Samhain Playing Cards

Samhain Playing Cards

The Wheel of the Year continues to turn. As winter arrives, the Celtic festival of Samhain celebrates and explores strange worlds and creatures.

The ancient peoples of Europe lived not by a calendar of months and days, but by observing and listening to the signals from nature. These civilizations lived and died by the harvests and the changing of the seasons. This deck, as is the entire series, is a tribute and honor to those rituals.

Released alongside the Imbolc deck, together they represent the festivals that came at equal distance from the points of Beltane and Lughnasdh, and signalled the beginning and the end of the coldest and harshest times of the year.

Samhain was a time for honouring the dead, and would later become the modern Halloween. Legends and stories of heroes, monsters and bizarre happenings were told during these times much like today, and the Samhain deck will explore some of the most curious tales that were said to have occurred during the 'thinning of the veil' between the lands of the living and the dead.
Samhain's Kickstarter Page

The Samhain deck comes in a luxury tuck made of a deep purple matte paper, finished with metallic foil accents and an interior foiling. The front has just enough accents to make it look pristine, and embossing to make it feel like it too. The back, however, is where the celebration really is.

The back design of the tuck for the Samhain deck.

The back design of the cards is the same design as the back of the tuck, except it's full of color and vibrancy. Skulls and flames and growth. There's a deep story in the back design alone!

The faces are fully custom from the courts to the pips. Artwork and sketches are strewn about all of the number cards, but the courts themselves are elegant portraits. Some of the courts even have one-way elements to them if you know where to look.

This deck is one of a series that form The Wheel of the Year. This is the relatively modern amalgamation of the seasonal festivals of the Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse peoples, and features eight different festivals that take place roughly twice every season -- most importantly, during solstices and the mid-points between them. Jocu is commemorating these festivals with this deck series.

The deck consists of 56 cards:

  • 52 playing cards
  • Two non-identical jokers
  • Two ad cards

This deck was originally available via a Kickstarter campaign that was fully-funded in 2021.

Where to buy?

Last I checked, you should be able to pick up Samhain Playing Cards at Jocu Playing Cards. The last price tag I saw for this deck was set at $17.60.

Buy at Jocu Playing Cards

This deck is created by Jocu and designed by Alessandra Gagliano and Evgenia Zhade. It's beautifully printed by Cartamundi on slimline stock with a premium B9 linen finish. The deck features custom court cards, custom pips on all cards, and two non-identical jokers. The tuck case has an embossed, matte design, is seal free, and features printing on the inside! The tuck is also lined with metallic foil accents and interior foiling.