Articles

Sasuraibito Tarot by Stasia Burrington | Tarot Deck Review


Hi everyone, it’s Katey, and today I have
for you a much requested review of the Sasuraibito Tarot by Stasia Burrington.
Now, this is a deck that I got a few months ago, I think it was sometime in
November or October last year, and I did an unboxing of it, and since then it
has just become one of my favourite decks, and certainly one of my most used decks.
It wasn’t a deck I was even really thinking of getting. I remember I liked
some of the artwork, but there was also a lot that I was just not super keen on.
But I wanted to get the Mesquite Tarot and the easiest way for me to do that
was to order from Little Red Tarot, and she has a set shipping rate of 10
pounds, and so I thought well I might as well get a couple of decks because, you
know, then it kind of makes that shipping worthwhile. And my favourite of those
decks that I ordered turned out to be the Sasuraibito, the deck that I wasn’t
even, you know, super super sure I would like. Now before I get into the meat of
the review I have one last thing to tell you, and that is that this edition that
I have is the first. There has more recently been published a second
edition and whilst I don’t think any of the cards have changed, the images, there
are a few differences in the hardware, what I call the hardware. From memory, the
box is a little bit different, I’ve heard people say that the box is actually
quite a lot harder to open. This one isn’t it all, there’s quite a bit of
extra space in here and the box lid comes off very easily. I think there’s
also some gold foiling on the front and the card stock is a little bit different,
I think it’s a little bit thinner in the new one. And, according to Little Red
Tarot, the images are also a little darker in the second edition than in the
first. I don’t think any of those changes are dramatic, but I did want to let you
know that I am reviewing specifically the first edition. But I think most of
what I have to say will stand up, will be true for the second edition, because
largely I’m talking about, you know, the images and working with the deck. Now, as
I said, it does come in this lovely two-part box, which is my favourite sort
of packaging for a deck mostly, I love this kind of smaller box that fits the
cards. It’s a very sturdy box and it does have these little, kind of, notches for
your thumbs to be able to hold on to the bottom box while you’re lifting off the
lid. There’s not a whole lot of writing on it and this image on the bottom of
the box is the same as the card backs. Now, the cards have this gold gilding on
the edges, which is very pretty, the sort of thing that, you know, kind of
is a nice touch but I’m not too bothered about. Mine’s held up pretty well, although
I have heard that people, you know, this isn’t the best wearing gilding, but I use
this deck all the time and I do riffle shuffle, although I am still reasonably
careful with my cards, and I think mine’s held up pretty well. The backing is very
pretty, I like the backing, it’s this death moth with these bones and it is
reversible. As I said, the card stock on this first edition is a little bit
different, this card stock is quite bendy. It’s a little bit glossy, but not too
much, and I don’t mind glossy cards usually, the thing that bothers me about
glossy cards is often the cards end up sticking together, but that hasn’t been a
problem at all – this is not too slippery but it’s also not grippy. It’s a really
easy deck to shuffle It’s, kind of, pretty well a standard size, to a Rider Waite Smith or a classic card, it’s just very easy to handle and work with. As for the
images, Stasia Burrington certainly has a distinctive style. Some people say it’s
rather Anime-esque, and I can kind of see that, although to me it’s not so much
Anime, not at least the sort of anime that I’m used to seeing. It certainly has a
Japanese style influence, though. In some ways this deck actually kind of reminds
me of the Anna K, not in terms of art style at all, obviously, but in terms of the way
in which the cards have been done. In so many ways the, you know, the symbols that
we’re used to seeing, the esoteric symbols and the occult symbols of, you know, the
the Golden Dawn and such, all of those are removed. Instead, the artist has very
much used body language, facial expressions, colour, all of those sort of
things, to set the mood of the card, to express the meaning of the card through
the mood. And I think Anna K, the Anna K deck has done very much a similar thing,
and the Anna K is one of my favourite decks for that reason. So, I think in many
ways, that’s why I love the Sasuraibito Tarot so much, is because it’s done a
similar thing, just in an art style that I prefer a little bit more. Essentially,
rather than the occult symbolism, it’s everyday symbols that we see and
recognise in our lives that are used to express the meaning, to evoke the meaning
through emotion. For instance, cards like the Sun – just the way that this character
is kind of holding up their hands to cover their eyes – I’ve had that
feeling before, where the sun is so beautiful but also blinding… it’s just
it’s so simple, but I recognise that experience in the card. Another is the
Six of Swords. I can feel that, you know, that cold air on your face, that breath
in that you take. It’s a very similar feeling to when, you know, you’ve finally
given yourself permission to move on. It doesn’t mean that you’re not upset or
you’re not finding it difficult anymore, but there is a sense of relief, there’s a
sense of that taking a breath in, finally feeling that cold air on your face,.I very much get that feeling from this card, and so that speaks volumes to me
about the meaning of the card and the interpretation that the artist has taken.
Another card that uses that, kind of, everyday symbolism would be the Two of
Cups. This is such a sweet card and it certainly, you know, we’ve all, we’ve all
done a pinkie promise before. It’s tha,t you know, it’s the naive sort of relationship,
the innocence of an early relationship, where we’re willing to promise something
without, you know, it doesn’t have the commitment associated with it that, you
know, like a long-term relationship might with a marriage or something, but it’s
still there, it’s still a sign of goodwill and connection. The Eight of Cups
I think is just a brilliant card. This is just so about, you know, moving on from
something. I think even in the book but this is what I thought of too, how after
you’ve undergone something difficult, so often we want to change ourselves, we
want to redefine ourselves and, you know, she’s in a very vulnerable position,
completely naked, but she’s just chopping off all of this beautiful long hair, but
it’s long hair that has grown over the period of something difficult, something
that she’s leaving behind. She’s literally cutting parts of herself off
to leave them in the past and, in so doing, she’s redefining herself so that
she can step into the future as somebody new, as somebody different. I also just
love the simplicity of the Ace of Swords, the Aces in general I really like in
this deck. But the Ace of Swords, it’s almost visceral, it’s so obvious what
this card is about in this deck. It’s about clarity and cutting through the
cloud and cutting through uncertainty. I know a card that some people have a
problem with is the Devil, and I’ve heard people say that this is man hating,
and also they just don’t like the way that it’s depicted. I actually love it, I
think it’s brilliant. I think the reason it’s so clever and why it works so
effectively, at least for me, is because it’s not obvious in terms of going one
way or another with the Devil card. You know, is this man tempting and lustful or
is he dangerous? It’s not clear either way. Is he seducing us or is he
threatening us? It’s not obvious which it is, and so perhaps it’s neither or
perhaps it’s both. I also love the play with the gaze in this, and we often talk
about the male gaze and, you know, just in pop culture in general, the idea that
often women are passive when photos are being taken of them, they are there to be
observed rather than being active in the interaction. This is very interesting
because he’s looking directly at us and so it’s not entirely clear, again, whether
we’re looking at him and gazing upon him, and whether we are the people in power
here, or whether he is gazing upon us and seeing us, and we are the passive in this
interaction. Now this is a Rider Waite Smith system deck, I would say. It
certainly does it in its own way, as I said, it does have its own take on the
cards. But ultimately, I think the majority of the meanings do come back to
what we understand from the Rider Waite Smith. The Wands though, in many ways they
stand out a little bit because they are rather ‘pippish’,
not entirely, but they are a lot more so than the rest of the deck. All of the
other suits are largely scenic, whereas the Wands, they kind of verge more on to
pips. In many ways, this deck feels intimate. A lot of the cards are, kind of,
zoomed in to, like, a snapshot a small aspect of everyday life, and in that way
it does it feels very personal and intimate. Some of those cards I already
mentioned, like the Eight of Cups and the Two of Cups, I feel like certainly fit
into this, you know, they feel vulnerable, they feel personal, they feel like an
intimate moment between just, you know, for a person to experience for
themselves, or between two people. Another example might be the King of Cups. I
don’t know, just seeing this old grandfatherly figure pouring you a cup
of tea, that’s such a small, everyday experience but it’s also a very
meaningful one. The Ace of Cups is another one, just
kind of this, you know, person sitting with their cup of tea and you do- I at
least, I feel a sense of, you know, what that feels like for me when I sit down
and just, kind of, am really mindful with my cup of tea and what that means to me,
what taking that time out to just enjoy a cup of tea feels like. It just feels
like in many ways this deck captures those little moments, those important
moments. Even in the Death card, we see, at least to me, it looks like the spirit
rising out of this dead body, that moment that that occurs, and that feels like a
very special, you know, meaning-heavy moment. And I really like that about this
deck, that it feels like small snapshots of everyday life that have meaning, have
meaning to the people in this picture and that, you know, we can relate to
moments in our lives that have similar meanings. They feel personal. Other words
I might choose to use to describe this deck would be things like luscious,
expressive, sensual, its evocative and its rich. And in some cases it is rather
modern. It doesn’t feel, you know, specifically tied to today, like some
decks feel to current, this deck just feels modern. You know, there are examples
such as the Emperor with a man wearing a business suit and it’s kind of zoomed in
to him having a smoke. Again that intimate moment with him. We even have an
astronaut in the Star card, and I know some people have said that they don’t
really get this card and I kind of forget what the book says, but the first
thing I thought of when I saw his card and was actually one of the reasons I
decided to get it in the end, was it reminded me of one moment from Stargate
SG1 where, basically, there’s this kind of big space war and a bunch of ships
get destroyed and Sam who is, you know, one of my favourite characters from any
show ever, she’s basically stranded in her spacesuit just kind of floating in
space. And she’s running out of air and, you know, the people who have survived
and, you know, her friends who were in the ship, all of their powers are down and
everything so they can’t come and get her. And so it’s just this trust and
faith that she has to have floating around in the vastness of space that her
friends will do everything they can to come
rescue her, and just trusting that that will happen. I love working with this
deck because it fills so many needs for me, it’s a very versatile deck. I’ve used
it in so many readings for myself in everyday like, you know, ‘What can I expect
today?’ or ‘What can I focus on today?’ but also in quite, you know, meaningful
important readings. I did that Body Beliefs spread that was going around a
few months ago, I did that for myself using this deck, and it was incredibly
moving. I’ve also done plenty of my readings for clients with this deck and
I’ve had some great feedback, and also it was just it flowed, you know when
readings just flow? And that has certainly been my experience with this
deck. It can be very practical, it can be very emotional, it can be a bit of both,
it’s a very versatile deck for me, and part of the reason why I use it so often
is because it can be used in so many ways, it’s useful in so many different
types of readings. Another thing that I think this deck shares in common with be
Anna K is the fact that the courts, the courts have been done in such a way that
they are so readable and relatable. They don’t feel like, you know, a King and a
Queen high up on the throne and, you know, the only way to understand them is to
understand them by rank. Instead, these are real people and they all have very
very distinct personalities. The Pages are all, you know, kind of young and ready
to set out on your new adventure, try something new. The Knights are all really
doing something… And so that’s another reason that I think this deck is so
readable, is because sometimes courts can feel a little inaccessible, and I know
that lots of people have that experience. Whereas these ones just feel like
everyday people that you can get to know. I love a lot of cards from this deck I,
don’t know if I have a favourite, the Six of Cups and the Nine of Cups would
certainly be up there. But I wanted to talk a little bit about the Six of
Pentacles, because it is a card that I’ve spoken about before, how I don’t tend to
like the interpretations of the traditional imagery because, when I look
at that traditional imagery, it doesn’t look like, you know, generous giving or
charity – well perhaps it is charity although I have criticisms of that kind
of charity! – because, you know, in that card, I see people having to basically beg for
a few cents from somebody who is very wealthy and, you know, they’re kind of
balancing out and working out what they can give without
really making a big difference in their own lives. Whereas the Six of Pentacles
in the Sasuraibito is quite interesting because you can’t
really tell who is giving and who is receiving, and you can’t really tell
whether that’s a good or a bad thing for either party. There’s an ambiguity here
that I appreciate in this card. As with the cards, in many ways the book has
removed, you know, all of that occult, symbol-heavy language. It doesn’t rely on
those traditional core meanings in the same way that perhaps the Rider Waite
Smith does. It certainly comes back to a Rider Waite Smith meaning, but it
expresses them in a personal, relatable way, in a way that is very much based on
emotional experience, and I really, really like that, I think it’s great and it’s
refreshing. When I have pulled out the book to have a read of what the artist
has written about the card, I’ve been kind of bowled over by, you know, word for
word relates exactly to my experience, like, not just an overall broad meaning I
then kind of relate to my experience, it’ll be just one sentence pops out to
me that is exactly my experience. So that’s been really interesting, and just
a wonderful experience, I love it when that happens.
One thing I’m not crazy about the book is just the formatting. It’s not super
consistent, you know, some cards have a quote to go with them, others don’t, and
also, sometimes you’ll get the title on the end of the page and then the rest of
the meaning is on the other side of the page. I don’t know, just a little petty
thing, but something that I like to have, you know, neat formatting with whitespace,
and all of that which is lacking in this book. So that is my review of the
wonderful saucer Sasuraibito by Stasia Burrington. It is absolutely one of my
favourite decks and certainly one of my favorite decks of the of recent times.
I just think it’s fabulous, it’s so versatile, it’s so usable and accessible,
and it’s also beautiful and sensual and intimate as I said. I think it does a
great job of capturing small moments and expressing the traditional, or close to
traditional, meaning through emotion, through colour, through body language,
through facial expressions, and for that reason, I couldn’t recommend it more
highly. I know a lot of people love it, I know there are some people who didn’t
get on board with it, and that’s fine, we’re all different, we all appreciate
different things. But if this art does appeal to you at all, my experience has
been absolutely incredible with it. So I’d love to hear if this is a
deck that you’ve been enjoying, let me know why in the comments below. If you
have any other questions about this deck, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to
get back to you. And until next time, so much love, bye!

6
Comments
  • This is such a sweet little deck, I really enjoy it and as you mentioned this might be my favorite deck for the court cards. I did go back and forth a bit on getting it but am very glad I did. I am often intrigued by the spectrum of messages from very concrete direct practical statements, to those with quite a lot of spiritual depth. Another deck that has come into my possession recently that is simply delighting me is the mass produced Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot by Lana Zellner. I did not click with Bonefire Tarot and was not sure if I would get along. Even on my first flip through with Tattoo Tarot I felt somewhat meh about the images, but since reading with it regularly I've become quite smitten and am really delighted with what a wonderful deck and guidebook it is. Thanks again for your wonderful videos!

  • My deck arrived today. It’s the 5th printing, but not sure whether that means the cards are different. I like the feel and thickness of the cards, and gold edging of the deck. I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts about the artwork and ways the cards 'speak' to you. Is this deck still one of your top favourites? It would be nice to hear that its appeal has endured.

  • Ohh my goodness this has never been on my radar, but found this review and you’ve totally turned me around. I definitely want this in my collection.
    Huge thank you for making these cards so real and explaining them in such a brilliant literate way.
    Now I need this deck lol!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *