If you want to own a work of ART that you can hold in your hand, then the Dust II Onyx Tarot by Courtney Alexander is it!
The cards feature a 78 mixed media collage paintings accented with metallic and holographic foils, featuring cultural myths, symbolism, history and icons within the Black DiasporaCourtney Alexander
This deck is quality at its best! Byer be aware, this original deck I’m featuring boasts a hefty price tag of $149 USD and is worth every penny. If you love the deck but want something a little more affordable Courtney recently released a travel-sized edition on her site which retails for $65 USD.
I did my best to be able to capture the outstanding quality of this deck but to see it in person is another experience! Pictured above is the packaging and accompanying guide book. No detail was overlooked in this decks creation and as if the visual experience wasn’t pleasant enough the tactile takes it to another level!
The box is textured both inside and out. With details with the foiling and inside of the box that shimmers with the textured backs not only in the lid but under the cards as well. Velvet soft padding to protect the deck with ribbons for ease of retrieving the deck, along with protective cards on top.
The book is a hardcover book with ribbon tab. It is fully colored and very thick and information rich. Guidebook lovers will be sure to want to dive into it’s contents!
The cards themselves are slightly bigger than a standard tarot sized card. With gold gilded edging, smooth matte finish make the cards a pleasure to hold. As Courtney mentions in the quote above the cards also have both foil and holographic inlays in the cards which really bring the images to life and is nothing like I have ever seen from a deck! This is a whole new level of great quality Baby Squirrel!
Pictured above is the Ace of Gods to show off the quality of the cards individually. The bottoms of the cards are the only border with gold foiling and then the same for the title as well making the card pop. If that wasn’t enough the holographic inlays really bring the card to life! It not only breathes this vibrancy into the art but also adds a textured feel to the card making them far more lux! Courtney is able to take what would be a 2D image and really make it pop and become something more of substance.
I will preface that I have not had anytime to look into the book for further meanings. This is just my perspective from superficially glazing over the deck and speaking on the points of quality and observations with the knowledge base that I already have:
This deck certainly would not be the best for a beginner reader sticking to the RWS system and traditional imagery as this strays enough away from it that it would be a bit confusing. ( Not to detour any newbs wanting this deck, heck, my first deck was the Wooden Tarot and that certainly wasn’t the best, but it got me INTO tarot )
Pictured left is an example with the court cards. Instead of Page, Knight, Queen & King we have: Lil Blade, Young Blade, Papa Blade & Mama Blade. Not only are the genders switched around (which I feel is safe to assume there is a cultural reason behind this) but the prefix titles are also different.
Varying titles and gender is a common theme in this deck, which I will be reading more about to further understand.
Pictured right are the first 4 cards in the Major Arcana. This again displays the changes made from the traditional titles/images.
We have: The Emerging One, The Conjurer, The Shaman, The Queen Mother. Unlike: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess and the Empress, again we see a theme in titles and gender being changed. Culturally the female gender is celebrated and body positivity is embraced. This makes me smile to see that cultural norms are deeply rooted in respect. It certainly has me intrigued to read more about this deck and it’s origins based in history.
Do you have this deck? If so what are your thoughts and opinions on it? Comment down below and share with the rest of the Squirrel Nest so we can all learn and grow together 🙂
Want the deck or want to read more about it? CHECK OUT HER SITE here!