If you like the Deviant Moon Tarot cards, you simply must have the book that goes with it. The Deviant Moon Tarot Book ensures that the deck comes alive once you read the commentary within. I had so many a-ha moments as I read the descriptions and meanings – it was as if my crazy, moon-filled delusions about the deck fell away and suddenly the cards make a whole lot more sense.
Patrick Valenza, creator of the Deviant Moon Tarot, was given his first tarot deck at the age of nine. There followed a life-long fascination with the tarot. The characters that populate the Deviant Moon Tarot Book came to Patrick in dreams and in his imagination from childhood onward.
He tells the story of each character and how it developed in the new book, also entitled ‘Deviant Moon Tarot’ that accompanies the deck. And what a book it is. It sets a gold standard for other deck creators. It is hardback, huge, really heavy (4lbs), and an utter joy to delve into. The heavy board cover features the victorious, emerging ‘creature’ from the Six of Wands.
Valenza uses a combination of drawing, photo manipulation and added textures to create his art. Backgrounds were inspired by abandoned buildings near his home on Rhode Island. As a child he was drawn to graveyards and a nearby Victorian-built mental asylum.
Each card image is displayed scaled up so you can see every detail. Also included are previous versions of the card and the artwork from which they evolved. All in all, it’s a stunning addition to any tarot lover’s library. You don’t even have to be a tarot aficionado to appreciate the beauty within.
The book is formated so that the card image appears alone on the right-hand page. On the left-hand page Patrick describes each card in detail, explaining the symbolism and what it means for him. Then he gives a comprehensive interpretation of the card’s meaning, upright and reversed. On the following page, he describes the evolution of the card accompanied by facsimiles of the original drawings, many from his childhood and teens.
While he gives a comprehensive explanation of the cards, Valenza encourages the reader to allow their own imagination free-rein to connect with the images and create even deeper meanings.
In putting together my own list of the meanings of the Deviant Moon Tarot, I’ve had the pleasure of reading every word of the book. I cannot tell you how many times, I read something that resonated deeply within my understanding. The descriptions of the cards are mini-masterpieces in themselves. Valenza sheds light on all the details and has given me another layer to add to my interpretations of other decks.
What I really like about this book is the fact that the deck creator gives as much space to the Minor Arcana as to the Majors. It was a long time coming, but boy, it is worth the wait. If you, like me, put your Deviant Moon to one side because you found it extraordinary, endlessly fascinating and deeply attractive but difficult to read with, then get this book and put the deck to work as intended.
Here’s a quick go-to list of the Deviant Moon Tarot meanings. I’ve also provided a link there to a plain, printable Word version.