The Annoyed-with-Insultingly-Shallow-Deck Fairy


Originally, I wanted to order the Oracle of Shadows and Light by eye-size, or convince myself that there were some meaningful subgroups of cards in the deck (e.g. mermaids/weather fairies, frightened/helpless girls with the hugest eyes of them all, pouting girls who probably didn’t get the sweets at the checkout, round-eyed girls who must all be siblings because they look so alike, sort-of-relatively-not-quite-as-cutesie girls, “ethnic” girls who are so horrible that I wanted to write an entire post about them but then decided that would be taking the deck way too seriously, girls vaguely referencing classic “art” or “history”).

But when I looked at all the cards at once, as they were lying there, huddling together on my carpet, I noticed I grew increasingly and deeply annoyed with the completely formulaic construction of their faces.

And then I just had to grab a pencil and the back of an old application form for my bellydance classes to prove just how simple these faces were constructed: round shape, tiny pouting mouth a few millimeters from the chin, tiny nose made from some circles, a shadowy stripe across the face where the eyes are, wide-set huge eyes (we’re still in the lower third of the entire head here), pencil-thin eyebrows, artfully draped hair that covers difficult parts like ears, necks, or shoulders and takes up at least half of the head shape.

Almost immediately, it became clear that this was developing into a self-portrait of my feelings about this deck, so I added some colored pencils and ended up with this drawing (or rather, sketch). It’s also the only reason why the hair is not parted in the middle because there is a limit to how ridiculous I’m willing to look.

I call the result the “Annoyed-with-Insultingly-Shallow-Deck Fairy.”  (You can’t see her wings because they are hanging down in disgruntled disappointment. No, I can’t explain why she has no left shoulder.).

The only problem is that I now have to be grateful because by way of my pissed-off-ness about it, the damn deck actually made me draw again… Now I’m even annoyeder.


8 responses »

  1. Wow, Cat that is a GREAT drawing! I am very glad the doe-eyed, pouty damsels ticked you off if you can create like that; you should do it more often (drawing, not getting ticked off, lol). I think you should do a companion deck – The Piss and Vinegar Voluptuous Vixens. :D

  2. I sensed you were artistic but had no idea drawing was among your mediums. This is a wonderful “self-portrait” of discontent. And by all means, *do* lay into the “horrible ethnic” girls if you ever feel called to.

    There are decks that I mentally wince over using because of some of the inescapable, unsavory elements built into them (e.g. cultural appropriation in any Native American or Egyptian-themed deck.) One of my favorite tarot creators and artists, Julie Cuccia-Watts is implicated in this particular wince-worthy practice. Yet, the decks offer me many benefits, so I continue to use them for myself, at least; I am careful about which decks I present to the public.

    I imagine there are people out there–probably feminists/humanists who rightly object to the Disney Princess-ifying of young girlhood–who wince at using this deck, yet still do. Sometimes the mere acknowledgement of something’s problematic nature is the biggest step forward. Of course, not all tarot- and oracle-deck users are as cognizant of these undercurrents; for them, use of “problematic” decks is reinforcing the social status quo.

    Your posts on even the most trivial-seeming subjects offer important food for thought. There are no trivial subjects in the hands of one whose eyes are opened to the society around them.

  3. *snort* I love your idea for a companion/spoof deck!

    Maybe I should get ticked off more often since it often seems to send me into a create (if somewhat mean-spirited) mood!

  4. I had been hesitating about writing about the deck’s “ethnic” cards, because, do I really want to spend more energy on the deck? Do I really want to bring more attention to it? Isn’t it a waste of time to even take such a superficial deck seriously? But now I think I should.
    So, okay, I shall talk about this topic – if I find the time to do so during the rest of this week.

  5. :)
    My feelings about portrait decks in general. Yes, we can read anything including sugar packets, but calling these portrait decks tarot or oracles just gets on my last nerve. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one…

  6. i think you should also. its not like there is a ton on the internet about the topic, and it really is worth pointing out the fail

    also, awesome drawing!!!

  7. Ahahah! Love it. And I definitely think it’s worth your time, if you can spare it, to write about the ethnic issue. I’ve seen a thread here or there discussing it, but in general, doesn’t seem like something the community gets into a lot and it’s worthy to talk about, even in silly, shallow decks like this.

  8. Aw, Cat you are SO full of awesome!


    I have this deck and I happen to like it! Sometimes I have problems with Lucy Cavendish and her excessively fairy-ness (ALL her decks keep talking non-stop about creatures from other realms which and I can’t see so it annoys me). Still, I like the decks and the artwork, and I feel free to ignore Lucy when she’s annoying me.

    I honestly never saw the Oracle of Shadows & Light as a rebellious deck but rather as a cute and incredibly, ridiculously girly deck. It appeals to my cute side, which is also the one that also collects owl plushies. My evil side is fantasizing about murdering bad ex and things like that… definitely not a cute-evil. :p

    Great drawing by the way! ;-) I love it!

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