The Golden Moth Illumination Deck Review

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Have you ever bought a Tarot deck as “a couple”?  goldenIf you haven’t, here’s what happens 90% of the time: You both get really excited about the deck, both decide you’re going to use it for every divination evar and your life will now become magically perfect.  It’s like trying on a new outfit at a store when you feel like your life is a reoccurring series of disasters.  You start imagining your new life and how wonderful and amazing it’s going to be now that you have this new outfit.

Thanks to this outfit, I now know how to knit and I’ve started an amazing charity for sheep who don’t have their own wool coats, I’m the CEO of this charity and making more money than I ever had, I’m ten pounds lighter, I finally bought chia seed and I juice three times a week, I’m desired by all sentient beings and!  I’m going to wear it to the party I’m going to this weekend where everyone will tell me how pretty and awesome I am and how gorgeous I look in the outfit and want to know all my secrets and will feed me artisan chocolates while brushing my hair*

And then you go into the dressing room, as confident as a Tudor Princess that all of this will happen.  You look in the mirror and . . .awful.  Just terrible.  Your arms look like bat wings, your tum looks like you’re starting your second trimester and was your hair that frizzy before?

Generally, with a Tarot deck, as much as you want the deck to be for both of you, it inevitably winds up used only by one of you.  It just . . .doesn’t work the same for both of you.  At this point, Jow and I are used to this. (I’m look at you, Lenormond deck.  You were full of French lies and you didn’t even leave me a coffee in the morning)  Now when we buy a deck together, we figure it will become one of our decks and it’s a way to lessen the financial splurge.

Not so with The Golden Moth Illumination Deck!  This is the first deck ever that works equally well for both Jow and me.

I didn’t read the description of the cards carefully enough so I assumed that there would be symbol interpretations since the symbology is not based on suits like a regular Tarot deck and has none of the Tarot imagery.  My first thought was honestly, How the hell am I going to make heads or tails of this?  This is a lot of work.

But as Jow and I tentatively drew cards and then used April as our guinea pig, my readings immediately bubbled up to the surface.  I could tell April’s question before she even told me, I had lots of trance-like reading/suggestions for action/visions about likely futures in under a minute.  Which is lightening fast for me and it was very little Work.  Not having to worry about more than a century of very intricate and specific interpretations of the cards actually made my readings more accurate.  At the same time, there’s just enough of a focal point there for me to work with because I have been historically not great with reading water or flame.  I’m reading other people realiy well and really fast but reading myself is trickier.  Right now Jow is primarily reading for me but I also have a lot of trouble interpreting my own dreams due to being so close to the source, so to speak.  I think with more time and patience, I’ll be able to read for myself accurately.

I love, love, love this deck.  Jow does too!  We sing it little songs with our questions in the songs.  I can see how they would work marvelously for gaining inspiration, they’re so different and just so charming.  I’m really glad we bought them because it’s a very limited run of 300 right now (though they may go commercial eventually) and there’s less than 20 decks left as of right now.

Specs:  The paper is a very high quality, like a very thick card stock.  The cards are a lovely cream color and the drawings are in teal green and a gorgeous golden yellow.   The deck fits very neatly into the palm of one’s hand, they’re much smaller than “regular” Tarot cards but I found that I really liked their size, they shuffle so very nicely.  The card stock is recycled, the ink is soy based and the cards were printed in Virginia.    The cards were all cut by hand.   The cards come with a lovely book that’s “book sized” and not “little white Tarot deck book” sized as well as a fold out spread layout called “The Arrow”.  I went through the deck initially and while the drawings are very open to interpretation, I could divide the deck into cards I viewed as positive outcomes, cards I viewed as neutral outcomes and cards I viewed as negative outcomes.  I could also see how many cards could be interpreted in different viewed, depending on which cards they were grouped with.  All of the cards tell a beautiful dream like story with a lot of possible outcomes and pitfalls.  I’m just so impressed that Aijung Kim put together this glorious artist vision both spiritually and visually.

Review note: I don’t know Aijung Kim personally or professionally.  I purchased the deck and fell in love!

Hilariously, the only time ever that came close to that was an occult after party right after my divorce when I was tired, angry and looked like shit.  Almost-olds, take note: that is like catnip to the youngs for some reason.  I wound up being fed delicious booze and had my hair petted by pretty young things as they hung on every cranky word that passed my lips.  I didn’t even know them beforehand!

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


4 Responses

  1. Deborah, thank you so much for your awesome review. I have written some follow-up comments to your review here:

    I was so wowed by your review and your personal take on using it, and I love the comparision to trying to find the perfect dress that will transform you. I admit I do this with other inanimate objects as well! I am thrilled that the deck actually provided that magic for you and Jow. Thanks again for this review, and now I’m down to 2 original decks (and I think I owe a lot of that to your review!) THANKS!

  2. […] Deborah Castellano reviews The Golden Moth Illumination Tarot Deck. […]

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