This deck unexpectedly made its way into my hands thanks to one of its talented creators reaching out to me and asking if they could send it my way and entrusted me with their art to write a review of my thoughts. I eagerly accepted as my tarot and oracle collection has been steadily growing since I bought my first almost five years ago.
The card box is solid, with a secure magnetic closer that satisfyingly snaps shut to let you know the beautiful cards within are safe. Functionality wise, this is my favorite type of box for decks and I am extremely happy that they have become common for recent production. I cannot stand the standard tuck boxes because they are near impossible to prevent from tearing and they don’t hold the cards as carefully as the magnetic flap boxes.
So, for those who treat their cards as preciously as I do, you will be very pleased with the packaging of this deck.
Aesthetically, the art printed onto the outside of the box has a cosmic and starry blue-purple design, while the outer sides and inside of the box both have an earthly design of intricate trees, leaves, and forest wildlife. You will also find sacred geometry on the box cover and interior hidden beneath the stack of cards. All on this background of dark brown that has been detailed to look almost like wood or bark.
Card Back and Card Stock
Card back artwork is one of those elements that is not a make or break for me. If the artwork throughout a deck resonates and is attractive to my eye, then it won’t matter what I think about the backs. At best, they just end up being a nice bonus if I really like them.
Knowing that, this deck has one of the most gorgeous card backs I have ever seen and it is easily one of my favorites in my collection. It feels mindful in its inclusion of symbolism from the trees of life to the fish, stags, birds, and foxes, and they are all seamlessly tied together with intricate embellishments. And the background also has that woody texture I mentioned before that makes the design have a depth it wouldn’t otherwise have had if the background had been a solid color.
The card stock is sturdy enough that you’ll feel confident using them without worrying that they’ll start fraying and bending in a few months. They feel like they will last you a very long time, if not for a lifetime, but are not so stiff that they are awkward to shuffle and handle. I feel a perfect balance between quality and usability when I work with the cards.
Another thing I really wanted to note because it’s a definite plus for me, the deck has a rich dark brown edging that looks absolutely fantastic as it matches with the card backs.
There is much to be explored in the artwork which was all hand painted and is consequently impossible to adequately go through in a single review. The use of color, light, and shadow create these ambiances and environments that add to the meanings and emotions evoked by each card. An enormous amount of skill and attention to detail was applied to the paintings that make up this deck, each of which could easily stand on its own on a giant canvas in an art gallery.
But the most important and unique part about the artwork is its focus on the Divine Masculine and how it visually explores the infinite amount of ways that masculinity can manifest and present itself. It takes you through a journey of discovery between yourself and this energy that exists within us all to varying degrees and which we can all tap into.
Now, let me be clear, this deck is not an affirmation of traditional gender roles but actually a refute of the idea that there is only one “correct” way to embody masculinity. Each card is another example of the possibilities and creativity that exist within men and within masculine presentation and identity. You will find dominance, strength, and leadership but also softness, joy, and fellowship and so many other ways of being that reside outside of the rigidity of the gender binary.
Guidebook and Lore
If you buy the deck, it does come with a standard little white book that contains short blurbs on the meanings of the cards and the unique interpretations of the creators, Filip and Marko Vasich. This will be more than enough for readers who like to let their intuition draw out the message and story behind the cards.
For bibliophiles and lovers of lore like myself, I would encourage you to buy the Tarot of the Divine Masculine – The Book of Art and Meaning. Do not doubt me when I call this a book, this is as sturdy and solid as any novel and it includes full-color pages of each of the deck’s paintings so that you can view them in all of their picturesque glory.
The book explains in greater depth The Sacred Garden, the world created by the artwork and the Four Kingdoms comprised of the four suits and their elements. My favorite lines in the book are all of the beautifully worded poems and prose that accompany each of the cards’ descriptions, as a writer and poet myself these additions make the deck feel all the more special and touching.
The journey has begun
My worries they are none
– The Fool | Tarot of the Divine Masculine - The Book of Art and Meaning
Considering this deck is comprised of meticulously painted works of art that demonstrate an enormous amount of talent, it is difficult to pick favorites but there are certain ambient color stories that really drew me into the world of a few cards.
Intuition is the second card, replacing The High Priestess which under normal circumstances I would have disliked. However, the artists stayed true to the nature of the card and painted the most magical, glittering forest coated in deep teal hues, the silhouette of a stag clearly visible in the distance. The central figure is a slim, delicate man that almost looks elven amongst the scenery and around him is wrapped a flowing, sheer cloth that drapes over him as he stands proudly on a crystal cluster.
Death was a pleasant surprise, it is a card I’m partial to as it is one of my two birth cards but even some of my favorite decks don’t do it justice. When I saw this mysterious, ghostly man leaning against a dead or dormant tree in partial armor with a scythe in hand, all set in a desert landscape that holds signs of both life and death – I was floored. And it’s made even better with the dark, star-filled sky that illuminates everything in this card with cool shades of blue, green, and purple.
Keeper of Cups stands in for the Queen of Cups, and has a romantic gradient of colors that go from black-purple, to lavender and peach, to ocean blues. A wave is crashing against the rocky shore and on a giant seashell sits a man who could be called a princess as easily as a prince. A vision as beautiful as Venus with an intricate headpiece that drips strings of pearls around him and almost looks reminiscent of luminescent sea creatures. His facial expression is quizzical and calm, and his presence is undeniably regal and alluring.
Honorable Mention: Knight of Wands.
With the copious and overflowing number of decks that are in the market for the exploration and honor of the Divine Feminine, the Tarot of the Divine Masculine is a much needed addition to the world of tarot. What makes me eagerly recommend this deck is the fact that it does not aim to illustrate masculinity as entirely separate from femininity or superior, but rather as an energy that exists just as naturally and with the same fluidity.
I am a cisgender woman and I have never felt drawn to identifying as anything else, but within my femininity I have always been extremely explorative and dipped into what would be considered stereotypically masculine whenever I felt called to. From cutting my hair short with a buzzed down undercut (in spite of being told it would make me unattractive to men) to consciously sitting and adjusting my posture to take up space in the world with mannerisms most akin to men. But I never felt inspired by masculine leaning decks because they never seemed to include that curious playfulness and overlap of identities and the many styles in which they can be expressed and performed.
Several, if not the majority, of the decks in my collection have a hyper focus on femininity, women, or goddesses, and the Tarot of the Divine Masculine is the first with such an explicit highlight on masculinity, its stories, and energy that I am looking forward to integrating into my card reading practice.
All the lovely characters on the paintings remind us how the energy of Divine Masculine is not expressed through force or outer strength, but really is about finding the strength within.
– Filip Vasich and Marko Vasich