I’m intrigued by the strong opinions that tarot readers can hold for collaborative decks. Collaborative are decks where the artwork is done by a cast of different artists and illustrators, often of varying experience in art, from the amateur or self-taught to the professional. The Button Soup Tarot was organized by the Cult of Tarot forum members and the result turned out really well.
I speculate that the collaborative deck appeals mainly to a rather special, rare, eclectic, and liberal-minded personality. Each and every card is going to feature a different style, created with a different medium, ranging from traditional to digital art. I’m loving this particular collaboration. It feels celebratory and there’s such a joy to it.
Button Soup Tarot reads surprisingly well. I say “surprisingly” because it’s no big secret that most tarot readers are skeptical of how cohesive the messages from a collaborative deck can be. But then, I mean, when you do psychic readings, aren’t you pulling from the collective consciousness, and isn’t the collective consciousness little more than, well, a hot mess?
I love the namesake, Button Soup, a reference to the folk tale Stone Soup, where a traveler arrives in a village seeking food, but no one is willing to share. The traveler claims he can create an incredible soup with just one stone. Eventually, every villager chips in a little and all the contributions result in an incredible stew, and enough for all.
There’s also quite a Who’s Who dimension to this deck, as many incredible deck creators we all know and love contributed cards. Pamela Steele (Steele Wizard’s Tarot, Wizard’s Pets Tarot), Jessica Leigh Henry (Lions Gateway Tarot), Joan Marie (The Friar’s Delight Lenormand, which is in the queue for a forthcoming review from me), Yasmeen Westwood (Tarot of Enchanted Dreams), Gaby Merman (forthcoming Chromatic Chapel Tarot, and if this Instagram account is any indication, holy moly does that look like an amazing deck I can’t wait for!), Emilie Muniz (Simplicity Tarot), Kristine Gorman, and the incomparable M. M. Meleen (Rosetta Tarot, Tabula Mundi, Pharos Tarot).
Every artist featured is incredible– I was just naming a few whose decks I’ve reviewed in the past, or names I’m more readily familiar with.
My friend Cerulean, Mari Hoshizaki, was the one who alerted me that this collaboration was in the works, so of course I had to contribute. You see my Queen of Swords drawing in the above photo. =)
My favorite way to read with the Button Soup Tarot has been a simple past, present, future, and bonus 4-card reading. I shuffle, focus on the matter at hand, then cut the deck into three card piles, right to left. I go right to left here, so the right-most card pile is past, center is present, and left is future. If you want to give this approach a try, of course you can read any direction you like, left to right if that makes more sense to you.
So that’s the three card reading– past influences causing what’s going on in the matter at hand, present status, and where this trajectory is headed (future projection). Then I choose which area– past, present, or future– I’d like a little more info on, and pull a second card from that corresponding card pile for the “bonus” in this 4-card reading method.
And this deck takes to that method perfectly.
The card back design, deck box, everything is just beautiful. I’m so in love with how this deck came out. I don’t think any deck collection is complete without a couple of collaborative decks. They’re so much fun and such an incredible way to celebrate the tarot community.
This deck was organized by Joan Marie of Rabbits Moon Tarot. She also runs the Cult of Tarot forum. You can buy the deck here, with proceeds going to support the Cult of Tarot forum, an invaluable gathering place of tarot aficionados.
I should also mention that the li’l white book was so much fun to read! The artist for each card contributed a passage on the card meaning, interpretation, and artist intentions for the card they drew. To read this collective glossary of card meanings was a treasure.
4 thoughts on “Button Soup Tarot: A Cult of Tarot Collaboration Deck”
Thanks so much for the review Benebell!
So much love and good energy went into this deck. One thing I want to mention is the card back. The design is so brilliant, created by the wonderful and generous Mel Meleen, the artist behind so many masterpieces like the Tabula Mundi Tarot, The Rosetta Tarot, Pharos Tarot and author of several amazing books. I can’t believe how lucky we were!
It’s so true what you say about collaboration decks. They are a niche item, a collectible. That’s what I love about our “l’il white book,” the way it enhances the individual cards with the words and feelings of each artist. We had such a beautifully diverse group, so many points of view, so many experiences, all poured into the project.
Thanks again for the kind review! ❤️
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I actually really appreciate many collaborative decks. When the various (and often wildly different) artistic interpretations somehow result in a cohesive feel, it is a very rewarding experience. Of course, there are some collaborative decks that are just a jumble of disparate images that seem merely chaotic. But the Button Soup Tarot ranks among the very best of this type. I also like some of the “78Tarot” creations, “Ostara Tarot”, the “Lowbrow Tarot”, and the wonderful “ETA Oracle” (and probably others that I don’t recall at the moment).
Can’t wait to see your review of the (non-collaborative) Friar’s Delight Lenormand – that one is a real gem!
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This looks so beautiful – I love seeing so many interpretations.