Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Those Little Somethings

The Tarot deck that I learned on was the Golden Tarot by Liz Dean. The pips are not illustrated, in the Marseilles tradition.  At the time I really enjoyed that challenge - I couldn't rely on an image to help tell the story - I had to memorize the potential meanings in each card.  So needless to say I studied hard and really learned the "book" meanings (all 234 of them, if you randomly decide that each card can mean at least three different things - and of course there are more potential meanings than even that, so it's a tame estimate). Later I learned reversals, though in a slightly more organic way, bringing the total potential meanings to somewhere around 468.  Yes, what a rock star. :-/

Then I delved into the world of Tarot decks with full illustrations, and I opened myself up not just to commonly understood meanings, but to intuitive meanings, which effectively exploded my Tarot world, kind of like the Big Bang. Now, while I am happy to read with a deck without illustrated pips, I am truly "fed" by those that do have full images.

Why?  It's those little "somethings" in each card that spark my intuition, that bring amazing doses of clarity and insight, that penetrate to the heart of what's going on in a client's situation.  I love decks that have "a lot going on" because there is a lot there for my intuition to latch onto, and of course meanings then can change radically with the same card from reading to reading, which makes each card so incredibly rich (not unlike a living person, I suppose!).

When I do readings, I consider the traditional array of meanings (or sometimes I don't have time to consider, because the meaning is immediately apparent), but I also go further and see what the card art has to offer - and sometimes the art itself is more important, and I throw out the traditional meanings altogether. For instance, the other day I did a reading for someone who wanted to know where their new path was taking them.  I pulled the 10 of Pentacles from the Deviant Moon deck (Patrick Valenza) and the typical significance (a stable home, inheritance, marriage, security) was nearly meaningless.  It was the image on the card that gave me what I needed to pass on to this client, which was that he was currently in an apprenticeship period of his life, but he was heading to a time when he would eventually become the teacher.  The Pentacles were about spiritual riches, as opposed to material riches, and spoke more of grounding spirituality in the world, making it accessible to people.  In fact later, when I was doing a numerological assessment of that reading, the Hierophant showed up, which fit nicely, as the Hierophant is, in a sense, grounded spirituality - a bridge between the sacred and the mundane - and also represents teaching and learning. Now it may well be that his path will lead him to economic stability, but that was the least relevant element of the card meaning in this case.

Deviant Moon Tarot - 10 of Pentacles
Patrick Valenza/U.S. Games
My own mentor prefers the Halloween Tarot (Karin Lee, Kipling West) because there are so many little details that pop out at her.  I own that deck and enjoy it quite a bit, but I've been quite bowled over with the Deviant Moon so far, in this respect.  It's funny that I'd spent quite a period of time avoiding this deck because I felt it was creepy, or just not my style of artwork. And yet when I took the leap, I discovered yet another whole new, profound world of possibilities, filled to the brim with little somethings that speak clearly to me (all decks out there provide something valuable, and a little different - I guess that's partly why Tarot deck collections accrue!).  It's an amazing deck, I'll just say that :)

Alright. Time for breakfast.


  1. You have worded excellently why I love illustrated pips so much. They pull so much meaning out of us. Every deck has its own signature. What a sublime reason to keep collecting more decks! :D

    1. Aw, thanks, Ellen! :) I think I'm at 10 decks now (I recently gave one away). My wish-list is longer than the quantity of decks that I have. But I'm so busy with my current decks that I probably will wait awhile to get another one. I ordered the Paulina Tarot at the same time that I bought the Deviant Moon, and I'm so enmeshed with this deck that I haven't been ready to look much at the Paulina yet! But it is a very pretty little deck, lovely backs :)

    2. I try to get to know a deck too, before I buy another one. I am still waiting for my Wildwood tarot and after that I think I am going to give the Hidden Realm Tarot another try.The Joie theVivre Tarot has to wait until spring. :D

    3. Oh nice! The Joie de Vivre is also by Paulina Cassidy, so the artwork is very similar! Yes actually it is rather Springy, so waiting until then is a great idea. I don't know when I'll get around to Paulina - the Deviant Moon has so much to work with, examine, experience, that there's no room for anything else at present. You are still waiting for the Wildwood? It's taking a long time, it seems? How is the card stock for the Hidden Realm? I'm avoiding Llewellyn at the moment because they seem to always be so thin, but the Hidden Realm art is beautiful :)

    4. I am waiting for a replacement of my wildwood tarot because there were some paint stains on the backs. I think it is a wonderful service of Bookdepository
      The card stock of the Hidden Realm is rather thin but it shuffles great. The cards are smooth and have a matte finish. I've bought it some time ago, but I've send it back because it was to difficult to read for me. Almost every card is a portrait of some one. But for some reason I can't get it out of my I will probable end up buying it again :D

    5. Oh that is really nice, about the replacement of the Wildwood! I know what you mean about having a deck sit in your mind like that! :-D

    6. Ten minutes after our "talk" the doorbell rang and my Wildwood tarot was delivered. And it is in perfect condition YAY!!!

    7. Yesss!!!!! Congratulations, Ellen!!! Have fun with it, I can't wait to see what you think as you start to work with it :)