Jac Reviews: Tarot Art Nouveau

IMG_20200331_140729-01
The Devil and the Two of Cups, some of the more interesting cards of Tarot Art Nouveau

Thank you for joining us for another of Jac’s reviews!

Today I’m reviewing the Tarot Art Nouveau, illustrated by Antonella Castelli. She was able to draw inspiration from the classic design of tarot to develop a flow of color that washes throughout her images. She keeps the focus primarily on human figure and their emotions in this deck.

I’m struck by the soft coloring contrasted with bold outlines to create a feel of watercolor that bleeds through every picture. Some of them are difficult to draw meaning from, however, even if you are familiar with tarot. While many reflect their inspiration from the classic design, others are too ambiguous to attach a clear explanation.

The Devil and the Two of Cups, for example, are clearly new creative visions of the cards. Far removed from Smith’s symbolism, these images still express the intent of tarot schema upon which concepts are built. The Devil looks devious, yet alluring, and the 2 of Cups shows a deeply close relationship.

IMG_20200331_140834-01
The Five of Pentacles, Ten of Pentacles, and Five of Chalices focus more on pretty figures than their meanings.

In contrast, however, we have the Five of Chalices and Coins along with the Ten of Coins. Fives normally express hardship and loss in their extremes, where these women seem a bit downcast there’s nothing to suggest pain or despair. The joy and fulfillment of success is absent from the 10 of Cups, as well. She looks rather blasé instead of even expressing subtle emotions, like pride or contentment.

It is a Lo Scarabeo deck. These offer a multilingual review of the card meanings and a basic layout for readings in its manual. Additionally, every card has its name written in the corners so many people can use them. While all tarot readings should have a variety of interpretations, I’m amused by the more literal approach. The small booklet itself also provides a generally adequate explanation of what each card represents.

IMG_20200331_144157-01
Backs of the Mini and standard decks

The full size deck and the mini deck both have a gloss finish which makes them slick to slide well across themselves for swirl shuffling. The card stock is comfortably thick, so I don’t feel as though I’m damaging them with every use. The back of the standard size deck has a bilateral image of The Fool, while the mini has a unilateral framing of Justice. The color seems a gentle wash in its larger form, rather than bold splashing in miniature.

The Art Nouveau style has always clashed with industrial design in favor of a organically inspired creation. The lines curve and flow, often blending nature and humanity. Within this deck you can feel the style held constantly. It does seem like the focus was more about illustrate a beautiful form over being able to express meaning behind the deck. Regardless, I don’t find it to detract from the cards usability and it’s a deck I have made great use of.

Like the look of this deck and want to try it for yourself? Click the links below to purchase!

Tarot Art Nouveau

Tarot Art Nouveau Mini

Share this article on Pinterest with the image below!

Tarot Art Nouveau

Embracing the Fool

Well, I started to write this up for Tarot Tuesday, got distracted and now it’s Wednesday… but it is also April Fool’s Day, so this still works, right?

For a little change of pace, I thought you all might enjoy a dive into a single tarot card. And we might as well start with the very beginning, card 0 of your Rider-Waite inspired tarot deck, The Fool!

IMG_20200331_105043-02
The Fool, as seen in the Rider Waite deck.

There are plenty of reasons to start with The Fool, aside from just his position as card 0 of the Major Arcana. If one is to look at the cards as a story, then The Fool is who we follow through it. He is young, naive, and about to step out on a journey into the unknown. The journey could bring him to wonders, or he may lose his footing and stumble, but right now at the beginning he does not care. He is moving forward, and that is what matters.

Let’s take a moment and look at just the image. A young man in a jaunty cap is off on a journey, his bag on a stick over his shoulder, and a rose in his hand. The sun is at his back, and he looks up, not noticing (or caring?) that he is about to step off a cliff. A small dog is at his heels, either a companion or about to warn him if he steps too far.

The Fool is a symbol of naive beginnings. Naivete is not in itself a bad thing. Being naive means going into new things without preconceived notions, which can allow us to see everything as wondrous and new. But there is always a balance to be struck between experiencing new things and being foolhardy about it. So go ahead – try something new! Do something you have never done before! But don’t have your head so far in the clouds that you don’t see the cliff in front of you. Pay attention to what’s around you and you’ll receive warnings when you need them most.

The Fool has no pretensions. The Fool does not know, and thus is open to knowledge. The Fool shows innocence and reminds us to embrace our inner child. The Fool reminds us to not overplan, not overthink, but to go with our impulses and do something new.

Now, a little fun: I delved into my collection and photographed all the Fools I could. Jac and I were having a conversation recently about how different decks interpret the same images, and I think these show that well. I have found in general, the farther the imagery deviates, the more the author has their own unique interpretation as well.

IMG_20200331_105128-01
The Fool in The Enchanted Tarot stays pretty close to the Rider imagery. This was my first deck!
IMG_20200331_105324-01
Now for something completely different, the Klimt Tarot has a much less joyful image.
IMG_20200331_105330-01
The Gummy Bear Tarot sticks with its roots, simplified.
IMG_20200331_105429-01
The Ancestral Path Tarot instead puts the reader, the seeker, as The Fool.
IMG_20200331_105650-01
Imagery in the Thoth Tarot is its own rich tradition, and one I may delve into another time.
IMG_20200331_105847-01
Another silly deck, this one came from Spirit Halloween! Alas, as these were “novelty only,” they come with no interpretations.
IMG_20200331_110015-01
My Spanish is terrible, but I still love this deck from the Mage the Ascension (roleplaying game) 20th Anniversary, Spanish Kickstarter. The Fool’s “dog” clings to his leg and he still has a rose, but now he has a sword instead of his bag on a stick. And I love his fashion sense!
IMG_20200331_110220-01
Well, I did say The Fool was a card of beginnings, so here’s the Egg in Food Fortunes
IMG_20200331_110441-01
Another less happy image, The Fool in the Dark Grimoire Tarot isn’t going anywhere, except into his own madness.
IMG_20200331_110615-01
This Color Your Own Tarot from Echo Chernix was a Kickstarter deck and given to me as a gift. Somehow when I started coloring I started at 1 and missed The Fool! Artist’s own style of standard imagery here.
IMG_20200331_110720-01
The Byzantine Tarot – I love this one for its religious icon inspired art. The Fool has lost a lot of his trappings, but going naked into the world still fits.
IMG_20200331_110838-01
Replace cliffs with rooftops and you have The Fool from the Steampunk Tarot!
IMG_20200331_111050-01
The Halloween Tarot nicely blends its own imagery with the standard Rider imagery for this clown Fool.
IMG_20200331_111219-01
The Vertigo Tarot is very much a showcase of the artist, but if you look closely you can still spot some of the standard trappings of The Fool.
IMG_20200331_111415-01
Well, apparently The Fool in the Osho Zen Tarot really doesn’t care about that cliff! Interestingly, this in one of very few cards in this deck that seems to stay close to Rider images.
IMG_20200331_111501-01
We’re just taking the Rider Waite symbolism and making it cute for The Manga Tarot.
IMG_20200331_111622-01
The Mystic Faerie Tarot is a very popular deck it seems, but The Fool doesn’t really do much for me. He just looks like another fairy.
IMG_20200331_111813-01
Ah, Dali Tarot Universal. If we could understand the imagery easily, it wouldn’t be Dali. But a lot of details worth going into here!
IMG_20200331_111941-01
The Celtic Dragon Tarot certainly has a young man starting out on a journey, but here instead danger appears to lurk unseen behind him and his path is solid.
IMG_20200331_112120-01
The Starman Tarot uses The Sacred Clown in place of The Fool, and for this deck I really like that change. They are still clearly the one we experience the Tarot through.
IMG_20200331_112636-01
The Ostara Tarot does not go with the typical images, but the young witch with red knees flying off into the unknown still captures the mood well.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite fool? Let us know in the comments!

Share us on Pinterest with the image below!

Embracing the Fool

Gummy Bear Tarot: A Tarot Tuesday Deck Review

IMG_20200324_175851-01Considering the week we’ve all had, I decided to go lighthearted with this week’s “Tarot Tuesday.” So I turned to my collection and pulled out this old gem: Gummy Bear Tarot.

Gummy Bear Tarot is by Diermar Bittrich and was published by US Games Systems in 2005. And it has been sitting on my shelf for nearly that long. It was an early silly present from my delightful husband – and a solid example of the sense of humor in our house. Aside from taking it out to play around with a time or two, I had never used it for a reading before today.

So, on to the aesthetics first!

Gummy Bear Tarot is a smaller than standard tarot deck, close to playing card in size. This is actually really comfy in the hand for shuffling. It comes in a metal tin with an instruction booklet, making it a really nice deck for carrying with you as long as you don’t mind the silliness of gummy bears!

IMG_20200324_175906-01The images themselves are actually very simplified Rider Waite Smith imagery, replacing the main figures with stylized gummy bears. But it is not over simplified. While the more esoteric and symbolic imagery has been removed, the core needed to recognize and interpret the cards is still there. This does make this harder for a more intuitive reading – there is less on each card for the intuition to run off of, so I find myself mostly relying on what I have memorized of the cards from reading other decks.

That said, I almost did myself a disservice by not looking in the little white instruction book. The instruction book is actually thicker than others of its types, and it includes more information per card than I was expecting. I like that instead of the usual upright and reversed combination, this deck assigns each card a “strength” and “weakness.” I have not read through all of the meanings, but none of them jump out as glaringly off.

Overall, this deck is silly and cute… but if you actually do readings with it, and get past the silly, it has surprising depth.

Now, a sample reading!

I was thinking about various business concerns and choices when I laid out this spread.

IMG_20200324_175845-01

Current Situation: Two of Pentacles: A bear stands on a beach, juggling two coins. This is a time for balance and trust. Trust that you can keep things balanced and moving. But make sure you aren’t just juggling out of habit or inability to commit. Let go of what you don’t need to balance.

Immediate Past: Eight of Cups: A bear sets off bravely into the world. There is a readiness to leave the old behind. Your horizons are broadening and you’ve found inspiration in spirituality. Make sure when moving forward it’s not to run away from what’s, or who’s, behind you. This is an experience of the unknown.

Immediate Future: Seven of Cups: A bear has a vision of wealth, power, and safety. The unconscious is full of strong, vital forces, energies we can use to achieve our dreams. An internal awakening is coming. But be cautious of being lost in dreams. Stay grounded. Concentrate on one goal.

Foundation Energy: Three of Wands: A bear looks over the horizon as he contemplates a coming journey. This card shows enthusiasm, creativity, and new ideas – certainly the energy behind many independent businesses. But beware grand plans and hectic activity that results in going nowhere.

Best Outcome: Ace of Pentacles: A hand holds a coin over a rose garden. This is a beginning of a time of growth. Have patience and trust in friends and you will be rewarded. But in order to keep things growing you must not give in to melancholy or set your sights too high. The time is coming to recognize your chance and seize it.

So, hope you liked my little foray into the Gummy Bear Tarot!

To help us keep doing these reviews, please consider buying this deck or others through our Amazon link or our web store, or share the image below and this review on Pinterest!

Gummy Bear Tarot

What to Ask the Tarot

Tarot TuesdayWith so many of us stuck at home right now, a great activity for my fellow witchy souls out there is to pull out those tarot decks and get in some reading practice!

(Or, if you are reading this article months from now, and are thinking about going to visit a local reader for a reading, or you’re connecting with a reader online, this advice is for you, too.)

For me, reading tarot is not about trying to predict or “read” the future. It is about the reader. It is about the one asking the question, the one who is seeking guidance. It reveals energies, influences, and patterns that are already at work in your life. I like to compare it to a friend without filters: the cards will often tell you things you already know, but don’t want to admit.

One of the most important steps to achieving a good reading isn’t about whether you have memorized all of your cards, whether you have finely honed your intuition, where and how you draw the cards, or even whether you picked the right deck. It’s in asking a good question.

IMG_20190508_201420
Three cards from the Dali Tarot – one of my favorite odd decks in my collection!

So, what makes a good question to ask the tarot? Here’s my advice:

Don’t Ask Yes or No Questions

There are ways to tweak a spread or pull a card if you really want to do that, but you are missing out on a great depth of potential advice. Other options that work better include:

  • Ask about the outcomes of two different choices to compare. I.E. Instead of “Should I start a business?” try “Should I start a business now, or wait until I have more money saved?”
  • Ask about the actions or influences around a particular outcome you want to achieve. I.E. instead of “Will I get a promotion?” try “What do I need to focus on to get a promotion?”

Keep Your Questions “You” Centered

You are in charge of your own actions and emotions, not those of others. Unless they are active in the reading with you, focus on you in your readings. The advice received will be a lot more useful. For example, instead of “Does he love me?” try “What should I focus on to make this relationship successful?” It’s not a yes/no question, and it will give you advice you can act on!

Ask About Influences and Actions, Not Events

Trying for a clear “this will happen in the future” answer is not something tarot is really good at. Instead, it’s going to alert you to patterns in your life, whether they are ones you are already in, or ones you need to watch out for. So trying to nail down whether (or when) a specific event will come to pass will be frustrating, especially for a beginner reader. Instead, try asking about actions you need to take for a desired outcome.

  • Instead of “When will I get married?” try “What is standing in the way of me having a committed relationship?”
  • Instead of “Will I find my dream home?” try “What do I need to focus on to find my perfect home?”

Be Careful When Asking Health Questions

Just a note of warning when it comes to health readings. Reading to find ways to break unhealthy patterns or establish healthy ones is a great support. But the cards are not a doctor to tell you whether or not you have a serious medical condition. Don’t use them as a replacement for medical advice or regular check-ups.

Clearly Know Your Question Before You Begin

Okay, we’ve got some basics now. Take the time to really think out your question before you start your reading. Knowing clearly what you are asking will give you better results. Muddled questions get muddled readings. General questions get vague answers. Be clear and be specific.

Don’t Keep Asking the Same Thing, Hoping for a Different Answer

I feel like at a certain point, the cards become that bitchy friend. “You already know what you need to do; why are you asking me?” The temptation may be there, especially if you don’t like the answer you go, to reword your question and try again. It’s one thing if one reading is unclear – maybe that is a sign your question needed rewording. But asking over and over will just make your reading muddled and useless.

What do you think? Have any additional advice on good tarot questions and what has or hasn’t worked for you? Let me know, and let’s get practicing!

What to Ask the Tarot

Tarot Tuesday: Jac Reviews The Steampunk Tarot

IMG_20200228_114421

Our wonderful Jac Smith is on hand in shop to read the tarot cards for you, and she’s sharing insights into the decks she has used. Enjoy!

First up, I have The Steampunk Tarot. The manual is written by Barbra Moore and the deck is illustrated by Aly Fell. Initial impressions are of how much effort was placed into creating the correct atmosphere for the deck. It tries to capture both the inspiration and the darkness of industrialism.  It must find a way to express the aesthetic tone of a diverse alternative history, while at the same time holding true to the Smith deck design. Striking the correct balance of creative originality and upholding a century of tradition proved to be a bit more discordant than I would have liked.

Moore proves she has a great deal of experience with the tarot in her writing. She can clearly articulate between conventional meanings and their variant interpretations as well as understanding the importance of reading cards together collectively instead of taking a meaning in isolation. Her wisdom shines when she acknowledges that cards can represent positive and negative aspects, but that it is essential to recognize these for what they can teach us and never placidly accept fate as immutable.

While she has been inspired by this subculture and has a sincere desire to portray it within her writing, it comes off as being somehow misplaced. Moore’s familiarity with tarot just doesn’t extend into Steampunk as well as she would like. Her passion for the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres are clear, but Steampunk requires a more narrow lens. The analogies feel forced and comparisons cliche. What emphasizes their awkwardness is that such descriptions seem placed so deliberately as though she needed to make the association. Instead of appreciation for a subculture it looks like it has been extraneously attached to the tarot.

The artwork is also clashing between the tones of inspiring and contrived. There is a dramatic flash that illuminates the entire deck with starkly bold light that directs the attitude of every image. The color is vibrantly over saturated like walking through a dream. Symbols have been altered and even gender has taken a delightful flip to accent that we all may hold the traits of Knights and Knaves! Yet these changes only highlight the traditions that were held to in the design process. Many cards look just as they would a 100 years ago, but now that there is a little brass paint and some gears included. There are also a handful that seem as though they have no design inspiration at all, and are instead loose pin-up pieces that were shuffled into the deck.

The cards themselves are thin with a gloss finish. Being thin aided in their maneuverability at first but I’m finding the wear on them concerning. They didn’t require being shuffled countless times to be broken in though. Their glossy coat can make a classic riffle shuffle a bit tricky for some, but if you prefer to “mix the pot” I’m sure that it would benefit. All reverse cards will be noticeable with a back design that is not symmetrical, however this deck places no great significance on card orientation for interpretive purposes.

Overall I’m happy that someone tried with all sincerity to capture the spirit of Steampunk in these cards, but by its very nature it cannot be contained. Every accomplishment is only another step forward in progress to which there can be no terminus. I’m delighted to see that such a strong foundation in the tarot was laid so you can see all that was built upon. With that effort it is easy to see where boundaries were stretched and creativity pushed to its edge. Not every goal was reached, but that too is essential in growing. It is necessary to imagine what we could do to improve upon the past and this deck encapsulates that sentiment perfectly.

We carry the Steampunk Tarot in store, or use the Amazon link below to help support our website!

 The Steampunk Tarot

Steampunk Tarot Deck Review

Tarot Tuesday: Flowers From the Dead Oracle Deck

IMG_20200209_193335-01

 

I’m not usually one for oracle decks. Tarot and its imagery are what fascinated me first, and as such remain what I am drawn to. But the lack of expected format to an oracle deck allows the creators to be a lot more creative. They can create as an elaborate or as simple a system as they like – there is nothing of tarot’s format to constrain them.

Flowers From the Dead is one of very few oracle decks in my personal collection,  and the aesthetic is certainly not my usual. But I started off my year attending Hauntcon in New Orleans, and it certainly fit the mood for me that weekend!

Aside from opening it to look at the cards, it sat on my shelf for a few weeks after I got back. The deck consists of 47 cards, each with a unique skull or skeleton. There is a single card with a sample spread for readings, but otherwise the cards speak well for themselves. The weight and size make for easy shuffling.

Then, after a week where I swear no one was getting along and everything became arguments, this deck called to me to try a reading. So I pulled her out the evening of the full moon, and this reading was the result.

Yourself: Turtle – Peace and Tranquility. Also the peace that having a thick shell to retreat into will give you. Maybe it’s time for some personal retreat.

Your Environment: Snake – Transformation and Change. There has been a lot of shifting lately. Also, the people shedding their skin as it were and showing what is underneath, good or bad.

Current Situation: Javelina – Arguments and Power Struggle.  This was kind of one of those “well duh” items. They were all over the place that week.  A lot of them could be traced straight to shifting power dynamics.

What To Change: Rat – Purge and Simplify.  Since we are talking about tempestuous relationships, this is a time to focus on the relationships that matter and what is important within them, and cut away what is unneeded.

Outcome: Bat – Transition and Unknown. With everything being a bit uncertain and mid power shift right now, we just have to see how everything falls.

Overall,  an interesting reading with not much depth, but still a very clear message.

(Belated) Tarot Tuesday: 2020 Wheel of The Year with Ostara Tarot

If you remember from last year, I like to do a Wheel of the Year tarot spread for myself on the first, Well hold on tight, folks, because this one is rocky!

IMG_20200101_222132-02

The deck I’ve been working with lately is the Ostara Tarot. It was created with the work of four artists, and I find I connect well with the imagry. Plus, this is the first deck I have ever used where the reverals seem to click! My interpretation isn’t always spot on with the book’s, but that is one of the things about practicing tarot – you learn to trust your intuition.

So, here we go, clockwise from the top:

January – Strength – Trust in your inner strength. Things may be challenging, but you have the strength to overcome and succeed.

February – Two of Coins, reversed – You are overburdened, and if you are not careful the stress will overwhelm you. You can’t keep juggling commitments like this – it may be time to look at exactly what you have committed to and make a choice.

March – The Emperor – Strength, stability, and a strong masculine presence. After the stress of February, there is a source of stability you can lean on. There is safety in this card.

April – Two of Swords, reversed – You are no longer teetering on the knife edge, precarious between two forces. But be careful that this in not just that you are so overwhelmed you are blind to the opposing forces at play.

May – Judgement – This is a time of major decision, something that shakes up your life. I can not say whether it is positive or negative, but what came before and what comes after will be very different.

June – The Lovers, reversed – A commitment turned sour, or a failing relationship. This is time to evaluate, and perhaps remember why you entered that commitment in the first place. Evaluate and make sure your inner voice isn’t leading you astray.

July – The World – A completion, and a unified whole of things. Perhaps its a major project reaching a conclusion and bearing fruit, or a phase reaching its inevitable but satisfactory end. As one thing comes to an end, it also opens you up to new beginnings.

August – The Hermit, reversed – Relying on yourself is one thing, but you can take it too far. Remember to lean on and listen to those closest to you.

September – Nine of Cups, reversed – You have accomplished something, and you feel proud of it, but there may be flaws in this success. Don’t be overproud, and watch for unexpected consequences.

October – Page of Wands – A burst of creative inspiration, this card brings the firey energies of creativity and the joy and experience of youth, You are on the verge of a new phase of your life, when you can express that creativity that is just waiting to come out. Enjoy a new passion for life.

November – The Star – Hope is eternal, and you can feel it now.  Rejoice in your spirit and reach for your dreams. Its been a hard year but you have come through it all the stronger. Rise again and remember that your dreams matter.

December – Eight of Cups – This is a time of isolation. You need some time alone to evaluate your year. This is a good time for meditation and self reflection. Withdrawing, you can decide whether to push forward or move on.

Year in Summary – King of Wands, reversed – The fiery and creative energies of this card are also hasty, rushed, and poorly used. Be careful not to be used yourself or use someone else. Fire is wonderfully creative when used correctly, but without care you can burn our or destroy what is around you.

 

Want your own Wheel of the Year reading? We are happy to do one for you!

Or, want to try your own? Here’s a blank spread for you to save and use!

Wheel of the Year

Tarot Challenge: Feeling Overwhelmed

Hello again my lovely readers! I’ve got a little more on tarot reading for you today. I know, it’s been a while, but things generally calm down enough in the winter months that I can be more active posting to our blog.

Recently, we started advertising more of our tarot reading in the store. Both Jac and I have been getting in practice, and finding ways to hone our skills so that we can better do readings for those that visit. I decided to try an Instagram “reading a day” challenge, and pulled out one of the newest decks in my personal collection to practice with.

The deck I am using is Ostara Tarot. It is an artist collaboration deck with work by Molly Applejohn, Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard, and Julia Iredale. This does make the imagry vary a bit from suit to suit, but not so badly that it feels disjointed.

Today’s challenge was a three card spread. I decided to focus on recent stresses in my life, hoping for some advice on how to handle them.

So without further ado, the card spread!

IMG_20191219_144326

For one, we will note that all of the cards ended up reversed. This is likely because as this is a new deck, while I shuffled significantly it’s possible they are still nearly all in one direction. So I evaluated based on both upright and reversed meanings. This guidebook does have better guides to the reversed meanings than most, so I am not as hesitant to use them.

Basis of the Situation: The World. For me, the very first thing that came to mind when looking at this card was a feeling of being overwhelmed. There is so much… everything! The World is also a card of cycles, and as the last card of the Major Arcana, a card of completion. A lot of unrest and work in my life is finally reaching a point of completion I have hoped for. I just moved into a new home, and the sale of my old one is finally going through, After two years of regular travel between multiple homes, I can finally settle back in with my husband. It has been so active for so long, it is hard to actually feel that completion. That difficulty reaching a sense of closure is one of the meanings indicated in the reversed card. It is also a warning to let things complete in their own time, and not to cut corners just because you want things over with.

The Now: Four of Cups. A woman with three cups in front of her disdains the fourth cup that is being offered. The image is one of being closed off, of not letting people in. With that sense from The World, there is also a feeling of so much being on the plate, you don’t want to add to it. But these are not bad goings on – these are good things, opportunities, and connections. It may seem like a lot, but you need to open up to them. Reversed also indicated coming opportunity, and a desire for connection. Share what you feel and let yourself be content. This also connects with recognizing when something is complete and embracing that!

The Outcome: Six of Cups. This is a card of innocence and fresh perspective. Since we are starting with The World, this is also a card reminding us of new beginnings. One cycle is over – it is time to remember the childlike joy of beginning something new. It is hard when you are looking at everything that still needs to be done, but there is also still opportunity to be embraced and fulfilled. Reversed reminds us not to dwell if things of the past are not fulfilled to our expectations.

So much of this reading can be summed up well with a great message for the new year: Letting go is hard, but as cycles come to an end it is time to embrace the new!

Tarot Tuesday: Food Fortunes

I’ve said before that I am a collector of tarot cards. When it comes to decks, there are two things I can’t resist: unusual art decks and good humorous decks. That’s why on a recent mall trip I could not leave without Food Fortunes by Josh Lafayette.

Food Fortunes follows a standard tarot format of 78 cards… but takes it in its own way.  The Trumps are “cornerstones of iconic cuisine.” Then there are its four unique suits: Mains, Sides, Sweets, and Drinks.

The deck has one purpose, and it embraces it with a delightful sense of humor: helping you decide what’s for dinner. Or breakfast. Or a midnight snack. The book is short and simple, and the illustrations clear and colorful with just enough of a hint of mystic imagery.

I tried my first hand for a meal for tomorrow, and here’s the result.

IMG_20190813_215904-02

The interpretation of this reading – tomorrow’s meal will not have any salad. In fact, it’s not a healthy meal at all, but clearly a dessert! In fact, it’s a unique drink somewhere between a cola float and an egg cream, with pie added in. Sounds crazy, but I have seen some crazy desserts! On the side, an orange juice.

This deck is more of a novelty image, but it will be a fun addition to my growing collection.

 

Looking to grow your collection? We have several new decks coming in to the shop at the end of this week, so stop by Saturday to have first pick of what’s new! Or look at our deck section of our Facebook store.

Tarot Tuesday: Wheel of the Year with Starman Tarot

Of the decks I collect, I particularly love artist decks, so I was immediately drawn to the Starman Tarot as soon as I saw it in a catalog. The deck is by Davide de Angelis, inspired by artwork he created for David Bowie. The result is stunning, psychedelic collages filled with symbolism and meaning. I could stare at these cards for hours picking out new details.

At the beginning of each year, I try and do a 12 month reading with one card symbolizing each month. I had not yet opened up my Starman Tarot before today, but this seemed like a good day to break it out.

Onward to the reading!

IMG_20190101_161413-02
Twelve cards from the Starman Tarot, spread out in my wheel of the year spread.

January: Six of Wands. A card of success, a celebration of a well chosen goal or ambition. Celebrate that which you have achieved. This card suggests a well earned position of leadership, and recognition of your hard work. You deserve this success, so embrace it!

February: Ten of Wands. Tens represent the completion of cycles, and the ten of wands has you at the reward and burden of the completion of an epic task. You have made it through to the end (though it may take one last, difficult push), and it is time to lighten your load and admire what is around you. Success has its consequences and there is still hard work ahead.

March: Four of Pentacles*. Life is constantly in flux, no matter how much we want it to remain stable. This is a time to reinvent yourself and let go of false identities. You have a huge confidence that you can leverage what you want out of life, but beware becoming complacent in success. Hard won successes and working for a noble cause helps us grow.

April: The Sacred Clown**. Called “The Fool” in most tarot decks, instead of the naivete of most designs this one depicts a trickster. No belief is fixed, so it’s time to take a leap of faith. Take a risk, a big one. Embrace your potential and your freedom.

May: Justice. Now is a time to face consequences and seek inner balance. Take an honest inventory and acknowledge your successes and defeats. Don’t blame others, but look to yourself and the balance between heart and mind. Reclaim your own power.

June: Queen of Swords. Court cards are interesting and challenging in any reading, because they can mean certain ideals or people in your life to exemplify them. This card encourages you to use the power of nature around you and approach things with intelligence. Or it could mean someone with a brilliant mind, strong and principled.

July: Queen of Wands. Step into your creative power. Be resolute and confident as you break out of the mold. Trust yourself.  Or a bold, courageous, fiery individual.

August: Princess of Cups. Don’t let the hurts and challenges of life sour you, but instead let them drive your creativity and growth. Look at negative things from a different angle and let them transform you. Or, a creative and sensitive individual, a dreamer with a unique perspective.

September: The Hanged Man.  No matter how much you try to push ahead, sometimes things are out of your control. Now is a time to surrender. Take some time to look at your life from a different perspective. Even if you lose things in the process, take this moment to turn inward and reflect on yourself. Power can arise through sacrifice.

October: The Hierophant. Take the time to teach others what you know and through that gain a greater understanding. Pay attention to details. Could also depict a strong religious male, a guru and giver of greater spiritual or religious knowledge. An authoritative and structured card.

November: Two of Wands. Twos are cards of choices and decisions to be made. This is a time to make the effort to gain a greater perspective. You are caught up in your creativity, and if you don’t pause to look around you might fly right off the precipice. Take a moment and look ahead before you begin something new. See how the moment fits into the bigger picture.

December: Ace of Cups. This is my favorite tarot card, and the one I take extra time to look at in decks when evaluating them. This one does not disappoint. This card shows such an abundance of growth that the cup overflows. Offer up your bounty, your creative brilliance and love. What has been barren can now bear fruit. Open yourself up to it and end the year replenished and reinvigorated.

Some additional notes on my reading…

*Experienced tarot card readers may notice that I often ignore reversals. The truth is, I’ve learned to trust in my intuition for when the apply and when they don’t. As this was a reading for the year, the upright cards tended to speak more to situations and the reversed to internal problems. For that reason, I felt the upright meanings in this reading would be more viable. But we can always go back and look a year from now and see if I was right or not!

**The appearance of the Major Arcana in a reading are always places of greater importance. Interestingly, in this reading they came in two clumps, almost six months apart. I particularly found the juxtaposition of The Sacred Clown and The Hanged Man to be interesting – both are cards of surrender, but one is one of action and one of inaction. One to take a leap of faith, and one to pause and reconsider. I look forward to looking back (hah! Appropriate, since that’s almost exactly what these do…) on this in a year.

Happy New Year everyone, and good luck on 2019!