The Prisma Visions Tarot started as a Kickstarter campaign, and has been on the market for nearly a year for all non-backers. I've had the deck for a little more than three weeks, and I only discovered about its' origins after that. So, I'm a bit late to the party. Yesterday, however, James R. Eads announced that the Second Edition of the deck would be available on Feb. 2 - it seems fitting that I would write this review now.
I first saw this deck back in November at Homestead Apothecary, and I heartbreakingly walked away from it. Homestead happened to have the cards free, out on the table, and as I flipped through them, I could see the passion that went into the work. I later purchased the deck from The Sacred Well, and was so glad to have done so. I feel complete now. This is the first deck that I have fallen in love with immediately upon (and before) purchase. I do adore many of my other decks, though some took a while before I could truly appreciate them, and others still that I just don't get.
The first thing to note about this deck is that it comes in a flip-top box, and that inscribed in the lid is a beautiful message along with the edition. The top is also beautifully decorated with an eye surrounded by a rainbow ray of light. Included is a comprehensive vision guide, where each card is given a dedicated page. The Major Arcana have an identifying symbol, and the minors are noted by their suit. Written by Katherine Tombs, the descriptions excellently detail the nuances of the artwork, and provide a deeper understanding of each of the cards.
The next thing that I noticed, which fills my heart with such glee, is that the cards feature a metallic silver edging. Seriously, it is SO shiny. The Major Arcana have a border on each of the cards framing the artwork, where the minor arcana are borderless. An added feature of the minor cards is a seamless scene for each of the suits. Not only does each card have a story to tell, but so, too, does the suit as a whole.
In adding to the list of obscurities (awesome as they may be), Eads also included a bonus card. Traditionally, tarot decks consist of 78 cards - 22 Major Arcana, and 14 cards in each of four minor suits. This deck, however, has a 79th card, a bonus card that can be used - or not - by the reader. In the First Edition, this card is "? - Strawberries"; in the Second Edition it will be "The Gift". This deck was printed on a fine quality cardstock, and features durable ink and a finish that is sure to last for years to come.
Reading with these cards is something else. Granted each deck is like that, but I feel with a more traditional Rider-Waite deck the readings are more predictable. With the Prisma Visions, there are similar key elements - but being more artistic, the reader is more easily allowed to read the paint strokes rather than the "traditional" aspect. I'm looking forward to the many readings that lie ahead.