Better Together: Dark Days Tarot + Many Moons
I never expected I'd be using this book and this deck together, but they serendipitously fell into my hands at about the same time… and it was Kismet! I was on the tail end of my Seattle trip when I spotted Many Moons by Modern Women at the gift shop of my hotel. It was June 30th, and felt like exactly the right time to snap up this book, which I've seen over the years splashed all over my Instagram feed. I never actually thought of purchasing it since it isn't readily available in Manila… but I wanted a nice souvenir from Seattle and this seemed like the very perfect one.
Right before I left for that trip, I had ordered the Dark Days Tarot online and had it sent to the Philippines because its creator, Wren McCurdo, had put out an announcement that the first edition was about to go out of stock. I panicked. And even if I knew I would be away when it arrived, I went ahead and hit purchase anyway.
The book takes you through every month and all the important moon cycles and rituals that go on until the end of the year. The writing is personable and easy to absorb, without losing its depth. Everything is honest, open, broad and educational. It takes into consideration different perspectives, cultures, frames of mind, and reminds me of the collective energies that hold us all together.
I take note of the dates in Many Moons on my Bullet Journal and always look forward to days when it's on my calendar. NGL, the eclipses and retrogrades of July's tail end and August have been pretty hard on me and establishing rituals (like reading this book) has done me a world of good. It has helped me stay on track and on the ball, reminding me to take breaths, practice kindness and compassion, and nudges me to do the work.
I learned about the Dark Days Tarot through the wonderful world of Instagram, but only became really interested in it when Bakara Wintner of Everyday Magic talked about it on her stories. I figured I didn't need another black and white deck since I already owned the Small Spells Tarot, the Divina Tarot, and the Spirit Speak deck. But Bakara's review was so compelling—she talked about how she was in the market for a deck that would be truly hers (you know what I'm talking about), and this was it. The illustrations were rife with meaning, reeled you in, and allowed your intuition to come alive. Just like that, I was SOLD.
Silver edges don't hurt too, TBH.
And while I'm talking about deck aesthetics, let me tell you that packaging on this deck is Ace. The box is a two-piece that is beautifully illustrated, black and white, and has embellishments that play around with the suits. It comes with a perfect bound guidebook that's compact but thorough.
The cards are thin in a good way—they're incredibly easy to shuffle. I've noticed that gilded edges sometimes get in the way of riffle shuffling, but these ones slide through your fingers very smoothly.
Another reason why I didn't jump on the Dark Days bandwagon right away was because it's a square deck. I don't read reversals, and square decks typically incorporate meanings for upside down, right side up, left and right. Too much work for someone like me, who doesn't really like sitting down and studying the cards one by one, and would rather shuffle them as soon as they come out of the box. So far, I haven't used the left-right-up-down aspect of the cards, but who knows, I may change my mind one day.
The cards really emphasize feminine energy, which I feel makes it perfect for "Many Moons," since moon cycles and the moon itself are naturally linked to the Divine Feminine. I don't think you need to go super deep into the associations to enjoy this aspect of both the book and the deck, but you certainly can.
The Majors in this deck are done in white, and everything else is in a rich black. I've been using this deck everyday since mid-July and I've not experienced any chipping on the edges or on the cards themselves (something that can be pretty common when you're working with black and white). Usability and durability are great!
I'm by no means an expert when it comes to working with the Moon or the Divine Feminine, but I'd like to think that using these two tools in tandem has made me a lot more attuned to these energies in my life. Because I read cards pretty often, I sometimes skip on the ritual aspect of reading—getting myself into a meditative state, mindfully working with crystals, really feeling the cleanse when I light a sage stick. But with these cards and this book's recommendations, I've come to really get acquainted with my crystals, and I've really made the extra effort to carve out a special time for myself for this personal and intimate ritual.
I'd like to think my relationship with my own feminine aspects has grown and developed because of it. :)
If this is something you want to work on personally, I highly suggest this book and this deck—if it worked for me, it may do you some good too.
And PS, just in case you hadn't noticed—they do look gorgeous together.