The Celestial Stick People

Review by Tabitha Chamberlain


The Celestial Stick People
Illustrations and Instructions by Brian Crick; Card Reference by Marie Vibbert

Published by The Game Crafter
Retail U.S. $17.99

I stumbled down the interweb hole one night of all things tarot. One thing lead to another; aka one link clicked off of another, off of another, after another (etc.) until I came across a site called “The Game Crafter.” 

Curious, I spent some time looking around the site. I realized it was a gamer site, those familiar with “Magic: The Gathering” and similar card games will probably know about this site. While not my thing, I look down the search panel wondering why or how I got here, but yeah the internet hole is like that. Hey wait, they have tarot decks!

I started scanning through some of these. The "Buy Tarot" section is a blend of traditional tarot decks, oracles, and Lenomard decks. Most of them are more unusual or can’t be found through major publishers for one reason or another. There were one or two that interested me but nothing that really jumped out until I came upon The Celestial Stick People and fell in lust. 

It’s dark blue night-like background, the bright neon colors, the simplistic design. Oh must have now! Yes, it’s literally stick people drawn in mostly the Rider Waite style with a slightly different take. Which sounds crazy until you see the simple drawings almost glowing with beautiful colors.

I ordered it not knowing what to expect here as I’ve never dealt with a site like this. It works as a published to order: basically they will take the order, print it and the corresponding reference material, quality control, package item/s, and place for shipment. 

I ordered the deck mid to late April I got it May 1, it was shipped in a tiny cardboard box. If you’re the inpatient type you may want to do the Priority Mail, it’s only a few dollars more in the United States. It also ships out in about 2 days and not two weeks.

Upon opening this box I found the deck itself professionally packaged like any large name publisher would do. Plastic sealing and all. The outer box is sturdy that you can reuse it to keep the cards in. The cards placed inside with the leaflet of instructions inside. The "leaflet" is just three pages folded together. Sliding the cards out I noticed that the edges were little rough, but nothing that I haven’t seen before on other decks. Mostly in decks that have a darker border edging the cards. 

I started flipping through the cards first. The deck is a little smaller than I like, roughly measuring 3in x 2in in size. The card stock is decent quality, thin and flexible. Not so thin that they feel fragile when shuffling. The backs are reversible with the same dark blue coloring with a two stick people and circles on opposite corners. Turning them over to see all of the images as the website didn’t offer up much in this way. I was stunned by how the images do seem to glow from within the cards. Even the white card titles stand out well. 

The Majors of this deck have traditional non-numbered titles, but with slightly different simplified take. Like the Strength just depicts a large yellow animal that could be a lion or any other four legged creature. 

The World shows a shaded sphere with an astronaut stick person holding a flag in front of it.

The Minors as I mentioned kind of follow the traditional styling of the RWS deck, with some slight changes the first among them are name changes:

The Suits:





 The Courts:





Looking closer at the images, I find that the cards take the meanings and show that more simply. The Four of Diamonds, shows a square safe deposit box with the door wide open, with a stick person inside of it gathering up the four diamonds in front of him. 

The Three of Quills, shows two stick people facing away from one another with three quills separating them. I will warn you, you need good lighting to work with this deck as there are some images that are just outlined in a slightly lighter blue. You’ll miss some of the subtleties of its meaning if you can’t see it. 

The Courts are interesting, the Dreamers are what you expect them to be, stick people at their best idealism, you can see that when you look at them. The Zealots all have some type of vehicle in their cards, showing movement. The Paragon and Mentors are odd, but in a good way and this is coming from someone who isn't fond of the Courts. They seem to be a mix of both the traditional Queens and Kings, yet have their own stand-alone qualities making them interesting characters to work with. 

Even the leaflet is high quality if odd. It's 3 pages front and back on glossy thick 8in x 11in paper. It’s printed in color with images of each card and an example reading. It’s for the more pragmatic of readers, as the intro stresses the importance of self-exploration and not prediction. 

There is a minor blip in the text where they describe the difference between Majors, Minors, and Courts. It's enough to throw you a bit, but you'll figure out what needs to be adjusted when reading. The leaflet is good for starters, but deserves a skimming for long time readers to get a grasp on the slight difference of this deck. I also notice that the deck is sent in the order that is shown in the leaflet, not sure of the reason why. 

The website offers the leaflet for free download, a good way to get a sneak peak of the cards if you’re unsure if The Celestial Stick People are for you. Personally, I think I’ve found a new favorite deck. This simplified deck makes for some quick honest readings with no wiggle room or misunderstandings.

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