so, Guidance. i have tried my hand at the simplified tirage en croix, laying out one card each from the majors and one from the minors for each position, and interpreting them according to the french resource i found. i asked about my spirituality in general, what direction to go, what form would be most nourishing. i got the following cards:

position one – what's “me” in this equation – XIII and Ace of Batons leaving the past behind, a complete change, ready to take on a new project. yes, no contradictions or mixed feelings here. interesting imagery – death is pregnant and an infant is reaching a hand out from the belly, while on the right, the hand holding the baton is extending its pinky finger towards death. they're reaching towards each other. makes me think the new will be born from the old, it won't be a completely different thing. it has to click into place the puzzle pieces of the past left for it.

position two – the other side of the equation, the “spirituality” – the Devil and Two of Cups hello! this reference material sees the devil as Pan and equates him with primal instincts and insatiable appetites. a very physical and sexual being. two of cups – “dating”, building a relationship. so building a relationship through physical means. sexual energy is a big one, could be a clue towards offerings or type of magic. could point to a deity as well. never really did hit it off with Dionysus but like... the Witch King was Alright. could also be a general hint in the vein of “do what feels right”, except pointing specifically to physicality and material pleasures. building some kind of practice around that.

(reading this over a few days later – the current state of my spirituality could be restricted and constrained, unable to connect on an emotional level. but that's just my own ideas, not in line with the materials i was consulting).

position three – relevant past influences – Justice and Eight of Cups i think here i most like the “stable and methodical” aspect of justice, the 8 of cups seems to be centered around legalizing a relationship, “setting it in stone” (which makes me wonder – does this method follow the minors-are-aspects-of-same-numbered-majors?) there was definitely a time in the past, tied to my physicality, that naturally maintained a rhythm of offerings and interactions. the circumstances have changed, but there are other regular activities that i could make sacred and attach a spiritual aspect to.

there's also the most “stable and methodical” i've ever been about my spirituality – the seven years of Hellenic Polytheism revivalism. so that could also be a clue. if not the faith itself then something about my practice then.

position four – future (outcome/advice) – the Hermit and the Queen of Batons someone wise, more experienced, maybe an elder. the guide even mentions magicians. the queen knows how to lead and inspire. thinking about looking into the long-standing practices of various women i respect and admire, maybe re-read some books. kelly-ann maddox for the inspiring woman, and aidan wachter for the magician? also circling back to presence and the physical, maybe “spell of the sensuous”?

can't rule out the ancestral angle, following in the steps of my elders. either following their values and building a practice around that (last year i felt especially close to my grandpa), or perhaps looking into the old polish gods again. it's a tough area, them being subsumed into general slavic polytheism, even in poland. not many sources to draw from.

a lot to think about. putting it all into the pot to simmer in the background, we'll see what rises to the top.

i think aside from general blogging i'm going to return to some daily tarot journaling. it was doing me good last year (or was it 2022?) and i could use some nice spirituality-adjacent goodness.

wondering whether to use that journaling space as a way to contact some of “my” spirits. it's not something i talk about much publicly, but i haven't been doing almost any of my magic (come to think about it – since about i started T). i think i might need to find “my way” again, anew. the energies i've been most drawn to in the past aren't resonating right now and haven't been for a while. could be that it's cyclical (although 16 years is quite the length of a cycle...?) could be it's tied to my perception of self and the general state of my mental health.

used to be a bit of a “wretched” vibe when it came to magic and spirits – the outcasts, the trash. shedding and un-becoming, things that slough off and transform through decay. things lost and dark. a silence, but a hot fertile wetness.

i think how i feel about life and self is different now. i don't want to be invisible, i don't yearn for change (as it's already happening), the hidden crucible of the heated earth is no longer the comforting, protective place it once was. now? i don't know. there was airiness for a while. literal physical connection with all through respiration – inspiration – spirit. while it was something i felt, it wasn't exactly calling and enrapturing me.

what is life like now? an openness, wanting to connect, be seen, find a place to grow with and into. more firy? strange to say that, knowing how little energy or motivation i seem to have. but that's the point – maybe if i found a way to tap into that power again, my sort of power, i could align the self-feeling with the physical reality of the body (or the other way around). the energy now is like... “day and action”, but the “direction” isn't there.

i've mentioned before – i don't want a spirituality that takes me away from the reality of the here-and-now. but i think it should be possible to find a spiritual filter that enhances that experience, rather than warping it in a way that prioritizes the constructed structures of the paradigm over the real, “should-ing” the experiences of reality into itself.

so i might reach out through tarot – to old allies, ancestors, maybe deities as well? maybe it's time to dust off the icon of Apollon, or cast a wider net? put out the call, or simply listen to who and what is already here...

ok, i've made a system to rotate through my decks. i love 'em, i wanna use 'em. i keep my very faves out on the shelf (as opposed to the boxes in the wardrobe), separated into RWS and “other” – just to have the categories roughly equal in number. i started with pips vs “other” but that was a bit confusing/chaotic. is thoth pips or other? petersen is not pips but reads like pips? etc...

anyway, regardless of what the categories are – i have one of each in use, out on the desk. and once in a while, when i start getting bored, maybe once a week, i'll switch one of them out to a different one from their pile, alternating categories. i don't have to do it in any particular order, but i can't repeat a deck until i've gone through both the piles once. let's see how it goes! i like that there's change, but not too fast and not all at once. and each change gives me a new combination to play with.

this is inspiring me to try something similar with all the ink samples i have. i got a dip pen to easily use them up, but then got frustrated with having to transfer them from their deep vials to something more manageable. it might still be frustrating but what if: have a bit of a rainbow selection out and use two colors per journal page. like green and blue, but then blue and violet. and on the next spread violet and pink, and maybe pink and red? and then red and orange, next to orange and yellow? the Color Excitement might override the fiddly-ness.

it could also go as contrast-y or as blend-y as i feel like at the time. the ink palette i use has room for four colors, theoretically i could rinse them out as often as every 3 days, but if i wanted an even more gradual change i could repeat the color combo from the right hand page of spread one on the left hand page of spread two etc. then the ink change is roughly once a week. let's go!

i got two decks last month – the first two decks of 2024. i'm not Planning on purchasing a lot, but then again – do i ever? it feels like i now have many decks that i actually like and use. finally! previous shopping bouts were motivated by dissatisfaction, and maybe it had actually been a real dissatisfaction (not having the right thing), versus the fake capitalist dissatisfaction (are you sure you have the right thing? there are so many nuances and varieties, are you sure you don't want to try another thing?) i am not convinced either way, but i am not feeling a lack, and the new purchases didn't feel... frantic or desperate. just a delightful “that looks beautiful, i'd like to try it”. review time!

trionfi della luna – paradoxical edition

this is the non-illustrated version, trionfi della luna 3rd edition in the basic paradoxical coloration. they also had the illustrated in pink and turquoise. it was a tough call, but ultimately i cared about the marseille style more than the sea-blue colors. and looking at it sitting on my desk, next to my little dark madonna shrine it seems to match the more sombre-brown vibe i've been cultivating this winter. like the wood of my mandolin, or the pale brown and green stripes of my last knitted... scarf-blanekt thing. might actually like it enough to take out the deviant moon tarot to match!

the cardstock seems to be the same as the deviant moon – a little thin, but perfectly springy and well laminated, doesn't wilt or bend. the edges are fraying a little already but i don't mind. i love the art, how bold and robust the pips are, filling up the space with each symbol and floral decorative motif. the people cards also have quite a lot going on and bring plenty of nuance to their meanings by the symbolism in their weird imagery. it is a little strange to have the linework be white, but it gives the cards a kind of unique glow.

magic soul tarot

much sturdier! beautiful painterly style. it's digital art, but not AI generated. the artist does have some problems with the hands here and there (honestly, i think you're either a hand artist or you're not, i get it), but mostly those show up as strange proportions – either the hands are too small or the heads are too big. the images are kind of the opposite of the trionfi della luna. where the latter has clear symbols, foreground and background – you can work with directionality and echoes of shapes etc. – the former are mostly done in a portrait style. so even though they are “full illustrations” in the RWS vein, there's not much room for the remaining elements of the scenes, other than the person in focus. so i feel you can't really do much with the images themselves. but if (a big “if”!) the 5 of cups is the 5 of cups regardless of the art then it doesn't really matter, might as well look at something beautiful.

a ranty, unfair (?) note – this one is trying to do diversity, but only in the ethnicity area. everyone's young and beautiful and able-bodied and presumed straight. obviously it's good that they're trying, but it only makes me more critical. because if you're aware enough to try – you could have done better. and that sucks too, because the publishers that are not trying just get an “it's a lost cause” hand-wave, so overall i want to encourage any kind of progress. but then the POC are mostly confined to their own suits, so that's... un-ideal. on the other hand, 28+ POC cards is still unfortunately a big win in the current tarot landscape. i'll take it.

or – new doors to old worlds? hi, friends, i'm back, perhaps. with updates? i've been trying to motivate myself to re-learn/get back into learning french (perhaps for future-citizenship-reasons?) and i am once again reminded that i don't respond well to “classroom” learning. i don't attend a classroom-class, but i have explored various online courses, and this type of language acquisition is very artificial and non-intuitive.

what has been great though is following up on my interests in the target language. mostly i've been focusing on tarot – watching instructional videos, trying to decipher a tarot book in french. some things are easy to get from context and it feels very rewarding, to be able to use my tarot knowledge to expand my french knowledge. but the best thing about it is learning a different culture's tradition around the cards. it's made tarot new-to-me again and i'm excited.

it is a brain-intensive activity, “trying to figure things out” at all times, but tying it to another hobby means adding less intensive activities to choose from. like the very 90s act of copy pasting reference materials from a website and formatting them into a handy document for personal use. or just trying to read that or anything else out loud, not even to understand but to practice pronunciation. next, i'll use my new marseille deck to do a traditional french spread and read it entirely by consulting this guide. i think i have a question... (to be revealed in a later post!)

Review time! Short version: beautiful images, garbage quality product – needs work.

Long version:

First of all: wow. It's gorgeous. You can see the work and love poured into it. Each card is a photograph of a physical work of textile art. Like collage decks, it can look a bit busy, but most of that comes from patterns, rather than an onslaught of distinct elements and symbols – the scenes are actually quite simple and clear. I love the color palette (predominantly shades of violet, blue, and pink, with some others here and there, so can be a little same-y), and the fact that the images use big playing card symbols in their backgrounds to signify which suit they are. The suit color-coding borders are oh one hand helpful, on the other – humongous, making the deck nigh unusable. I'd wager most people would have a difficult time handling it as-is. Also one of the guillotine edges cutting the tarot sheets of my particular deck must have been a bit blunt, because each card had a rough curved lip around it. It made the cards catch on each other and chip during shuffling.

Speaking of cardstock – my god is it flimsy. It's the first time I've considered re-backing a deck. Or rather re-fronting, as I'm going with a clear foil to save the images from damage as much as possible. It's already much better after trimming. The smaller surface area makes it less bendy, and the new edges don't have the curved lip. But the paper is still very soft, touch a fingernail to it and it leaves a dent, so just to be safe I'll give it a layer of contact paper.

I've left their little black borders on, because I feel such busy images do need to be somewhat contained, but that means rounding the corners won't look good, so I'm going with pointy for now. If I mess up the foiling I might re-purchase it at some point in the future and try again, with a tighter trim and rounded corners. In this trimmed version, the color palette becomes even more prominent (no oranges or greens of the big borders – I like it, it's more cohesive), and the playing card symbols become even more useful.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this deck if you're not into modding. I would have liked to see a properly produced version, seeing as it's the 25th anniversary edition, something more grand somehow. It does come with a satiny drawstring bag and a full color guidebook – cute and very well thought out, with different ways of looking at the card, it even provides little rituals based on each card's message. If you don't mind or even enjoy modding, taking on this deck could be a very satisfying project.

Note: since drafting this post I have indeed successfully laminated the cards. The process was relatively quick and the cards didn't gain much bulk. Having arrived at the deck's final dimensions was also able to craft it a special box.

a two piece handmade purple box, painted, collaged, and decorated with beads and glitter

Some quick and dirty personal tarot goals:

  • I want to finish my study of the Lioness Oracle Tarot and see how exactly I want to use it. From a deck interview and general messing around I already know I want to use it mostly in my spiritual practice.
  • do an in-depth study of the Enchanted Tarot. I don't think I want to do another classic note-taking study, as the previous attempt was so hard on my tendons and joints, and there's so much new material in the guide book. It would be too much writing. But that's also the best way I learn, so I'm a little stumped as to how I'll do this. If I can't do a deep study, then at least read through the booklet properly and spend plenty of time with the deck to give it an honest shot.
  • not sure if this is even possible but... make my way through the whole of Benebell Wen's “Holistic Tarot” book, hopefully in the company of Fyodor Pavlov's tarot, since it arrived. I did some vague calculating and if you take away the images and empty spaces, and treat the Appendices as non-essential/reference material, there's “only” around 500 pages of text. Doable?
  • more readings! Waiting to see what The Symposium rolls out in terms of a reading space, but if not there, then more consistently on reddit, occasionally on masto.
  • try to finish the tarot workbook I started. It's proving valuable but some exercises are really demanding, I don't often want to commit the spoons to this sort of task.
  • might try one of the Andy Matzner journaling books later in the year? And/or look at some of the books recommended by The Tarot Diagnosis.

I was planning to get both the Tarot Vintage (RWS) and the accompanying Marseille, but I have so much to play with already, including decks from last year and earlier that I still haven't devoted proper attention to. Plus the Fyodor Pavlov and Piatnik Marseille kind of fill the same slots nicely. Also I really appreciate how relatively few decks I bought in 2022. I haven't spent enough time with those new decks, as I've been working with a hefty backlog. I wouldn't want to keep adding now that depth year is over and I technically could.

But of course, as per my little mastodon meltdown, I pulled the trigger on the Ritual Tarot, having found one almost-locally at a “bargain” price. While a nice surprise it's throwing a wrench in the works a little bit. Here's my updated list of decks I want to work with this year:

  • Main decks: Enchanted Tarot, Ritual Tarot, (Lioness Oracle Tarot for specific purpose)
  • Solid fallback basics: Fyodor Pavlov Tarot for a RWS, Piatnik's Tarot de Marseille
  • Re-visit/seasonal: Playful Heart Tarot, Kawaii Tarot, Tarot of the Drowning World

I've cleared the shelves of decks that I don't see having the potential of becoming like... my Powerhouse decks, and I might dip in and out of what remains there as the mood strikes, but the above are my main action points as of now. Looking forward to reviewing this post at the end of the year to see how that went.

Hey there. For my first proper Tarot Blog entry I want to explore a classic spread with my new classic-ish deck (the mass market Tarot de Marseille from Piatnik). I’ve seen this “draw of seven” done a few ways, but I’ll most closely follow what I’ve seen on the cartomancier.com website.

I’m using the whole deck, contrary to the traditional French method, and I’m not asking a question seeing as it’s supposed to be good for general spreads and figuring out what the potential issue might be.

The cards drawn were, in order: Seven of Rods, Le Diable, King of Swords, Page of Swords, La Maison Dieu, Eight of Cups, Seven of Coins

seven cards laid out in an arc

I like the shape of this layout, you can immediately tell the standout cards – the first one, the last one, and the “peak” one. Like in other French cartomancy methods I’m sure you can do a quick at-a-glance reading based on those, I’d need to do more of these to figure out what means what. It seems the peak card could be the kind of the “quintessence” position, like in the classic cross of five – kind of an underlying theme, tying all parts of the reading together. The first card could be just a quick problem defining card. Not yet sure about the last one.

Alright. Step one is reading every fifth card, which results in the following string: Seven of Rods, La Maison Dieu, Le Diable, Eight of Cups, King of Swords, Seven of Coins, Page of Swords.

Loss of inner drive connected to big disruption, resulting in a binding. Sounds like my recent physical issues interfering in my pursuit of interests and passions, crashing my special interest hyperfocus. Community questioning my demanding follow-the-plan attitude (which judges my physical failings), and suggesting instead a more curious, flexible approach. Looks like the exchange I had with Dr. Rua M. Williams about internalized ableism, following their webinar on hacking executive function for neurodiverse folks.

Step two is reading the triads. I think anything after step one is just adding details, the broad strokes having already been placed.

Cards 1, 2, 3: The logical King isn't even looking at the complex web of demons. He can defend himself from their attacks, but he can't actually attack by himself and unravel the root of the problem. True – I can't really hack myself into compliance, there's not enough knowledge in the world about how our brains work, plus it's so individualized too, even between autistics.

Cards 5, 6, 7: It's interesting to me that all of the cards have kind of the same main shape – a column with a wider top and bottom. The edge cards both speak of a “brokenness”, a challenge. The arrangement of the coins looks like the arrangement of the cups, but collapsed. As if the collapsing body can be propped up by love and community, whether it's a big impairment or something smaller. Yes, I need to work on many levels here, as I read the cups to be both about relationships and matters of the spirit. As much as I could probably ask for help more, I can also acknowledge our shared struggles, and afford myself similar compassion as I would to any other ND person.

Cards 3, 4, 5: I love how the King is looking to the Tower, but the Page is there in the middle, saying “I got this.” It's a general mind shift from frustration/strictness to curiosity and adaptability. The “body problems” are an example of a situation where this is most direct, but with two Sword cards it also makes me think of broader mental application – addressing passed down cultural messaging (from King to Page) and how it manifests in unhelpful/outright harmful self-talk.

Step three is about pairing up the cards from either end of the spread.

1+7: Seven of Rods and Seven of Coins – energy/motivation crises are related, I'm a whole being. 2+6: Le Diable and Eight of Cups – find my community with the other ND “outcasts.” 3+5: King of Swords and La Maison Dieu – trying to find and keep a strong grip on my brain is unsustainable and doomed to fail. (Again the leftover 4 seems most important, presiding over the whole spread.)

Ok, that was pretty neat. Not only did it address a kind of past and present situation but also managed to join them and suggest some solutions from slightly different angles. Cool, I can pick one depending on whatever I'm feeling that day – some days I'd be driven by anger and spite (tackling ableism and capitalism), others I'd be more moved by compassion and belonging etc. I'll definitely play more with this method.

#tarot #TdM #ND

Note: I did this reading and drafted this post around a week ago, but then decided to squish in a few 2022 posts before the “official” switch-over of tihs blog to a tarot space. So it's not technically the first post, and it deals with issues no longer at the forefront of my mind.

#22DoubleTake is a tag originating from the Three Fat Readers youtube channel. I don't see why I'd ever vlog if I can blog instead, so here's my 2022 retrospective, picking out two favorites in each category:

1. 2 Most Used Decks in 2022 (Tarot or Oracle)

I spent a lot of time with decks I studied but it didn't exactly translate into using them for readings. Whenever I was discouraged or frustrated with any of the focus decks, I found myself reaching for the Crow Tarot, my kind of most neutral RWS (aside from the old yellow box RWS itself). The art style is a little busy and I don't really love-love it, but my trimmed version is very comforting to handle and none of the cards really irk me too much to grab my attention away from the reading itself. So kind of – favorite by being inoffensive/unobtrusive.

Other than that it's hard to say, it could be that I attained a pretty long streak with the Thoth, when I was pulling a card twice a day along with my Stoic Journal entries? I jumped betweem decks a lot, trying to engage with my collection while bringing in as little as possible.

2. 2 Fave New Decks from 2022 (Tarot or Oracle)

I brought in so few and yet it's difficult to choose – what makes a favorite? Do I automatically disqualify the ones that have a paper/finish I don't like? Do they have to be most-used or just most exciting to get? I'll go with the Playful Heart, because it was both my first deck of the year, opened when spring was coming in, really matching the mood, and my first indie in a long long while. It was such a fun time, reading with it on the balcony, in the sun, making my inner child happy using the colorful notebook I made for it. Maybe I'll swing back around to it next spring/summer.

The second fave would be the Kawaii tarot because it was a surprise from my partner. As stated in the previous post I didn't really spend much time with it, but it still gave me the fuzziest feelings. Haven't read much with it, but I flip through it occasionally and have a good time just taking in the images.

3. 2 Fave Books from 2022

There were two books I found really hard to put down. “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke – I read it at least three times. It's so cool – philosophically, linguistically. Very re-readable. The second one would be “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. I did re-read it but it didn't quite compare to reading it for the first time. If you have it on your TBR – savor it!

4. 2 Fave Movies or TV Series you watched in 2022

I am so bad at movies and tv. Don't have the focus. But I did jump on the Our Flag Means Death bandwagon. What's not to love about a gay pirate comedy show? Excited for the second season, I read way too many fics speculating how the hell they're going to get out of this one. Interested to see what canon has in store. And screw it – Knives Out 2. Yeah, it only just came out, but I can appreciate a movie that makes 2+ hours go by in a flash. Lots of fun, great actors, great costuming and cinematography, would recommend.

5. 2 Craft/Hobby Related from 2022

I am so proud of myself for my art explosion. I finished two sketchbooks – one thick, one thin. I've started two others. I've been very experimental with my media. Tried gel printing, drawing with dip pens, playing around with acrylic inks, pencil colors, collage. Bookbinding tarot study journals. I think it came about via not-creating-for-content. As in: I wasn't at all times thinking about needing to feed my art blog something, because I stopped posting on it at all. And I was free to just follow anything I was curious about, and do it as badly as I wanted.

Also pretty satisfied with my expanded fiction intake. Dropped off a bit towards the end of the year there, but definitely read more original stories this year than I had in a long while. Happy to have fed my brain like this.

6. 2 Splurges from 2022

Gods, the biggest purchase was the bass guitar. It's entry-level so I suppose the price was reasonable, and it's very pretty. The best thing about it was jamming with my partner, but ultimately it's very stressful for now and I haven't picked it up much since that first month. Kind of feels like... I have to make the most of it to justify the expense, and so it paralyzes me. I'm sure I'll get over it and approach it more lightly some time in the future. It also doesn't help that I can't just pick it up and practice – there's always the plugging in of stuff that's not permanently set up just ready and waiting.

As I was personally on a low-buy, the second biggest splurge that could be considered “mine” is a piece of furniture. One of those square-cubbies-bookshelves that lives near my desk, so that I can keep at least some art supplies out in the open/close to hand. Definitely helped with the art explosion! And with more fiction book purchases I had to shuffle some other shelves around and my collection of in-use tarot decks has also found a home there. Trying to whittle down the “active” decks to a number that will fit in only one of the cubbies, to reclaim some space.

7. 2 Things most excited for in 2023

I'm not sure. Hard to really plan for anything with Covid still going on. I'm excited not to have a rule-heavy year-long project anymore, let's go with that. (My year-long project is going to be very simple!)

And maybe... moving to a better apartment? Not looking forward to the process, but hoping for a good result. This place is a little too small for all our interests, it would be nice to spread out a bit. Also there's like zero insulation and the windows are single-pane? I didn't know that was a thing anymore. Always fighting condensation and mold is killing my autumn and winter vibes. New place by next cold season would indeed be very exciting!

I'm going to add: 2 things most excited about from 2022:

  • getting to see my family – boostered up and took the risk in the low low numbers summer months. Some family members aren't doing so well and I thought this might well be my last chance to meet up with them. Spent plenty of outdoor time together, charged up those good-people-closeness batteries,
  • starting hormone therapy! Wouldn't have believed it could be so easy. Obviously, not all the effects are equally desirable, but they're all worth it. Even just a tiny change in my voice is giving me so much euphoria, and it's kind of reverberating through all areas of my life. Can't wait to see the progress.

That's it! This is the last post of this year, so here's hoping 2023 brings us all more joy and healing.

Here's a little housekeeping as we're heading into 2023: an accounting of all the decks I brought in 2022. Definitely didn't “win” at the no/low-buy part of depth year, but I still think 8 (waiting on the 9th) is a very decent number, compared to some previous years. It's less than one a month! Impressive restraint, for a special interest.

Official depth year decks:

  • Playful Heart (Q1 deck) – first indie in a long while. Turns out I very much don't like the linen finish. And the fact that the illustrations are not as vibrant as the backs, with a predominance of greyish blues.
  • Erotic Tarot (Q2 deck) – impulse bought at a store after chilling in my amazon wishlist for a bit. Love the paper feel. Icky about its take on inclusivity (very femme leaning.)
  • Kawaii Tarot – the new blue version (anniversary gift). So frickin' cute! I haven't spent as much time with it as I'd like yet. But big heart-eyes.
  • Tarot of the Drowning World (Q3 deck/birthday gift) – another indie! Most expensive tarot purchase, what with shipping from the US. Again – unfortunate with the linen finish, the images would look really good with a smooth gloss. Also I feel its rich chaotic images almost defeat the purpose of a pip deck? Like I'd have to read it despite the art, not in tandem with it.
  • Tarot for All Ages (early Q4 deck) – quite like its simplicity and iconic imagery, but had to fudge with the colors for a bit more vibrancy.

Post-depth year (so basically in December):

  • Lioness Oracle Tarot – this is my “poor man's Ritual Tarot”. Just kidding, but it has a similar collage look, if a bit more sparse. The Ritual looks very ancient-earthy, from what I've seen online. The Lioness looks very ancient-cosmic. I'll post more about it in its own post.
  • Piatnik Tarot de Marseille – why buy a historic restoration when there's this guy? (I mean I still probably will at some point...) So pretty, and no nasty cardstock surprises. Sleek and shuffle-able.
  • Enchanted Tarot (Christmas gift, opened but not thoroughly examined). First impressions: huge and flimsy, a trim might be in order. But the images are gorgeous from my first quick glance.
  • Fyodor Pavlov tarot (Christmas gift, still in transit). I've been a fan of his artwork from the Hannibal fandom days. Looking forward to a trans man's take on an inclusive deck!

Ironically I didn't go particularly deep with most of those decks. I gave the indies an honest shot, but otherwise tried to go deeper with stuff I already owned and hadn't yet connected with too well. Wanting to make sure that the lack of connection wasn't due to my lack of trying. I have another general yearly retrospective post in the works, so I'll write about my most used decks there.

Final musings: I've already written about what I've learned about purchasing tarot decks this year, but to summarize:

  • indie decks aren't automatically better,
  • limiting myself to fewer purchases makes me more keen to make expensive purchases, which does not necessarily guarantee getting more “worth”. Also emotions run higher, making it unnecessarily high stakes,
  • some decks are simply gimmicky and won't read well as a tarot deck. They might read better as an oracle, but I'm not too good with oracles so can't really tell,
  • sometimes it's not an itch for a new deck, it's an itch for something new, and a generic mass market deck seems perfectly harmless in that sense,
  • there's more pleasure in using decks than there is in buying them,
  • I personally can't commit to using one or even a small selection of decks exclusively for a given period.

I've done a lot of re-shuffling of which decks are sitting out within reach, and which live in a box in storage. I wonder if after a whole year of having done that I'll finally be able to put away the decks that truly aren't working for me. There's always a little doubt of “maybe if I tried a little harder”, but it's distracting me from the decks I actually want to use, and not just out of disappointment/a sense of wastefulness. Fingers crossed for a more positive approach in 2023.