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