I Ching: Dead Moon Deck is an I Ching deck based on Luis Royo's Dead Moon Art Work. This deck attempt to portrait its 64 oracular statements using Luis Royo's illustrated love/hate story of "Moon" and "Mars" love/hate story in an eastern based Gothic world. Luis Royo's Art Work remains superb even in the constrained format of a card, and this I Ching does a fair attempt to portrait the meaning of their respective oracular statement.
Being an old time fan of Luis Royo's artwork, I was eager to get a deck featuring his latest paintings. Previous attempt on Tarot format had fallen short to my expectations. In brief, I dislike Tarot Decks with just repetitive pips. However, I had high expectations with this I Ching Deck, because I assumed it required 64 distinct cards. I was correct, but whether that was a good thing or not, it was another matter.
The cards in this deck are 4.5" x 2.75". These are bordered black, showing a number on top from 1 to 64. At the bottom of each card, there is a .75" x.75" red square, bordered black with a hexagram (six rows of broken or unbroken lines) inside. The imagery is often in soft pastels, almost sepia at times. The back of the cards look like a dye-black canvas with a red square in the middle showing two Chinese characters.
There are many cards including Moon, Mars and other characters, but there are some that are only scenic. All this does not matter, unless the imagery helps to reveal some of the meaning of the card. In this regard, the I Ching: Dead Moon is successful, but your millage varies from card to card. For example: #25 shows a shot over the naked shoulder of Moon as she softly looks sideways and down (Innocence); and #48 shows a cauldron pulled out of a hole (The well). However, you have others that are somewhat confusing: #8 shows two people opening or closing the doors to a fortress (Solidarity?). In all, the images help at times, but you will still need to use the reference material often. For I Ching, this is not as bad as it would have been for Tarot.
The I Ching: Dead Moon deck includes a cover card with the name of this deck on top and showing Moon's face wearing formal make up, being spoiled as tears start to roll down. This deck includes 15 reference cards presenting a brief description of I Ching and the meaning of the 64 cards, first written in Spanish followed by its translation in English. In essence, a Little White Book made of cards.
However, this deck also includes a Little White Book presenting the same information in other languages that Lo Scarabeo usually caters for: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Korean. Why the use of two formats? I can only speculate, but this deck was originally produced by Fournier. Most probably, it was cheaper for Lo Scarabeo add a the Little White Book to cover the additional languages.
Other decks illustrated by Luis Royo include:
The Labyrinth Tarot Deck
The Black Tarot Deck
Royo Dark Tarot Deck