The Wild Unknown Tarot – Review

The Wild Unknown Tarot – Kim Krans

I was involved in a Facebook discussion where I said that I couldn’t bring myself to unbox this deck, even though I had coveted it.  So, I went to my boxes and got it out and here goes.

The sleeve is lovely; both back and front.  I remove it to reveal a superb black box which has a magnet faster embedded in the cover and which has a stunning frontispiece and gorgeous depictions of Pentacles, Swords, Staffs and Cups on the base.  I may have the wrong descriptors here but I still haven’t opened the box.  The simplicity of this presentation is delightful and, perhaps, more powerful because of it.

OK, the box is open and I’m faced with the inside cover to the box which carries a quatrain:

may you

always be on

the inner


The script is a rainbow of colour and sits well on the black base.

Next in my line of sight is the guidebook which replicates the image shown on the sleeve and on the lid of the box with colours bleeding from its edges towards the centre.  The text is bold and commanding.  This is a book that wants to be read!  There is a broad ribbon to raise the book from the box and I gently tug on this to see what happens; the book rises from its nest to expose the deck below and I find that it is both sturdy and larger than I expected. The back cover replicates the suit images on the base of the box and inside there is a dedication.

There is a short introduction headed ‘drawing the tarot’ which explains something of the artist and then I am immediately into chapters on ‘understanding the deck’ and ‘reading the cards’.  I skim through these as I want to go directly to the cards which is just a bit different to how I thought I felt about this deck; but I will return to these chapters as I bring the cards to my card of the day stable.

The broad ribbon is still in play and another, gentler tug brings the deck itself into the light; it is beautifully boxed and I think that I should have said before that this is a special edition of The Wild Unknown Tarot. The box containing the cards replicates the design of the sleeve, outer box and book; there are subtle difference in the colouring here where the bleeding colours are swirling around the universe as they do on the sleeve.  The book and outer box are more muted.  The lid of this box fully contains the base which holds the cards and I am beginning to feel a connection to this presentation that I did not anticipate.  With the box now open I can see the cards inside with another broad ribbon to release them.  The inside lid is printed with a welcome note which I find heart-warming, and which sets the tone for the deck.

wild_unkown_4coinsThe first card I see is the 4 of Pentacles which is, again, not what I expected; most decks are set into arcana and suits but this deck appears to have been preshuffled so I take the card as an omen.  According to the indications in the book, this card can bring good news about finances and home and warnings against being too materialistic; indications that I can take on board according to my current situation.  The cards are heartbreakingly beautifully drawn and the charcoal-like images and fills are enhanced by the subtlety of the watercolour highlights which, as one would expect from that medium, blend superbly.

wild_unkown_3swordsInterestingly this subtlety does not belong to all of the cards; thereis nothing subtle about the dripping red of the 3 of Swords but, my goodness, it does get its meaning across.  I’ve never seen colour used to such advantage in such an otherwise simply illustrated deck; when I say simply illustrated I refer to the subtle beauty of the drawings and in no way do I intend to mark these cards as ‘simple’.  I forgot to mention that the inside bases of the boxes is marked with the symbol for infinity; and that is just how I feel when looking at the cards.  It’s like gazing into the infinite; and I like it.

I think, now that it is open, that this deck will suit me. I appear to already be in love with it, which makes three to share my heart; not to the exclusion of my others but almost certainly to the dominance.  I believe that this deck will suit readers who appreciate the subtle complexity of nature and who prefer their images a little more ‘pared down’ than other decks such as the Cathar Tarot which, although beautiful in their own right, can sometimes overwhelm the senses.

I hope to bring more views of this deck as I get to know it better and how to use it wisely.

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