In stark contrast to the sometimes fluffier oracle decks, this one is a spoof- and a delightful one, at that.
The Brass Tacks-
As far as decks go- to be very honest with you, though the card stock is sturdy: it’s sticky. I don’t know how else to explain this. The shuffle is just awkward and a pain in the ass to deal with as a result, initially, but over time it ages well and becomes easier. Granted, you don’t…exactly…shuffle…the Fantod. There are 20 cards, the corners are not rounded and they’re about 2.5 inches by 4 3/4ths inches.
It’s an oracle deck, sort of.
It comes in a nice, sturdy cardboard box that arrived slightly bubbled, which you can see there. Standard LWB (Little white book), except, it is of course, not white. Instead, it features a pen and ink design- the Gorey character Figbash toting a tray with a skull, an hourglass and a candle ontop of a a swirling vortex of pointillism in the background. I’m going to be very honest with you- I usually just skim most of the standard LWBs. This one, you’d miss out if you did that. It’s hilarious.
Little side note you may not know:
For those not familiar with Edward Gorey-
Edward Gorey is actually one of the more brilliant modern illustrators. He does all sorts of things and the artwork is always darkly funny- whether he’s doing illustrated envelopes, adult humor, childrens books or book covers. Thing of it is, not many people know anything about the guy- most speculating he, himself, is a creation of himself. There was a lot of speculation as to whether his name was real- and actually, it is. This is because Gorey’s got a real fondness for anagrams.
An anagram, if you don’t know is simply making one word of another, where you sort of rearrange the letters. Gorey did in fact have quite a few pen names. (At this juncture, no one who knows me is shocked I’m fond of Edward Gorey: nor should it be surprising that there’s a lot of his influence in everything I do. He’s one of the few people I’ve never met I was genuinely saddened at his passing in 2000.) His pen names and many of the characters in his books are in fact, named with anagrams of his own name.
In Who’s Writing This- a fantastic and fun collection you can find on Amazon- he explains some:
About the time the first book was published over forty years ago I found my name lent itself to an edifying number of anagrams, some of which I’ve used as pen names, as imaginary authors, and as characters in their or my books. A selection of examples follows.
Ogded Weary has written The Curious Sofa, a porno-graphic work, and The Beastly Baby, a book no one wanted to publish.
Mrs. Regera Dowdy, who lived in the nineteenth century, is the author of The Pious Infant and such unwritten works as The Rivulets of Gore and Nets to Subdue the Deranged; she also translated The Evil Garden by Eduard Blutig, the pictures for which were drawn by O. Müde.
Madame Groeda Weyrd devise the Fantod Pack of fortune-telling cards.
Miss D. Awdrey-Gore was a celebrated and prolific mystery writer. . . . Her detective is Waredo Dyrge, whose favorite reading is the Dreary Rwedgo Series for Intrepid Young Ladies. . . .
Dogear Wryde’s work appears only on postcards.
Addée Gorrwy is known as the Postcard Poetess.
Wardore Edgy wrote movie reviews for a few months.
Wee Graddory was an Infant Poet of an earlier century.
Dora Greydew, Girl Detective, is the heroine of a series (The Creaking Knot, The Curse on the Sagwood Estate, etc.) by Edgar E. Wordy.
Garrod Weedy is the author of The Pointless Book.
Agowy Erderd is a spirit control.
However, I am still taken aback whenever someone asks me if that indeed is my real name.
Reading with the Fantod Pack:
Here’s where I was half tempted to do video, but, technically it is my day off. Not technically, my day off generally involves deep cleaning my house- and boy, it needs it. I was pushing about 20 different deadlines as hard as I could this past week.
Of course, there’s this witty caveat about how, you know, you’re to interpret the cards based on the person you’re reading for- and the circumstances they find themselves in. This makes sense, here’s a sample of the basic interpretation for you:
Rather frankly, I have an awesome time coming up with the particular story. Obviously, you’re not actually going to be doing divination with these- but, can this deck help you learn to read tarot? Absolutely, it can.
How the Fantod Pack can help you be a better tarot reader-
First of all, the basic and most obvious: if you do not have a sense of humor, and you decide you’re going to do readings of any sort for others- people will eat you alive. One thing this deck does not do- and a lot of decks do: it does not take itself seriously. Neither should you.
Secondly, to give any sort of decent tarot reading, you are essentially telling a story. This holds particularly true of longer readings with more cards- I believe you should move fluidly through the cards to give a fuller, more comprehensive picture and in essence, tell your client- or your story that the cards are relaying. Well, you’ve got a list there of possible maladies and each has a date of some sort. It’s like a dark Choose Your Own Oracle Adventure- and in that, is an awesome exercise.
How to read the Fantod Pack
This, too, is one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. Like most decks, there is a method for reading with them given, which makes for hilarity and a better show at parties. You must first shuffle these rather awkward cards- with only your left hand. You then have to stand in the middle of the room- preferably a “sparsely furnished” one. You close your eyes and toss the whole deck up into the air, letting the cards fall wherever. You pick up 5 of these, for your reading and place them like so:
First, place the middle card, face up. Then, the one above it. Then, the one to the left, the right, and finally, the one on the bottom.
The center is first- this is your situation. In my case, it is the Urn:
On Friday, I can expect that a broken heart will arise from discovering I have scales. This will create quite the problem and my partner will face a sexual dilemma- can he still love a woman who has in fact, become a fish? Through a dire state of affairs, he misunderstands, makes the wrong choice and winds up pissing pure fire.
Which brings us to the card above it, the thing from my past, which still impacts my future. This is The Ecorche- a painting or sculpture of a human figure with the skin removed to display the musculature.
In June, one of my skulls bounced from the shelf above the headboard while engaged in sexytimes with my partner. Ever since, I’ve had a difficult time getting aroused and have been a terrible lover as a result. I developed cysts on my ovaries (Hey, that…actually did happen.) which led to further reluctance on my part to engage in sexual congress.
In short, when he discovers that I am in fact, covered head to foot in scales on Friday- he will be so starved for it, he cannot resist.
The card on the left is meant to be my inner self. It is The Yellow Bird:
On some Saturday in my early 20s, in the throws of a manic episode, I found my foot twitching while climbing a ladder. This caused me to fall off of said ladder which made me quite agitated and angry. While ranting about this, much like a rabid goldfinch, I slipped and fell on someone’s penis. This complicated matters in my personal life tremendously and on that day, so angry at my plight, I threw away a shot at true love.
The card on the right are the external influences at play. This is that pesky, pesky Ladder.
Another tarot reader has been gossiping about me, really dragging my name through the mud. She was so upset because I always use reversals in my tarot readings that she lost all of her hair- which made her an even bigger hater. She’s cast a powerful hex on me, causing insomnia but, she had to perform this nightly. One night, due to a routine traffic stop, she was running late and in her haste- hit my bedside mirror instead. This, then, not only hit me, causing the scales but also, her- resulting in a terrible incident while she was dining at Waffle House, too horrible to describe. It involved a bucket of low-melt, three pecan waffles and a truck driver called Ray.
Now, the final card, the prediction. The Insects:
The the Tuesday after I grow scales and my partner suffers those horrible maladies as a result of bad sex in the past few months- we will accidentally ingest mushrooms in a field. While we are both babbling about total nonsense, I will become quite sick and vomit explosively. This will get all over me, curing the scales, yet leaving temporary blisters.
If you enjoyed this- and I hope that you did, please, feel free to share it. If you did not, say, would you like a Fantod reading?