I have been a fan of Nikkie Stinchcombe, also known as Little Paper Forest, for some time now, so in October 2017 when she announced that she was starting a zodiac illustration project, I was rather excited. I had planned on posting about the project when the last illustration was completed, but she implored the internet to leave the pictures alone, since they were still being revised. Then, in late January 2018, Stinchcombe announced that the illustrations were being made into tarot-style cards, and I immediately hit “add to cart.”
The cards feature feminine interpretations of each sign of the zodiac, plus Ophiuchus, the so-called 13th sign. Many of the figures feature looks from high fashion/couture, such as Iris Van Herpen, who I adore. I also like that the cards have a uniform color scheme of black, grayscale, and bluish-lavender. It’s unusual and very pretty. This is a more modern deck, in lines of a Labyrinthos Academy, more than a Lo Scarabeo, for example.
The 13 card deck is $20 (plus $7 shipping) which works out to about $2 per card, and they measure 3.5″ x 7″ each. Not cheap at all, but indie decks are usually super expensive (let’s be honest). The reason that I paid such a steep price for them is 1) I’m familiar with the artist’s work and have been very happy with it in the past, and 2) I think these cards would be perfect for zodiac-themed crystal grids.
The deck arrived quickly, especially considering that it was shipped from Canada to the US, which is usually quite slow. The cards are matte on both sides, which wasn’t noted in the listing, and there is copyright information on the back. I didn’t expect this because all that the listing says is: “Watermarks will NOT be printed on the front as shown in the first 2 pictures!” Apparently, that information was moved onto the backs, which aren’t pictured in the listing, either. Generally, card readers dislike brand information on the backs of cards, but I also don’t anticipating anyone shuffling these cards like a standard deck, regardless.
I like the size of the cards, which is larger than a standard tarot card, but not too big. You can see my photo of an individual card to the left (apologies for the quality, the sunlight in winter is so harsh). I chose the Ophiuchus card to show here, since it’s a unique feature of the deck. I also appreciate that the figures have varying skin tones, something many decks lack.
While there are issues with this deck, specifically the high cost, it’s something unique, and that’s worth considering. When you buy indie decks, you support independent artists, which is always a good thing. If this deck appeals to you, definitely pick it up, it’s unique and really cool. You won’t regret adding it to your card collection; I’m very happy to have it in mine.
Do you have this deck in your collection? What do you think of it?
First two images and header from the Little Paper Forest Shop
All other images by me