You asked for it, so here it is! The Wild Unknown tarot deck was the second deck I ever purchased on my own, as I was immediately drawn to its vivid color and… yes, wild imagery. Today I review and introduce you to this deck that is very close to my heart.
The Nitty Gritty
Full disclosure: I purchased the version without an accompanying guidebook, so I will leave this part out of the review.
- Card stock: These babies are sturdy and smooth like butter to shuffle. I myself am a riffle shuffler and, many years later, have yet to see any wear and tear on this cards. This deck comes in a beautiful matte finish.
- Animal Court: In lieu of traditional Knight, Kings, Queens, and Pages, The Wild Unknown offers Sons, Fathers, Mothers, and Daughters, and depicts these as members of the animal kingdom, alongside much of the Major Arcana. Court substitutions aren’t for everyone, but for me this change well-represents the theme of a wild unknown and supports my immersion into the deck’s purpose and message.
- Color and Artwork: With the exception of a few cards (understandably, for example, the 9 of Swords and the 10 of Swords), this deck is wonderfully colorful and fun. I am a fan of Kim Krans’ art and own her oracle deck as well, and can’t sing enough praise for the creativity and love that goes into the artwork alone.
- Backings: I find myself often disappointed with The Wild Unknown’s card backings, and often wish for a little more character and color in Krans’ deck backings. While there is nothing truly offensive about them, I do feel there was a missed opportunity to add a little extra to the deck.
- Not truly a beginner’s deck: While there are some traditional ties to the original tarot meanings many of us are familiar with, this isn’t exactly a beginner’s deck if we are to define a “beginner’s deck” as the ideal studying tool that would allow you to understand other tarot decks from this one. Some depictions stray quite far from the standard beginner’s model, so this is just something to keep in mind if this would be your first tarot purchase.
I Recommend If…
You’re cool with a more abstract and… wild (okay, I’ll stop now) depiction of the tarot, and are connecting with the artwork. For animal lovers in particular, The Wild Unknown tarot would be a wonderful addition to your deck collection.