For my first deck review – I say, like a magician bluffing as she prepares her first feat of sleight of hand – I shall be talking about the Accurate AF Tarot! If “you like direction and brutally honest illumination, and if you like it accurate AF”, then this might be just the deck for you.
I saw the Accurate AF Tarot on Instagram a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love with the serene art style and the round cards. I’ve seen round decks here and there but they mostly feel quite dated; in contrast, the Accurate AF Tarot feels modern and distinctly millennial. Let’s take a deep dive into what makes this deck so remarkable from others out there!
☑ Art style
The deck features lots of yummy negative space, and hand-drawn black and white illustrations with just a dash of soft colour here and there. I learned later that the artist, Paige McLeod, had drawn each card in a notebook and added texture digitally later on. The result is a deck that feels serene in its minimalism and gentle in its emphasis with colour.
Each card is bordered with keywords for its upright meanings on the left and reversed meanings on the right, all in a clean serif font (more on this later!). The card number is in a larger serif font on the 6 o’clock position, while the card name is on the 12 o’clock position in a handwritten font. I adore handwritten fonts – although here it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the numbers 4 and 7, and between 5, 8, and 9.
As a matter of preference, I gravitate towards decks that feature people – and I especially enjoyed how the deck featured lots of full-lipped, brown-skinned ladies and gents. Many are nude or in some state of undress, and there’s a symbolic use of tattoos, often of images supporting the meanings of the cards.
I personally feel very represented by the Queen of Rings – I sported very short hair in college! – and the Maiden of Rings – coming home after school always meant ditching clothes and getting into bed with a book.
Aside from the people, you’ll see a mishmash of elements from different cultures: Arabian carpets, tiki torches, African headwraps. You’ll find imagery you’ll expect of a tarot deck – celestial beings, scenes in nature – but there are a lot of modern images too – silk dancing, a laptop, a girl mixing bath salts in a tub. I appreciate how the Accurate AF Tarot manages to bring the extraordinary into the everyday – because isn’t that what all tarot decks are trying to do on some level?
☑ Faithfulness to the RWS images
The Accurate AF Tarot refers to the suits as Wands, Swords, Cups, and Rings; and to the court cards as Maiden, Son, Queen, and King.
For the most part you’ll see that the cards remain faithful to the original RWS images…
…but some are clever reinterpretations!
I haven’t gotten tired of shuffling through the deck and trying to understand why each card looks the way it does. I’m hardly an expert on symbolism though, so I wouldn’t claim to catch all of the included references. Here, for example, you’ll find Paige pointing out the symbolism she used for The Empress!
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Here’s some symbolism uncovered….⠀ The energy of joy expressed by the Empress tarot is physical and emotional, but also spiritual. This is why the sky in the Empress card is yellow.⠀ Her necklace of 12 stars, representing the houses of the zodiac, shows that the Empress is the queen of the heavens.⠀ Red lips signify not only physical love, but passion in general.⠀ This message is reinforced by the symbol of Venus hanging from her headscarf. ⠀ The Empress feeding a baby can be viewed not only as physical – indicating the nurturing that goes into raising a child – but can also be seen in a mental and emotional form. A ‘baby’ can also represent a new business, school project, invention, etc.⠀ #tarot #accurateaf #astrology #palmistry #lightworker #illuminated #yogi #astrology #accurateaftarot #tarotcards #tarotspread #numerology #muse #gypsy #gemology #crystalhealing #reiki #mystic #divination #spiritual #oraclecards #crystal #tarotreader #divination #palmistry #kundalini #kickstarter #tarotkickstarter
☑ Skill level
From the get-go, one of the hooks of the Accurate AF Tarot is that the keywords for the upright and reversed meanings are written along the border of each card. Of course, nothing can replace a good tarot textbook, but for a newbie who’s still cramming 78 cards’ worth of meanings in their head, it’s helpful to have the definitions already incorporated into the design (as opposed to writing them on individual color-coded Post-Its, like I did when I was learning)!
The major adjustment in using a round tarot deck is actually reading it as a round tarot deck. If, like me, you don’t read reversals, it can be hard to avoid them here because there’s no guarantee that the cards will stay oriented the same way during shuffling.
But that’s the charm of round cards. They’re meant to spin ‘round willy-nilly during shuffling, and you’re not supposed to expect boxed-in answers – which is an apt metaphor for life, really. Rather than black-and-white upright-versus-reversed meanings, I’ve heard round cards can represent degrees of how upright or how reversed you’re feeling right now. That’s an interesting theory I’m trying out for myself – which I’ll talk about in an upcoming post soon!
Quick tips for reading a round card: if the name on the 12 o’clock position appears anywhere in the northern half of the card, it’s upright. If the name shows up on the southern half, it’s reversed.
☑ Card stock
The Accurate AF Tarot cards are printed on four-inch circular cards made of 350gsm laminated cardstock, with gold foil around the edges. I was hoping for thicker cardstock the likes of the Starchild and Moonchild Tarot – but then again that’s sort of me (unfairly) wishing all tarot cards were made like that.
Nevertheless it’s lovely, and it looks like it will (hopefully) last with proper care.
☑ Packaging and inclusions
The Accurate AF Tarot comes in a two-piece hard-cover box, so at least that will help ensure their safety and longevity (tuck boxes might be easier to carry, but they’re way more fragile!).
These cards weren’t sent to me because I got them pre-loved, so I can’t speak as to how they’ll arrive by post. Nevertheless, I received both the box and cards in excellent condition – even after the cards had been used at an event.
The package doesn’t include a book, which makes a lot of sense because the cards themselves are already plenty educational. Personally, I’m not a fan of most booklets that come with decks, anyway; experienced tarot readers won’t need them (and they just drive the price of the deck up), and beginners would be much better off reading actual tarot textbooks to get more holistic interpretations.
The package does include an embossed calling card, an in-theme sticker labeled Abundance (which I love because that’s one of my main concerns this year), and a small note from Paige herself!
✔ Do I love it? Yes!
Overall, I’m quite happy with the deck! I’ve yet to really get some mileage reading with it, but I already know it vibes well with the rest of my babies.*
*This is my first review, so I’ll go through my collection of tarot decks one by one in the upcoming weeks!
I also anticipate the amusement of using the Accurate AF Tarot to read for people and having them mistake the cards for coasters! Though I think if Prism + Fleur Studios actually prints some of these designs out as coasters, they would also be BOMB.
Merry we meet again!
All the good juju,
Have you tried reading with the Accurate AF Tarot – or with any round tarot deck? I’d love to know if you have a minute to tell me below!