Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't Forget!

My next tarot session at Marjim Manor is going to be held on February 20, from 12 - 6 pm. Come by and see what the cards have to say!

This Deck Can Handle It

The Kat Black Golden Tarot is my trustiest deck. (Well, aside from my personal deck, anyway.) It's become the only one I use when I do Tarot Days at the Manor. This deck is certainly completely beautiful, with it's well-done collage art and gilt edges, but it's also physically tough, which helps a lot when you use it as much as I do. I'll admit, I don't go easy on the decks I use for regular readings. I'm not, like, mean about it or anything, but I see them as more utilitarian than cosmetic. I feel a lot more comfortable with a deck when it looks and feels worn-in. This card here is The Queen of Wands, which you may remember from a few entries ago. It's one of my favorite cards across the board, and I think it's definitely the most beautiful card in the Kat Black deck.

He's Sort Of Gandalf-y

I came across the Liz Dean Golden Tarot by chance in a mad dash to Barnes and Noble to find a deck I could use for my first professional reading session, since the only deck I owned at the time was one to which I was too personally attached to use in reading for strangers. I didn't end up using it for long, though. If you like to collect tarot decks because you're into the cool artwork, then this one is a great one to have. The artwork of the majors is fantastic, and I still love it, even though....and here comes the's pretty much useless for actual reading. The cardstock is horribly flimsy, and the laminate is so slippery it's nearly impossible to shuffle. But again, let me stress, this is not a deck that should be shunned altogether. The artwork is awesome, and worth the cost of the deck, even with the poorly executed physical attributes and the unillustrated pips. Just keep it as a collectible, and use another deck to do actual readings.

You Should Definitely Read About Her

I got the Haindl Tarot this year as a Christmas gift. (Thank you, Robyn!) It's a seriously fascinating deck that follows the Thoth pattern, which is quite different from the more common Waite-Smith pattern. I can't explain too much about the Haindl deck, since I'm still familiarizing myself with it, and it's definitely one of the most complicated decks out there. Every card (except the court cards of the minor arcana) is covered in numerous symbols from different spiritual disciplines. My favorite court cards are for the suit of stones, which are based on Native American legends. This one is the Daughter of Stones in the West, based on the story of White Buffalo Woman. Here's a link if you'd like to read about her:

And It Fits In The Palm Of My Hand

There are a lot of pocket sized tarot decks you can buy. There's even a version of the Universal Waite deck that's the size of a postage stamp. (Or 78 postage stamps, more accurately.) But they're definitely more for novelty's sake than anything else, because they can be a hugenormous pain in the ass to do professional readings with: The images are too small to have any impact, and they can be embarrassingly difficult, if not impossible, to shuffle. So, when I bought the Miniature Rider-Waite deck, I was not expecting much. I got turned around, though, when I found out that it's actually a completely useable little deck. It shuffles surprisingly well, and it allows me to have a deck on hand at all times, because it fits just fine in my purse. I'm not 100% down with the card interpretations in the booklet that comes with it, but the pros outweigh the cons. It's a cool little deck to have.

The Only Thing Missing Is A Black Beret And A Coffee Mug

The Golden Tarot of The Tsar is a really nifty gold-foil-enhanced deck that models all it's images the art of Russian Orthodox Christianity. The devil card in this deck is especially interesting. He's very cool-looking, but not all that scary, right? The devil card in a lot of decks can induce some serious heebie jeebies, but in this one, he's kind of like the laid-back hipster devil. Hanging out by the fountain, waiting for his buds to come by with the beer. He's even got the sharp goatee and snappy fingers of a beatnik thinking up rhymes for open mic night at the coffee house. The devil can be a card that invites a lot of misconceptions. Most people think it's all about evil and destruction, but it's not. Nine times out of ten, the devil card is about addiction. Addictive behaviors, especially....stuff you do that messes with your life, but you can't seem to stop doing it. Just like the Death card is almost never about actual, physical death, but that's for another entry.....

She's The Man

The Cary-Yale deck is thought to possibly be the first tarot deck ever. Created in the 15th century, it was pretty different from the average Waite-Smith deck we're used to today. The coolest thing about it is that it rocked the female knights, which is pretty surprising, considering the time period. This one here is the Female Knight of Wands. She's so special she's even covered in gold leaf. Woo!

It's A Surprise

There are tons of of awesome tarock decks made by Piatnik. The Can-Can deck is the greatest. Every trump card shows a scene depicting eyebrow-raising activities in a late 19th century French dance club. This card is one of my favorites. I have no idea what that guy thinks he's going to catch in his hat. Gold coins, maybe? Chocolate candy? The last few shreds of his self-respect?

Mystery Woman

I really love the Tarot of Durer....incredibly rich imagery, and my favorite thing about it is that the women are shaped like actual real human women, with curves and mom bellies and everything. Anyway, this particular card has always fascinated me. It's a really interesting, mysterious interpretation of the Queen of Wands.

Performance Art After Midnight

I have a handful of vintage tarock (slightly different from tarot) decks that I like to look over sometimes, because the trump cards are almost always fantastically artful. This one is my favorite card in my favorite tarock deck....full black body stockings and a dog standing on its hind's awesomely weird, but who the hell knows what's going on here. Any ideas?

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