Better Together: The Hippie-Dippie Osho Zen and Morgan's Tarot
Is time traveling through the tarot possible? I say YAY, because these two decks are proof that you can leave the present and head straight back into the new age movement of the 1960s and 1970s without having to leave your seat. Whether you're a counterculture fan and love the slightly strange, immensely trippy vibe of the 60s or would like to delve deep into spirituality and meditative movements of the 70s, you're surely going to get some answers with the Morgan's Tarot and the Osho Zen Tarot.
I snapped up the Morgan's Tarot two years ago at one of the very few new age shops/centers here in Manila, Third Eye Wellness. I was in the market for an oracle deck that wasn't cheesy, still went with my preference for generally modern aesthetics, and wanted something fun. I did my research on this one, and new it was def for me. The 60s deck is hand-drawn, black and white, lighthearted but can go as deep as you're willing to take it.
The Osho Zen Tarot, on the other hand, I had a little trouble purchasing. First of all it looks nothing like the type of decks I like save for the fact that I love the inkblot scribble doodle card backs so much. Because most of my decks are purchases based on their visuals, I just couldn't get myself to buy this because its illustrations are exactly what I don't like in a deck. They're airbrushed, strange, and a little disjointed in all their weirdness. Even the colors are out my comfort zone—see those greens? I hate them. So much. I avoided this deck for as long as I could stand it, but because it continually popped up on my Tumblr feed (there was this yogi who always laid these cards on his mat… unfortunately, I can't find him on my feed anymore!), I inevitably gave in. I just love those abstract card backs. The oranges, yellows and reds are so up my alley that I was willing to sort of forgive the art style.
And, I am happy to report that I have absolutely no regrets about purchasing the Osho Zen. One, I like the keywords it uses. A lot of people take this deck as an oracle rather than tarot, but I can still see the progression and structure among the cards. Two, the illustrations are still not my favorite but they have grown on me because I place them in the context of the 70s (even if this deck was created in the mid-90s). I don't know… something about their colors, their strangeness, and their loud, new age-y quality makes me think of Lisa Frank-ish hippie dens—just check out how the earth or pentacles suit is represented by a rainbow/gradient of colors (I certainly hope I'm not the only person who thinks this).
I can also appreciate the guidebook that comes with this deck (I bought the kit that comes with a legit book). I feel that I can connect to this deck a lot because of my own meditative practice. The keywords and drawings inspire the type of intention-setting we're invited to do before a yoga class. Its play on the elements is also useful. While the concept of elements is different in Traditional Chinese Medicine (where metal and wood are considered apart from the typical water, fire and earth), this deck's strong elemental associations does resemble the way we integrate all these concepts in yin yoga.
Morgan's Tarot on the other hand provides a more playful read. When I bring this deck to events where I have clients choose which ones they'd like me to read with, this is a pretty popular pick. The messages can be kind of bizarre, but they do elicit laughs from people who are more accepting of lighthearted messages. The meanings inspired by Morgan's Tarot are expansive and highly malleable. Take all these cards in the photo above for instance, they can pretty much mean anything to anybody… and for someone who isn't willing to dive deep, they can be plain silly (good for people who take readings with a grain of salt).
Together, these cards help me get into a very spiritual, New Age-ish high that is very different from the vibe that decks from the same timeframe, the Aquarian and the Morgan Greer Tarot, both evoke. I feel that the Morgan's Tarot and the Osho Zen, because they are so out of the box, create a certain ambience that make you feel like you're in another dimension. And there probably is no better to connect to your psyche than by channeling an out of body experience. These two decks totally call for some sage-burning, some nature sounds background music, and a whole lot of openness to expansion.