I'm doing a tarot and oracle rewind this week as I dive into two decks that helped me kick off my spiritual practice early on. Still in production, these two independently published decks are light, modern and easy on the eyes—probably why they grabbed my attention right away!
The Devil looks straight at us, confronting us with our defects and compulsions that we seem beholden to. The character's face is strewn with tears showing some discomfort and even a little bit of mourning. There's a floating face caught between its horns, calling to mind the imagined versions we have of ourselves.
If you want to get serious and scholarly with your Tarot studies and history, you'll ultimately run into the three decks that pretty much form the backbone of tarot as we know it today. Historically, the Tarot de Marseille reflects the beginnings of tarot with its non-scenic pips and archaic visual interpretations of the Major Arcana. The Rider Waite Smith (RWS), on the other hand, infuses the "original" Marseille cards with a scenic Minor Arcana that, along with the Majors, incorporates esoteric messages and the occult leanings of the Golden Dawn (an organization from the late 19th century to early 20th century).
After the difficulty ushered in by the Death card comes a time of repose and rest with Temperance. This is one of my personal favorites from the Major Arcana… anything that gives me permission to pause before stepping ahead to secure some semblance of balance in my life is absolutely welcome!
This week, I pull from two of my favorite oracle decks and find the theme of Freedom. What's it like to live unencumbered by To Do's and musts and should's? A lot of fun, for sure. I'd love nothing more than to have zero responsibilities and just hop on a plane to everywhere and explore, explore, explore. Hypothetically.
For most of my readings, I like drawing from two to three decks. Mixing up the tarot with oracle is a favorite practice of mine because I get the best of both worlds—the structure of the tarot and the soft, affirming hug that an oracle delivers (granted, not all oracle decks are all-affirming and the ones I do own also carry a lot of hard-hitting shadow messages).
When first time querent get their cards read, one of the biggest concerns they voice out is that they don't want to see the Death card popping up in their spreads. This is why, as part of my spiel to tarot newbies, I explain that Death doesn't really mean Death… and what they perceive as a generally bad, ominous thing can actually be positive.
Confession: Sometimes, I pull cards just for the heck of it. As in last week's Tarot Top 5, I find shuffling the cards and just playing around with them a great way to bust through boredom. A lot of times we look at the tarot as a highly esoteric and spiritual practice that helps us get in touch with the deepest parts of ourselves.
From one of my challenge cards, Justice, we move on to one of the cards that sometimes feels threatening or scary for clients who aren't used to tarot imagery. The Hanged Man does, after all, typically show you someone who's literally turned feet over head. But by infusing your readings with some positivity and perspective, it's possible to find opportunity in this precariously positioned Major Arcana character.
Here's a familiar scenario: You're stuck at your desk, knowing full well that your employer / boss / Entrepreneur To Do List is waiting on you to get things done. Technically, you know how to get results but Real Life is getting in the way. When a lot of stuff is happening outside the workplace— and I mean the kind of stuff that stirs up emotions in not-so-good ways — it can be extremely difficult to get back to business and just get on with your top priorities.
While it would be super ideal to always be pulling cards because I want to set intentions, give someone a positive message, or soothe my soul, I think I actually turn to my tarot collection when I don't have anything better to do and I just feel like playing. You're never bored when you're toting a tarot deck with you—even just one image can provide hours upon hours of inspiration and creative prompts
When I think of Justice, my mind immediately goes to fairness—people getting their just desserts. When we're on the losing end of a black and white situation and feel we've been unfairly treated, we sometimes wish that someone would intervene and defend us. In this card, that would be Lady Justice… the person whose role is to help restore balance in any situation.
Songwriters come up with their hits when they're at their lows, we pull out our journals when we've got a bunch of complaining to do or anger to be released, and oftentimes, we turn to the cards when we need some cheering up. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's shuffled the cards as an alternative to: a. calling up a friend and talking about the same problem for the 100000th time, b. going out for a few drinks (I don't drink, so therein lies the problem…), or c. Netflix as a way of forgetting.
Unlike a lot of the symbolism found in the tarot, the Wheel of Fortune is one thing that's still very present in the zeitgeist. You could be familiar with the game show or maybe have heard the term in a heist / gambling / casino-type movie… Even without any tarot associations, it's easy to equate the term "Wheel of Fortune" with chance and luck.
Have you ever had an idea seemingly "stolen" away from you? It can be frustrating to have had that Oprah light bulb moment while in the shower one second, and have it glaring right back at you on someone else's Instagram feed the next. It's pretty impossible these days to ignore the fact that nothing is ever 100% original
I've always wanted to write a short story based on a single tarot card, so when Bree of Nym's Divination put a call out on Instagram for tarot people online to join a blog hop for International Tarot Day, I immediately put my name in.
I've always loved the look of "official" bags. The Pan Am bags flight attendants would bring with them in the 60s, traditional doctors' bags that they would bring with them on home visits, Mary Poppins' bottomless well of a bag, and Anne of Green Gables' carpet bag. I mean, who doesn't love accessorizing, right?
The Hermit is a special card for me because not only is it my birth card, but it embodies who I feel I am (for the most part!). The Hermit is usually coupled with a light, representing the insight and enlightenment that can come from solitude, self-reflection and silence. In the Spirit Speak Tarot's off the cuff rendition of the Hermit, the spark comes from the Hermit's finger.
I took a trip out to New York two years ago, right when I was really getting into tarot. As luck would have it, I actually forgot to bring a deck along with me, which is what prompted me to buy a deck at every pitstop of the trip. One of my NY-based friends who is very into astrology, crystals and other wonderfully, magically mystical things, told me that she would take me to Enchantments, the city's oldest witchy shop.
Two things come to mind whenever the Strength card comes up, whether I'm using a traditional deck or going for something a little more contemporary and fresh, like the Holly Simple Tarot pictured above. First, I think of Strength as a purely physical thing—it's muscle, it's brawn, it's outside appearance, endurance, and power. Second, comes a subtler, more hidden meaning of Strength that is often masked by all the outward stuff we focus on.
This New Moon calls you to find your inner King of Cups and see the ways in which you handle your emotions 🌚 The King of Cups is known for his ability to pull himself out of the sometimes muddy waters that emotions can plunge him into. It's not that he isn't aware of how he feels—he just knows when sentimentality isn't helpful or required.
The Chariot charges forward down the road ahead. You could identify with the vehicle itself, being driven by someone else, simply going on autopilot wherever the chauffeur takes you. Alternately, you could identify with the driver—holding the reins, taking charge, giving directions and steering until ultimately, you hit cruise control and you just enjoy the ride, trusting that the momentum you've gathered will put you on the right path.
Reading with animals isn't easy for me, and I imagine there are a lot of people out there too who don't immediately connect to these kinds of cards. When The Wild Unknown released its Animal Spirit oracle cards, there was no question about whether I would get them or not… The Wild Unknown has always been my #1 deck and every time an email alert from Kim Krans pops up in my inbox, I'm there—no question.
When The Lovers pops up in a reading I'm doing for a client, excitement abounds. Love is always a popular topic among people seeking guidance and it always seems like such a good omen when anything love-related makes its presence known. But The Lovers card isn't actually just a romantic omen. It isn't just an answer to the perennial He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not question.
I learned about Il Meneghello, a beautiful tarot shop in Milan, through one of Patrick's videos from his In the 78 Cards channel. The charming store is known for its handmade decks, many of which are based on restored decks from centuries ago. The craftsman behind the shop's beautiful collection is Osvaldo Menegazzi, whose eye for detail is absolutely impeccable.
The New Moon comes on a Friday in this side of the globe… and while it can be tempting to rush into the weekend by getting all the work done so you can have an early start, the cards today encourage you to stop, pause, and slow down.
The Hierophant, to me, is a guide that connects us with the world around us. He's the first teacher we meet in school, the person who's there for us when our eyes are first opened to the ways in which the world works. When we experience things that our home life could have never prepared us for, we're lucky if we've got a Hierophant figure to guide us along and give us the answers we seek.
When this oracle deck started making the internet rounds, I knew it was exactly the kind of oracle deck I'd be into. If you've read any of my other reviews, you'll know that I like to stay away from anything too cheesy and sentimental—I prefer my decks contemporary, cheeky, and as the name of this website goes—practical. Food Fortunes ticks all those boxes… and some may argue that cards depicting different types of food isn't exactly a "practical" choice for an oracle deck.
The Emperor is someone who wants to keep things shipshape. His ideal scenario would be for his business to run like a well-oiled machine, his pantry to be consistently well-stocked, and his projects to be efficient, non-stagnating and constantly improving. He's the Boss (with a capital B).
I am not a circus fan. There's something I always found sinister and smarmy about animals in captivity (yup, I wasn't a big zoo fan growing up either) being trained to perform tricks for paying audiences. Another thing about circuses I can't exactly get by—and I know I'm not the only one—are clowns.