More lovely decks for my collection!
Both of these come from the prolific Lo Scarabeo. The Universal Fantasy deck is colorful and bold; the Fairy Lights deck is softer, with misty gray borders to the cards.
I'll come right out and admit I prefer the Universal Fantasy deck. I find the images detailed and intriguing. I feel pulled in by these cards, and I made an almost immediate connection to them.
The Fairy Lights deck feels too amorphous by comparison. Almost as if I can't grasp their meaning. And it may be that they are suffering proximity bias—that because I connected so strongly with the other deck, they just can't live up to expectations. So I'll keep working with this deck to see if we can forge a stronger bond.
Above is a sample reading. The same three cards from each deck: 4 of Wands, 7 of Pentacles, 3 of Wands. The top row is the Universal Fantasy Tarot, and the bottom row is the Fairy Lights.
The art on both is beautiful. But they have very different vibes. The Universal Fantasy deck incorporates the four wands, the seven pentacles, the three wands. The Fairy Lights deck relies on the number at the top of the card and the symbol at the bottom for you to know which card it's meant to be.
However, I will say the meanings in the booklet for the Universal Fantasy deck seem only tangentially related to the cards' images, while the booklet for the Fairy Lights deck seems more in tune with the cards themselves. Also, the Fairy Lights booklet explains that the cards are meant to be laid next to one another to form a kind of story—the images should bleed into one another to create a portrait of your answer. There is a dreamlike quality to this, and I feel this deck requires you to sort of be in a dreamlike state to use it effectively.
I'll continue to work with both decks. I've found the trick is often choosing the right deck for the right moment and question. With so many options, I often have to close my eyes and meditate before selecting. But just as often I'll feel pulled to a particular deck or oracle before I even realize I have a question. I'm curious to learn where these two will insert themselves.