Tarot of the QTPOC Deck Review: Mesquite Tarot
The Mesquite Tarot was conceived by Aleisha Fitz and Brownwyn Walls. It got its name from the Honey Mesquite that grows abundantly in Austin, their hometown.
The Mesquite is a wonderfully healing tree ally, with, as Aleisha and Brownwyn point out, medicinal properties from its root to its leaves. It's also used in spells to support enhance healing and protective intention.
It is with these characteristics as inspiration that they created the Mesquite Tarot. Plant magic and tarot? Of course I was interested.
Look & Feel
The Mesquite Tarot comes with a standard tuck box, custom in the color scheme of the Mesquite Tarot. The real packaging treasure was the tarot bag that they included, printed with an ourobouros. I loved that touch! I wish more decks would eschew the fancy box and go for the tarot bag. The deck also came with a rather substantial guidebook, certainly not the usual little white book, though I wish they'd sized it to the deck like the Slow Holler did.
The cards are matte, always a plus, but very slippery. I don't think there was a time that I handled the decks without them slipping and falling over the place. It didn't help that they are tiny so getting a grip was even harder for me.
Despite the art's beauty, which I'll get to in a bit, this was the reason I had to pass the Mesquite Tarot on. I can only hope that someday in the future there will be an edition that's standard sized.
I'll be first in line to support it.
Imagery & Content
The Mesquite Tarot's treasure is its art. Immediately striking in its softness, approached with the lightest touch looking to showcase a card's energy rather than force a particular perspective. It draws from the Rider-Waite-Smith imagery without being limited by it.
It's minimalism done right.
Each card is stripped down to its core meaning, and this delicate approach feels like it allows for the intuition to take up the rest of the space. It reads beautifully, approachable yet honest. I appreciated that the difficult cards are still difficult, even with the soft palette. Nothing is being sugar-coated here.
My favorite part of the Mesquite though has to be the way it re-visioned archaic tarot traditions. Immediately noticeable is that the figures in the cards are gender neutral. It's refreshing. I often have clients who prefer decks that tend toward neutrality or diversity beyond the gender binaries which makes this deck even more of a gem than it is.
This neutrality also lends itself to the court cards. I love that more and more decks are doing away with class and gender hierarchies inherent in the structure of traditional tarot court cards. Here the Mesquite Tarot focuses on experience and energy. King, Queen, Knight, and Page are now the Leader, Knower, Novice, and Student. I appreciate the fluidity between these energies, and it helps settle the message of each card for the reader.
It's a great deck for all levels of tarot experience. It has an ease of use that just feels good without being too simplistic for someone more comfortable with tarot. Especially because it comes with its own effective guidebook.
Actually, I love the idea of someone completely new to tarot learning from this deck.
Where to Purchase
Intrigued, you can get yourself a copy at the Mesquite Tarot website.