DECK REVIEW: Carnival at the End of the World Tarot

Hello, new deck!! I've been waiting for this deck since I first saw it back in October of last year and it's finally in my hands! I had to skip the Kickstarter since I couldn't swing the funds at the time but I finally pre-ordered this deck in February. I've been on the edge of my seat since last month when I saw the decks were starting to ship and seeing images of the cards on Instagram has been killing me since I was trying not to look at the whole deck because I like to be surprised when I go through the deck on my own. It's been hard not to look but I'm glad I waited, some cards were a happy surprise for me to see!

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This deck was created by two artists, Nicholas Khan and Richard Selesnick, who are both located in New York. Their art style is very captivating to me, it feels like a mix of old carnival and vibes of the 1930's. The images really give you a story within each card and you can pick up subtle theatre vibes, I also absolutely love the clothing and costumes worn by the figures in the cards!

The deck comes with 84 cards. There are 6 extra cards that you can choose to use or not. I'm not entirely sure what I will do with them just yet but I always like to keep a deck together when it comes with extra cards, it just feels like it should be kept as a whole. I was told by Nick, one of the artists of the deck, that the extra cards are not yet mentioned in the book that comes separate, but will in future editions. So it's best to use your intuition with these or give them a set meanings. I will be thinking over these and dissecting the images for sure! Three of them feel very "elemental" but not quite fully (top three in the picture above). The other three are bat themed, but all quite different. I love Madame Lulu in the dress!

The wait for this deck was hard but so worth it as the deck did not disappoint! It's just gorgeous and really feels different than the others being released right now. There is a charm about it that I just can't put my finger on, but it feels like magic. I plan to do a deep dive study with this deck. While some cards for sure have a RWS feel to them, most are entirely their own.

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A few of my favorite cards

Besides the cards I had shown in the first picture on this post (or all in fact), here are a few others that caught my attention. There is something very rigid and cold about the King of Swords and I love how they were depicted in this deck, made of entirely swords. The cold, hard metal just really captures the spirit of this court card well. Next up is the 3 of Swords, a very fresh depiction of this image that we all know so well. I totally see Baba Yaga vibes in this card and I plan to dive a bit into this area of the card.

I love, love, love the Ace of Wands! You have a beaver cutting away a tree only to make a "pencil" that is breaking out in fire. I love the energy in that card!

I'm always up for a good Devil and this one didn't disappoint, I want to go to whatever party they're hosting! Lastly, I adore the Chariot and their pieced together vehicle. The Chariot to me is always about having fear but not showing it, hiding it out of sight and just pushing forth out of will - I get that feeling in this card. Sometimes you need to do adult things but don't feel like an adult yet, that's me right now at the age of 35.

This deck is loaded with so many tiny details and nudges of folklore wrapped within the artwork. I feel like I'll be noticing new things with each use and that is exciting!

 Deck: Mystic Mondays

Deck details

Card stock
Hands down, amazing! If you're a fan of Uusi decks and their card stock... you're in for a treat! I discovered that the creators of this deck use the same card printing company as Uusi, so the card stock is the same as the Pagan Otherworlds tarot and it's truly divine. The Pagan Otherworlds tarot features my favorite card stock to date (though it will be changing in the future, sadly) and I'm thrilled to find it again in this deck. The card stock is, in my opinion, the "Goldie Locks" in the world of card stock... perfect thickness and just the right amount of bend, lush texture and smooth gliding.

Shuffling

It's no surprise that this deck shuffles well, just based on the card stock alone makes it a dream to shuffle. The cards are a great size, they feel pretty standard to me but I haven't measured them up yet, maybe a tad longer than your traditional tarot deck. They fit nice in your hand and it's easy to riffle and overhand shuffle. If you like to spread all your cards on the table and mash them around, you would have fun with this deck as the cards are slippery and move with ease.

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In the package
I opted to get just the deck, so mine came with the box and the cards. No booklet or guidebook, but they do have an optional 108-page guidebook available. I will be ordering it soon so I can have an idea of what the artists envisioned. However, since this deck doesn't come with a book it really gives you a chance to get intimate with the cards and develop your own interpretations, which I love! I'll be doing that now until the book is ordered, then I can add more layers into the interpretations.

Diversity
The bodies of the figures in general are all thin, but there is some BIPOC being represented in this deck which makes me happy to see, though there should always be a lot more. Most figures in the deck are wearing costumes and masks. One of my favorite cards in this deck is the Queen of Coins (see first image of post) and it is gorgeous!!

Overall
I think I made it pretty clear, but I'll say it again if not - I love this deck! From the card backs to the card stock to the deck's images... it's very well done and worth the price, though I was able to get the deck at the early bird price - It is currently $50 I believe. I'm thrilled to add this to my rotation of working decks and will be using it often! I look forward to digging deeper into this deck and getting to know the cards better!

⤳ Buy this deck HERE

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If you have this deck, how are you liking it?
Or is it on your wishlist?

Let me know in the comments below!

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