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ChanCake  ChanCake is offline
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MagsStardustBlack, do you mean the second part after you have already filled out your adress? The delivery options part? Because there's a small circle that you can click that refers to the first adress you filled in for the shipping cost part. If you click on that, it should be fine. I didn't have any problems with ordering myself, coming from the NL.
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This deck is simply stunning!Looking at the website, it seems that each of the four artists was responsible for a suit. How neat!
So I caved, and preordered
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MagsStardustBlack  MagsStardustBlack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChanCake View Post
MagsStardustBlack, do you mean the second part after you have already filled out your adress? The delivery options part? Because there's a small circle that you can click that refers to the first adress you filled in for the shipping cost part. If you click on that, it should be fine. I didn't have any problems with ordering myself, coming from the NL.
Aaaahhh. Thank you yes I did mean that part.
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SarahJoy  SarahJoy is offline
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The Ostara arrived today! The cards are as beautiful as I expected. The LWB is about twice the size of most, and looks nicely done. The deck appears to be RWS-based. Next week I'll spend more time with it and get a better feel for its readability and cohesion.
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Dark Victory '39  Dark Victory '39 is offline
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It arrived here in the states. First impressions: a lot of the cards that weren't shown on the ostara link (cards meant to be a surprise) are more beautiful than the plentiful pix already shown. Cardstock is similar to the silver-witchcraft, prisma visions and zirkus: glossy hard. Softly rounded corners are a nice touch. I like that they don't have suit name titles, just roman numerals for all the minors; though the majors interestingly have no numbers just titles so you can place strength and justice where you will, but in the book they put justice first. I see that the downside (or plus side) is that you will have to study the cards beforehand so that when they come up in a reading you'll instantly know which ones they are. There are often actual cups or swords or tools in a lot of the cards to help remedy. Okay, don't quote me, but maybe those indicators of suit ARE on each card-- i'm at work right now, behaving badly writing this, so can't check. Anyway, i had a strong first impression that i'd want to do a little studying before reading w/ them.

I don't know how helpful this is, but it has a v. powerful vibe; more spiritual than i expected? I was initially attracted to the soft colors, the animal morphing, and the gentle healing quality; all of that is there, but there is also something-- i don't know if it's cutting-edge exactly but it feels both v. modern and v. timeless. You see humans watching a whale surfacing, and the empress' fingerless gloves and it feels like us, modern day humans living in the tarot; and then some of the cards are old, deeply rooted to the past w/ a strong pagan vibe: the knight of (swords I think?) in valkyrie headgear charging through the snow. [EDITING to add: his headgear is a bear's head, but there's a valkyrie in Judgement.] The blend is so seamless and works so well and none of this really takes into account the fantasy surreal elements, or how some cards are so gentle and others beautifully scary: devil and king of coins.

I was wondering if some of the animals would feel too cutesy, but they really dont, even though some are depicted among their tea-things. Others are totally in their natural environment, less, i guess, anthropomorphic. On a personal level, i'm a big fan of the Jamie Sams animal cards, especially its book and I love that a lot of those animals are depicted here, so i can cross-over my knowledge. As was mentioned earlier in one of the Ostara threads, it seems like it could attract fans of the Wild Unknown. Pagan, animals, something clean and modern about it. Wild Unknown never really attracted me, but this really does. Havn't read with it yet as i really want to take my time and look at before giving it a go.

I just posted in another thread about how this isn't really my favorite type of cardstock because of the scuffing that seems to happen instantly, however the full-bleed might help disguise that a little. I like the full-bleed but for people who buy the next release of it, i dont think it would be a huge detraction w/out it, assuming the figures stay about the same size.

The book is really nicely put together (and larger than a lwb) w/ both upright and reverse meanings (the reverse printed upsidedown). The collective did a nice job w/ a v. simple one line description of each card as sort of a premise, though the bulk of the space is spent with fairly typical meanings for the cards. I would have loved a few more details about the actual art, example what are sigils on the emporers body? but i also respect that it gives me the reader a free range and avenue for my own research. It's amazing how nicely the four artists styles blend; would love to hear more about what the creative process (and the collaboration) was like for them, though for all i know some of this is on their website; i'll have to go check it out more carefully now that i have the deck in hand. I love the repeated use of eyes by the artist who does the magician and wheel. As a whole there is lot of blindfolds, blinders, hoods and then also eyes being prevelent and wide open and shooting beams, or presented as a multitude of eyes throughout the whole deck. Seeing and unseeing? As if that were possible. lol. It'll be cool, don't quite know how it will work.
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Just received my deck today too!!!

I'm not crazy about the flimsy tuck box. Also, the meanings of the reversals are written upside-down in the LWB, so you have to keep flipping the book back and forth to read it.

Other than that, I really like this deck so far! I love the slick glossiness, and the gorgeous artwork. I did a few simple spreads to see how it would read. Even though it is a collaborative deck, the spreads didn't appear jarring, and it was easy to maintain the flow of the readings.

I agree with DarkVictory'39 that people who like Wild Unknown may also enjoy this deck. To me, this deck is also somewhat reminiscent of Hidden Realm and Badgers Forest.
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SarahJoy  SarahJoy is offline
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I just posted this in Deck of the Week:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahJoy View Post
The artwork of the Ostara is beautiful, and it's obvious that a lot of thought and consideration was put into the deck. However, I'm having issues.

While each of the artists' work is incredible, I just can't read the deck as visually cohesive. To my eye, the Two of Swords and Strength, for example, simply don't belong in the same universe.

Along the same lines, the fact that the card numbers/descriptors jump from the top of the card to the bottom to the top again drives me batty. Because the number of suit symbols isn't easily evident looking at a card, I actually need/use the numbers, and the lack of consistency slowly wears on you. (This wouldn't be a problem if you use the same deck for a good amount of time.)

The cardstock is glossy and thin. It feels like it is pretty durable, overall, but the ink on the edges is chipping pretty badly already. There were a few chips when I first opened the deck, and it's only gotten worse. (I suspect this is why the first edition will be the only one with full bleed.)

Now, I would be remiss if I didn't note the positives of the Ostara. The artwork, like I said, is stunning. It's an RWS-based deck, but very few cards feel like re-dressed clones. (The 7 of Swords is an exception, but it's perfect!)

The cards are full-bleed (no borders), and the titles/numbers feel unobtrusive. This is my ideal, as it allows the eye to really focus on and read the image, rather than just the title.

The imagery is a mix of people and animals. In the minor Arcana, each number is associated with a specific animal, which is pretty cool. The Fives have snakes, the Sevens have Raccoons, etc. Sometimes the animal is the subject; sometimes it's a mask worn by a person; sometimes the animal is just part of the scene. Overall, it's a really great layer of imagery and symbolism.

This will probably never be a reading deck for me; the lack of coherency is too distracting. However, it would be very suitable for study, admiration, and daily draws.
To that, I would add:
- The cards aren't as stiff/thick/heavy as the Prisma Visions or Wild Unknown. They're more bendy, like LoS or Llewellyn.
- The tuck box is definitely flimsy and the edges are already pretty chipped. That said, while I like fancy boxes, I don't much care so long as they hold the cards securely.
- YMMV in regard to the visual coherence.
- There are a lot of animals, but you don't need to be into animal decks (I'm not!) to enjoy this deck.
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Dark Victory '39  Dark Victory '39 is offline
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I think you said it nicely SarahJoy: 'because the number of suit symbols isn't easily evident looking at the cards,' it will take some study before using. I've been studying them for about a week and did a couple of three card readings w/ it the other day. It's a fascinating deck. It definitely speaks in its own language. On the one hand i like that i'm not looking at 8 cups stacked up neatly in a row, and that the suit symbols are almost beside the point. You have, (i don't know maybe a third of the cards) that are v. RWS, readable right out of the box, and then you have cards that u see the symbols, (i'm thinking of 3 cups) but the depiction doesn't have the usual celebratory feel. The primary figure, a coral-haired girl submerged up to her nose in the frog-pond clasping her cup has almost a worried expression. But the feel of the card is one of merging, and seems so unique and appropriate; and instead of there being two other girls or women in primary view, there is instead in the far background another mer-girl who could be the primary subject's twin, except she's slightly more blue-skinned than green, and she is slurping from her cup, and our third mer-girl? It's awesome: in the left foreground is one wide open eye reflected in the cup and hands coming up from under the water grasping it. I love that.

I would say roughly a third of the cards turn staid impressions on their head; however, unlike a deck like ceccoli where a small percentage of the cards first make a reader scratch their head, i think the rogue cards here wont be such a stretch. I found myself being able to do plenty w/ a card like temperance that i didn't realize until reading the lwb is actually of a woman holding a box that has unleashed what i would call a shamanic vision of all sorts of animals, specifically the intersection of predators w/ their prey. I couldn't tell from looking at the card that it was a box they came out of, specifically a 'hinged box'. It's unique though, and clever, and kind of oddly powerful. My readings were satisfying; my v. tolerant 8 year old niece who i read for let me go v. slowly.

EDITING TO ADD: okay it's not 'hinged' box, that was my own cuing to remind myself about the interdependency between predators and prey, but to give the lwb it's due this is how its worded: Predator and prey burst forth from a box clasped in a woman's hands. Everything in this world hinges on the nuances of balance.' So they used hinged, just not describing the box. I do alot of my Aeclecting on the road, and am not able to scan images. However, you can google '3 cups ostara' and you'll get a pix of it, from one of the creator's homepage. I think the Temperance card is on their main feed.

I did the edges in sooty black which seems to help w/ the slight (perforation marks?) --the light scuffing around the edges that seems to come w/ this type of glossy stock. Although, my main beef w/ the glossiness is that its the type of cardstock that to me looks great when a deck is new, but i don't think they look so hot down the line after they've been used a lot: scuff marks and smears. They don't wear as nicely as some good old u.s. games matte cardstock-- well, depends on the deck, but you know what i mean: like normal playing cards, something that can handle the bends of life that you dont feel like you have to pussy foot around wearing white gloves whenever you use it. I also, personally, like a little whip in the cards when i shuffle.
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staticfuzz  staticfuzz is offline
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I've been using the deck since it arrived and I have to say I'm a fan. All the spreads have been aesthetically/visually cohesive, although obviously many cards and card combinations have not come up yet... but based on how well it's worked out when I've actually used it, to me it's not worth worrying about.

The cardstock is pretty thick. I can't hold the deck lengthwise in one hand...which is something I can do easily with decks like Robin Wood, Morgan Greer, RWS, Shadowscapes, basically any mass-produced deck. I feel like i have to be fairly gentle when riffle shuffling it, but not as gentle as with the Wild Unknown, for instance.

Also I can't say I've noticed any chipping around the edges. The sides of the cards do seem kind of rough, like they could have sanded down to be a bit smoother. But that is a very minor complaint. I agree with SarahJoy that the placement of the number/name can seem random but after looking at the cards I thought that they wanted the borders/titles to all the same white color, and of course that shows up better on dark so I think in some cases at least they put the title on the darkest part of the card, whether that was top or bottom. I totally prefer this method to borders (ughhh) that corral that info in the same place; I guess it's a matter of what you value most in a deck, and for me consistency and obviousness of clarity is not as important as big pretty, unfettered pictures.

Sometimes it's not immediately apparent what the suit is and the art doesn't match up to how I think of that card's typical meaning but honestly... that is one of the big reasons I buy different decks in the first place. So far all of my readings with it have been, if not immediately clear, then definitely worth the extra minutes spent in "figuring it out."

All in all... love this deck So glad I got a full bleed almost-borderless deck.
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Has anyone outside N America got theirs yet ? Mine was mailed on April 2 - and when I queried it, she said it could take till June 2 as she used ground shipping ($10) - by which time I shall be out of the country... and as it COMES from Canada I could ask for a replacement to be mailed to me there - but by THAT time it will be only 2 weeks till I am due to be back in the UK - with another possible 8 week wait. Not happy...

If I'd known she wasn't running with airmail I'd have happily paid the extra. Has ANYONE in Europe got theirs yet ?
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