Title: The Fountain Tarot (Mass Market Version)
Author: Jason Gruhl (Author), Jonathan Saiz (Illustrator), Andi Todaro (Designer)
Publisher: Roost Books
Number of Cards: 79
Card Size: Traditional Tarot Size
Where to Purchase: Amazon
Guidebook pages: 104
Top Three Favorite Cards: The Moon, The Queen of Coins, The Tower
I first stumbled upon this deck as the self-published version well over a year ago. I tried for a long time to win one of their giveaways but alas, luck wasn't on my side when it came to winning the Fountain Tarot. I continued to follow the progress of these cards because I loved the abstract artwork and the cool, minimal tones. It isn't my typical style of tarot artwork but it is very much aligned with the type of artwork I like to keep in my home. I knew I would eventually get the deck, even if it took a while.
Then in March, while trolling Amazon for upcoming Tarot and Oracle decks, I stumbled upon the Fountain Tarot. It didn't even have a photo up, just the name, and I pre-ordered it without hesitation. I didn't have a chance to buy the self-published version but the packaging is the same if I remember correctly. It comes in a wonderful sturdy box with a magnetic, side closure. The cards and the book fit nicely inside so everything can be kept together (praise the universe). I will admit, there are two things that irritate me about decks: when they don't come with a guidebook and when the guidebook can't be stored inside the box. Certainly not deal breakers but annoyances all the same.
The card stock is ok... not good or bad. But again being honest, I don't actually prefer the really thick card stock. I have small hands so I find it hard to shuffle certain decks like the Starchild Tarot Akashic which is pretty thick for my liking. I would compare the card stock to the traditional Rider-Waite deck we all know and love from US Game Systems. With that said, this deck shuffles beautifully. I was able to get a good shuffle right from the start and didn't have to break each card apart from the next like we sometimes have to do. This is especially the case with the gilded decks. This deck is gilded and again, It came apart with ease.
Speaking of gilding, this deck is silver gilded which is lovely. I only have a handful of other decks that are silver and it makes a welcome change while matching beautifully with the coolness of the deck. The artwork is fluid I would say.... definitely what I consider to be abstract interpretations of the the traditional tarot. The colors are soft and muted with pops of brighter blues, greens and yellows here and there. I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorite cards to three but if I had to pick a top favorite, it would probably be the Tower. It almost looks like a tornado, destroying everything in it's path. It's actually two pyramids stacked on top of each other in a way that a soft wind could easily blow it down. I love the chaos and ominousness of this card (like a true scorpio would) and the gray tones make it seem even more disastrous. My second favorite is definitely the added Fountain card. It was unexpected and I loved the meaning of it. My third would be the Queen of Coins. I also really love the Star, the Ace of Swords, The Five of Cups and The Hermit.
The guidebook is small in size so that it can fit inside the box which I really don't mind. I love a big juicy guidebook for sure but sometimes you just want a book that gets straight to the point. Some books have pages and pages per cards which is nice at times but definitely not appropriate for a quick five minute read. It's really important for me to feel the intention of the artist when I first work with a deck so it takes me a while before I put the guidebook away. The book comes with everything you could need: a bit about tarot including a description of the major and minor arcana, a brief explanation of tarot numerology, a little bit about the suits, 3 tarot spreads, forming a daily practice and a sample reading which I find helpful for beginners.
The descriptions are short and to the point. Just enough for you to get a general sense of the card. There is one key phrase underneath each card title as well as a series of keywords to help you get a better understanding. The reversed meanings are a bit limited. If you're reading with reversals for the first time, I would suggest getting an additional Tarot book to help.
In conclusion, I do like the deck so far. I've pulled a few cards already and some messages were clear while others were not. I plan to work with it a bit more over the Winter. I select my decks by the month and season and this one just scream winter for so I'm waiting until December to dig in more.
Here are some of my favorite cards: