The Book Report by Rebecca Traver - Our Online Bookshop Curator

In celebration of the July 5th release of the Alchemy Deck, the long-anticipated finale to Kim Krans’s extraordinary Wild Unknown series, I am dedicating this report exclusively to her amazing body of work – from oracle and tarot decks to children’s books, a set of journals, notecards, and a graphic memoir. 

“These cards are about receiving guidance from the natural world that helps us navigate the complexity of life. We are multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, contradictory, creative, and amazing beings. Delve deep with me. Welcome to The Wild Unknown.”
~Kim Krans

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with my best friend and fellow tarot and oracle deck lover in which she began to rave about this new deck she had recently discovered by a woman named Kim Krans and how I had to get one for myself. She shared a few photos of the cards and I just couldn’t see what was so special about them. The images felt too stark and minimal, but I decided to rely on her sound judgment and got a deck of my own.

Then I started to work with the cards and the text and before long I understood what she was talking about and have been a Kim Krans super fan ever since. If you haven’t guessed by now, that first deck was The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck. And if you don’t have one, please consider this a nudge in that direction. I am confident you won’t be disappointed. 

Without further ado, let’s take a deep dive into the magically transformative world of Kim Krans…

The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

In my own experience, I consider The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and accompanying guidebook an excellent place for your Kim Krans journey to begin. I love how she introduces her deck in a gentle, encouraging way - especially if you’ve ever been intimidated by the world of tarot in general.

She writes: “…here’s the thing. You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust. May these cards bring you moments of peace and steadiness. I would be so honored.” Lucky for us, the deck also comes in a compact pocket edition and guidebook which comes in a sturdy eco-friendly tin that can go anywhere.

The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

Next up is The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck which comes with a beautiful hand-lettered 208 page guidebook – all tucked into a large keepsake box with lifting ribbon.  The 63 cards that make up this oracle deck are quite simply gorgeous and a delight to work with. She has organized the deck into five suits structured by the five yogic elements that make up all living things – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. Within these sets you will find creatures that roam the field and the forest, swim in the oceans and rivers, inhabit deserts and grasslands, and soar through the sky. The Ether suit holds the seven spirit cards and represents the seven chakras of the subtle energy body.

The Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

The Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck is truly beautiful to behold and to use. Here she illuminates the revelatory power of archetypes – the ancient, universal symbols that have endure across time and cultures and reside deep in our collective psyche. Included are 78 circular cards which tuck into a sturdy circular box with lifting ribbon divided into four suits: The Selves, The Places, The Tools, and The Initiations.

Each archetype has been carefully selected for its symbolic potency and the lesson at the core of its nature, such as The Poet, representative of deep emotional creativity and the drive to find our truth, and The Vision, which symbolizes the lifelong journey to rediscover our destiny. Accompanying the deck is a 224-page hand-lettered, fully illustrated guidebook written and designed by Krans, which details the meaning behind each card and offers clear, grounded explanations of the many spreads, practices, and concepts that power the Archetypes deck.

The Wild Unknown Alchemy Deck by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

And then comes The Wild Unknown Alchemy Deck – an invitation to discover and work with the ancient mysteries of Alchemy, a journey to discovering the gold within, weaving together the physical and mystical aspects of our lives. The planets, metals, colors, and seasons act as symbols for reflection and open the gateway to the imagination. Now, in this stunning new oracle deck, Krans introduces the magic of alchemy to all those willing to explore, observe, and invoke transformation.

Sitting within a beautifully designed box lies a 224-page hand-lettered, fully illustrated guidebook that helps to demystify the esoteric world of Alchemy, and 71 easy-to-shuffle hexagon cards divided into six suits: The Cosmic Forces, The Colors, The Seasons, The Materials, The Mysteries, and The Operations. Each card offers a tool for self-study and exploration, such as Saturn, a reminder to examine age-old systems and the Mystical Sister card that evokes a resource or ally on our journey. Through observing the symbols and images from the alchemical perspective, we awaken our gifts, engage with the creative mystery of our everyday world, and unite the materials of the soul.

In addition to the decks offered above, Krans has created a journal, a set of notebooks, a set of notecards with envelopes, children’s books, and a graphic memoir. Let’s explore:

The Wild Unknown Journal by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

The Wild Unknown Journal is more than 125 pages of interactive text and 99 full-color illustrated journal prompts. Liberating and meditative, this journal offers us a deeper connection to our present moment and innermost selves - freeing us to write, draw, color, collage, and create. Tap into the untamed power of the wild unknown as you discover how to unleash the imaginative, the intuitive, and the inspired within.

The Wild Unknown Notes by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

The Wild Unknown Notebook Set is comprised of 2 foil-stamped blank notebooks illustrated with the mystical artwork from The Wild Unknown Tarot – perfect for writing, sketching, reflecting, and taking notes from your readings and/or to use as everyday personal journals.

The Wild Unknown Notecards is a set of 16 different blank notecards with envelopes illustrated with her hand-drawn images from her decks. This makes a perfect gift for fans of Krans’s decks and books.

I’m so happy that she decided to write and illustrate children’s books. They are magical and as lovely as can be and include:

Hello Sacred Life by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

Hello, Sacred Life is a delightful, inspiring, and empowering board book about connecting with nature and celebrating life. Here, Krans introduces little ones to the sun, moon, the five elements, and big-picture concepts that children will hold dear to their hearts forever. Equally likely to be spotted on a nursery bookshelf as styled on a grown-up coffee table, this is book for all of us, a visual poem in honor of life's great mysteries.

Hello Sacred Creatures by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

Hello, Sacred Creatures is an illustrated homage to the endangered species of our world. It features beloved animals currently at high risk of extinction such as the honey bee, the giraffe, the hummingbird, and the penguin. It serves as an educational tool while offering families a way to build a relationship with these creatures by saying a heartfelt hello.

ABC Dream by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

ABC Dream is a lovely and innovative alphabet picture book in which each page is dedicated to a letter, and clever alliterations are packed into each ink-and-watercolor design. Along the same lines is 123 Dream - an introductory counting book illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings of unusual animals and scenes from nature.

123 Dream by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

Whose Moon Is That? – a stunning picture book that addresses the question: do any of us own Nature? When a curious cat asks the question, Whose moon is that?, a panoply of animals try to stake their claim. The wolf, the owl, and the starry sky all have their reasons, but the moon ultimately answers for herself -- her light is meant to be shared by everyone.

Blossoms and Bones by Kim Krans | Paradise Found Santa Barbara

And lastly comes her graphic memoir Blossoms and Bones: Drawing a Life Back Together which details her journey through a constellation of emotional, mental, and physical issues toward a life of wellness and growth:

After cancelling a flight home, she finds her way to an ashram in search of spiritual and creative refuge. For forty days she relies on “drawing the feeling” as a way to realign her relationship to food, addiction, fertility, perfectionism, and the endless messaging of ‘never enough’ echoing throughout our contemporary culture. 

What emerges is an intimate artist’s document that explores what it means to prioritize truth and self-discovery in a world of relentless expectations and distractions. Amen to that!

“We long for the sacred and therefore we long for our connection to the wild.” 
~Kim Krans
Please visit our online Bookshop to see our full selection of lists and titles. 
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