Majors Only: Metro Tarot Cards
New York has a special place in my heart because I associate it a lot with my early 20s. In college, the show Felicity was all the rage and it just set New York City in such a wonderful autumn-hued, cozy-sweater tinged light. My favorite movie was You've Got Mail, which made me crave for New York in the spring and summer and fall and winter. A year after graduation, I spent some time studying at RISD in Providence, which was just an Amtrak ride away from the city. I spent weekends visiting my best friend, who was assigned to New York on her first job. Soon after, another one of my best friends packed her bags and moved to the city too. The three of us would explore the city, get lost on the subway, watch off-Broadway shoes, run through the museums and walk through Central Park together. On every trip I made to New York, I would save my Metro cards and paste them up into my scrapbooks—tangible memories of my time spent there.
When I started collecting tarot decks, I told myself that I would not, under any circumstances, buy majors only decks. Why pay full price for just 22 cards when you can spend the same amount of money for 78? Right?
I had purchased Aya Rosen's Black Lilly Tarot and Cards of Chaos on Gamecrafter and staunchly told myself that I would not cave and get her Metro Tarot Cards set for that exact reason. I managed to keep myself from taking the plunge for a couple of weeks, and shifted my focus instead on the decks that I did buy. That said, the more I worked with the Black Lilly and the Cards of Chaos, the more I couldn't stop thinking about Aya's majors-only Metro Tarot cards. Drawn atop the subway cards that I loved collecting on my trips to the city, they seemed like the perfect marriage between my current interest and a place that held such wonderful memories for me!
The collecting bug started to rear its [ugly] head, and so I caved and bought the 22-card set. Now that I have this playing card sized deck, I can appreciate why having a Majors Only set of cards works. For my personal card pulls, I like to use these cards in the same way I use oracle cards—I only pull one or two in conjunction with a bigger reading, to provide more emphasis on specific themes. I can also imagine using these cards alongside other spreads to give supporting messages. For example, pulling only 4 cards from the Metro Tarot to represent air, earth, fire and water energies can provide so much more texture and meaning to a Past Present Future spread.
The cards are handy, the stock is the kind of bendy and flexible semi-gloss paper I like, and I love how you can glimpse the MetroCard logo just underneath the drawings. I love how the artist incorporated found objects and repurposed them into these brand new works of art. I also like the toned down color palette, which I feel is one of the reasons why it works so well paired with other cards.
Take for instance the spread right above. Doesn't the Temperance lady provide a lot more layers to a no-humans draw from the Lumina Tarot and the Wooden Tarot? Placing a Majors only card to provide dimension and an underlying theme to a pull is a great way to clarify the message of a spread. This spread, for example, shows me that we need to find the middle way between hopefulness and heartbreak via Temperance. Adding a relatable, modern, human element to a generally pip-style spread can give you a good handle on the cards and make you feel one with their message instantly. And for this, I'm happy I broke my no-majors-only decks rule! (But I'm probably staying away from purchasing any more unless Aya Rosen creates another one :).