This deck finally came in two days ago! Whooooot.
I am absolutely fascinated by this deck. After reading the little white book, I discovered that the cards don’t have a traditional back cover. There are two very different worlds in this deck: you have the world of the secret forest: lush and wild with green, populated by the tiny creatures and spirits in the microscopic world where beetles and butterflies dwell in the depth that is normally imperceptible unless you pay close attention. It’s a fantastical world that exists in silence and ambiance. (I mean, we normally don’t really think about the bugs that are crawling quietly in the grass, right?)
If you flip the cards over, you have a very different world: a stark, monochrome version of the secret forest world. It is a much simpler, harsher, and darker reimagining of the green forest world. The brushstrokes are impressionistic, coarse, minimalist and powerful. When I look at the art I picture how this would impact on a reading–and my current thoughts are that the art style really brings the attention to the “moment”–a moment of change, of shock, of trepidation. There’s also this feeling of profound disconnection and contrast–it’s very interesting and paradoxical because while there is a sense of certainty and decisiveness being emanated from the ink strokes, there is also the sense of unreality because there aren’t enough colours and details. It’s very dream-like–the way that each card is being stripped down to its bare essence that doesn’t need colour to add any meaning to it. It’s like the nakedness and simplicity of it are enough.
Another thought that occurred to me was that the concept of the tarot is also very intriguing. Usually, with tarot we attempt to capture this universal archetypal world–there is a feeling of grandness and mystical transcendence to it. It’s like some kind of symbolic inflation or something. But this deck, conceptually, is already very distilled. It uses insects to capture the grand archetypal energy. It’s very cool because the Secret Forest is usually a place where we tend to overlook, and to seek insight or some revelation we would look up towards the sky and beckon an answer from the boundless universe, but the Secret Forest connects us to a different kind of reality–a reality that comes into being and focus when we truly look, pay attention, and zoom in. There is a vivid richness distilled in each of the card in Secret Forest and I look forward to working with this deck in the future.