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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Momento Mori Playing Cards (a Magic Portal review) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Momento Mori Playing Cards

The Hype:
Memento Mori - "Remember your mortality"

Stemming from the medieval Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, it has been a ubiquitous part of human culture for centuries. From the philosophical to the artistic, the fascination, fear and appreciation of death has consistently captivated and cultivated our imagination. Many practitioners of this theory kept with them, artifacts or keepsakes which served as a reminder that the only thing certain in life, was death. Many of these items were often objects (watches, necklaces) in the shape of skulls.

The low-poly design represents a simplistic one. The bare "bones" of 3D creation and graphic art, the first steps of animation can be interpreted as the beginning of 'virtual' life.

Many historians believe that playing cards represented a deeper, esoteric meaning, that each suit was one of the four seasons. Each card within a suit was one of the thirteen phases of the moon. The fifty-two cards in a deck would represent the fifty-two weeks of the year and together, this would represent just one year of your life.

A constant reminder of our fleeting time on earth.

My Take:
For some reason, I have always been attracted to skull graphics. Maybe it's from the pirate flags way back when I was a kid. Now we have this new deck featuring the theme.

On a river cruise through Germany in the Wertheim area on the Rhine, I noticed a lot of skeletons and skulls in the carvings on some of the churches. It impressed me so much that I have used a photograph of one that I took many years ago for my business card. It pretty much insures that my card is not just tossed. I have a three shell set featuring skulls as the shells. I even bought a bottle of Vodka that comes in a crystal skull to reside on my shelf (Designed by Dan Ackroyd, no less). And now I know just why the churches used this theme. It is to remind everyone that we all will die some day. Or, as Jim Morrison once said, no one gets out of here alive.

So, of course, now that the motif is featured on this new deck it caught my eye. The skull graphics on the back of the cards feature an array of different colors making this a very eye catching deck. The cards are printed by the USPCC on nice stock so you know the quality is good. The suits have a hand drawn quality to them while the face cards continue the color palette. The cards seem to faro quite nicely right out of the box.You are given three cards that can function as jokers even though it is not written on them. Two with the standard skull and a snake and skull on the reverse and one with the skulls and a colorful back showing the name of Genesis. You also receive a double backer.

I have noticed that these collectible type deck are constantly going up in price so it was a pleasant surprise to see the low cost on these. Do a search before purchasing though. A lot of companies are charging $11.95 for the deck but a quick search let me to a few places where the deck can be purchased for $9.95.

Whether you do flourishes, manipulations, card magic or just collect, this deck will add a new level to your performance.

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Reviewer EndersGame
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On May 14, 2021, canaday wrote:
Momento Mori Playing Cards $9.95

Now we have this new deck featuring the theme.

I'm a bit puzzled to read this. The Memento Mori Playing Cards is not a new deck at all. It's been around for 5 years already.

Here's the trailer video when it came out in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTE9V64rTec

The deck has since become very popular especially among cardists, and it's very well known in cardistry and playing card circles. Chris Ramsay was involved in its creation originally, and the success of his youtube channel has also helped popularize it.

The deck also comes in a number of gaffed versions (Svengali deck, Stripper deck, Invisible deck), and several other versions have since been produced (Memento Mori Blue, Memento Mori NXS, Memento Mori Genesis) as well.
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