Marketing Ploys in Tarot

Okay so I want to do a bit of a rant today that was inspired by my use of the Harmony Tarot this month.

Although the Harmony Tarot is not the only one guilty of this. And I guess before I start, I should define just what exactly tarot is…. and isn’t.

Tarot is a specific system of card reading. This specific system has a structure of 22 trumps (called the Major Arcana) and four groups (suits) made into 14 cards which are collectively called the Minor Arcana.

Each card is numbered in this deck has a specific meaning attributed to it, and that meaning is the same across all tarot decks. The Magician, for example, is card #1 in the Major Arcana, and in all tarot decks it means the same thing. Readers can then intuit more from the cards through imagery, but the base meaning of the #1 card in the Major Arcana is always the same. That holds true for all 78 cards in the deck.

An oracle, on the other hand, does not share the same structure. Each deck is it’s own system, it’s own structure, and builds it’s own meanings on the cards. If you have the structure of tarot, but not the meanings attributed to match the tarot system, it is not a tarot deck.

It irritates me when decks are marketed as “Tarot” that are not tarot. Examples of this include (but are not limited to) the Morgan’s Tarot, Dreams of Gaia Tarot, Harmony Tarot, Daemon Tarot, and Jane Austin Tarot. None of these decks should have the name “Tarot” in the title as none of them are actually tarot decks. They are oracle decks with their own structures and their own system. This isn’t to say that they’re not excellent oracle decks… but they aren’t tarot decks and thus shouldn’t have that word in their titles.

I feel that the use of the word “tarot” in these decks is a marketing ploy. They know that people who read tarot are interested in new tarot decks, and that more people out there read with tarot decks than with oracle decks, and so they use the word “tarot” in their title to draw these people in, even though the deck isn’t a tarot deck at all.

And that? Pisses me off. Oracle decks are NOT tarot decks. Anyone that is making a tarot deck -or- an oracle deck should know this, or they haven’t done enough research and shouldn’t be making a damned deck in the first place in that case.

The word is not interchangeable and I feel that using the word in the title of a deck that’s not a tarot deck is false advertising. A marketing ploy. Essentially? A lie meant to fool people into spending their money.

Day-to-Day Divination

Prompt: “How do you incorporate divination into your day-to-day life?

Ok so first, I guess that I should point out that, although I know a vast array of divination techniques including pendulums, rune casting, charm casting, stick and stone casting, stichomancy (aka bibliomancy with regular books), tasseomancy, dice casting, etc… my main method of divination is (not surprising anyone here) cards. All kinds of cards, but cards all the same. So when I refer to day-to-day divination, it is with this method I refer to, as the others are just occasional use. So, here we go…

1) For the past two years, I have been doing a COTD mental health exercise. My shrink wanted me to start a “daily affirmation” meditation exercise. But none of the affirmation generators I could find were giving me anything I could relate to or even take seriously. I switched it up to a COTD exercise where I ask for “a positive message to carry with me throughout my day and foster perspective” and whatever card comes out I have to find the positive message in the card for me that day, then meditate on it and journal it. Surprisingly, it has helped immensely in my day-to-day life, and also in climbing back out of the dark pit of depression whenever an MDE sneaks up and swallows me whole.

2) Client readings. It’s nearly a daily thing. So… yeah. Client readings.

3) Writing exercises. I often use cards as prompts and as “flavor” in my writing, whether it’s just little short stories, a poem, or long drawn out interactive storytelling with Gideon.

4) Teaching. I teach tarot, lenormand, and cartomancy. At any time over the past decade (or so) I have sustained between 1 and 6 pupils/mentees depending on my workload and energy levels. Not to mention past pupils and mentees that come back from time to time with questions, thoughts, or just a need to discuss something in order to help them wrap their head around it a bit better.

5) I help run a server that is a tarot focused learning environment on Discord. I occasionally teach classes on the server, and I spend a good deal of time there helping others, answering questions, and just hanging out with others with similar interests.

6) Personal readings. I read for myself daily by doing monthly challenges, and I share those readings here on my blog as well as on the server mentioned above. The purpose of this is three fold, as it allows me to check in on myself, it allows Gideon to check in on me and get an in-depth look at how I’m doing emotionally and otherwise, and it provides examples for that learning server I mentioned for those that want or need to observe how others read the cards and their process in doing so.

Thinks… I think that’s it. It’s probably not, but I think it is.

Oh yeah. Lets not forget about deck shopping. I window shop (and often buy) decks on a pretty regular basis.

#DatingTheTarot2020 a (non) VR to Candy Soul and Soil

So, this prompt was brought to my attention by Simon at The Hermit’s Cave, bit it originates from Candy Soul and Soil on YouTube. The concept here is what decks would fit these ten dating categories listed below. Although it was encouraged that you could use any kind of deck for this challenge (not just tarot decks), but I will be sticking to tarot specifically.

1: The Cheapskate Date… who did you date because they were cheap as chips and what was the outcome?

Student Tarot v2 Stained Glass

Student Tarot v.2 (Stained Glass) – Other than free decks and gifts, this is my cheapest deck. I paid $3.73 for it in a bargain bin at a little Asian market up in British Columbia, Canada. It was tucked away at the very back of a shelf cluttered with stationary and books. It is a beautiful deck and actually got me into collecting all of the different Student Tarot decks. Each one has a different style of art, and I currently have… seven versions. I’m not entirely sure how many versions there are total, because every time I think I know about them all I then end up finding another one.

2: The Slow Burner Date… the one you weren’t sure about on first meeting but over time you suspect it’s turning to love!

Ostara Tarot

Ostara Tarot – I bought this tarot because I was attracted to the artwork, but owned it for over a year before eventually using the deck for the first time. There was just something about this deck that I felt I needed to hold off on. Then, a year ago in November I finally pulled it out and used it for the full month and didn’t want to stop using it even at the end of the month. This is extremely rare for me as I usually want to rotate out to use different decks pretty regularly.

3: The Blind Date… because we are impulsive humans and sometimes we just rush in! Who did you date without looking or thinking?

Raja Tarot

The Raja Tarot – I saw exactly three cards in this deck when I bought it. All three cards were majors, and that was it. No one had pictures of this deck up to view. The creator didn’t either. I had an impulsive “fuck it” moment and bought it, and it was the worst purchase I’d ever made. Jesus… it’s bad. The cardstock is bad, the pips are bad… even the tuckbox is crap. So yeah. Bad. Bad bad date.

4: The Rebound Date… the one you keep going to break up with but keep being pulled back together!

Liz Dean's Golden Tarot

Liz Dean’s Golden Tarot – I have gotten rid of this deck and had it come back to me multiple times. I bought it from Amazon, gave it away, found it at a thrift store for $4 and bought it, edged it… gave it away. Found it at a GoodWill in Ontario Canada and bought it again. It just comes back again and again. This last visit from my rebound date, I’ve trimmed off the borders and titles to make it image only.

5: The Surprise Love Affair Date… the one you thought would be just ok but from first meeting it was love at first sight that took you by surprise!

Tarot of the Hidden Realm

Tarot of the Hidden Realm – When I ordered this deck, I really didn’t expect the reaction I had to it. I thought the artwork was lovely, and was interested because of it, but didn’t think it would be anything particularly overly special. Then I opened the box and touched the cards and it was so…. perfect. The art. The energy. The cardstock. The energy. I’d never felt anything like the energy I felt in these cards when I got them in my hands, and this is my very first “soul deck” connection. I’d been reading tarot for 15 years at that point, which just goes to show, sometimes surprises happen even to the well seasoned readers.

6: The “Not My Type” Date… the one you went on thinking it wasn’t really your cup of tea but what the hell… what happened?

Thoth Tarot Golden Edition

Aleister Crowley’s Golden Thoth – Right… so… I find Lady Freda Harris’ artwork to be extremely disturbing. It gives me really bad vibes and prolonged exposure (over a few minutes) can give me nausea and cold sweats. I bought this deck with every intention of studying the Thoth and exploring the system at length along with its original artwork. But I was never able to get over extremely visceral reaction to the artwork. I still own it, but probably won’t for much longer so I suppose this also could have gone down into the next category, but another Thoth style deck takes that slot.

7: The “I May Have To Delete Your Number” Date… the one that really didn’t work but you still haven’t broken up with yet, what’s stopping you?

Tabula Mundi Tarot en Minima

Tabula Mundi Tarot in Minima – This one doesn’t give me the same bad/uncomfortable vibes as the Crowley Thoth, but there’s something about the artwork that bothers me and I find myself often confused when I look at the cards in this deck. This is a weird sensation for me. I’ve been reading tarot for over 18 years, and reading imagery cards for years more… and yet these cards are just so confusing to me and no amount of familiarizing myself with them seems to solve the problem. For some inexplicable reason, I haven’t quite given up on them yet tho.

8: The Forever Love… True love… ok this one might be on the favourites list too but I’m curious and couldn’t resist!

Herbal Tarot

Herbal Tarot – I could have put one of my soul decks here, but if I’m entirely honest? Even though this is not one of my soul decks, it will forever hold my deep and abiding love. This was my second tarot deck and I have worn out multiple copies of it over the years. It’s diverse, multi-national, and there are a number of androgynous characters presented in the imagery. And… it’s all about plants. Unlike my very first tarot deck, which was horrible, this deck made sense to me immediately and was easy to read from the start.

9: The Stormy On/Off Date… the one you can’t stay away from, equal parts passion, lust and fighting! The one you have to have a break from but can’t stay away from either!

Tarot of the Sidhe

Tarot of the Sidhe – I find the artwork in this deck garish, and sometimes abrasive. And yet… there’s something about this deck that draws me back again and again. I’m not sure what it is, but I can’t help reaching for it in the summer months, even if I can only use it a few times before having to set it back on the shelf again.

10: The Friends With Benefits Date… who can you run to without commitment whenever you just have a need for them? The one who always just slots right back in like you’ve never been apart?

Hanson Roberts Tarot

Hanson Roberts Tarot – This was my third ever tarot deck, and like the Herbal Tarot mentioned above, I have worn out multiple copies of this deck over the years. There’s just something very “coming home” about picking up this deck and working with it. The artwork, the faces, the colors… it’s like a close friend giving a warm hug.

Tarot Self-Portrait

My Entry for the Your Tarot Self-Portrait Challenge.
Just sneaking under the cut-off with only two days left to enter!

001

I have to watch out for the Gloominous Doom
As he likes to visit with his pit of gloom
My nearest and dearest know what to do
I depend on them to steer me true
[Faeries Oracle – Gloominous Doom]
One of the biggest recurring challenges of my life has been my depression. I had my first Major Depressive Episode at the age of fourteen and have had a number of them since. When not in an episode I deal with long-term dysthymia. I depend on my loved ones, and especially Gideon, to help me in keeping track of my mood levels and helping me identify when I appear to be slipping into that pit of a depressive episode as well as help me in finding my way back out of it again.

A survivor, I am
I fight the good fight
There is no swerving from battles or strife
Determination
Is how I confront the struggles in life
[Stolen Child Tarot – Five of Wands]
I am strong and determined. I don’t allow others to push me around or allow them to sway me from what I know is right… and what I know is mine. This card’s imagery is about determination and empowerment to me, and it speaks to that strength within me that demands that I stand strong and demand the best from myself and that others “toe the line” where I am concerned or pay the consequences.

002

Grounded and sure footed
I am who I am
My moral compass and inner voice
Guide me true
Again and again
[Earth Power Oracle – Magnetic North Pole]
I live my life by the guidance given by my moral compass and my intuition. Both of these aspects work together and speak to me through an inner “voice” that is never wrong. I have spent my life learning to better trust myself and that voice, and in doing so have become more and more grounded, and more and more sure of who I am and comfortable within my own skin. I know my weaknesses and my strengths, and am happy to share the lessons I have learned to help others find their own direction as well.

Sometimes this means
Putting on a fierce face
and plowing through obstacles
no matter the pain or the pace
[Tarot of the Hidden Realm – Ten of Swords]
My history is filled with obstacles and accidents, painful moments and instances that could easily be considered moments of victimization. Instead of allowing these moments or the residual effects of those moments to drag me down, I face these experiences with a snarl of force and determination, knowing that each of these experiences are going to hurt… but if I face them head on I will make it to the other side, having survived and ready to move on.

003

I juggle a lot
and I’m busy as a bee
Responsibilities require balance
that I appear to manage with ease
[Hush Tarot – Two of Pentacles]
I started adulthood at 16 when I emancipated from my parents, and signed a mortgage at 19. I have spent the majority of my adult life juggling at least four part time jobs and a home business, as well as sustaining a healthy relationship with my twin sister, a long-distance high-demand relationship with my partner Gideon, and a close friendship with my best friend. There is also self care, of which there is an excessive amount because of the need for daily physical therapy and occasional recreation, my spiritual path and my tarot practice. Most people would never guess that I juggle so much, or carry so much responsibility. I shoulder it all. I balance it all. The key to balance in life? Is flexibility. Scales are not still and stagnant. They sway… and like those scales, in order to balance life’s responsibilities we too must sway and constantly adjust.

In truth, though,
Life’s not about balance or battles
Life is about adaptability
Perspectives
And learning from the trials
[Wayhome Tarot – The Hanged Man]
I see the struggle and strife and trials I have gone through, as well as those things I will go through in the future, as learning experiences. They have allowed me to see things differently, and changed my perspectives over time. Whether it is the chronic, constant pain or being the victim of a crime, there is a benefit and a lesson to each experience if I am open to seeking it out and taking that new, different perspective in. Every different perspective I find changes me in some small way, opening me up to something new and giving me more… more understanding… more empathy… and more knowledge with which to navigate the world and relate to those within it.

CHALLENGE HOSTED BY TAROTHOLICS ON DISCORD

 

Family

Today’s meditation was 10 minutes long, and focused on letting go of those things that are not working for you so that you can make room for new ideas and processes that will.

The guided meditations spoke on how changing seasons can be a good time to help in this process, as you can sync up your release of bad habits and other behaviors and time with the fall, and will come in new behaviors that will work better for you in the spring.

This is very similar to how I work with the moons phases, where the waxing moon between the full moon and the next new moon would be considered the time for release and correspond to autumn.

Today’s draw is the Ten of Cups, Which is a representation of the ending of a cycle, regeneration, and renewal in the area of the emotions, creativity, relationships, and intuition. My sister calls this card the “happy family card”, because in many ways it represents that atmosphere with a focus on the bounty that you have in your emotional life. It is, essentially, the “all my Cups are full and life is good” card.

The appearance of this car today is a reminder that as much as there may be discord and disagreements and mistreatment and even abuse, the people that I am visiting right now are family. They might suck… but they are my family, and with all their flaws there is still value in that.

It might be something that you have to dig for to see, and really search for in order to find.… but it could be worse too, and has been in the past.

Deck Used: Morgan Greer Tarot in a Tin

Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot 2019 (Part 6)

hermit

Okay! It’s time for another installment of Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot challenge.

  1. What cards relate to you personally. NOT just your astrology association or court cards.
    I skipped this question last time, because I struggled with it a bit. That is because I relate to all of the “pip” cards in the deck. That is the whole point of the tarot’s minor arcana, actually, and especially in the case of the pips. So, I guess if I had to choose just one that I relate to the most, it would be the Two of Pentacles. In relation to me personally, it is all about the juggling of responsibilities, wants, needs, goals, home, work, etc. It’s that constant, never ending effort towards balance.
  1. What Tarot deck do you wish you could get into or vibe with but just can’t and why? (this is not an opportunity to deck or deck creator bash it is more about how we all work with different decks and like different things.)
    Marseilles decks. Which is odd, because I read playing cards just fine, and I love historical style decks. I love the aesthetic of Marseilles style decks as well, and yet for some reason I have a really difficult time connecting with them.
  2. How do you pick your Tarot decks for readings?
    I find that certain decks are “workhorse” decks, and are good at just about everything. But, I have found that in most cases, some decks just ‘read’ better at one or two things. It comes down to the the feeling that each deck has a tone and a voice that is uniquely theirs. You wouldn’t want someone snarking comforting words at you… and you wouldn’t enjoy a soft comforting voice when what you really need is someone smacking you upside the head to light a fire under your ass. It’s like that.
  3. What is your ‘go-to’ Tarot book and why?
    You know… this used to be 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack, but ever since I’ve started using the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, I’ve begun using that guidebook (Journey Into the Hidden Realm by Barbara Moore) to add new, interesting perspectives on different decks.
  4. How do you feel about Tarot deck modification? Do you draw on your decks? Trim the borders or is it a no go for you and why?
    I think this is pretty obvious from other posts on this blog, but I’m all for it. I don’t alter all my decks, but sometimes it helps me in connecting to a deck. For me, the modifications I do are primarily edging decks to make them feel a bit more “finished”, and trimming decks if the borders are distracting (or detracting) from the artwork or message. There have been a few decks I’ve chosen to trim as well, simply because they were too damn big. Usually, though? There’s other compounding factors involved that bring me to that decision.
  5. Do you carry out predictive Tarot readings? Yes, no, why?
    Yes, and no. I do occasionally read predictively, with the caveat that nothing in the future is ever written in stone until it has come to pass. So anything predictive that I might see in the cards is more about trajectories and energy flow than actual set-in-stone.
  6. What question/s do you most often ask the Tarot? (for yourself and for others)
    My daily pull is a request for “a positive message to carry with me throughout the day and provide perspective”. That is the exact wording of the query. Another question I often ask is along the lines of “what do I need to focus on in the ______ ahead?” The time frame changes, as does whether it’s a time frame, an event, or an occasion. Back when I read for others, the most common questions had to do with love and relationships, as my observation is that most people seeking the advice of a reader on this topic are either lonely, or miserable.

And that’s all 31 questions! Tada! This post is Part 6, and the final installment for Ethony’s 31 Days of Tarot challenge. Here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 for easy reference.

I’ll be starting another quiz very soon. They do a lot of them on YouTube, and although I don’t make videos, I do like the whole “quiz” and “getting to know you” aspect of participating here on my blog.