The Mystical Cats Tarot is a boxed-set, comprising of a 78-card deck (designed by Lunaea Weatherstone) accompanied by a large-format, 200-page explanatory book.The deck is based upon the standard Major Arcana, Minor Arcana and Court Cards with unique artwork by artist Mickie Mueller.
The cards are a fairly standard 7cm x 12cm so they are a decent size for the average hands to shuffle.
The deck follows fairly regular Tarot convention with a few modifications. The suit of Wands have become Tales of the Fire Cats, Wands is called Tales of the Sea Cats, Swords have become Tales of the Sky Cats and Disks are renamed Tales of the Earth Cats.
The Major Arcana has undergone some changes.
The Fool is now titled The Cat. The Magician is Cat Magic. Justice has been changed to Consequences. The Hanged Man is The Floating Cat. Temperance is now Grace. The Devil is The Demon Cat. The Star is now Stars. Judgment is now Good Kitty.
The page and knight court cards have been renamed Kitten and Tom.
The book that accompanies ‘Mystical Cats Tarot’ is a standard-sized paperback with an attractive image of a ginger cat on its cover. The author has sectioned its contents off in various chapters. One section deals with Cat Mysteries (the Major Arcana in traditional Tarot terms). This is followed by the cat clans (or suits as they are more normally called).
Each page features an image of the related card, a description of it, its upright interpretations and reversed meaning. These are given with reference to fairly typical cat and cat-like characteristics.
Mystical Cats Tarot is a ‘tarot deck’ that has moved a long way from core Tarot origins.
As there is no particular Mystical Cat Tradition in any spiritual teachings, the description of this deck being ‘mystical’ is somewhat misleading.
Instead of drawing upon an authentic spiritual system, it calls upon mundane situations and human-like characteristics that we typically project onto our close feline companions.
It is this anthropomorphic assessment of the domestic cat and it social habits that forms the basis for this Tarot.
Tarot purists will hate this deck with vengeance for the author has taken a lot of liberties with it.
To many casual observers, it will simply appear as a collection of semi-attractive cards, depicting cats in various postures and predicaments whilst to Tarot students its core framework will be seen as failing to reveal any inherent mystical knowledge whatsoever.
I have a degree of sympathy with this point of view. The basis of Tarot card reading is to interface with the symbols and archetypes deep within a reader’s subconscious. As a form a divination, ‘Mystical Cats Tarot’ simply fails to produce meaningful insight into the questioner’s life.
Those who are more favorably disposed towards this sort of themed deck (in this case, mainly cat lovers), they will undoubtedly find some degree of comfort within the cards along with a familiar recognition of their own pets’ characteristics.
Which camp you fall into will decide whether this deck has any merit.
This apart, I have my own misgivings about this publication. For a start, it is not a cheap deck but it does seem to have been rather cheaply produced.
While the book contains useful content and analysis of the cards, their images have been reproduced in black and white. Given that the cards are essentially pastel-based illustrations, this means that they are not very clear to see.
This is also the case with the card titles on each arcana. More consideration should have been given to the use of color by the publishers in this area
Keeping with the theme of a deck that feels a little lackluster, each card is printed on a fairly low-grade material and one wonders at the durability of them should they be used on a regular basis. This is more of an occasional home-based deck rather than a sturdy professional tool.
It would have been nice if the pack included a bag or pouch to keep the cards in as I suspect this deck will be attractive to those who are not particular Tarot enthusiasts and might not have any other associated paraphernalia.
In short, I’d recommend that you check out this publication more closely before purchasing it as it is a deck that might fail to live up to your expectations as a Tarot student. If you are a cat lover with little metaphysical training or mystical interest, you will probably enjoy this deck and the sort of low-level insights it may well be able to offer in your life.