Tarot of the Zirkus Magi Review

I’m finally sitting my ass down to write up my review of the Tarot of the Zirkus Magi by Doug Thornsjo of Duck Soup Productions.


This is a deck unlike any other I’ve encountered. It’s got a slightly sinister vintage circus theme and I love it. There’s just something unsettling about those old-timey photos that lends itself well to the Tarot.

The suits have been renamed. Cups are Buckets, Wands became Batons, Swords are Blades, and Pentacles/Coins are Rings.


As you can see, keywords are on the bottom of the cards, which is nice, unless you don’t agree with its interpretation. I happen to be just fine with them, personally.

While the change of the traditional suits to something a little more circus-y is cool, it weirds me out a little when everything is renamed in a deck. And I mean everything.

The Court cards have gone from Page, Knight, Queen, and King to Billposter, Rider, Duchess, and Governor.


Now just because I have complaints about a deck doesn’t mean that I don’t fucking love it. The following four cards are really the reason I bought this deck. I just love them:


I think The Solitarian might be my very favorite.

Which brings me right back to the renaming thing. The Majors have all been renamed and are not numbered.


Here are the three most what-the-fuck renamed majors. The Leading Lady is the High Priestess, The Clown is The Fool, and I don’t remember what The Aeon even is. When I say it, it makes sense, but when you’re in the middle of a reading it’s a weird stumbling block. Especially considering that this deck doesn’t come with a booklet. There’s a guidebook you can purchase separately but…

Now I really fucking hate to bring this up, but I feel I must. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tell an artist what their work is worth, but this was a damn expensive deck. While most other independently published decks seem to go for around $40, I paid $70 for this one. Seriously, that’s 75% more than other comparable decks. And then it doesn’t even come with a tuck box, just the cards wrapped in cellophane. And then the guidebook is additional.

The cardstock is okay. It’s a bit on the thin side but nice and springy. They almost have a waxy coating that makes them stay where you put them but somehow doesn’t make them stick to each other.

Unfortunately, again, I have a complaint. I take painstaking good care of my decks, yet look at it:


I can understand the cards having a nice worn look after years of use, but considering I’ve only owned this deck for 5 months and only used it a handful of times, it’s a bit excessive.

To recap.

Pros: unique style, great theme, creepy.

Cons: price doesn’t equal quality, having to “translate” every card.

Final note:

It’s always important to me to see the Sun, Moon, and Star cards in a deck, so here you go.


Do you need this deck? Depends on how much money is in your tarot deck fund.

Where can you get it? Right here.





3 thoughts on “Tarot of the Zirkus Magi Review

  1. The Aeon is what Mr. Crowley called his Judgement card, and judging by the imagery, that’s probably what it’s supposed to be. Adjustment is Crowley’s term for Justice, too, which makes me think that it’s a Thoth inspired deck, and if that is the case, the creator did not actually change the names of those two cards. Are you familiar with the Crowley Thoth deck?


  2. It’s a neat deck and worth the time it takes to learn how to understand it if you’re interested in expanding your horizons. But I’m sure you didn’t need me to tell you that.
    If I’m remembering correctly from another post of yours (I may be confusing you with someone else on here), you don’t really prefer to use books to work with the Tarot, but there are two or three I’d recommend for approaching the Thoth.


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