Tarot de la Nuit, by Alexandra V. Bach and Carole Anne Eschenazi
Llewellyn Publications, 9780738759845, 79 cards, 128 pp., 2018
The Tarot de la Nuit began when French illustrator Alexandra V. Bach embarked upon a journey to create a new universe in which darkness revealed its beauty and purity without being coloured by gloomy or gothic shades. The Tarot de la Nuit is that world, where dark femininity is combined with fairy imagery, and where enlightenment springs forth from melancholy.
The deck is comprised of 79 richly illustrated cards printed on quality stock with a glossy finish. The back of each card is coloured deep purple with a grey crescent moon and leaf design. Each card measures 7 x 12 cm. Like the traditional tarot, this deck has a major and minor arcana, with the minor arcana divided into four suits: cups, swords, pentacles, and wands. The deck comes in a sturdy presentation box and is accompanied by a booklet, which provides the history of the deck, a description of the Kingdom de la Nuit, and an explanation of the imagery and meaning of each card. The booklet also contains instruction for a one-card reading and the Night Spread, which is a seven-card spread designed especially for this deck. As well as English, the contents of the booklet are also printed in Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Russian.
Carole Anne Eschenazi is a French author living in Italy. Alexandra V. Bach is a French digital artist who is renowned for her fine dark fantasy imagery.
The Night Spread makes for quite a fascinating reading. The first card is placed in the Dream Card position and it represents the reader’s deepest wishes and desires, as well as the goals that they are aiming for at this time. The second card, or Darkness Card, represents the reader’s obstacles and enemies, and anything that they must fight against to attain those goals. Card number three, the Sparkling Stars card, represents the reader’s luck and everything that they can count on for support in their current endeavours. Next are the Moonlight card, representing the reader’s hope; the Sunset card, representing the beginning of the reader’s journey; and the Midnight card, which reveals the heart of the problem. Finally, this spread winds up with the Sunrise card, which represents the outcome of the matter.
The imagery on the cards is
evocative and darkly beautiful. When you read these cards, you are stepping into a place where night is an imaginary land, and this is reflected through every single card. For example, the Six of Pentacles depicts a copper-haired woman sitting on a high-backed bronzed throne. She is dressed in a flowing crimson gown. The scenery around her suggests Autumn and there is a pumpkin at her feet. To her left is a set of scales, which is slightly off-balance. In her right hand, she tosses a golden coin, while five other coins are falling to the ground. The character of this card introduces herself as having opulence and living in luxury that she had worked hard to earn. She tells the reader that she wants to share her wealth in order to attain the perfect balance between what comes in and what goes out. The advice she gives to the reader is to share your wealth, whether it is money, knowledge, time or love; if the reader is the recipient of the wealth, to be grateful for everything you receive.
In addition to the dark yet seductive imagery, what is unique about this tarot deck is that each card introduces a new character. Each character speaks to the reader — not just through the image but also by means of a first-person introduction in the booklet. I find this makes the Tarot de la Nuit very easy to get familiar with. I was drawn into the is deck immediately, and after a few readings, I began to feel very connected to certain characters within the deck. I found that these characters frequently appeared in my personal readings and through their meditations, I became aware of ways I could use my creativity more fully. This is a deck I will return to often. I would whole-heartedly recommend this deck to any tarot reader who wishes to move away from the more traditional tarot decks and take a journey into the beautiful Kingdom de la Nuit.