Decks that Intimidate Me – (non) VR to BoyDiviner

The BoyDiviner on YouTube did a video that, although it is not a hashtag, I really enjoyed a lot and decided to do a (non)VR to anyway.

This is about tarot decks that intimidate me in some way or another.  I don’t have many, but there are a few in my collection that fit the bill.  Here is an outline of what these decks are, and how I feel about them.

ST

Secret Tarot by Dominic Murphy

I absolutely love the artwork in this deck.  I love the concept, the originality, the expressiveness in the cards.  I love it.

But, at the same time?  I find it very intimidating.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that after the major arcana, the deck is an entirely different structure.  I’ve had more luck with the Lost Tarot by the same artist, as there seems to be a bit more structure in that one than this one.

Still, I keep it because I love the artwork.  And, at some point, I plan on doing a depth study of this deck to help me (hopefully) become more familiar and comfortable with it and its unusual system.

TH

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

I used to think that it was just the Thoth system that intimidated me, but after working with the Gill Tarot and a few others, I think in this case it’s the artwork, not the system.

Something in the artwork for the original Thoth deck just makes me want to ‘shield and retreat’ in much the same way that I feel when I come across someone radiating abusive vibes.   I bought this deck to delve deeper into the Thoth system, but every time I pick it up, it turns me off.   Not just emotionally or aesthetically, but even my intuition turns away from this deck and will refuse to speak.

WW

Wild Wood Tarot by Mark Ryan, John Matthews, and Will Worthington

I genuinely adore this deck and its earthiness, although I find the energy of this deck just a but too heavy.   I love the artwork especially.  But, for some reason I have a hard time reading this deck intuitively, and many of the cards do not follow the RWS system, so I then struggle with reading it logically as well.

I did a depth study on this deck for an entire year, but I still find myself unable to read with it confidently, even after a year of serious study.

DG

Dreams of Gaia Tarot by Ravynne Phelan

It’s the faces.   I mean, yes, it’s an entirely different system from any other deck out there, but I think I would be more inclined to learn that system IF it wasn’t for the FACES.  They just bug me for some reason.  I don’t like them.

That said, I do use this deck, but I use it as an intuitive oracle instead. Usually when harsh truths are required.

SPK

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot by Benebell Wen

This one is purely all about information overload.  I’m kind of wondering if this deck isn’t more suited to the logic-style of readers rather than the intuitive style?  I’m not entirely sure.   I just find there is SO MUCH information in each card that I feel overwhelmed by them when I try to read with them.

I think they’re amazing, and I think Benebell Wen (who drew each of these cards by hand) is brilliant.  I have the study books that go along with this deck and intend on doing a depth study with it at some point.  But, at the moment, I find it a bit too much and the cards make me feel like the crossed wires between my logic and intuition are about to blow a fuse.

 

 

A Moment of Realization with the Tarot

basic-elements-1663243

I’m pretty well seated in how I both see and use the tarot, and comfortable in that.   But, just recently I came to a new realization about how I see the tarot and its suits.

Up until just the last few days, I had always thought that I saw the suits as “cups, pentacles, wands, and swords”, regardless of the fact that those names don’t always just “roll off the tongue” for me (so to speak).

Then, I got the Numinous Tarot in the mail and it showed me that this isn’t how I view the suits at all, which is a little odd since I’ve had other decks that rename the suits, but it really stuck out to me with this one.

In the Numinous Tarot, the suits are renamed as vials, tomes, candles, and bells.  And, when trying to sort this out?   My mind never even -went- to the whole “cups, pentacles, wands, and swords” thing, but instead went immediately to the elements.

Yes, all along I’ve known and been intimately aware with the correlations between the suits and the elements.  Cups = Water, Pentacles = Earth, Wands = Fire, Swords = Air…. and yet, never before has it stuck out to me how -much- I see the suits not as their names at all, but the elements themselves and the qualities those elements represent.

I’d guess that I’ve been pairing the suit names to the elements so long that, for the most part, they became synonymous with each other.  And yet, clearly, they are not as when push comes to shove?  It’s not to the suit names I relate, but the elements they (for me) represent.

 

Top 5 Decks I Cant Live Without (non)VR To Kelly Bear

I feel like I’ve answered this recently, but I can’t find it.  It’s a bit different than Simon’s “five favorites” as you can pick from any decks you have.  Still, I looked through and couldn’t find it so maybe it’s something I did in my head instead of actually writing down.

2019Top5

This post’s theme was originally created by Kelly Bear on YouTube a few years ago, and she recently did an update (because, well, favorites change over time).  From what I understand she usually does an update to this list yearly for her, we’ll see if I can remember to update it next year.

The way that I’m looking at this question is along the premise of if my house was on fire and I could only choose FIVE decks out of my collection to save, and none of my collection could be replaced for some reason, what five would I grab?

So here are my top five decks that I would  not want to live with out… at this moment.

Tarot of the Hidden Realm – This goes without saying. I’ve mentioned this many times on here that when I opened the box I had a very deep and immediate reaction to these cards the moment I touched them.  They speak to me on a level I’ve never had another deck speak to me before and I can’t see these cards falling off of this list any time soon.

Although… the artist is in the process of working on a second deck, and has already signed a contract with Llewellyn to produce it, so you never know, right?  I’ve seen some of the finished artwork for the deck and it is spectacular.

Blue Owl Lenormand or the 1889 Lenormand – I’m really kind of torn on this one.  The Blue Owl holds a lot of sentimental value for me, but the 1889 Lenormand’s aesthetic really speaks to me.   It would be a hard choice but if my ass was on fire and I had to choose just one, I would probably choose the 1889 primarily because I am currently using it more.

Dixit Decks – You can bet your ass if it came down to it I’d shuffle all ten of the decks I own into one monster deck and call it good.  I love these decks.  They’re actually a card game where you make up stories about the cards and other people have to guess what card you’re making up the story about.  It’s a fun game, but it’s not how I use these cards.    I personally use Dixit cards as an intuitive oracle, and they work really well for me in this way.

The Hanson Roberts Tarot – I find this deck easy on the eyes and exceedingly easy to read.  I also like the card size.  My own copy was purchased pre-owned and is one of the earlier printings of the deck.  This was good for me because it meant the cards were already broken in just a bit, as I find smaller decks are sometimes difficult for me to shuffle straight out of the box until they get broken in a bit.

The Universal Waite in a Tin – No surprise here that my favorite coloring of the deck is by Mary Hanson Roberts.  Although, if they would come out with a Radiant Wise Spirit in a tin?  I might have to change my mind. I chose this deck because of the traditional symbolism in the cards, the coloring, and because it’s IN A TIN.  Got to love a protective shell.  They’re also smaller than a regular tarot deck, which makes them easier to tote around.  Not that I tote around my tarot decks, but if I was reduced to five decks?  I might have to make myself a go-bag and this one would be in it.

I was actually a bit surprised that none of my out of print decks made it onto this list, although I did consider the Tyldwick Tarot. As much as I absolutely love that deck, though, it would fall in at sixth in line, though.  It would kill me to leave it behind because I really love it so much, but it isn’t on this list.   I also considered some of my plant or animal decks or a playing card deck, but they didn’t make it on the list for this time either.

 

Story of the Sacred Circle Tarot

Usually, I do a group post for my deck modifications, since I’ve been doing quite a few of them over the past little bit.   But this particular modification was so surprising and so transformative, that I felt that it needed its own post.

First, a little backstory.

My very first deck was given to me, and so was my third.. fourth… possibly also my fifth.  I was raised by Pagan and Buddhist parents, and my mother gifted me the Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling cards when I was about ten years old.

Gypsy

It isn’t really a deck that I use anymore, although I still own both the deck I was originally given as well as a version of the deck that is over 100 years old.

Soon after, I was given my first Lenormand deck (which is the system that I first learned with), and then a handful more of them over the years that followed.

Blue_Owl

When I discovered the Ryder-Waite-Smith system, I was curious and eager to learn, and I requested a recommendation from the shop owner for a learning deck.   Now, I’m not sure why they recommended the Sacred Circle Tarot for this.  And, at around fourteen years old or so?  I wasn’t “centered” enough in myself or the RWS system to realize this deck was not going to be a good match for me, or to speak up and tell him “Um, no. How about a different one.”

kf3cex3h

So, I bought the deck and I struggled with it.  I slogged through the reading, and fought with the deck at every turn.  For a while, I even thought that the RWS system was just not for me, and I retreated back to my roots in the Lenormand.

I’ve moved on since then, and back to the RWS.  I’ve discovered a multitude of decks that speak to me and that I enjoy (as you can clearly see by my list of decks that I now own).  But, I never got rid of the Sacred Circle Tarot I’d struggled with so horribly in the beginning.

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of deck modifications, and I have been eying the Sacred Circle deck with serious consideration since the first time I modified a deck.

Finally, I decided to take the plunge.   This is, hands down, my most aggressive deck modification to date, but I have to say, I’m really pleased with the results.

SacredCircle04

The first thing I did was trim the cards, of course.   You can see in the above image the difference that this made in the size of the cards.  A deck that was once oversized and on the edge of awkward has been cut down to the size of a mini deck.

It was the first card I cut that made me realize what my issue was with this deck all along, actually.   I trimmed the Tower first (because, well yeah, it was just fitting in this case), and as soon as it was trimmed, I was amazed at how much more I connected with the card.   What I realized is that those great big, highly intricate borders were what had turned me off to the deck to the point that it was nearly impossible for me to read with them or use them in any capacity.  Although there are a few borders in the Major Arcana that are beautiful, as a whole they’re impression on me is startling, garish, and in some cases an almost violent assault on the senses.

SacredCircle02

So, I cut them off.   All of them off.   The borders, the titles, the key words.   All of it but the main center picture on each card.

Suddenly, this deck felt much better.   The images spoke to me (although… not all of them), it felt good in my hands, it shuffles well and is screaming “use me, use me, USE ME!”.  The only issue I still struggle with is the “photo-shopped” imagery, which is a far and above improvement over it’s original incarnation.

I did have a small problem, though.  The Queen of Swords and the Warrior card (the Strength card) were a little too similar in my opinion, and a few of the other Major Arcana cards were easy to mix up.   The ones with people, I mean.    So, I decided to go ahead and use a fine point Sharpie and number the Major Arcana cards.

SacredCircle03

I didn’t really need to do all the cards in the Major Arcana, but I liked the consistency of having them all done, so I numbered each of them with their roman numeral correspondence.

What is not consistent is the placement of the numbers.  This is because the cards (and images) are now so tiny that there isn’t a lot of room to select any one place to put the numbers in the same spot on each card.    So instead, I tried to find wherever there was a good space that the numbers would both fit, and be visible.

Finally, I then edged the deck in black.   I did this in a less precise way than I usually do my decks.   Normally, I take each card individually and edge the card, wipe the excess with a microfiber cloth, then repeat a second time if needed.

In this case, I took sections of the deck and did the edges of these sections all at once.   This causes the ink to bleed a bit  in between the cards, adding a touch of a messy border to the fronts and the backs, which was the idea.  I think that bit of “messy’ in the border goes really well with the artwork on the cards and I’m really happy with the results.

SacredCircle01

Now?  After one night’s worth of work on altering this deck, it has been (nearly) completely transformed.  It no longer feels uncomfortable or awkward, and I no longer feel any inclination to avoid it or set it aside in the bottom of my tarot chest.  Instead, I love the way the cards feel in my hands, and aside from the photo-shopped look of some of the cards, I’m very happy with the aesthetic.