This has been going on for a while already and I am having so much fun! However, I don’t know if I’m reaching enough folks, so here is a blog post. You can sign up to get on a list of folks who consent to possible free randomized divinatory readings to be delivered to your e-mail inbox, perhaps when you least expect it. This is offered alongside all my reading services that you can book. More info on my “Book a Reading” page. Scroll all the way down to see the info on the Free Randomized Divination Sign-up.
It comes with a fold-out little white booklet (LWB) and a deck that’s very easy to work with. It’s high-gloss, sturdy, will definitely withstand some wear and tear, and most important of all, is effective in teaching the basics and fundamentals of the Kabbalah.
The archetypal imagery of tarot teaches us many lessons, and lately I’ve been thinking about what business lessons the Major Arcana might teach us. The following is by no means an exhaustive list and it would have gotten excessive for me to address every single Major Arcanum. For sure, each of the twenty-two cards has a lesson to be learned, but here are the key cards I found most pertinent.
The Magician: Creating Change with Available Resources
The Magician card is about using the limited material resources and assets availed to us to create progressive change. One of the first business lessons an entrepreneur learns is how to create product and run a business with only what is on hand. The Magician is the master of manifestation, and inspires the entrepreneur to model an attitude after the magus.
The Wooden Tarot by A. L. Swartz of Skullgarden on Etsy is an animal lover’s dream tarot deck. I love the paintings on wood and found it pleasantly synchronistic that Swartz draws heavily from the concept of memento mori, as do I in certain aspects of my own practice. Swartz’s artwork seeks to express the esoteric dimension of flora and fauna, merging realism and surrealism, and you see that in the illustrations on The Wooden Tarot.
The deck is based on the RWS tradition and while the deck does not come with a companion guide or LWB of any sort, Swartz does note to interpret The Wooden Tarot with any RWS-based tarot book. However, I found that I craved a book keyed specifically to the imagery of this deck, because it really is quite special and distinct from the traditional RWS symbols.
Let me tell you what your favorite go-to tarot deck says about you. That’s right. I think I know you better than you know yourself. And all from knowing which tarot deck you like.
Tarot de Marseille
You’re kind of an elitist snob. You think your tarot deck is more authentic than other people’s tarot decks and so that makes you better. When you’re talking about tarot, you make sure to emphasize that you read with the Marseille (no, you would say “TdM”) deck because you’re pretty sure that fact alone conveys the depth and breadth of your tarot knowledge.
Esoteric Tarot Deck Pre-1900
You’re an elitist snob. You’re probably a voracious reader of obscure books, especially books bearing titles that begin with “Liber.” You get all academic and historian-y when talking about witchcraft or ceremonial magic.
First of all, it needs to be said upfront that I’m an Air sign, both sun and rising, and my birth chart is dominated by the presence of Air. I’m fickle and flighty and am always changing my mind. So the most I can say is I’m answering these prompts based on me right now and only right now. Ask in, gosh I don’t know, a year or heck maybe even next month and my answer could change. So there’s that.
Nonetheless, let’s give it a go.
3 Favorite Tarot Decks
I’m naming my 3 personal favorite decks, not my go-to public reading decks. While I do use some of the decks I’m about to name in professional reading situations, I am far more likely to go with a Rider-Waite-Smith (such as the Smith-Waite Centennial or just the Rider Waite 1971) or the Golden Universal (basically RWS). Every once in a while, a seeker’s energy pulls me toward an entirely different deck, so it’s hard for me to give absolutes here. However, generally speaking, my favorite go-to reading deck for others is going to be a straightforward, classic RWS deck and from time to time, a TdM (Tarot de Marseille). There are a multitude of reasons for this discrepancy between personal favorites and public reading favorites, but that may be for another blog entry.
I’m one of the contributors for the Tarot Pink charity deck. Tarot Pink is a collaborative deck where 65 or so artists came together to create art for a tarot deck keyed toward healing, wellness, and compassion. It was a volunteer effort on everyone’s part and all proceeds raised from sales of the deck go toward breast cancer research. You can now order your copy of Tarot Pink through GameCrafter, here.
I talked a bit about the conception process for the card I was assigned, the Two of Wands here. Now I have the deck in my hands and debated whether to do a review. For starters, I’m sure I’ll be biased in favor of the deck, since I contributed to it. Just look at the “little white booklet” (LWB) in the photo above. Just beautiful. However, I will do what I can to be objective. No matter what I might have to say, or what anyone has to say for that matter, please do support the charitable cause and order your copy today. A smartphone app is also forthcoming, so keep your eyes open for that.
Fabio Listrani’s Night Sun Tarot is one of those decks I couldn’t wait to get my little hands on. I would consider this an esoteric tarot deck. On the Majors, you have the astrological, elemental, and Hebrew letter correspondences in the card corners. In the Minors, you have the elementals and decanates. I usually have to hand-write these onto my working decks, but here on the Night Sun, the work is done for you, and done beautifully.
There is a strong Modern Age comic book art style to the Night Sun Tarot, with digitally rendered illustrations. Fabio Listrani, the brainchild behind this exquisite deck, is an Italian artist and graphic designer whose work tends toward the science fiction/fantasy genres of art. He seamlessly blends Eastern and Western esoteric symbolism and cultural references, and updates esoteric tarot for the 21st century with this very original, insightful, and groundbreaking new deck.
I kept dragging my feet on whether to join the Tarot Mucha bandwagon, but here it is, and sometimes you just have to give in to the tarot reader majority when they’re all gushing over a certain deck, because they tend to be right. There are so many reasons to get this deck that I don’t even know how to process my thoughts and begin this review.
I’m loving it so much and will probably find myself using it in professional reading settings. It’s also a fantastic starter deck for a beginner reader who wants to commence study with the RWS tradition but may be having a hard time connecting artistically to the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck.
While there is no historical verification that tarot descended from mahjong, their striking similarity in structure and the cosmological or philosophical correspondences associated with the playing pieces is still worth noting. Both seem to be subdivided into Trump cards and Minors, and within the Minors, further subdivisions into suits, with each suit numbered into pip cards or tiles. Both were intended for games, but both are also used for divination.
Recently I’ve been inspired to hunt down my own mahjong set, but there is a reason Chinese people get special tables for mahjong– the darn thing takes up a lot of space. There’s just a crap ton of tiles that make annoying clicking sounds when you shuffle, and the tiles remind me of Joy Luck Club or something, I don’t know. I knew I wouldn’t be using my set for games, and it’d be strictly for divination study. Intuitively, a whole set of mahjong tiles (the standard click-clack ones Chinese folk play with) didn’t feel right in my reading room, my personal sacred space. So. I opted for a more discrete alternative– mahjong in the form of cards. They have that now! It’s awesome. It’s a deck of 144 cards.
I’m using a cute little deck referred to simply as “Chinese Mahjong: Deck of 144 Cards for Oriental Play” published by Yellow Mountain Imports. You can get it off Amazon for all of five bucks. It’s great. The card quality is kind of meh. They didn’t produce this particular deck with esoteric or spiritual work in mind, that’s for sure. There’s a tacky high-gloss laminate and as you can see from the photos, it’s very, very basic in card imagery.
Mahjong consists of 3 suits: Wheels, Bamboo, and Characters. The 3 suits are correspondent with Heaven, Earth, and Man, after the Chinese cosmological concept of the Trinity of Lucks.
Heaven Luck represents circumstances you’re born into, beyond your control, like the social class of your parents or innate talents and physical attributes, i.e. nature. Heaven Luck is believed to be pre-ordained.
Earth Luck is your geographical location, and how where you are affects what you do or who you become, i.e., nurture. Earth Luck is your environment and how your environment helps or hinders your success.
Man Luck is free will, what you do with yourself, the choices you make, your education, your actions, behavior, attitude, etc.
Additionally, Wheels often indicate life circumstances, events, conditions, or things that “happen” to you, things beyond your control that you’re just going to have to figure out how to deal with, the cards you’ll get dealt; Bamboo will talk about wealth, finances, money matters, security; Characters talk about career, education.
Super-traditionally here, marriage was seen as orchestrated by the fates, and so might get expressed in a reading through the Wheels, or if some important things were about to go down, with the Honors or Supreme Honors (more on that later). So it wasn’t like in tarot divination where you might have a whole suit (i.e., Cups) associated with love, relationships, and our emotional plane. The emotional plane wasn’t really seen as this whole separate matter that might require its own suit. So there wasn’t a suit for it. Interesting cultural differences here, me thinks.