Deck Review: The Starchild Tarot (Akashic traditional size edition) by Danielle Noel

I honestly debated whether I should review a book I just read or finally get to reviewing something that’s been in my review pile for a long time as my first review of 2018. I had actually started writing a review for The Wisdom of Unicorns by Joules Taylor and Danielle Noel, and then I thought “Wait, I haven’t done a review of the Starchild Tarot!”

I went back and forth on this deck for ages before finally purchasing it. People said you really had to click with the deck’s worldview, and at $65 CAD, I wasn’t sure I’d click with it, even though I liked the art. When the “traditional size” borderless edition came out, however, I finally decided that I needed to either take the plunge or stop pining after this deck.

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This edition of the Starchild Tarot comes in a two piece box with gold accents. The cards themselves are 4.75″ x 2.75″ with a wonderful smooth matte finish. The edges have gold matte gilding, giving the cards an antique look. An extra card, “Akashic Records” is included in addition to the usual 78 cards. It comes with a small 170 page companion book that contains everything you need to know in order to use the deck. The book contains instructions for staples like the three card spread and the Celtic Cross, as well as a five card “Akashic” spread, a five card “Starseed” spread, and a seven card “Metatron” spread. Several cards have been renamed: Pentacles are now Crystals, the Fool is Starseed, the Hermit is Serenity, the Hanged Man is Perspective, Death is Transformation, the Devil is Oppression, Judgement is Awakening, and the World is the Universe. The guidebook also lists a variety of correspondences for the major arcana, including chakra, gemstones, symbols, and guides, as well as upright and reversed meanings. The minor arcana only get upright and reversed meanings.

I can say without a doubt that this is one of the most luxurious decks I own. I’d wish more deck creators would do similar things with their decks, but then I wouldn’t be able to afford their decks at all!

The art is what I like to call “cosmic hippie pastel aesthetic” it’s mixed media with a combination of photography, hand drawn art, and paintings and it’s all done in a mix of soft and bold pinks, purples, and blues with some cards being dominated by green or black. The characters are mostly human but there are some cards that feature animals, natural or cosmic features like planets and galaxies, and geometric patterns. The art almost has an elven or fey feel to me.

I’ve been using this deck for everything from “pick me up” readings to readings for other people to readings predicting what will happen on my favourite D&D webseries, Critical Role and it reads like a dream. Sometimes it can be very literal. other times you have to give it a moment to let the message sink in. I just like pulling cards and letting them tell me a story.

You don’t need to subscribe to the idea of starseeds (that is, people who have had past lives on other planets and have chosen to reincarnate here on Earth, though they may feel as if Earth is not their “true” home) in order to use this deck, but it’s important to know that the deck is pretty New Agey. The actual meanings of the cards, however, are consistent with RWS tradition. In fact, my one big gripe with this deck is that even though the text is consistent with tradition, the images are not, and often don’t seem to have anything to do with the meanings in the book. This is why I don’t recommend this deck to beginners unless you’re really prepared to read these cards intuitively. I personally mostly ignore the book and just go with what my gut tells me. It’s such a shame that such a beautiful deck isn’t very accessible to newcomers.

There is some diversity in this deck with models of colour in some cards (like the High Priestess). I really appreciate that all the models are credited with their contact information in the back of the book. There isn’t really anything in terms of sexual or body diversity, but I will say the Two of Cups depicts a woman swimming in the ocean.

I love this deck. I don’t know what else to say about it except that I love it and I’m glad I decided to bite the bullet and add it to my collection. Despite my issues with the New Age Movement in general, this deck has grown on me and it’s definitely in my top ten all time faves. I can’t wait for the Moonchild Tarot and the Work Your Light Oracle from the same artist.

6 thoughts on “Deck Review: The Starchild Tarot (Akashic traditional size edition) by Danielle Noel

    • It’s a bonus card that represents infinite possibilities, like the Happy Squirrel in some decks. You can use it as a significator. I usually see it as something like “the search for knowledge” or asking around for something, maybe quite literally going to a library or archive. It depends on if you subscribe to the idea of the Akashic Records or not.

  1. I really like your deck reviews and your perspective! I’m also a feminist geek, although we diverge ever so slightly on sexuality.
    I’m trying to decide on my first deck and I have three I’m interested in so far; The Starchild Tarot (Akashic edition), The Fountain Tarot, and – this might be my top choice so far – the Luna Sol Tarot.
    I was wondering if you’d come across those and if you’d be willing to or interested in writing a review about them, or if you could give me a brief opinion regarding inclusivity and diversity (I think Luna Sol wins), aesthetics, and beginner-friendliness.
    I really like how The Fountain Tarot comes with a book and you can buy the journal, and it’s another bonus that the combination of those two items on Amazon is less than the cost of the Luna Sol deck all by its lonesome.
    I don’t know how to describe my spirituality/religion right now. It’s earth/feminine-centric for sure, but it gets a little hazy beyond that. Also, cats. And unicorns.
    I thought I was really going to like this one, the Starchild, but your review left me wondering if it would be the best choice for me as a beginner. I really like the aesthetics of all of them, but if I had to choose, I guess I’d place The Fountain set at the bottom of that list (and that hurts my heart to say, knowing how much artistic effort went into them, but I think it’s also the least diverse and maybe the “coldest” of the three, at least from the images I’ve seen so far).
    Why tarot? It started as a desire to perform the Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those who Abet Him, by Michael M. Hughes. (I recently purchased Magic for the Resistance.) You need a tower card for that and so I thought, hmmm, I’ve always wanted a tarot deck that really resonates with me.
    As far as what I want to do with them, I’ll probably be using them almost strictly for self-growth purposes; dealing with deep-seated issues like trauma and how they amplify my disabilities, overcoming the doldrums of depression, emotional/spiritual growth, and finding creativity/inspiration, even in the mundane, even when depressed. I spend a lot of time wishing I was doing something else, something more fulfilling and creative. I’m an artist of sorts, so I want something that fits me aesthetically and that will encourage me to embrace my own creativity.
    The first thing I searched for was an inclusive one and the Luna Sol Tarot was on a list I found of new, inclusive decks. Something about the soft, minimalistic illustrations makes me feel comfortable, serene.
    If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU! If you are able, I’d greatly appreciate any kind of response.

    • I have heard of all of those decks and I have some recommendations:

      The Moonchild Tarot (by the same person as the Starchild Tarot) same aesthetic but more traditional/beginner friendly.

      The Numinous Tarot by Noel Arthur Hempel – very diverse (includes people of colour, people with disabilities, queer people) beautiful deck, I have a nonbinary friend who uses it a lot and they love it!

      Speaking of unicorns, have you seen the Crystal Unicorn Tarot by Pamela Chen? It’s basically a RWS deck with adorable unicorns instead of people! I LOVE this deck! It’s so sweet and uplifting! I also recommend the Oracle of the Unicorns by Cordelia Francesca Brabbs to go with it.

      I just ordered the Luna Sol Tarot direct from the artist but it hasn’t shipped yet. It sounds like the perfect deck for a beginner in addition to being pretty diverse.

      I don’t have the Fountain Tarot but based on what I’ve heard from friends I wouldn’t recommend it. The imagery is non-traditional/more intuitive and I’ve also heard it feels more “masculine”.

      A resource I use to find diverse decks is Asali Earthwork’s Tarot of the QTPOC deck list (https://www.asaliearthwork.com/tarot-of-the-qtpoc/2017/7/1/blog) which has a list of decks that include queer, trans people of colour.

      • Thank you for the awesome [and quick!] response.
        Wow, the Numinous Tarot is so lush and full of life! I love it but I also don’t think it fits me as well (plus it’s sold out for now). (The Visionary is gorgeous! So many of them are!) And wow to all of Noel’s work. I think I may actually become a patron for the first time ever, and Amanda F Palmer has tempted me mightily in the past but The Thread that Binds looks TOO good.
        I’m looking at the Moonchild set right now and my internet is breaking as I try to watch a video comparing it to the Starchild deck. I don’t know why, but I feel less drawn to its color palette. It still looks gorgeous, it just seems less ‘me’. It also appears to be totally sold out everywhere.
        Do you have an opinion on the Shadowscapes Tarot? It is probably much more mass-market in quality than these lovingly crafted indie ones, but the illustrations are intense and detailed, and some of the cards resonate with me really well (Justice, High Priestess, Death, Wheel of Fortune, World) but I don’t really understand what to look for in seeking ‘the one’ tarot deck. Also, what I’ve seen of that one appears to be exclusively white. I’ve been previewing the major cards on the Shadowscapes website, and they’re just so intricate and make me feel like they’re part of a lucid dream. I really like the color palettes I’ve seen in her cards, too.
        I can’t seem to find a place to purchase the Crystal Unicorn Tarot but I’ll keep looking. I’d like to get a better look at the cards in the deck, but can’t seem to find much information. I like the idea but haven’t seen enough of it to know if I like the execution of it.
        I found the Mystic Mondays Tarot on Amazon and that has a nice aesthetic to it, and I *LOVE* the holographic edges, to the point that now I feel like I need to seek out a deck that specifically has those. The deck illustrations might be a bit too… cold? modern? They seem not detailed enough for me but they’re still very pretty.
        I can’t afford to collect decks so I really need this to be the one to last for quite a while for me.
        So that brings me back to the Luna Sol deck. I can’t wait to read your review! I’d love to see more pictures of those, too.
        There’s only one so-called metaphysical deck I currently have and work with, and that’s the Spirit Cats oracle deck by Nicole Piar. I love her work and have had her paint portraits of two of my dearly departed fuzzy babies. It’s the kind of casual oracle deck where every once in a while I can grab a few cards and then write about them and what they mean to me (tears are usually involved). I love the idea of being soothed by spiritual essences of feline familiars. It helps me deal with my grief, too. I love her style of painting and color choices.
        I think I want to like the Moonchild more than I do, and maybe given time it will grow on me. I like the aesthetics of the Starchild more than Moonchild, but the description for the Moonchild Tarot sounds more like what I need.
        I don’t know what to buy and it seems like I’m chasing my tail in my searches and now in my comment, too.

        How did you figure out which tarot deck to buy the first time? Did you see it in person? Read reviews? Look at pictures?

        Also, I tend toward skepticism more often than not, honestly probably more to my detriment than I’d like to admit, so I’m trying to let my natural intuition guide me rather than my skeptic-brain. I’m also looking for books to help me, and so far I think I’ll go with either Everyday Tarot by Brigit Esselmont or The Book of Tarot by Danielle Noel (who also made Moonchild and Starchild, so I guess if I go with one of those, I’ll get her book). Maybe I should get both? I really don’t know. I have a ton of books but very few on spiritual and metaphysical matters, but I dislike having duplicates of information, so if the content of both books overlaps a ton, I wouldn’t want both.

        Anyway, thanks again for responding and have a good night!

        • Here is a link to the etsy where you can purchase the Crystal Unicorn Tarot: https://www.etsy.com/listing/592117150/crystal-unicorn-tarot?ref=listing_published_alert

          I do have the Shadowscapes but I feel like I should warn you that the cards are standard tarot size and a common complaint is that no one can make out the details. It is a beautiful deck, but not diverse at all unfortunately.

          I’m a big believer in going with the deck you feel drawn to rather than the deck a reviewer tells you to get. I LOVE the Starchild, it’s one of my favourite decks, and if it appeals to you I say go for it.

          The book I recommend for every tarot beginner is Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards by Kim Huggens, it teaches you everything you need to know about tarot from choosing a deck to making your own spreads. If you decide to get the Starchild, The Book of Tarot is basically an expanded version of the Starchild Tarot’s guidebook.

          I really like the Spirit Cats deck despite being allergic to cats.

          My first deck was the Fantastical Creatures Tarot by Lisa Hunt and she had pictures of the entire deck on her website. These days I look at reviews, what people are saying, and most importantly, whether the theme and the art appeals to me.

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