Fresh year, fresh edition of the Bad Bitches Tarot by Ethony. You can read my review of the first edition here. I’ll be comparing the new second edition of the deck, published in late 2019, with the first edition, side by side.
“The Bad Bitches Tarot is a Modern spiritual tool for enchantresses, CEO’s, mothers, moon daughters, witches and sages that brings the classic archetypes of the Tarot to a new generation of empowered women.” I love that mission statement and the deck really does deliver on those counts. For sure.
These were prepared specifically for enrollees of the Witchcraft Fundamentals course, but maybe you might find them helpful, too. Pictured above is the back pocket folder I recommend you making with the last pages of your Doctrinal Basis workbook.
Oftentimes tarot books with card meanings focus on the practical, mundane indications of the cards. Heck, that’s what Holistic Tarot did, and did so almost exclusively.
That means when you’re using the deck for readings where the purpose is spiritual (meaning, directed more toward religiosity or aspirations of personal transcendence), reading for card meanings out of a text like…. well, I’ll just keep throwing myself under the bus… like Holistic Tarot is not going to be too insightful. Maybe a little bit. (I’m proud of that book.)
But trying to make sense of Pictorial Key or Book of Thoth if you’re not already acclimated to that style of writing may be presenting a barrier of entry that we can quite easily break down right now.
Reflecting on this last decade, from 2010 to 2019, is on everybody’s minds. And I’ve been thinking about how the tarot world has evolved through these years.
Balancing the paragraphs of text will be photos of decks published in the 2010s that I’ve reviewed in the past. Please know that the placement of images will not relate in any way with the text around it– after having written this piece, I went back and inserted the images at random. (Oh, and click on any of the photos to read my review of the pictured deck.)
While I get into a little social commentary here, I do want to emphasize that I’m speaking from my perspective only, so I can only report what I experienced through the decades (yep, I want to start with the last decade, 2000 to 2009). How old I was, where I was in my life, what my primary interests were at any given time– all of that factors in to my experiences and interactions with the tarot world.
The Modern Witch Tarot by Lisa Sterle is a faithful RWS updated for this decade. Everything about it encapsulates what 2010 to 2019 has celebrated. Sterle has revitalized a deck from 1910 with youth, mondern-day intersectional femininity, and given the tarot new currency.
I love the fresh cartoon-style illustration and can see the value in modifying some of the esoteric symbolism in the original Rider pack to reflect 21st century alternative spirituality, such as changing the Tetramorph in Key 10 to featuring the four astrological symbols of the fixed signs, or featuring what looks like a white anemone on Death’s flag.
Although this Kickstarter indie-published version of Light Seer’s is now out of print, you can get the mass market version from Hay House, which will be released on December 3, 2019, so stay tuned. In the pre-order stage, it is already one of Amazon’s #1 New Releases, so this is definitely a deck to pay attention to.
I’ve been working with this deck for the last month and would like to share my impressions and offer a walk-through of the cards.
Right out of the gateway, we have just the most exquisite work of art. I found the tarot art here emotionally and intuitively moving.
Our Fool or lightseer is holding an amethyst in one hand, with a subtle elemental nod to Air, while holding a walking stick in the other, which can also be interpreted as a staff of office, denoting a certain spiritual status, or potential here.
The sacred geometry below with golden light emanating upward lets us know that this is about a spiritual journey. The Fool has her eyes closed and is about to do the trust fall over the edge of a cliff into the fountainhead of Spirit below.
Here’s the First Septenary of the Major Arcana. I love the continuation of the sacred pool imagery from The Fool here in The Magician, though instead of the trust fall, now our lightseer can harness energy or Astral Light from the sacred pool.
Although the First Edition black and white and second Vitruvian Edition sepia-toned Spirit Keeper’s Tarot decks are now out of print (forever, as they were both limited edition decks), for those interested, you can download a 30-card version of a black and white Vitruvian. These are the Majors only, with only The Initiate card as Key 0, plus the 4 Aces and the 4 Archangels (tarot Kings).
Does any tarot reader not end up having to sling a ton of cards around Halloween season? =)
Halloween seems to be that time of the year when everyone wants a tarot reading. Pro readers are getting booked for spooky parties and local festivities. When the mood is light and celebratory and the veil is thinning, here are some of my favorite decks to tinker with in late October. Even when the crowd you’re reading for are teenagers, I think these decks are age-appropriate and sure to enthrall.
Each of the hyperlinked headings with the deck name will take you to my review of that deck.
As of this posting there are only two weeks left of the Reverie Tarot Kickstarter campaign, so please go here and support this psychedelic tarot pop-art project. The simplicity and minimalism here means you need to rely on your intuitive powers, which is what will help you dial up your clairs.
Constance Watkins has penned a dream-like world that brings tarot numerology to life. The Reverie Tarot and Midnight Reverie Tarot set is beautifully paired and would make a great gift to any poet, writer, or artist for them to keep close by on their work desk, especially since Watkins offers a guidebook of card meanings to go along with the deck. I wasn’t sent the guidebook to review and haven’t seen any of it, so you may want to reach out to the Kickstarter campaign for details.
With this deck, instead of examining the surface imagery of your situation, you examine its underlying numerological code. In fact, in addition to a classical tarot reading with the cards, also consider the numerological significance of the numbers splayed out in front of you.
The artwork here is done in oil paints. Like Da Vinci and Renaissance oil painters, the technique used is a multi-layering method, also known as the Flemish technique, which is what gives these works of art such vivid coloring. These works are hand-painted on gessoed art board. I can’t stop extolling the beauty of the art in this deck.
Look at the detailing etched into the temple columns for the background of the King of Wands. Look at the hairs on the lion’s mane. Check out the lizard or gecko coiled around the man’s left ankle and shin. Even the checkerboard tiling is painted with such expertise and subtlety as to exude realism.
I ended up drawing two versions and hope you’ll help me out by voting on which one you prefer. I’m torn between the two because they go in pretty different directions, not just in the art, but especially in terms of interpreting the Queen of Swords. You’ll see what I mean.