Today I am using a spread I discovered years ago on the now read-only Aecletic Tarot forum. No link because I stopped participating there long before it closed due to uh, reasons, but Google is always there for you. This spread is courtesy of the lovely Thorhammer, who I do jot know apart from the forum so I can’t give her better credit.
The first card is What I Did Well Today. The second card is What to Carry with Me into Tomorrow. The third card is What to Leave Here.
Today I did a good job of planting seeds for the future and harvesting those I have already tended. I have done that in the form of updating my blog and social media and getting my Bullet Journal up to date as well, as reflected by the Seven of Pentacles.
Going forward, I need to remember to take time to rest and relax. For the past several months every time the Four of Swords has appeared in a reading I have fallen ill. I am going to try to avoid that this week by getting to bed early and resting enough instead of burning my candle at both ends.
The Four of Pentacles in my what to leave behind is my miserly attitude. Creativity has to spent completely every day, to be refilled the next, or it goes to waste. I often work and act as if I have limited creative resources that once I use up I will be no longer be a creative person. Seeing that written makes me realize how silly that is. Leave it all on the page, you.
Strength was the card at the bottom of the deck, which I often consider a kind of shadow energy to a reading. Most things are doable for a day but I am running a lifelong marathon and I need to pace myself accordingly while being disciplined, about eating and writing mostly.
These images are from The Naked Heart Tarot by Jillian C. Wilde
Today begins a week of work with a self published deck by Jillian C. Wilde, The Naked Tarot. This deck was originally funded via Kickstarter, and according to man emails I have received from the creator, their seems to have been some quality control issues with the first run of the deck. The plan seems to be to release a new deck in July 2018, so this seems a good time to devote a week to working with this deck. I have zero issues with my deck physically, and it is beautifully presented and perfect in every way.
I am using a spread via my friend Lisa Lloyd at Angelorum. This is one of my daily read blogs and Lisa is a knowledgeable and passionate teacher.
Why I need you in my life- Ten of Swords. It is time for me to rise up again. I have been experiencing a long dark night of the soul, tarot included. I have many plans and lots of good works but I have felt as if the effort of accomplishing them is beyond me. This is, of course, mostly an attitude problem, and Swords are the the suit of attitudes, but those can be the most difficult to overcome. So much turmoil as my kids become self sufficient adults, adding two new grandbabies, taking total responsibility for one of them when my husband and I had made a conscious choice to be done raising children. I have never dealt with change easily or without a lot of inner strife, and I tend to reflect my negative energy inwards and take it out on myself. I have felt emotionally and physically drained for several months, and the first thing I do in those times is the last thing I should do- let go of tarot and writing. Tens are the end of a cycle, and this cycle of strife has ended for me. I am ready to begin anew, which is reflected in the following cards. This deck is perfect for helping me end one painful phase and move on to a brighter one.
How to work together- Judgement is one of those cards that seems slippery to me. The typically Christian iconography of the dead answering the trumpet call of a resurrection angel is very particular yet the concept does not always resonate. I most often interpret Judgement as a call that one can choose to answer, or not. I have read that inside the chrysalis, a caterpillar becomes utter goo, a glob of nothingness, without form. I have felt that of myself in the past several months- formless, aimless, and utterly unsure when I will emerge or what I will see when I do. So, the deck calls, which I feel is simply a way to pick the voice of the Divine from the din of the world, and I will answer, if I choose. A butterfly forced from its’ protective shell before its’ time would die. There will be no forcing me to move along. I can choose to heed the call.
How you challenge me- The Magician. This is a deck that will require me to use my inner resources to grow and to learn. I will not be spoon fed knowledge or peace, but both are there for me to earn through my diligent investment. I have struggled with showing up recently. Anything more than survival has seemed too lofty a goal. But now I have more energy and resources at my disposal so I am ready to invest them wisely. I will have to look with my eyes and not get too hung up on second guessing myself.
Greatest strength- Ace of Swords. This is a logical and clear communicating deck with a penchant for sparking new ideas. Words will not be minced. There is much potential, but as the other card depicting a butterfly, Judgement, the choice is mine to follow that potential on butterfly wings.
Greatest weakness- Father of Cups. I am a bit of a wallower at times, wallowing in my feelings, soaking them all up and allowing them to steer me, cresting waves of emotion dictating my days at times. This deck can’t stop that, and may even give me opportunity to lose myself in feelings. The trick I have to utilize is to recognize what is healthy acknowledgment of what I am feeling and when I am allowing it to become crashing waves around me. Whales are unique animals, who live their lives wholly in the water, which in tarot is often representative of emotions, but who must breather air, which the Swords heavily represented in this reading remind me to use my logical thoughts and choosing precise words to counteract my overwhelming feelings.
I am excited to see what my week of working with The Naked Heart Tarot brings! Please visit the creator’s site to support the deck and learn how to get your own copy. Thanks to Lisa for making an outstanding Deck Interview Spread!
The Prismatic Tarot is an independently published deck by Kelsey Showalter, available at Etsy, and as a stunning app from The Fool’s Dog, LLC. It was formerly known as The Illuminated Tarot and ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016. Changing the name seems to have been a good choice as there are a few decks already sporting the “Illuminated” title. The bold colors and strong lines lend themselves particularly well to presentation on the screen of a phone or tablet, and the apps by The Fool’s Dog have proven themselves to be the standard for the tech loving card reader.
The 78 cards come housed in a standard issue tuck box. I would prefer a sturdier two part box but with that come further production costs for which not all independent creators are prepared to foot the bill. The cards are a “standard” tarot size at 4 inches x 2.5 inches and as such should fit nicely into boxes and bags. The deck is structured as 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana, all with discreet Roman Numerals at the top of the card. This stylistic choice complements the art and coloring very well, as the cards, while not simplistic, do not waste a single line in frivolity. The earth tone color palette suits the art beautifully. The deck is by no means a clone deck but is firmly rooted in Waite Smith tradition and some Thoth influences so any reader who has a good grasp on that system should easily read this expressive deck. It does not include an instruction manual but one does not seem necessary, although a link is included on the box from which the booklet may be downloaded. The app includes full and vibrant text. The inhabitants of the deck are diverse in ethnicity and gender, sometimes fluid in theirs, but all are chiseled and svelte, with the exception of the self satisfied Nine of Cups. Some nudity is depicted. The borderless cards are printed on a flippy and pliable card stock that despite my riffle shuffling does not show any wear on the edges. The simple white circle within a thinner white circle on a black background that graces the backs of the cards is fully reversible.
This is a good deck for anyone who prefers a “traditional” system of tarot but does not care for the “traditional” art. The modern flair and bold style make this a good deck for the modern reader with sitters who won’t be scandalized by the, in my opinion, tasteful nudity. To me, this deck has a masculine and no nonsense energy about it. There are esoteric symbols on some of the cards for those who chose to read them but the art should also offer intuitive readers enough to work with in order to glean information from the cards. Some of the Minors are what I would call moody pips- not fully illustrated with a scene but evocative with the use of symbol and color anyway.
This is not a great deck for someone who does not care for the use of color or uninhibited nudes. I would not recommend this deck for a person who does not jive with the images, which is true of all decks, nor someone looking for a straight up clone deck.
As for me, I have found the deck to give straight forward, unfrilled readings with little ambiguity. I will continue to use the deck for my personal readings and as suits the tastes of my clients.
These images are from The Prismatic Tarot by Kelsey Showalter and are used for review purposes. Please visit the Etsy shop for yourself and consider or purchase or have some fun with the app.
What I think- Nine of Swords. Obviously, I have been thinking far too much and now I have gotten myself all riled up. Maybe I can do something about this and maybe I can’t, but being all twisted emotionally has prevented me from taking actionable steps and has stolen the peace I need if this is just to be. Half of these swords are real and half are just shadows, and I think I have pushed it too far and can no longer tell the difference.
What I feel- Three of Swords. My back hurts. It physically hurts. It will never be fully well again, although sometimes I manage okay with it.
What I do- Lovers. Since I can’t change a thing with my worry and since the physical pain is just a burden I have to bear, I lean into it all. I can’t change anything with my worry, so I lean into the circumstances. I can’t stop my pain so I stop struggling with it. Come, if you will, or go if you will, pain. You are not my enemy.
These images are from Prismatic Tarot and are subject to copyright.
What I think- King of Cups. I think I want to learn more astrology, both for my own edification and to add value to the readings I do for others.
What I feel- Sun. I feel great! I snuggle babies all day and I get to bring a sweet one home with me at night. I love this life and I feel blessed to have it. I feel happy and optimistic about the future.
What I do- The World. Do I take up hoop dancing? I have always wanted to do that but I am about as un-graceful as they come and I feel foolish trying.
These images are from Prismatic Tarot and are subject to copyright, which I do not own.
What I think- Page of Swords. I think it is better to stay silent in some circumstances, and even though I think that is a good option, I often struggle with exercising it. I have met very few words I didn’t want to say. I think I am naked and vulnerable but the tilt of the hips says I am not too bothered by it.
What I feel- Nine of Wands. I feel defensive, like I need to take a stand. I feel like I need to protect myself and those close to me. I feel like this is “mine” and I won’t let it be harmed. Sometimes I feel like the lone soldier standing between destruction and wholeness.
What I do- Nine of Cups. Whatever, let’s just have a glass of wine or three. Probably due to what I think and feel, I now feel comfortable and safe enough to let my guard down a little bit and I relax with what I feel I have earned. Tonight that is a soak and a tea and a good book, a pat of a puppy, and those are all I really want in life anyway.
These images are from Prismatic Tarot and are subject to copyright, which I do not own.
What I think- Lovers. I think the best partnerships marry intuition and practicality, excitement and placid evenings on the sofa, intimacy and reliability. I think this applies to romances, friendships and even business. My work needs to be like for me- I have to enjoy the excitement of passion but the comfort of the familiar too.
What I feel- Page of Wands. I feel excited by a message by something about which I am passionate. I feel entranced and re-energized by it.
What I do- Knight of Wands. This card made an appearance in my New Deck Interview with this deck, also in an advising position. This makes sense, because Knights do. That is one thing they can be relied on for, doing. It may not always be elegant, and it may not always be exactly as expected (or even wanted, those impetuous Knights) but they do do. I am glad to see a card of action here, because I often have a hard time with taking action. I can theorize and daydream all day long. I can plan and note and write it all out, but at some point the deeds must be done. I hear the call of adventure, and instead of snuggling back into warm sheets, I go after it.
These images are from Prismatic Tarot and are under copyright, which I do not own.
For this week I am using a simple three card spread- What I Think, What I Feel, What I Do.
What I think- the Hermit. The first several times I looked at this card, I for sure thought it was a younger man but with my glasses and a closer look I could see he is a bit grizzled. I too am a bit grizzled so that doesn’t take anything away for me. I think I am alone in the world, and I think I am okay with that most of the time. Not alone in the purest sense. There are plenty of people around me. I have a husband whom I adore, and who gives every sign of adoring me back, I have three kids and two stepkids, one still at home and I am a full time GiGi to a sweet little redheaded baby girl, and soon a little brown eyed boy. I have work that I love and a friendship or two. But mostly I think that aloneness is the human condition, and I don’t equate that with being lonely. Particularly as it relates to my family, I think I have some small degree of wisdom and make no bones about shoving it out there into the world, whether they want to hear my “wise” words or not. I am struggling at the moment with my middle son moving out. I wasn’t prepared and I’m not ready. I’m not sure he is prepared or ready but it’s his life to live and at a certain point motherly advice can start to sound like nagging.
What I feel- Ace of Pentacles. I feel very strongly that the world is one big bag of potential. All things are possible. All Aces carry the seed of possibility in them, but this Ace, the one that denotes abundance and physical work, especially conveys my feelings, which are that if I work hard enough and long enough I can achieve anything. One one hand, this is a good and true feeling that has helped me reach whatever small success I have. On the other hand, it can be a limiting belief because if hard work were the only measure of what it takes to be successful there would be no starving children in the world. Their mothers would do anything to care for them. Still, I cannot always control the result but I can always control my effort, and I prefer to have at least that semblance of control over my own destiny.
What I do- Ten of Pentacles. I work really, really hard. This relates back to what I think and what I feel, of course. It is a card devoid of human interaction, like the lone Hermit, and it is the culmination of that potential in the Ace. I want to both leave a legacy for those kids and grandbabies, and enjoy it now while I am here.
These cards are from the Prismatic Tarot. The images are subject to copyright and do not belong to me.
There are many versions of this spread floating around the ‘net- basically a way to get your cards out and start a conversation. I want to say that I do not think the cards themselves have any sentience, although others will disagree and that’s fine! Maybe yours do. I believe that these questions are answered by our reactions to the images of the cards, and learning to examine and harness those feelings is valuable to me.
My original spread probably came from the now defunct Aeclectic Tarot Forum, which is now read only. I myself had stopped participating in the forum years before it closed, and it was not such a loss to me as it was to others, but it certainly was a great resource for discussion if you agreed with the mods and were okay with censoring and bashing depending on the mood of the mods at the moment (but that is getting into my personal issues with a forum that can never be addressed). Sad for some, but in the current climate of social media and blogging, and with the rise of other forums to take its’ place, there are still many ways to connect.
This week I am using the Prismatic Tarot, a self published deck available on etsy. It was previously known as the Illuminated Tarot and enjoyed a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring it to life. I imagine the name may have been changed to avoid confusion with other decks of the same name. It is also available on iOS and Android as a superb app, complete with definitions.
Tell me about yourself- what is your most important characteristic? I pulled the Queen of Wands for this position. This is a strong deck, unapologetic, one that appeals to baser instincts and demands a reverence to the crown chakra and third eye opening.
What are your strengths as a deck? Two of Wands- Vision, courage, clarity.
What are your limits as a deck? Three of Cups- This actually speaks to my limits as a reader. Self control, self sabotage. The deck can’t fix these things for me. I have to control myself and I have to keep my plans on the rails.
What are you here to teach me? Eight of Pentacles- I will have new opportunities to practice my skills and hone my abilities. This seems particularly apt as I return to blogging after a long hiatus.
How can I best learn from you? Knight of Wands- be passionate, be present in each moment. Don’t accept the face value, but look for the deeper meaning. This card relates back perfectly to the highlighted third eye of the Queen of Wands, the defining characteristic of this deck.
What is the potential of our working relationship? The Devil- I will be able to see the bonds I allow myself to live in, if I am brave, and if I am willing to see them. Like the Three of Cups as limits, the deck cannot do the work for me, and if I don’t show up there is no chance for healing. I am ready to stop only existing through my days and really be in them, like the Knight of Wands, the advising card, and so that is what I must do. If I fail, which in this instance would be a choice, then I am allowing myself to remain in bondage, to my bad habits, to my poor choice in the words I say to myself. On one hand, it is easy to say, Oh it’s just blogging, it is no big deal, and you are going too deep with it. On the other, not blogging has left a void in my heart and I want to do it, yet somehow I find ways not to. This is the cycle of Resistance.
I was initially drawn to the clean lines and retro coloring of the deck, and the borderless feature tends to be one of my favorites. I missed the original Kickstarter, and had the deck as an app before purchasing a physical copy. I must say, it is stunning in digital form, and so convenient for use on the fly.
Thank you for joining me on the next leg of my journey! I hope you will be back to see what the Prismatic Tarot has to whisper to me this week.
These images are subject to copyright and I do not own them.
I have more decks than I will ever be able to use, feature, and share with you all, a problem I understand truly plumbs the depths of first world issues, and I hope that does not come across as a bragging statement. This is a golden age of tarot, so many decks available, so many options for creators, publishers, collectors, and students to take advantage of. I am happy to do my part in keeping the economy going by making mindful purchases I enjoy for many years.
My preferred method of review is to actually put the deck into practice for several days so that I can share true experiences and get a good handle the strengths of a deck, but that does limit how many I review. I would like to share some of the decks I may not have time to review in full as quickly as possible. Tarot is a very niche market of an ever shrinking publishing world, and decks seem to come into print and leave again all too quickly. Occasionally I would like to share a deck I believe to be out of print, but that surely does not warrant a full review.
Today I bring you the Trinfi della Luna, a gorgeous creation from Patrick Valenza, who made a splash in the tarot world with his acclaimed Deviant Moon Tarot. I have written extensively about this deck and my deep love for it. This was the first deck I watched with avid interest as it was created, and one I was deeply drawn to. It was gifted to me and remains a treasure in my collection. So naturally I was very interested in seeing more of the work of the artist, who has a keen eye and unique aesthetic. Mr. Valenza has chosen to self publish his new work and it is available on his site Deviant Moon Tarot.
The Trionfi della Luna has been made available in different versions. The one I will discuss today lays on a parchment colored background. The other versions have often had inverted color schemes and appear now and then in limited runs. This is a Marseilles style deck, containing the 22 Trump cards, four suits of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins which each contain ten pip cards and 4 Court Cards. The labels are in Italian, a charming touch in my opinion. I also appreciate the Roman numerals numbering the pip cards so that my old eyes don’t have to strain too much to see just how many Swords or Wands are entwined. The colors are rich yet muted and fit perfectly with the theme and background of the deck. The deck is what I would consider a “standard” size for tarot decks, about 2.75 inches x 4.25 inches. The cardstock is sturdy and allows the art to shine through, although my copy which I have had for about a year, has started to bow slightly. This is likely able to be solved by turning the deck over in storage. The tuckbox is maybe slightly flimsier than I would prefer, but the recent change of most major publishing companies to two part boxes and sturdier storage in general may have me a bit spoiled. The backs are fully reversible, revisiting the moon theme with crescents in a grid on a maroon background. There is a wonderful juxtaposition of tradition and innovation in this deck that really shines and makes for wonderful readings.
The deck comes with 10 extra cards. They lay horizontally and can be read as oracle cards or simply enjoyed for their quirky, creepy deliciousness.
Overall I find this deck to be delightful, well thought out, and artistically pleasing. I think it will find a place in the collections of readers who enjoy the art, who want to expand their Marseilles style decks, and can tolerate a bit of cheekiness in their readings. I don’t think it is a must have deck for new readers, although if one is drawn to it I would recommend picking it up due the capricious nature of the availability of decks, or for people who are not interested in Marseilles style decks. The reader for whom traditional imagery is important may not get on well with this deck.
Having thoroughly enjoyed all his creations to date, I look forward to seeing what Patrick Valenza will surprise us with next!
These images are subject to copyright and I am not the creator. Please visit and support him at Deviant Moon Tarot.