scary” cards in this deck
- Cards are very detailed and the images are quite small, which can make them seem “busy” and I often find myself wishing the cards were bigger!
First I must say that I have a very large collection of tarot decks and within that collection I have a smaller collection of decks that I actually use for readings on a frequent basis. This collection includes The Robin Wood Tarot, Crystal Visions Tarot, Universal Waite Tarot, Osho Zen Tarot and….Shadowscapes Tarot!
I truly enjoy using the Shadowscapes Tarot deck, particularly for doing readings with friends, because everyone always loves them – the cards have a positive vibe, are fascinating to look at and there is not a single frightening card in the whole deck.
While the artist Stephanie Law has based her deck on the Rider-Waite symbolism, her cards offer fresh interpretations of the card meanings, so that it is not just another rider-waite clone. Also, each card has a distinct feel to it, so there is never that feeling of sameness throughout all the cards. Each and every card has a unique feel and gives you the feeling that you are entering into a different world.
There is a real feeling of movement and energy in these cards. When you do a large layout, like the Celtic Cross Spread, you can clearly see how the energies are moving when you take a step back and look at the reading as a whole. I am sure you can do this with other decks too, but it seems much easier with the Shadowscapes Tarot. When I was browsing the artist’s site, I came across this bit of info, which made perfect sense: “Her background of over a decade as a flamenco dancer is also evident in the movement and composition of her paintings. Every aspect of her paintings moves in a choreographed flow, and the dancers are not only those with human limbs.”
The Shadowscapes Tarot Cards are great for meditating on. The more you look at a card, the more insight you will get from it. I find this deck really useful for doing my own personal readings as you can get insights from this deck like no other. The Shadowscapes Tarot Deck has many layers and reading with it is like peeling off the layers of an onion. If you ever feel like you come up short for things to say when you are doing readings, this deck will cure that!
The feel of these cards are really quite nice. The Shadowscapes Tarot cards have a matte finish and are just the right thickness, in my opinion. They feel great to shuffle and fan out.
This deck also comes with a companion book. The book includes some basic information on how to do a tarot reading and a few different tarot spreads, but the majority of the book is dedicated to the artist’s interpretations of the cards. The book is beautifully written and includes larger, black and white, blown up pictures of each tarot card, which is nice since the cards are so detailed. You have the option of just purchasing the cards without the book (note: all Amazon.com links are my affiliate links) for a few dollars less, and honestly, while the book is nice, it isn’t a must-have. If you are new to Tarot and don’t have many tarot books, I would say get the deck and book set, but if you already have lots of books with tarot card meanings, you can skip getting the companion book.
My only complaint with the Shadowscapes Tarot Deck is that the artwork is so detailed that it feels like the cards should be a bit larger. The cards are standard Tarot Card size, yet I feel like some of the detail is hard to see.
Buy this deck if:
- You are searching for a more complex Tarot Deck
- You want a gentle, yet powerful Tarot Deck
- You love fantasy art!
Click here to purchase Shadowscapes Tarot on Amazon.
Do you own the Shadowscapes Tarot Deck? How do you like using it in Tarot Readings?
18 thoughts on “Shadowscapes Tarot Review”
I bought this deck for the artwork but I found it hard to connect. I am so into Rider-Waite that this one ask for more focus work now (for me). I was thinking that maybe, this deck is good for 1 card consult…
Can you recommend tarot decks to gift a pisces female?
Hmmm…how about something mermaid themed?
She’s not a fond on dame Darcy one… I was thinking of crystal visions or shadowscapes…a deck that will embody the Pisces energy so no negative sensitivity to other scary decks.
I use the Shadowscapes deck as my primary deck. I have a pretty ridiculous collection, and this is only one of two non-cat themed decks that I have. I actually bought mine from the artist’s website — and as such I have two additional cards. A “happy squirrel” card and a “feline” card (because she will create an individual card for you based off of one word. If I were not such a novice when I ordered the deck, my word choice might have been different.)
I love this deck — and while I am creating my own journal of meaning, I do have the book. I’m lucky in that my area has a tarot group, and I’m trying to learn how to read cards by the imagery associated rather than just looking at the book to see what it says.
I have many favorite cards — the Queen of Swords, the Eight of Pentacles (for some unknown reason, I love that little spider!), the Empress, the Wheel, and Death. The Death card in this deck is particularly inspiring.
I enjoyed your review very much.
Glad to hear you enjoyed my review 🙂
I love the fact that you have so many cat themed decks!!! What is your fave? I just have the Pagan Cats Tarot and I love it.
Kate can it be used to be interpreted differently? Like as an oracle
I also used to this deck about 6 months and usually only use the meaning of the book, I do not understand about the layers that you mentioned, can you say more about this?
Hi!! Does it only follow the RWS or is there more of it?
Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re asking here? This deck is a RWS based deck – meaning that it follows the RWS format, although the cards aren’t clones of the RWS deck in any way – they are quite unique!
Btw kate can this deck be used for healing work? Like decks for lightworkers
I’m sure it could! I haven’t used it for this purpose myself but I think it could work well for that.
Does it also have an omnipresent to it?? 😀
I am waiting for my Shadowscapes to arrive! It will only be my second tarot deck … I have a Marseilles deck that I picked up at a book shop about a year ago. I’ve struggled to connect with it and all the books I’ve read refer to the Rider-Waite Smith system. Maybe that’s the problem?
Either way, I have such a good feeling about Shadowscapes. The flowing illustration really calls to me and I’m super excited to see them in person!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write these reviews x
Hi Kate –
Quick question: I just watched your reading for this week and fell in love with these cards! But when I looked them up on Amazon, a lot of reviewers had concerns about the quality of the deck.
Size is no big deal to me, but what about the card stock? Some reviewers found it flimsy.
Has your deck stood up to longtime use?
The quality of my deck is great. I didn’t find the cards flimsy at all. I know sometimes a deck gets re-published and the card stock may be different later on down the road, but mind have stood up to pretty heavy use for a few years.
Wow, you’re review is awesome, now I really feel as if I’m convinced to buy the Shadowsapes Tarot. I have to say though, owning a Tarot Deck is not a must for me, what motivated me to buy my first deck was to learn the basics on Tarot readings and artwork (and for that I did not bought a Rider-Waite since most cards have a scary feeling to them). I liked it when ou emphasized often in your video when you said, “…the cards have a nice feeling to it”, it makes me want to touch the cards myself from where I’m sitting. Thank you for the review, someday, I’ll explore Shadowscapes Tarot.
Thanks, I’m happy you enjoyed the review! None of these cards are scary like some of the rider-waite cards – its a very nice deck to work with!!