Hello Kitty Tarot redux (or if you dream it, it will come)

You know the one. You wait for it to come around. Think­ing, once I’ve found my IT deck, I’ll finally be able to read cards.

The IT Deck is sort of a myth, I’ve dis­cov­ered. I didn’t actu­ally take to the cards until I spent a great deal of time focus­ing on ONE tarot deck for awhile — that was the Mor­gan Greer. The Aquar­ian is a very close sec­ond, and I recently was able to pro­cure my opti­mum ver­sion of that one — the Mor­gan Press edi­tion with the orange Ouroboros backs (I see a new hor­ri­ble tat­too in my future…).

Tarot peo­ple look out for each other. That’s one of the biggest advan­tages to net­work­ing in this field. My beau­ti­fully aged Mor­gan Greer was a gift from some­one who knew of my tastes. My dream Aquar­ian came from a dealer who had caught wind that I was stalk­ing around for this par­tic­u­lar edi­tion, found one and gave me a deal. Peo­ple begin to learn your tastes; even your BAD ones. Actu­ally, I’ve been sort of infa­mous for my bad taste in most things most of my life any­way (music, men, tat­toos, tarots…). So it’s no sur­prise I get sent a great deal of adorable kawaii stuff.

I’ve posted on this sub­ject before. Some­where in the late 90s or early 00s (I couldn’t track down an exact date, though I found a review by Wicce on archive.org that was dated May ’00), an artist named Joe Ros­ales drew and printed up a 78 card Sanrio-themed tarot. I can’t imag­ine what the recep­tion for the cards was like (I was only vaguely aware of the inter­net in 1999). Even­tu­ally, from what I gather, San­rio shut down sales of the cards. The boot­leg was boot­legged and you can still see clones float­ing around etsy.com and ebay from time to time.

I was gifted one of these clones, a col­ored, highly lam­i­nated ver­sion from etsy.com prob­a­bly four years ago. It was so awful (organza bag. Pointy cor­ners) that I deemed it unus­able. Highly inde­struc­tible though, I gave it to my then one-year old daugh­ter, who even­tu­ally gummed it into oblivion.

Freyja’s First Tarot Reading

Shortly there­after, another tarot-friend in Japan sent me a copy of the offi­cial Sanrio-produced Hello Kitty Tarot. Though over­joyed I was, I do admit to a bit of dis­ap­point­ment about the size, stock and imagery selected for the cards. To say noth­ing of the fact that it was Majors-only. And try as I might, to this day I still can’t get any­thing good out of a Majors-only read­ing. These decks were obvi­ously not designed by tarot read­ers for tarot read­ings though. They were cre­ated by mar­keters and hired illus­tra­tors to move HK merch. If you’re a col­lec­tor of Hello Kitty Krap though, you may be inter­ested in adding this to your col­lec­tion (I also have the Lit­tle Twin Stars Majors set that San­rio did — it is equally dis­ap­point­ing and equally precious).

Which brings us to last week, when an art stu­dent in Utah of all cute-forsaken places, emails me. Turns out she found a boot­leg copy of Joe’s deck, redrew and recol­ored the cards and had some copies made at her uni­ver­sity print shop and would I be inter­ested in one? It’s in a shim­mery pur­ple bag, she mentioned.

Hello, you had me at shim­mery pur­ple bag.

Com­pared to the offi­cial San­rio cards — well, there really is no comparison.

Because aside from the Majors, this deck has 56 minor cards, beau­ti­fully ren­dered and totally usable.

Boot­leg of a boot­leg aside, the deck is lovely and I finally have in my hands a work­ing, 78 card Hello Kitty deck. Brit­tany, the artist behind this ver­sion of the cards, says she used her Thoth tarot as inspi­ra­tion for col­or­ing — which is appar­ent in a few cards (the High Priest­ess espe­cially) and may be the best thing to come from the Thoth EVER (I’m expect­ing hate mail now from you Thothy-types now!). The cards seem big­ger than the other boot­leg HK deck I had and the paper is a lovely, UV coated stock that shuf­fles like a dream.

IT Deck? Hard to say. While it’s per­fect size for my purse, I’m hav­ing a hard time imag­in­ing myself sit­ting across from a sob­bing quer­ent, spilling the con­tents of her tor­mented soul and beg­ging for divine guid­ance, and then bust­ing out some Hello Kitty on her.

How happy am I to have it though?


25 Responses to "Hello Kitty Tarot redux (or if you dream it, it will come)"

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  1. Leelahel

    August 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    This tarot deck is a dream come true! I have seen the Etsy lam­i­nates before and thought it at least facil­i­tated an out of print deck to oth­ers. This takes it fur­ther, though!

    The Thoth is an undis­puted King in the world of the tarot. Using it as ref­er­ence for this deck charged this deck with a lot of energy — and dare I say it — power.

    Thanks for the review! : ) Enjoy reading.

    • Melissa

      August 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you! I totally agree that the Thoth inspi­ra­tion gave the cards a kind of bite! Thank you for the comment!

  2. Stella

    August 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Wow…I actu­ally LIKE it, the col­ors, the design…and it’s READABLE. I may never diss the Hello Kitty again. Par­a­digm shift, oooooh my head!

    • Melissa

      August 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      There is a lot of Hello Kitty out there worth diss­ing, this lit­tle nugget though, not so much! ;)

  3. shannon

    August 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    wow. of all your great blog posts, i’m slightly embar­rassed that this is one that i’m actu­ally respond­ing to! :P such is the draw of san­rio! gaaaah!

    f’n a, i love this freak­ing deck. the col­ors, the read­abil­ity. you are a one darn lucky duck to have scored this. do let me know if you ever stum­ble upon another one of these!

    i’ve had the same expe­ri­ence as you of hav­ing to focus on one deck. not that i’m expe­ri­enced at all at read­ing, but from the lit­tle i do, i notice that i would always go back and focus on the one i learned on–hanson-roberts. funny though, at a cer­tain point, the deck just stopped “work­ing.” does that make sense? i have a few oth­ers, but it’s funny when decks like tarot of the mag­i­cal for­est and vanessa give me some good reads. :)

    i have yet to get an aquar­ian though it is on my list. the first tarot book i ever pur­chased way back when was based on the aquar­ian deck.

    loved this post…and okay…that gosh darn san­rio boot­leg, boot­legged deck. btw…is it okay for me to pin, or should i just keep it on the downlow?

    • Brittany Tingey

      August 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Shan­non,

      The deck is mine. Feel free to pin it. I am also doing one lim­ited run print­ing of the deck which I am tak­ing pre-orders for now.

      • shannon

        August 24, 2012 at 5:31 am

        thanks so much brit­tany. i will be in touch with you about this deck! :)

      • Todd

        September 21, 2012 at 6:51 am

        Are you still tak­ing pre orders?

      • Nicolette

        November 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

        I WANT this deck! Please tell me how I can get one.

      • CountryMouse (@ctrymaus)

        March 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm

        I know it’s a year since you’ve posted this, but I so wish I could have a copy of this deck. Are any still available?

  4. Jezebel

    August 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Hello, you had me at shim­mery pur­ple bag.” Um, that.

    Also, the next time I am a sob­bing quer­ent, I will totally sched­ule a read­ing with you and expect, nay, INSIST that you bust out San­rio on me.


  5. Jezebel

    August 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    (Also this is SO TRUE, about the “IT” deck. Which never arrives.)

    • Melissa

      August 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      Learn­ing to read cards is mostly an exer­cise in per­sis­tence. Like most things, I suppose. :)

      • Lisa

        August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm

        I’d like to be on the list for a copy of this deck too!

  6. Jill Scott

    August 14, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I, too, am a huge San­rio fan. This deck is a dream! I would love to own one. You have impec­ca­ble taste. And Thoth is a deck designed by a wack job. Love your site!!


  7. Bri Saussy

    August 16, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I NEED the hello kitty deck SO BADLY. I am all hello kitty all the way and have been since I was 2 years old!

  8. Drew

    September 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I’m hav­ing a hard time imag­in­ing myself sit­ting across from a sob­bing quer­ent, spilling the con­tents of her tor­mented soul and beg­ging for divine guid­ance, and then bust­ing out some Hello Kitty on her.”

    DO IT!

    Also, did you know there is an offi­cially licensed Hello Kitty “per­sonal mas­sager”? Avail­able only in Japan. The things you learn in college.

  9. Pingback: 10 More Good Magic Blogs | altmagic

  10. Jacqueline

    September 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Please con­tact me for infor­ma­tion about pur­chas­ing the Hello Kitty deck.

    • Dee

      May 1, 2014 at 7:44 am

      I would love to buy the Kitty deck too. Sign me up

  11. Lisa

    October 4, 2012 at 1:13 am

    This deck could NOT be any cuter! I could see how HAPPY it would make one (you) feel when read­ing it. Even if all the neg­a­tive cards in the deck showed up I would still find myself in a giggle.


  12. Lynne Anderson

    October 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    Great post! I’d like to be included if you’re still tak­ing preorders–hope I’m not too late. A Thoth-influenced Hello Kitty is not to be missed.

    • Lynne Anderson

      October 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Ack, sorry. Me and my lack of atten­tion to detail :::sigh::: It looks like Brit­tany is the per­son I should con­tact for the Hello Kitty deck? Will do posthaste.

  13. Halo

    January 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Very cute! Not nor­mally a fan of gim­micky cards (beyond enjoy­ing the aes­thetic and find­ing them hap­pily giggle-worthy) but the redone set look fan­tas­tic and sur­pris­ingly usable!

    You might be inter­ested in check­ing out the Chibi Tarot, which a friend of mine is build­ing, though I think he only has plans for the major arcana. I’ve found fol­low­ing his process and inspi­ra­tions inter­est­ing;

    Really enjoy­ing your site, btw, I espe­cially love the Melissa Lenor­mand, would love to hear if it gets another print!

    • Todd

      January 16, 2013 at 2:06 am

      Wow, that Chibi Tarot is super cute, I just placed my pre order. Sadly, I never heard back from the Brit­tany who was mak­ing the Hello Kitty Redux deck. I emailed her sev­eral times and never got any response. I guess the project never came to fruition :(.