About the Heavenly Bloom Tarot Deck
The Heavenly Bloom Tarot Deck is a fantasy and nature themed tarot deck created by Noa Ikeda, published by U.S. Games Systems Inc. I was drawn to this deck because of the art style that reminded me of the anime and video games I tend to like. (Coincidentally, Ikeda actually did work with video game companies like Rovio Entertainment and Gameloft.) But what I found pleasantly surprising was the story behind the deck.
The characters and scenes you see in this deck are from a world of Ikeda’s own creation. Each suit (Cups, Laurels, Wands, and Swords) represents a specific elemental tribe in that world. The Aces feature each tribe’s progenitor deity, as shown in the two examples above.
The guidebook actually provides the names of the characters shown in the cards. Some characters appear in multiple cards, providing more context about their stories and the world they live in. In the examples above, the character falling after a heartbreaking betrayal in the Three of Swords is also the Knight of Swords rising up with blade in hand.
If you’re the type to skip reading the guidebooks that come with card decks, you may miss out on these little details. I’m not saying that not reading the guidebook is a bad thing, but I highly recommend at least skimming them. Sometimes you miss out on the artists’ stories and notes if you don’t!
Even without the added layers of lore, the artwork does capture the cards’ overall moods and tones. I wouldn’t say they’re easy and intuitive to read for a beginner, but most are fairly straightforward in their meaning. Most of the cards also draw direct inspiration from the Rider-Waite Smith tarot, so it helps to be familiar with it when using this deck.
The artwork and character designs are undeniably influenced by Ikeda’s Asian roots, but there it features a diverse set of characters and races. It’s also so interesting that some of the Kings in this deck are female! I’m not actually very keen on all-female card decks, but having female Kings mixed in with males helps illustrate that feminine energy and masculine energy don’t necessarily mean sticking to a strict gender binary.
I really love the card backs and the rose-gold gilded edges, but I REALLY don’t like this card stock. I’m personally not a huge fan of thick, glossy card stock. It just makes it more difficult for me to shuffle and handle the cards in general. Plus they have a tendency to become sticky over time.
All in all, this gorgeous deck is perfect if you’re a fan of art styles similar to Ikeda’s or appreciate fantasy world building and lore. If you want a copy, I think Scarlo Philippines on Shopee still has it on-hand, and it’s also available on Amazon. You can also pre-order the deck through Luna Brujeria on Instagram.