Award winning artist, writer, creator of the Guardian of the Night Tarot, MJ Cullinane attended Parsons School of Design where digital collage has been her passion for over 10 years. Nature and its creatures are a familiar theme in MJ’s work, however having grown up in Boston her collages are heavily influenced by the energy of the city. Her work often merges the two worlds. Her path into the world of Tarot was a beautiful accident that came out of a difficult time in her life.
MJ’s first published deck, The Crow Tarot has achieved a significant following including winning the 2019 CARTA award for Best Tarot Deck and Best Illustrator of a Tarot Deck. Her works also include the Wise Dog Tarot, the Grimalkin Tarot and now the new released Guardian of the Night Tarot. Funded on crowd funding site Indiegogo, MJ raised over $54k to bring this deck to life. Despite a world wide pandemic was able to successfully deliver the deck on time!
Let’s take a look at the deck…
Jumping right into the Guardian of the Night Tarot deck based in the RWS system, as with all of MJ’s decks, this is an all animal deck. The cards are larger than standard tarot size with a gloss finish. I suspect those with smaller hands will have a more difficult time handling this deck. I have bigger hands and with the combination of the larger cards and the gloss finish they are difficult to handle… they shuffle with ease, but expect jumper cards to be a very common thing. If you read reversals be aware there are minor differences in the backs of the cards that may go unnoticed to most, but the more you pay attention the easier it is to see.
The suits of the Guardian of the Night Tarot are your standard: Wands, Pentacles, Swords and Cups. No suits or card titles are changed so those used to working with an RWS deck will have no difficulty with this deck. Personally I’m a big fan of MJ’s art style and as a lover of animals I was immediately drawn to this deck. Overall I think the art is just gorgeous and the choices of animals, or scenes chosen for cards are appropriate and make sense to me. This was a very easy deck for me to pick up and immediately start reading with no issues.
My favorite cards within the Major Arcana of the Guardian of the Night Tarot are: The Magician, The Hanged Man and Judgement.
- The Magician represented as the Racoon, which naturally is a VERY intelligent animal. Racoon’s are clever animals that have opposable thumbs that they can open jars, bottles, doors, etc. nothing stops the racoon from getting what it wants
- The Hanged Man as a opposum….I mean come on…it just too cute!
- Judgment with the snake leaving his skin behind. Shedding it’s skin is symbolic of moving on, becoming new.
Another card I was really fascinated by was the Ten of Swords. I did a full video discussion on this card in particular on my Instagram account. I talked about the traditional imagery vs. MJ’s interpretation of this card, the meaning and stigmas behind the Ten of Swords and different ways of viewing this card and it’s meaning. If you would like to see more about that make sure to check out my Instagram Account and watch the video on the Ten of Swords.
Lastly I just want to add that I was able to snag my squirrely little paws on not one, but TWO decks! Which means as a special thank you to my audience I want to do a giveaway. If you want to participate in the giveaway for the chance of winning a free copy of the Guardian of the Night Tarot deck make sure to GO TO MY YOUTUBE VIDEO of the walk-thru and review of this deck to find out how you can enter!
Do you have or have you worked with the Guardian of the Night Tarot? If so, comment down below: What are your thoughts, feelings or experiences working with this deck? Share with the rest of the Squirrel Nest so we can all learn and grow together! If you liked the post, hit the like button, and if you’re not already doing so make sure to follow along for every time I post a new blog! Much love and light!