Magic Realist Press is a collaborative venture between Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov who comprise the Baba Studio in Prague, Czech Republic. Their tarot decks have a lively following. While the Victorian Romantic, Baroque Bohemian Cats and Tarot of Prague are better known than the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot, those that use this deck keep a special place in their hearts for it.
The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot is based on the artwork of J.J. Grandville who was a French illustrator from the 1800s and is known as the originator of surrealism. The deck was published in 2005 and as of 2010 is still easily available. The deck can be purchased alone or as part of a deck and book set.1
Tarot is a force of the Gods. Those who find themselves in this divine service would do well to remember the power and responsibility for the well-being of others which has been entrusted to them.
Fantastic Menagerie Interview
1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
2. What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Good tarot reading requires fine balance and constant attention. Imagery and metaphor help those who come for readings to get hold of the information and wisdom available. As a deck I am literally made of color, metaphor and detail. My kingdom is the natural world, reimaged. (Two of Coins, reversed)
3. What are your limits as a tarot deck?
Successful, powerful, yet shy, I’ve still not found what I’m looking for.2 I’m not sure of my voice, and so hide behind my more popular and gregarious brothers and sisters.3 I live in my own internal world and reveal my riches to those who make the effort to seek me out. I’ll not impose myself on anyone at anytime. That’s just not my way. (Two of Wands)
4. What are you here to teach us?
Tarot is a force of the Gods. Those who find themselves in this divine service would do well to remember the power and responsibility for the well-being of others which has been entrusted to them. (King of Swords)
5. How can we best learn from and collaborate with you?
Tarot reading can be treated as a left-brained work effort or a right-brained meditation. When working with me, do more of the focused meditation, and less of the burden-filled work, and you may be surprised at how well we work together. (Ten of Wands)
6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Rise up proudly! Your skill as a tarot reader is evident to all. It’s going to be a beautiful day. (XIX The Sun)
7. Any final words?
Don’t underestimate me. Though soft spoken and gentle looking, I’m more than ready to go head to head with anyone. I can handle the tough questions and give the tough answers without hesitation when required. In all circumstances I will always remain a gentleman. (Five of Wands, reversed)
Where can you find the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot?
The Fantastic Menagerie Tarot is one of the Magic Realist Press titles that is still in print and readily available. You can find a copy through Tarot Garden or Amazon.
- You can learn about FireRaven’s new deck spread in the Interview with the Il Meneghello Soprafino post. [↩]
- U2 [↩]
- These are the other Magic Realist Press tarot decks. [↩]
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We all need someone we can trust.