The Dreaming Way: Tarot + Lenormand
I first saw this deck on the fab Carrie Mallon's site. She had trimmed the borders off and the illustrations, which were mostly done in a very light watercolor wash, absolutely appealed to me. As with most mass market decks, it wasn't too expensive so all signs pointed to me, biting the tarot bullet. There aren't a lot of decks readily available here in Manila, so when I spotted the Dreaming Way in a random online store, I took the plunge.
The Dreaming Way, I find, is an easy read. As long as you're familiar with the Rider-Waite Smith system, you won't have any trouble reading with this (I never even looked at the little white book). Just a few days after I'd scored this deck, I brought it to a dinner party and promptly read for a couple of friends over dinner—the messages came quite easily and everyone loved the artwork. You know you're in for a good time reading when everyone comments on how lovely the cards are!
Card stock wise, which to me is becoming more and more important, the Dreaming Way holds up. I've had this deck for almost two years now and the cards are neither bent nor dog-eared. Some decks get quite a stain on the edges when used over time, but my cards have remained pristine—definitely a pro for me.
Illustrations wise, I love the whimsical quality of the drawings and how cute their outfits are (yes, this matters to me). The suits of the Minor Arcana also follow the seasons—something you can pair up with elemental energies if you're looking to add deeper layers to your readings. The Swords are set in winter, the Pentacles in fall, the Cups in summer and the Wands in spring.
Because I have such an affinity for the Dreaming Way's charm, the second US Games announced they'd be coming out with a matching Lenormand deck, I knew I had to have it. The Lenormand cards spin off of the beautiful imagery of the original tarot but I feel have a darker, slightly creepier, off-putting edge to them. That's definitely not a bad thing—I feel like a bit of discomfort can go a long way when you're reading the cards because they invite you to look more deeply into the shadow aspects of the querent. (I mean, just look at those backs—anything with clowns qualifies as creepy, am I right?)
I love the size of the Dreaming Way Lenormand. Unlike my Fairy Tale Fortune cards, these can fit into a doable grand tableau without you having to splay out on the floor. The guidebook is also significant and in-depth—if you're a newbie to Lenormand, you'll have a lot to learn regarding correspondences and symbolism in its hefty little white book.
I find that I turn to this pairing whenever I'm in the mood for a light reading that can still deliver hefty, heavyweight messages. The Dreaming Way sends its messages with a gentle, subtle tone that beckons you to gauge whether you want to take what's on the surface as it is, or go more in-depth into the shadows. The pair is great for beginners because it's non-threatening and charming; but can challenge more advanced readers to veer off the standard symbols and images to pull interpretations that are a little more meaty and relevant.