036 tyldwick tarot

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Tyldwick Tarot is the pioneering project of the Malpertuis brand. It was envisioned and created by Neil Lovell, a creative artisan I wish I would have spent more time corresponding with. He was an amazing artist and academic, incredibly intelligent and with an eagle eye for beauty. He breathed life into very special projects, illustrations that take you to places near and far, as well as places that can only ever exist in your imagination. The masterful use of color, pattern and what I think to be digital collage creates spaces that whisper information to you. How wonderful that the whispers are personalized and meant to advise you on your own life, and the lives of your sitters. I regret not asking Neil more questions about his projects, I took for granted the aspect of time. But he will live on in his card decks. He found magic in the world and he had the tools to harness that magic to make it a utility. I wonder where these places are, and if the people walking through the halls or casually standing by the fountains know that we use these places to derive meaning and convey moods or mindsets. Probably not, but there lies part of the magic. ✨


Back when I first learned about the deck in the early 2Ks, somewhere around 2007/2008, it looked very different than it does today. Stylistically it was much lighter. This deck has a very long and mysterious history. Neil was not sure it would ever be published and seemed to have a very tough journey getting started. Still, he persisted. When he decided to re-make the deck entirely, I was very concerned. I had already been admiring it online for quite few years by then, and the community was very eager to get acquainted with it. When it was first made there was no other deck that existed without human figures unless you count abstract decks like the Thoth Tarot and the Hermetic Tarot. The deck had and still has many aspects that made it totally unique, but it was the eye for art that really captivated my attention and held it. I never lost sight of the project for long, despite there being long periods of time without an update. I wish I knew what inspired him to make something so different, but a closer look into his body of work demonstrates that he just had a gift for innovation. I wonder how much experience he had with tarot and what caused him to pick it up. He had a successful career and yearned to do something creative, so he switched. And I'm so thrilled that he did!

OK, so as it turns out I'm an unrepentant crazy card collector and can provide photos of some original card designs. I really loved the early version of the deck with roman numeral titles, white borders and paler card fronts and backs.

The card stock used for this deck is amazing, semi-matte and it has a delightful sheen when you turn the cards over on the table. The cards have shiny gold gilded edges that are very reflective and well applied. I find the cards smooth or soft to shuffle, with enough of a grip that they don't slip wildly out of my hands. The card backs are rustic and earthy with tones to match, displaying a lovely pattern of six pointed stars.

The deck portraysof both interiors and exteriors, and save for statues and paintings is absent of people. In my experience it is the only deck that I have ever found not to include the living. While there are beetles and animals featured, they seem representational. I think the Seven of Swords may be one of the few cards to represent a living creature, in this case some sort of beetle. I also spotted a tiny bird in the Strength card. Lots of plants and wildlife, butterflies mounted on the wall. I love that he did that.

The deck is somewhat haunting with its beauty. In the rooms of the house of the deck I can feel the same leftover energy stirring within that you'd expect when you walk into a house that hasn't been inhabited for some time. Or better yet, a house with leftover energy since the people have just stepped out. You can hear the silence of the absence of life save for the birds, the wind blowing outside. In the summer. I feel the mood the rooms convey and can brood in those rooms as if I was in them. I'm there, captivated by the suggestion of life as it thrives in the stillness. What a knockout!

I made a review of this deck in 2013, but decided to bring this review back and update it because I think with the deck being reprinted it will be a good opportunity for people to get their hands on a very beautiful and deeply meditative deck of tarot cards that captivated my heart all the way back when I was still reading cards just for myself and my friends. It has rained a few times since then...

Spending some time looking at the cards more closely has afforded me the luxury of meditating on the passage of time, how unpredictable life can be and how we'd better appreciate what we have while we're still here. If you missed the boat the first time, you definitely won't want to miss out on the opportunity to acquire this treasure now that it is once more being printed. Without further ado, the cards can tell us the rest.

What is your most important characteristic?
Page of Swords. This deck is intended for use of deep, critical thinkers with observant eyes. The tone is quiet and subdued, but there is beauty in abundance if you have an appreciation for little details. Somebody active in the world but in an intellectual, detached way. being driven by the fear of losing out.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Temperance. Moderation and self-control. LOL. Given that it took so much patience for this deck to be published, this card is actually the perfect choice. Harnessing the power of thought which can sometimes be contradictory to create something new.

What are your limits?
Queen of Cups. The seeming distance of this deck can only be bridge by feeling your way through a reading. Commanding your intuition to come alive as you scry into the cards can be confusing, but can also lead to personal reward and clarity. You'll doubt yourself until you're more comfortable with what your feelings about a card tell you.

What are you here to teach me?
Ace of Coins. Taking pleasure in the earthly treasures you possess. Appreciating that you are here now, and the present moment is your biggest gift.

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Two of Swords. Being able to objectively compare what you think about your reality in contrast to how you experience it. Being able to detach yourself from judgment, however clouded. I love the symbology of leaving the cage to go explore freely and without fear.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Six of Coins. A mutual exchange, getting the help you need to overcome your obstacles. It's an act of give and take, and an honest one first and foremost. This looks like the entrance gate to the house all the rooms from the deck are in. What lies beyond is obscured until we walk the path.

Which card do you want to show off?
Three of Cups. Really showing off the wealth, I see. Celebration. Of being here, of enjoying this work of art and relishing the beauty of the little details.

How do you see me?
The High Priestess. Appropriate. I am a fortune-teller, one that crafts and follows old traditions passed down by my ancestors. It's a solitary journey and one I can't quite share with others, but it's my path. I harness my intuition to feel through my life and to advise others on their own life. I have devoted my life to it so far and have found much wisdom whispered back from my tools and experiments.

How do you see yourself?
Six of Wands. Moving forward from a period of productivity and a flurry of activity. Floor plans for a successful future.

Isn't this deck amazing? Please visit Malpertuis.co for future updates on this tarot deck's reprint.

1 comment

  1. Thank you for this review. My copy of the reprint arrived today and I was deeply struck by the solemn beauty of the cards. This will be an excellent deck for mediational purposes, in my opinion, and require a lot of deep delving and contemplation. The deck in my personal collection of about 50 (good mix of historical and modern) that it is most like at first impression is the Haindl, a personal favorite.