What’s this? A blog post about something other than beads, beading, eyes and Etsy? Well I thought it was time I posted about other things. Yes, it’s a shock to the system I know, but there is more to life than beads! A few of you reading this will know that when I’m not beading or making glass eye cabs, among other things I’m teaching myself how to read tarot cards. It’s been a long process! I got my first deck more than ten years ago but to be honest, although I understood most of the card meanings I found it difficult to put a reading together. But I still played around with the cards, buying several more decks that appealed to me, it just felt like the answers were that little bit beyond my grasp. Then earlier this year I got a couple of great books (which I’ll be reviewing at a later date) and have been studying intensively ever since. I’m pleased to say that the pentacle has finally dropped!
It might seem strange to start my Tarot reviews with a deck that’s not strictly a Tarot deck in the traditional sense. But in fact that’s one of the things that drew me to it. I would say that The Psychic Tarot Oracle Deck by John Holland is an oracle deck with tarot origins. A traditional tarot deck contains 78 cards consisting of 22 major arcana, 40 minor arcana and 16 court cards. This deck has 65 cards: the minor arcana only runs from Ace to 9 (instead of the usual Ace to 10), has an addition of 7 chakra cards and there are no court cards at all! The last part is actually what influenced my decision to purchase this deck. Like a lot of people I always had problems when a court card came up in a reading and seeing this deck I thought, how cool to just be able to get rid of them! Have to say though, I’ve since got a better grasp of the court cards.
The Minor Arcana is divided into the usual four sections but instead of Swords, Cups, Wands and Pentacles you have Mental, Emotions, Spirit and Physical, all with their different border colours. The major arcana have a black border. All of the cards are numbered at the top and have a word or phrase at the bottom.
The colours in these cards are absolutely beautiful, bright jewel tones but not at all gaudy. The imagery is very different to the traditional tarot, although some cards do contain recognizable symbols, but I believe that the purpose of this is to encourage you to use your intuition or any innate psychic abilities rather than rigidly sticking to the written meanings.
The cards themselves are 3½” x 5″ and are printed on a really glossy and fairly good weight card. They have a beautiful design on the reverse which is made up of layers of concentric circles. The lovely thing about them is that they have gold edges which gives them a real sense of luxury. As this is my first gold-edged deck I have no idea how long it will last, at the moment it’s giving my readings and hands a slightly glittery effect so I’m guessing that it will wear off eventually with use. And here’s a tip: if you want to separate a brand new gilt-edged deck, take the sections that come apart on their own and slightly bend the cards widthways and lengthways. Try to ignore the alarming cracking sounds. It took me a while to figure this out after nearly ruining two cards by trying to prise them apart at the corners!
They’re packed in a very sturdy box with the beautiful World card on the front which is just a little bit bigger than the cards themselves.
My only gripe is the accompanying book which I feel lets this deck down somewhat. It’s very small, the same dimensions as the cards to fit in the box and the descriptions are brief; just a one and a half to two pages, most of which is taken up by a black & white photo of the card. As it’s called The Psychic Tarot I was hoping that it would delve a lot more into the psychic area but just found a short chapter on the subject. But again, maybe this is the deck’s purpose; like I said above, to allow you to use your own abilities instead of rigidly following a book. Lastly I was disappointed to find a very small amount of information on how to incorporate the Chakra cards into your readings. But it may be that I’ve just been spoiled with my other decks as their books have been very good and some almost worth buying on their own (yes, DruidCraft, I’m talking about you!).
But apart from that, I absolutely love these cards. Almost every reading I’ve done with them has been incredibly accurate and I will continue to enjoy using them. Here are a few of my favourites from the deck…
The card that most non-tarot readers fear most is the Death card but it’s actually one of my favourites, the keyword for which is Transformation. Rather than the traditional skeleton or image of the Grim Reaper, it shows a woman removing her dark, grey mask and transforming into a beautiful butterfly…
From the minor arcana I’ve chosen Victory and Success (equivalent to the 6 of wands). Not a wand in sight but what a great visual for triumph and ‘blowing your own trumpet’!
Lastly, I’ve chosen Accelerated Motion (equivalent to the 8 of wands). Being interested in astronomy I can’t help but love this card’s image. The 8 of wands usually has a ‘speedy’ visual so what better image than a shooting star!