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One of the things I love about Tarot is the wide range of Tarot decks out in the world. Because Tarot cards are a form of art, there are loads of inspirational decks that help you connect with your spirituality and creativity.
In this article, I will be reviewing the Ostara Tarot deck. I will tell you what I love about the deck, what puts me off it, and what alternatives there are that might be better for your Tarot reading needs.
Ostara Tarot Deck Review
Now, I normally prefer modern decks that stick to the original Rider-Waite imagery, such as The Modern Witch Tarot deck by Lisa Sterle. This is just my own preference. I like how easy they are to read, and I find the up-to-date images pretty cool!
Because of this, I really didn’t know how I was going to feel about the Ostara deck. This deck brings in traditional themes around nature and the wilderness with a fairytale, fantasy-style artwork. The name Ostara actually refers to the spring equinox, and this definitely sets the vibe of the deck. The imagery feels old-school and whimsical, and you feel there is an energy of awakening and renewal with the deck.
It is created by four artists who live in Vancouver; Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard, and Julia Iredale. I love how the deck is a collaboration, and this makes me excited to see the eclectic mix of styles and ideas!
So, what did I find out when I unboxed it and connected with it?
Firstly, the boxing of the deck is beautiful. It comes in a beautiful green-blue box that feels pretty magical when you hold it in your hands. On the front is the image of the High Priestess card. It comes with a magnetic lid, and you open it up with a red ribbon. As I store my Tarot decks in their boxes, it was really nice to see a deck that has had a lot of thought put into its packaging.
On the back of the box is a little paragraph about the intentions of the deck. It asks us to open up to the natural world and identify with our relationship with the Earth. This is a really nice touch and really sets the scene of the deck. Inside the box is two piles of cards and the guidebook on top.
The artwork is not really my style, but this is merely down to my own personal taste. The artwork takes on more contemporary themes throughout compared to the traditional Rider Waite cards. It’s pretty and full of fun mythical beings and depictions of a fantastical world. Still, it’s just not my style.
However, I was keen to dive deeper into the deck and try out readings.
Most Tarot decks come with an accompanying guidebook that explains each card. For me, this is a pretty important part of the deck. It allows us to understand each card more and get to know the creator’s take on the Tarot.
The Ostara Tarot deck guidebook is pretty nice. It doesn’t include any spreads, which some guidebooks do. However, it contains keywords and a nice description of each card (both Major and Minor Arcana). The description includes a short bit about the artwork on the card and how they have interpreted the theme of the card and a more general meaning. It also includes the reversed meaning.
The cards are medium-sized and feel pretty sturdy. They are gilded with silver on the edges of the cards, which is a nice touch, but I think this caused the cards to be stickier. At first, some of the cards were stuck together, and I found them difficult to shuffle. However, they soon became easier to work with.
All the cards follow the traditional names and themes of the Rider-Waite, with fresh imagery and ideas. A lot of the key symbols are in the illustrations of each card. For example, the scales are on the Justice card. However, some of the cards do differ vastly from the traditional depictions. I enjoy this as I love discovering fresh takes on Tarot; however, this may be difficult for those who are new to Tarot cards.
The cards include images of animals, nature, and mythical beings. There is a whimsical, magical vibe to the cards with earthly colors and tones. Rabbits snuggle up together, and owls work hard. Foxes explore meadows, and the Kings of the deck are adorned with antlers.
I really like the backs of the cards, depicting a bird’s skull with roses flowering out of it. It really does give you that sense of renewal and hope that grows throughout the deck.
When getting a new Tarot deck, I like to first look at how they portray my favorite cards and see what cards stand out for me when flipping through the deck.
Of course, The Fool is the first card of the deck and a pretty significant one from the Major Arcana. It represents the start of a journey, and as every new deck is a journey, let’s look at how the Ostara Tarot deck portrays the Fool!
We see a girl on a broomstick flying upwards toward the sun, surrounded by birds. She is the Fool, venturing blindly on her adventure. The colors and artwork are sublime, and you do get the feel of the meaning of the card through its imagery.
One of my favorite Tarot cards is the Tower, another card from the Major Arcana. This is because it used to crop up all the time when I first started reading Tarot, and it took me ages to fully understand what it was trying to tell me and why the card isn’t actually as scary as we might think!
In the Ostara Tarot deck, the card is pretty similar to the traditional depiction of the Tower. We see a burning tower in front of the full moon, and birds scattered around. The sense of destruction is within the card, but the birds give you the sense of hope that comes with the Tower.
My favorite card in the Osara Tarot deck is the Six of Coins from the Minor Arcana Coins or Pentacles. It shows us a mermaid providing for her fish friends, and sharing her wealth. In the ocean, there is a flow of energy, with everyone getting what they need. This is the general meaning of the Six of Coins, and the depiction of this in the Ostara deck is absolutely stunning.
Reading With The Ostara Tarot Deck
So far, the Ostara Tarot deck is pretty impressive. I definitely like the artwork more than I thought, and I love exploring the imagery of each card. So, I thought I would do a reading with this deck and see if I connected with it!
I conducted a simple past, present, and future reading with the Ostara Tarot deck. In the past position, I received the Moon card. I thought this was pretty interesting, as I have suffered massively from anxiety and doubt in the past. I consulted the guidebook, which told me that I needed to call upon my dreams in order to guide my way. I definitely did this when suffering from doubt and self-esteem issues!
In the present position, I received the Page of Wands. This is a card of creativity and new beginnings, so I felt good about getting this as my present card. Recently I have begun a journey toward inner peace and happiness. However, there is a long way to go!
In the future position, I received the Ace of Coins. This card suggests prosperity and an upcoming change in regard to an existing goal. I related to this meaning, and it made sense in regard to my life.
Ostara Tarot Deck Review Conclusion
I really enjoyed this Tarot deck and the beautiful artwork on the cards. It isn’t really my style, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well I connected with it.
Pros of the Ostara Tarot Deck
- Beautiful and intricate artwork
- Allows you to connect with nature
- Depictions of a range of animals and people on the cards
Cons of the Ostara Tarot Deck
- Not as easy to read as other, more traditional Tarot decks
- The style of the cards might not be for everyone
How To Pick A Tarot Deck
If you are new to Tarot reading or are looking to get a new deck to add to your collection, there are some things to consider! Before I go straight into the review of the Ostara deck, I want to give you some handy hints when you are looking to buy a Tarot deck.
One of the main things to consider when buying a Tarot deck is where you are on your Tarot journey. A lot of newbies think that all Tarot decks are pretty similar, and therefore pick the one that they think is the prettiest or the first one that they come across.
However, a lot of decks are not really great for beginners. This is because they may change the imagery on the cards or names of the suits or specific decks.
If you don’t know much about Tarot reading, a traditional deck that is either the Rider-Waite deck or one that incorporates a lot of its imagery and symbolism is really helpful! This is because you can read these kinds of decks pretty intuitively. A lot of the imagery reflects the meaning of the card, and the meanings are universal to most Tarot decks.
My first Tarot deck was the Muse Tarot deck by Chris-Anne. Now, I don’t regret this, as I am in love with the deck and felt a deep connection with it as soon as I saw it.
However, it is a pretty difficult deck to start out with! The names of the suits are changed, and a lot of the stunning and emotive imagery differed vastly from traditional Tarot decks. This meant that it took me longer to get to grips with Tarot.
As I said, I didn’t regret buying the Muse deck as my first Tarot deck, and this is because of my intuition. When you are buying a Tarot deck, listen to your gut! If the imagery and vibe of a certain deck speak to you, this is the Tarot deck for you!
If you can, go into a shop and look at the decks in front of you. Pick them up and get a feel of the energy of the cards. Sometimes we are just inexplicably drawn to a certain deck. This is a good thing, and this means that it is the deck for you.
Read Reviews and Watch a Flip Through
Reading reviews (like this one) is a good way of choosing the right deck for you. You can find out what kind of deck it is and what themes it includes.
There are loads of YouTube videos that give you a flip-through of the deck, and this is a really good way of getting to know the cards before you buy. You can see how the deck depicts your favorite card and what imagery is on the cards.
Alternatives We Recommend
If the Ostara Tarot deck isn’t for you, there are some great alternatives that beautifully merge nature with Tarot.
The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot deck is hugely popular, and there is a reason for it! It is an absolutely stunning deck that has modern, interesting artwork that depicts animals and nature. The artwork is fantastic, and the cards are pretty easy to read and understand.
The Forest of Enchantment Tarot Deck
The Forest of Enchantment Tarot deck is perfect if you are really into fairytale themes and the natural world. It is based on the traditional Rider-Waite, reimaging it with depictions of animals and mythical creatures. There is a really gentle feel to this deck.
The Spiritsong Tarot Deck
This beautiful deck combines Tarot with animal guides, with each card depicting an animal. Inspired by Shamanic practices and Native American folklore, this Spiritsong Tarot deck allows us to enhance our lives with the powers of nature. It is truly beautiful and pretty easy to read, as it has keywords on each card.
Question: Is the Ostara Tarot Deck Suitable for Beginners?
Answer: This deck is okay for beginners. However, it may take you longer to get to understand the deep meanings of the cards fully.
Question: How do I Read the Ostara Tarot Deck?
Answer: You read the Ostara Tarot deck just like other decks, as each card has its traditional meaning. There is also a guidebook that comes with the deck that will help you!
Question: Where Can I Buy the Ostara Tarot Deck?
Answer: You can pick this deck up from a lot of online bookstores, such as Amazon.
Connect With Nature With the Ostara Tarot Deck
The Ostara Tarot deck is magnificent and a great addition to your Tarot deck collection. I love how it aims to pay homage to the natural world because we often forget to do this!
It is a great deck, but I would hesitate if you are a beginner. However, remember to listen to your intuition. If it is calling you to this deck, follow!
Find more beautiful tarot decks below:
Best Animal Tarot Themed Deck Ideas for Any Divination
Egyptian Tarot Deck Ideas: Decks Inspired by Ancient Mythology