I was gifted this deck ages ago, but it sat dormant for years, and I only recently thought to take the cards out of their box and give them a whirl. The Ibiza Tarot: Oracle of Tanit is a 39-card oracle deck inspired by 22 keys from the Major Arcana, the tarot court cards, and the Phoenician folk magic found on Ibiza, plus cards corresponding with the ancient gods.
Tanit is the Phoenician patron goddess of Ibiza, Spain, and is associated with love, fertility, and rebirth (I’m getting this straight from the guidebook itself; see above). She’s often depicted with a bust reminiscent of Medusa. The pagan goddess Tanit is invoked as the power behind divinatory readings with this deck. The faded imprint of a woman’s face on the deck box and guidebook cover art seems to be that of the goddess.
This Mediterranean-inspired deck, with the island of Ibiza (which is described as “the playground of the Gods, Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Romans”) as its namesake, blends numerology, astrology, and the Phoenician alphabet with the Major Arcana. The deck is intended to be a celebration of Ibicenca heritage and tradition.
The card back design has the deck name and publishing house’s logo on it, which… sigh… I don’t love. But that’s okay. =)
The Oracle of Tanit is published by Mecu Collective, and the guidebook is written in first person plural pronouns– we and us. Per the deck description: “We met in Goa and Ibiza: a Roman of Incan descent, an Israeli artist, a wandering numerologist, the son of an Astrologist and Tarot reader, together with a Swiss creative and organized mind…”
Each card is also assigned a Bach flower remedy correspondence, which is a form of 20th century homeopathy based on the works of Edward Bach (1886 – 1936), a medical doctor, spiritualist, and homeopath.
In addition to the 22 Keys of the Major Arcana, you also get correspondences to the court cards. For example, the Queen of Cups is The Seahorse, with its essential element being water, and its Bach flower correspondence the wild rose. Astrologically this key corresponds with Gemini and Cancer.
I actually really like the correspondences here, such as The Mermaid for Key 13: Death, The Finca (which is a pastoral cottage) for Key 10: Wheel of Fortune, and The Milky Way for Key 17: The Star, the card that corresponds with the Art of Healing. Key 6: The Lovers card corresponds with Humanity and the Restoration of Judgment.
The deck functions as an oracle deck, and doesn’t ask for a whole lot of prior knowledge. You can ask a question, shuffle, and pull a card. In theory the brief passages written on the card itself and the correspondences provide will inform the divinatory answer.
While the page margins of the booklet that comes in the box with the deck are a bit funky, the content is substantive. You get a page spread for each card in the deck, which will really help you to operate this oracle deck and get the most out of it. By the way, associating the Page of Wands with The Vandal is endearing to me.
What I found to be an unexpected bonus to this deck is how educational it is as a training tool for learning the tarot court cards. No, seriously. Just having this deck, taking notes in your tarot journal based on the correspondences from the Ibiza Tarot will really up your court card reading game.
This turned out to be an insightful study deck. Like meditating on corresponding the archetype of The Pirate to Key 16: The Tower card, or The Tourist as Key 12: The Hanged Man. The Queen of Pentacles is The Almond Tree while the King of Pentacles is The Fig Tree.
The extra wild card, titled Bes, a pagan Mediterranean god of “music, dance and sexual pleasure, so aptly reflecting a part of Ibiza” (per the guidebook) bears a fun oracle message. You can see it in the photo above: “Party time! Let go! Forget about everything, come back tomorrow!” with an astrological correspondence to Jupiter.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again here: I don’t get into the debate of right or wrong when it comes to tarot correspondences in a deck, because that’s the creator’s interpretation and point of view. I don’t adjudicate another’s point of view based on how resonant or not resonant it is with my own opinions. Rather, I’m interested in seeing whether the deck creator has done a thorough job explaining those correspondences and interpretative approaches. And here, the guidebook does pretty well.
I found The Ibiza Tarot: The Oracle of Tanit lovable and a delight. I don’t quite know how to describe it, because it’s so unique that it’s neither here nor there. It’s the tarot Major Arcana plus court cards, with the addition of cards that invoke particular Phoenician gods and goddesses, all retitled to emblems of Ibicenca culture. Then there’s the homeopathic herbal alternative medicine and essential oils correspondences to each card.
In other words, I don’t see tarot readers working with this deck in any way that would resemble your methods of reading a tarot deck. It’s an oracle deck, and specifically, one invoking the goddess Tanit, though oftentimes the oracle messages are so metaphysical and esoteric that they don’t work in an easily coherent way via any fortune-telling style of reading cards. And yet, I kid you not, this deck will endear itself to you.
Have you heard of this deck before? Do any of you out there who are reading this blog right now have this deck and how have you been working with the cards?