DECK REVIEW: Russian Tarot Lubok

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When I received an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing a unique, Russian tarot deck, I jumped at the chance! I was quickly fascinated with this darling deck and couldn’t wait to see it in person. When it finally arrived I was so excited to get a closer look! Going through each card felt like I was flipping through a charming story book, it is filled with so many cute images and each card has such great detail. This deck is beyond adorable with cheeky humor!

The Russian Tarot Lubok deck took 2 years to make and was created by two amazing tarot masters: Sergey Savchenko, who has been practicing tarot in Russia for 24 years, and Eugene Vinitski, a professional cinema artist and tarot master who lives in Switzerland. The deck features delightful Russian fairytales and familiar imagery, perfect for readers of all levels!

The deck is written in Russian but the imagery is so clear and concise that it’s easy to pick up what is going on. The art is both lovable and entertaining, I just can’t get over how sweet the characters are on the cards!

The cards are standard tarot size and measure roughly: 2.75” x 4.75”.

What does Lubok mean?
Lubok (лубок) in Russian means simple graphics and narratives taken from literature and popular folktales. It is commonly used as decoration in houses and inns.

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favorite cards

Every card has something I love on it, all the way down to how they were illustrated and colored. It was hard to pick just a few but I managed to narrow it down and want to show case several cards!

Starting with the Major Arcana, the Fool caught my attention first! It illustrates the Fool with a rosy-red nose, riding an adorable lavender javelina… oh how cute is that! It’s so charming! Another card that quickly seized my eye was the High Priestess illustrated as a gorgeous indigo owl/bird holding a crescent moon. I adore this card and I think it may be my absolute favorite in the entire deck, it just screams mystery and intuition! The last Major Arcana I want to highlight is the Strength card, it’s yet another cute, hilariously illustrated card. It shows a woman riding a 7-headed dragon with her nipples out! Did I mention this deck has a great sense of humor? Love it!

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Moving along to the Minor Arcana… there are so many amazing cards, it was extra hard to pin down a few so I just pulled two for the review. The 7 of Wands looks to be featuring a drunk man looking and pointing up at the birds carrying things on their back across the sky. Talk about seeing things when your plastered, haha! Another card I love is the 3 of Swords which illustrates a man being tied to a chair getting his heart torn out by a devil. Ya, I think that is exactly how it feels when this card comes to life! Also, I love the smug look on the devils face, priceless!

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Cardstock + Shuffling

The Russian Tarot Lubok was printed on nice sturdy 350 gsm cardstock that feels really smooth to the touch but not glossy, which I like! The cards are thick but still pliable for shuffling and because they are standard tarot card size, they handle well and fit good in your hands. While I’m quite picky with cardstock, I’m very happy with this deck! It’s great quality!

Card Imagery

There are a few things I want to highlight about this deck and the card imagery. First off, the entire deck is written in Russian but don’t let that steer you away, it’s very easy to pin point which cards are what! All of the Minor Arcana cards show the suit symbol on the top right corner, so it’s easy to tell which suit the card comes from. The Ace through 10 have numbering at the top of each card for quick reference, so matching the number with the element symbol is easy peasy!

The courts are also easy to recognize and are simple to understand once you look at them closely. All of the Pages show a younger/teen person, the Knights are each on a horse, the Queens showcase all adult women as the main imagery, and the Kings are all wearing crowns and of course, they look like a king.

The Major Arcana is also very easy as the numbering of the cards are all written in Roman Numerals on the bottom of the cards and seem to follow RWS order. All in all, the cards are very easy to pin point and I actually like that I can’t read the card titles in english because it pushes you to really tap into your intuition more!

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Each card has a white border that makes the images pop! The colors are absolutely perfect and fit this deck beautifully. The illustrations are clearly done and the story on each card comes to life in your hands. I haven’t seen a deck this lively in quite a while that both stretches the imagery and still follows a RWS system, I really enjoy it!

The card backs showcase a rich in color lattice pattern with the sun and moon featured, they are reversible as well which is always nice.

The deck does come with two extra cards! One is, I believe, a significator card that features a man and a woman on opposite sides of the card, this is optional to use. The other card is blank and I think can be used as a marking card (where you shuffle the deck with this card in it, then look for it as a marker as to where to cut the deck for a reading) or you could get creative and use it for something else if you choose to. You could even leave it in the deck and put special meaning to it!

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Guidebook + Packaging

If you were hoping for an English guidebook, you’re in luck! The deck has the option to come with a downloadable guidebook that is in English, it can also be purchased separately. It is well written and adds more info about the cards. I highly recommend the guidebook if you are looking for more guidance on the cards, but if you are an intuitive reader like me, you don’t have to worry about having it on hand. The cards really speak for themselves I find!

The Russian Tarot Lubok comes packaged in a hard box that features a lid that comes off the top, it’s such a nice box! I wish all decks came in boxes like this one, it’s awesome! Inside the box was the securely fit deck and a little white book (in Russian). The packaging was great, I was very impressed!

Final Thoughts

I have to say that I absolutely love this deck, even more than I thought I would! It’s both charming and funny, but also very relatable and familiar. I’m extremely grateful that they reached out to me for a review and I’m even more grateful to have this deck now in my collection, it’s a real treat!

⤳ You can 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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