The Corporate Tarot by Melanie McCarthy is an incredible tool for employee training that re-polishes the tarot structure so that it might lend itself to the corporate world. Team building, corporate and operational strategic planning, and team brainstorming are big things these days among the midsize to large corporations. Perhaps I may be in an exceptional bubble in the Silicon Valley, but around here, every CEO and ED is looking for an “innovative, creative” way to get their employees to work together more cohesively. What better way to achieve that than through McCarthy’s Corporate Tarot?
Photographs with a corporate aesthetic illustrate this deck. I love the “stock photo” vibe here, honoring the frequent use of stock photos in corporate documents and marketing materials. Of course, I also love the diversity, which is subtle, seamless, and well done. Each card is assigned a keyword, one that represents a factor for corporate success (or hindrance to corporate success, e.g., “Conflict” or “Negativity,” etc.).
Another beautiful feature of the deck are the card backs. Each one is different and I believe they can fit together like puzzle pieces to create a unified urban landscape. The metaphor there is also clever.
If you’re a life coach that often contracts with companies to help their employees, consider integrating the Corporate Tarot into your coaching practices. It’s a great way to inspire, motivate, and also provide clarity to personnel. The deck also comes with a 100-page guidebook that teaches different strategies for implementing the Corporate Tarot in the corporate setting or in coaching. The digital version of the guidebook is free here. It’s worth downloading for free and checking out. It’ll convince you how effectively you can use this deck for coaching, business mentoring, and employee team-building exercises.
The Corporate Tarot website is wonderful and is rich with substantive content. Be sure to check out the “Why Corporate Tarot” section to get a sense of the purpose, vision, and mission of this deck. I wanted to quote some brilliant passages from that page, but copy/paste is disabled from the website, so I can’t. You’ll have to click on the link and go over there to check it out for yourself.
There are four suits in the Minors, just like in the classic tarot structure, though here, they’re renamed Research, Collaboration, Inspiration, and Expression. I’m not entirely sure which tarot suits these correspond with, and unfortunately, at the time I’m writing this post, the link to the e-book download doesn’t seem to be working (I keep getting an error message) so I’m not able to do my typical due diligence and really look into this deck prior to review.
The pip (or numbered) cards in the deck are marked with symbols that tally up to the corresponding pip number. I also seem to detect a pattern in the symbols used for the pips. Each pip card adds a new symbol from the preceding pip.
Then you get to the courts, which are Strategist, Manager, Mentor, and Partner, corresponding with Page, Knight, Queen, and King. I love it and the correspondences work well.
I’m just so in love with the novelty of the card backs! Some were printed upside down, however, so for instance, a few of the cards had the card back photograph of the buildings in reverse, so I did have to tinker a bit when trying to piece them together like a puzzle. It works, though! Compels the seeker to turn and flip pieces around and work with them creatively until everything fits! Another great metaphor for corporate team building. 🙂
I love the keywords on the top left corners of each card. The design of the cards is handsome. There’s great use of balance and proportions without having to keep with strict symmetry. Here, note that the symbols used to mark the pips in the Collaboration suit are different from the symbols used in the Research suit.
I identified closely with the deck creator’s background. Melanie McCarthy worked as an executive in various midsize to large companies, helped provide personnel training for Fortune 500s, and then worked in venture capital, altogether accumulating about 40 years of experience in the corporate sector. Yet she’s been reading tarot for even longer than that, so she’s in the perfect position to create a deck like Corporate Tarot.
Above is the suit for Inspiration and below you see the suit for Expression. Although the pips are not illustrated, they don’t have to be. Use of these cards will rely more on the keywords in the top left corner, applied to the factor presented by the suit name (i.e., Research, Collaboration, Inspiration, or Expression).
This deck would make a great gift for anyone in the corporate sector who also has a secret streak of woo in them, life coaches as an additional tool in their arsenal to help them with their work, those in human resources or who work as managers. Companies often sponsor holiday parties, at which time there are typically kitschy games being played. I wonder if the Corporate Tarot could be worked into those company games.
Overall it’s just a great novelty gift idea, because the gift you’re giving isn’t the deck, but a resourceful tool that helps managers and employees alike generate creativity, diagnose for solutions, and do something outside the box to achieve those goals. Individuals can also consult the Corporate Tarot for career related questions. I use the Corporate Tarot to help Hubby answer his career related inquiries and it’s been spot on.
Here is a sample spread taught on the Corporate Tarot website. I found this particular spread under the “Use the Deck” section. See the below spread design:
This is a really great spread to work with when using the Corporate Tarot deck. Below is a reading I did for Hubby using this spread.
How I would read with this deck is to start by identifying the spread position indication. For example, the top left corner card is about collaboration, and is one of the strengths to consider here. The card I drew in that position is Key 2 “Potential,” corresponding with the High Priestess in the Major Arcana. Now, here, I ignore any prior knowledge I have of tarot and simply work within the universe that is the keywords on the Corporate Tarot.
So we see “Potential,” and this is relating to collaboration. I might read this as a female colleague who will help strengthen a particular project, or its about needing more aggressive efforts in team collaboration, in working with others if the goal is to be achieved.
Note the single ninth card, the “Outcome” card projected for the coming 3 months. Here I drew 3 from the Inspiration suit, with the keywords “Understand” and “Passion.” I might read this as indicating success, fruition, and a team motivated toward a collective goal, passionate about the potential they can manifest.
Once you get the Corporate Tarot, go through McCarthy’s website and just spend time taking notes and strategizing on ways you can implement her recommendations into your tarot practice. How spectacular would it be if it became a habit of all corporations to pull out a deck like the Corporate Tarot when the company is facing a crisis, major or minor, and use this tarot deck to work through their problems? Even dabble a bit in divination, just to supplement their rational-based strategies with a bit of divine revelation?
The cardstock quality of this deck is great, by the way. I love the sturdy, convenient box it comes in. It would be better if an accompanying guidebook that is the same size as the cards could fit inside the box, since I don’t anticipate many “corporate folk” being able to use this deck “straight out of the box” without some guidance. Having the deck come with an operation manual that fits with the deck would really make this deck more appealing.
The Corporate Tarot is at once a deck I wanted for my personal collection, but also a deck that turned out to be useful. There are so many practical applications of McCarthy’s deck that position it to be a mainstream success. As a tarot reader, I think it’d be fun to reach for this deck to help answer career- and work-related questions. I also think it’s intriguing yet “passable” enough for an executive to introduce to a team of employees to have them work with the deck for team-building and strategy brainstorming sessions.
The price for the deck is a bit steep for where I might position it in the marketplace (I understand it’s due to the deck being self-published at this time), but if that price can be reduced to about $20 to $25, I see huge potential for the Corporate Tarot to catch on and gain greater public mainstream success and even, dare I say, revolutionize corporate strategy sessions.
5 thoughts on “Review of the Corporate Tarot”
I’m pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the headline, but this deck seems like it’s really useful for a rather large segment of clients. So many people ask questions related to both work and money, and having a deck specifically written with the language of corporate work culture is brilliant. It’s not the sexiest deck you’ve ever seen, but it looks like it does what it’s designed to do with razor sharp precision.
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Thank you for the very extensive review, Benebell. I think I have a few cues that will help make it easier to Read with this deck.
The four suits are depicted in the lower left of each Minor card. You will see Air, Earth, Water and Fire.
In Corporate Tarot, the suit names are based on the business/product cycle. First you have Inspiration (Fire) then you do Research (Air) then you Collaborate (Water) and then you bring the product to market Expression (Earth).
Some card backs are printed upside down because they are not used to build the mural. Ha ha. I mention it in the eBook but you are very clever to notice.
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I never even knew about this deck, this is great! It reminds me of Mark McElroy’s Bright Idea deck that I believe is now out of print (and I never opened mine when I bought it years ago). Thanks so much for this review Benebell! 😀
Hello. Where I can get the intructions on pdf?