The Penumbra Tarot by Eris Elizabeth and Ethony

The Penumbra Tarot by Australian artist Eris Elizabeth and Ethony is an enchanting and multifaceted deck that is both a perfect gift for a beginner and a versatile professional reading deck that seasoned readers will love.

This is an RWS based deck while the color palette is reminiscent of Lady Frieda Harris’s art in the Thoth, with more naturalist human representations than the Thoth.

Continue reading “The Penumbra Tarot by Eris Elizabeth and Ethony”

Pastoral Tarot by Lynn Araujo and Lisa Hunt

Lisa Hunt’s art style is one of my favorites, with its intricate detailing, expressive features, and delicate grace. What she does with watercolor is nothing short of spectacular.

Hunt had mainly done high fantasy and mythology-inspired art in the past, so to see her take on the traditional American landscape painting is a treat. Look at how she rendered the quilt patterns in the Eight of Pentacles, the softness yet precision of Hunt’s lines.

The Pastoral Tarot celebrates the idyllic life of small towns of New England and the Mid-Atlantic, through the countryside of the Mid-West, and the coastal regions. Each landscape piece is a scene out of Americana, a call back to 20th-century North American life.

Continue reading “Pastoral Tarot by Lynn Araujo and Lisa Hunt”

The Cantigee Oracle: An Ecological Spiritual Guide to Spark Your Creativity

The Cantigee Oracle by Rae Diamond and illustrated with watercolor art by Laura Zuspan is a deck that inspires mindfulness, compassion, and creativity. It seeks to motivate evolutionary change in both the individual and the collective. You’ll find homages to Buddhism, Taoism, Yoga, animism, and science.

This is a 52-card circular deck with standard cardstock and a slight laminate finish. Some of the oracle messages are omens, such as “A Swarm of Bees,” “The Coiled Snake,” or “The Exploding Star.” You’ll get messages like “Your Ears Become a Butterfly” and “Clouds Pass but the Mountain Remains,” evocative of the pithy figurative language often found in Taoist texts.

Continue reading “The Cantigee Oracle: An Ecological Spiritual Guide to Spark Your Creativity”

Oracle of Initiation: Rainbows in the Dark by Mellissae Lucia

Mellissae Lucia’s Oracle of Initiation was first released a decade ago in 2012, but it’s new to me, and I am utterly in awe of the breadth and scope of this divination system. This is a review of the deck, but also its 400-page companion book by the same name.

The Oracle of Initiation is the narrative story of one woman’s descent into the underworld and return. It is a mesmerizing photographic memoir of loss, initial resistance with numbness, realizing you need to surrender, and reawakening your inner magic.

At the age of 33, Lucia lost her husband to cancer. She entered limbo. But then she chose to live, to thrive, and supported by spirit guides along the way, went on a 7-year vision quest. These images chronicle her Artemis Return, a concept coined by Lucia.

Artemis

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wild instinctive wisdom of the feminine within nature. She is a guardian of the untamed within all of us, the primal aspects of our original essence.

Working with Hecate

Like a Saturn Return, an Artemis Return is a cyclical return after a pivotal event in your life, in which you cross a threshold of catharsis, maturation, and awakening, and re-align with that wild instinctive wisdom within.

Continue reading “Oracle of Initiation: Rainbows in the Dark by Mellissae Lucia”

The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski and David Sledzinski

The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski and illustrated by David Sledzinski is a Golden Dawn based tarot deck, keyed to the four color scales, and also a Stella Matutina deck. Stella Matutina, or Morning Star, is one of the daughter organizations that branched from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

If there is anyone creating a Golden Dawn deck to pay attention to, it’s Pat Zalewski. I’m familiar with his work through his 2002 Talismans & Evocations of the Golden Dawn and am super excited to be working with The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn, released by Aeon Publishing in 2022 (though I think this 2022 edition is a reprint of a deck by Pat and Chris Zalewski of the same name).

Continue reading “The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski and David Sledzinski”

Global Fusion Intuitive Tarot by Wayne Rodney (US Games)

Wayne Rodney’s Global Fusion Intuitive Tarot is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary tarot decks. If you want a case study for diverse representation in tarot art done well, look no further than Global Fusion.

Rodney is a Jamaican American painter and illustrator who runs a martial arts studio. As an artist his work is heavily influenced by Rosicrucian mysticism, values of cultural diversity, and what I found throughout the Global Fusion Intuitive Tarot– Taoist metaphysics.

In this deck, Rodney orders the Minors before the Majors. The Sticks correspond with Wands or Clubs, expressing the traits of creative will and intuition. Of the four temperaments, he connects it to the Sanguine. Gems, Pentacles or Diamonds, signify the Phlegmatic, of the sensory and the practical. Vessels, Cups or Hearts, correspond with Melancholy, with emotions and feeling. Blades, Swords or Spades, signify the Choleric temperament, of reason, logic, and thought.

Continue reading “Global Fusion Intuitive Tarot by Wayne Rodney (US Games)”

The Endless Oracle by Eric Maille

The Endless Oracle is a hand-drawn myriorama deck by artist Eric Maille, creator of the Ink Witch Tarot and the Lenormand-inspired Paper Oracle. Myrioramas were 19th century picture decks intended as a game for children. You could rearrange the cards in any order to create different landscapes. The arrangements would then tell a story.

Thus, the Endless Oracle tells an infinite number of tales. The silhouette outlines around the card edges connect any order of cards together to form a seamless landscape–a brilliant feature by Maille.

Inspired by Greek and Arthurian myths, the illustrations tap into collective knowledge, rendering these oracle cards remarkably readable. The Fisher is symbolic of leisure activities and our hobbies. The Forest is straying from the beaten path to go on an unconventional adventure. The Gathering Clouds is an omen of a plot thickening. The Giants is wonder and grandeur. Thee Goddess is religiosity. The Graveyard is loss and endings. In The Graveyard card you’ll also see the constellation Scorpio.

Continue reading “The Endless Oracle by Eric Maille”

The Poe Tarot by Trisha Leigh Shufelt

Poe as the alchemist. Inspiration: “The Raven.”

Published through Schiffer Red Feather, The Poe Tarot by Trisha Leigh Shufelt is a delectable black and white illustrated deck that I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. I was one of those kids who loved Edgar Allan Poe. I’m also a big admirer of pen and ink illustrations.

The raven resting on the bust of Pallas Athena.

And I really love a narrative-driven and thought-out tarot deck that has clearly been rendered with depth, passion, and copious amounts of research.

So it’s no wonder I’d take so easily to The Poe Tarot, which is all that and more. Bringing her depth of knowledge in Poe, weaves his life’s work, his struggles, passions, and motivations into the tarot, presenting each card as a lens through which you will ultimately find personal meaning.

The deck art illustrates scenes and characters inspired by Poe’s classics, from The Raven and Annabel Lee to The Masque of the Red Death and many more, bringing to life traditional tarot archetypes through a macabre meets whimsical 19th century pen and ink style.

For instance, the Six of Wells (Six of Cups) pictured above illustrates Poe himself reflecting on a portrait of his childhood sweetheart and fiancee before his death, Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton, with a quote from “Spirits of the Dead.” The composition itself was inspired by Poe’s short story “The Oval Portrait.”

Continue reading “The Poe Tarot by Trisha Leigh Shufelt”

The Metaphysical Cannabis Oracle by Maggie Wilson and Ejiwa Ebenebe

This is going to be a walk-through of the Metaphysical Cannabis Oracle deck, and not a full-on review. This Liminal 11 deck is the debut publication of Maggie Wilson, a cannabis sommelier, and is illustrated by Ejiwa Ebenebe.

I’m describing this as just a walk-through and not a deck review because I won’t be deep-diving into the substance of its system. I’m not sufficiently qualified to be doing an intelligent review of the deck, so all I can really offer are my first impressions.

Upon first impression, without taking a closer look, my immediate presumption was a tarot deck, and it wasn’t until a second glance that I realized this is being presented as an oracle. You could convince me that the first card is a Fool card, then Manifesteer: Creation is The Magician card, then The Witch Doctor: Wisdom is The High Priestess, the queen mother Sarauniya Uwa: Nurture is The Empress, and Sarki: Stability is The Emperor.

Continue reading “The Metaphysical Cannabis Oracle by Maggie Wilson and Ejiwa Ebenebe”

Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts

I’ve had a working draft of this blog post, on this topic, started in 2020, and already I was feeling late to it, since it was a topic trending in 2019. Life and other priorities got in the way so I left this draft unfinished.

In 2021 I started seeing this topic discussed with fervor again. It inspired me to reopen this post. I worked on it some more, but again, just didn’t care to finish my train of thought, for whatever reason.

Now it’s 2022 and this same exact topic of conversation in the tarot community is still going strong.

Maybe this time I can finally finish what I was trying to say. I’ll divide up my thoughts by the recurring subtopics or points of argument you hear when community members start talking about tarot deck collecting, culling, and consumerism.

To balance out the paragraphs of text, I’ll be sharing random photos of decks you’d spot around my house.

Continue reading “Tarot Deck Collecting and Consumerism: My Thoughts”