New Deck Interview: Tough Shit Tarot (Repost)

New Deck Interview: Tough Shit Tarot (Repost)

(This was originally posted on 12/21/14, but thanks to a minor hiccup with the tail-end of my domain and hosting transfer, it got lost.)

I backed the Tough Shit Tarot on Kickstarter, and while it wasn’t successful, they decided to go ahead and make it anyway. I’ll be using the new deck interview spread.

The deck’s name is misleading- it’s actually a 33 card oracle deck. (As the creators mentioned, “Tough Shit Oracle” just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely.) The cards are fairly standard playing card sized, and are very nice quality. The box is pretty standard cardboard, and I have a feeling it’s not going to hold up well to long term use- it’s already starting to separate on one side- but it does the job for now. The card faces have no imagery at all; they merely state the name of the card and the meaning, which eliminates the need for a LWB.

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1. Most important characteristic: Creeper.
The bluntness of this deck is right there in the name; the tone is definitely not for everyone, and this is absolutely a deck that may tell me things I don’t want to hear.

2. Strengths: Grab A Juice-box And Then Take A Nap.
This deck will make you deal with your shit- but part of that means being aware of yourself and your needs, and taking care of them, before tackling the big stuff.

3. Limits: Pork Chop In A Synagogue.
I think this is probably not the deck to ask about relationship issues, unless they are truly dire.

4. Lessons: Stop Your Whining.
(I did say this deck was blunt. Christ.) Actually, the meaning is less, erm, mean than the title implies; this card, and this deck, are to remind me to be actively grateful for the blessings I have.

5. How to learn & collaborate: Shit Happens.
(Amusingly, this was my Grandpa Ray’s life motto. I have a photo of him wearing this on a tshirt, and it was part of my eulogy for him, which made everyone laugh.) This is a reminder that I am a serious control freak about some things, and I will learn better if I figure out how to let go of that.

6. Potential outcome of working relationship: Tuck And Roll.
I think this card means this deck will help me see my situations more clearly, so I can make better decisions about getting out when I can. I am prone to either holding on til it bleeds and then some, or cutting early because I think I smell blood in the air- I need to stop letting fear dictate my choices, but I also need to stop letting my emotional attachments get the better of me.

My additions:

7. Any entities: Stop Being Such A Pussy.
(Oh lovely, gendered insults. I may write to the creator, because augh.) I have no idea who this could mean. Based on the tone alone, I could see this as being a decent choice to consult with the Morrigan, or Set.

Bottom of the deck: Horny.
Have fun, be safe, and don’t go looking for commitment. I think I can do that?

All in all, it looks like a pretty decent deck? Gendered insults aside, that is- which I do think I’ll write to the creators about. The deck can be blunt, funny, and even insulting without reinforcing unhealthy crap like that. Otherwise, I’m enjoying the deck’s visual simplicity, which I think goes quite well with the cutting-through-bullshit spirit it has.

(Not So) New Deck Interview: Shadowscapes Tarot

(Not So) New Deck Interview: Shadowscapes Tarot

I’ve had this deck for quite a while now, and I’ve been meaning to do the new deck interview with it since I heard of the spread, and just keep not getting around to it. With the arrival of my newest deck, the Tarot of Delphi, I figured I’d finally stop procrastinating and do the interviews for Shadowscapes today, and my Fantod deck tomorrow.

I don’t recall whether the deck always comes with the companion book or not; mine was a large boxed set. I also have the art book for the Majors, showing the cards in more detail, and one of these days I’ll pick up the Minors book as well. Some people who received the Shadowscapes deck were not impressed with the card quality, but mine are fantastic; the cardstock is a little on the thin side but not flimsy, the images are clear, the printing/cutting was properly aligned, etc. As a fan of Pui-Mun Law’s work for a long time, some detail is lost when you shrink her work down this small- but she packs a lot of detail and color work into such a small space that I don’t have any trouble.

The Shadowscapes deck has been my standard “go-to” deck since I acquired it, and I find it very intuitive and approachable.

1. Most important characteristic: the Sun.
A man on bird-back, surrounded by many other birds, looks up at the bright, golden sun. This deck screams optimism, enlightenment, and confidence.

2. Strengths: Knight of Wands.
A mounted solider holds a spear, with foxes running underfoot. There’s progression and confidence here, though the presence of the knight sometimes instigates conflict unintentionally. This is a really interesting card in this place, and is making me think about the fact that I typically only read when I feel a strong need to or when I’m asked; I’ve never been comfortable with the card-a-day draws since I’ve had this deck, and I wonder if this is why.

3. Limits: Three of Cups.
Three mermaids bearing chalices swim together. This card is all about celebration, community, and friendship. I can’t say I’m all that surprised; I’ve never really used these cards to figure out how to reach out and deal with my socialization problems. It has from time to time indicated that it’s something I need to work on, but has always been a little less specific on the how.

4. Lessons: the Emperor.
A horned emperor stands before a stone wall, surrounded by growing branches but not rooted. This card is about authority, leadership, and human creation. I am honestly not sure what to make of this.

5. How to learn & collaborate: Nine of Pentacles.
A woman plays a piano, through which a tree is growing; a stained glass pentacle lives in its branches. This card is about the balance of the material and spiritual, and the recognition of the skills and power one already possesses.

6. Potential outcome of working relationship: Knight of Cups.
(Interestingly, my “significator” in this deck is usually the Page of Cups.) A man mounted on a unicorn rides across the waves towards a golden chalice. This card is about purity of heart, following intuition, idealism, and perfection. I think this is primarily about my pessimistic/depressive tendencies, really.

My additions:

7. Any entities: Ace of Cups.
Golden fish and fairies swim around a chalice. This card embodies emotional potential and the spirits of the sea; given my longstanding personal… poetry, I suppose, about the forest and the sea in my heart, I think that this deck is not a channel to any particular entity outside my own subconscious.

Bottom of the deck: Four of Wands.
Kierun and fairies leap through a sunny field of roses. Two sentences from the description jump out at me: “Take a moment to breathe and enjoy, but be prepared to continue with the work that has achieved this point,” and “Let go of limitations, and embrace the freedom being offered.” A continual reminder from this deck, in one way or another!

New Deck Interview: Tarot of Delphi

New Deck Interview: Tarot of Delphi

I backed the Tarot of Delphi on Kickstarter a while back and it arrived today! I’ll be using the new deck interview spread again (with my own minor additions).

The box is sturdy, though I’ll probably store the cards in something more decorative once I find a box I like. It comes with a LWB that gives the painting’s details, a paragraph description of the card meaning, and a few brief keywords. The cards are really nice quality, a little larger than I was anticipating. The image quality isn’t quite uniform, given that the images are drawn from Victorian and Edwardian art. They are rectangular images except for one, the Garden (the World card) which is rounded, and I admit it makes me twitch somewhat.

Several of the Majors have been renamed: the Wheel of Fortune becomes the Thread of Fate, the Hanged Man becomes the One Torn Asunder, the Devil becomes the Siren, and the Tower becomes the Shipwreck. The face cards are also changed: Devotee, Artisan, Hero, and Enchantress. Finally, there are two versions of the Empress- one the early interpretation as the sovereign counterpart of the Emperor, and the other the later “earth mother” conception. I’m not sure which I’ll use, though I’m going to leave both in for the interview spread.

deck

1. Most important characteristic: The Empress (sovereign).
Queen Zenobia stands at the top of stairs, leaning against a half wall. There’s a strong sense of power, determination, and leadership.

2. Strengths: Five of Cups.
Andromache stands in a courtyard, shrouded in black. There’s mourning and pain, but the strength to move through it and survive.

3. Limits: Seven of Swords.
A nymph hurries away from a river, unseen by her companions. This card is about impulsivity, stealth, and trickery.

4. Lessons: Eight of Swords.
Andromeda, shackled to a boulder, awaits her death. The card description seems to lean heavily on her helplessness, but the myth says to me it’s more about coming to terms with one’s circumstances, and and that nothing is inescapable.

5. How to learn & collaborate: Nine of Swords.
A guard stands watch as fiery ash rains down on Pompeii. Knowing the history… well, it’s a confusing card, to say the least. (And I briefly wondered if I’d shuffled well enough, except that the cards weren’t in order to begin with.) I think it’s more about the guard, though- he keeps his post, even when the people behind him are fleeing; he remains steadfast in his duty despite his fear and uncertainty.

6. Potential outcome of working relationship: Ten of Swords.
(I swear these were not in order and I shuffled.) Icarus dies, having flown too close to the sun. Obviously the myth is not a great omen here, but the card description focuses on trial and error, and experimentation; the last keyword is “phoenix” which, of course, means burning oneself down to the ashes to be reborn. Painful and powerful.

My additions:

7. Any entities: the Devotee of Swords.
A Spartan soldier performs a martial exercise (per the booklet). The high number of sword cards combined with the Classical Greek focus on the deck had me leaning towards Athene, and I feel like this cinches it- Athene was held in high regard among the Spartans. Some of the keywords for the card include discipline and organization, both of which are traits she prizes and ones I need to work on.

Bottom of the deck: the Magician.
Medea casts a spell. This says to me that though I am neither a soldier nor a strategist, I can get and be what I want- but the process to get there involves a lot more than learning a list of herbs and how to write spells. I can get where I want to be but the journey won’t be for the weak hearted.

I really love this deck- it’s beautiful and layered, and though it’s going to take some time to really get to know it, it’ll be worth the work!

New Deck Interview: Light Visions Tarot

New Deck Interview: Light Visions Tarot

I recently backed the limited edition Light Visions Tarot on Kickstarter, and I figured the solstice was as good a time as any to get to know it.

The wooden box is really nice, as are the cards; they’re very thick and nice quality. I’d seen all the card faces on the Kickstarter, but they’re somehow more visceral and a touch more unsettling in person (at least for a few. I do not like the Hanged Man, he gives me the heebie jeebies.) It does not, unfortunately, come with a Little White Book, or a Little White PDF, though the info states it’s based on the traditional Rider-Waite symbolism. I’m using the new deck interview spread, passed to me by Naomi (thanks!). Here we go!

1. Most important characteristic: Six of Wands.
Six staves making a tent-like structure in a boat, carrying a woman and flowers, with light on the horizon.
The RW meaning is victory, recognition, and energy, but this card feels more serene and contemplative. There’s a sense of movement and progression.

2. Strengths: Nine of Chalices.
Man on a bench with an arch of chalices hovering overhead.
RW says emotional fulfillment, satisfaction, joy, and camaraderie. Again, this card feels more serene; contentment and enjoying the moment.

3. Limits: the Empress.
A woman hovering in a starry sky over a field of wheat (wearing a dress dissolving into the wind, that honestly looks comprised of beans.)
This card is all about fertility and creation; it initially strikes me as an odd card for limitations or weaknesses, but I guess this isn’t the deck to consult when I’ve hit a creative wall.

4. Lessons: the High Priestess.
A waning crescent moon with a tree before it; bare legs walking through water, with pomegranates floating in her wake.
Another straightforward card- acquiring knowledge, especially that pertaining to choices and decision making.

5. How to learn and collaborate: Eight of Swords.
An unhappy woman behind a fence of swords.
This card is about facing fears, and my only trap is my own stagnancy.

6. Potential outcome of working relationship: Death.
A skeletal hand holds a blooming rose, which is spewing forth more of those weird bean-looking things. In this context they are giving me black maggot feels, which ugh.
Just what it says on the tin: endings, transformation, and a period of mourning.

I’ve added a seventh question, because I like knowing whether a particular divination set will be good for communicating with any of the Gods/Spirits/Dead that I work with.

7. Any entities: the Hanged Man.
A body floating in the waves, head hidden; encircled with piranhas.
The hanged man is sacrifice, selflessness, prophecy, inner worlds and knowledge, and a complete change of perspective and understanding. It all feels rather Dionysian to me, but I’ll do other divination to confirm.

And finally, as always, I check the bottom of the deck: the World.
A peacock and a big cat (maybe a lion but it doesn’t feel like a lion) swirl outwards from each other, amidst stars, flowers, leaves, a snake, piranhas, a dove, a man’s arm, and more bean-maggots, along with the sun and a waxing crescent. So, hey, madness it is.

So overall, I have a deck that will force me out of my comfort zone, make me find the knowledge I need to make the choices I must, keep me moving forward even when things come to their natural end, and teach me to find the moment and enjoy it. It’s certainly going to be interesting.

TV/Movie Oracle Project

TV/Movie Oracle Project

I feel like I have been working on this behemoth forever. I had a lightbulb the night before last, and then hit a wall last night, and then relit the lightbulb this morning, so I’m diving back in.

I made intermittent posts about this project on my old blog, but I haven’t done much work on it in the last year, so to recap: the deck is based on the characters of my favorite live action tv shows and movies. Not every favorite: the ones that I never flip by when I’m channel surfing, the ones whose dialogue I mumble along to as I watch, the ones that give me a stupid grin and make me laugh and tear up at the same spots every single time no matter how many times I watch them, the ones I pause when I go refill my drink even though I know every moment by heart.

The original composition of the cards was that each card had a name, with two appropriate characters from the same story. They weren’t necessarily opposites in a standard/reversed tarot meaning sort of way; just two distinct facets. Unfortunately, this led to a really high quantity of cards well before I hit the halfway mark. And this is with major characters, and the minor characters that are either essential to the narrative or that reveal a lot about the major characters even if they don’t reveal much about themselves. The unwieldy list of cards was the reason my enthusiasm started to wane in the first place- I felt like it was getting so large as to be unusable, but I couldn’t find a place to cut.

The resolved lightbulb version is that these two character named cards will remain; they will be paired up with a second named card from a different story. Some cards may have two opposing meanings; some may just be different expressions of the same core concept. I’m not likely to start pairing them off until I feel closer to done, maybe the three-quarter mark, which will hopefully help me spot any holes or oversights that I can fix with the remaining quarter.

I’m going to keep a running list of the card ‘halves’ here; hopefully blogging about it will encourage me not to let the project fall to the wayside again. I’ve got too many projects waiting for my attention- I need to get some crossed off the list!

The List (41)
Ambition: Exley/Vincennes [LA Confidential]
Autonomy: Caroline/Priya [Dollhouse]
Belonging: Bob/Ricky [Fight Club]
Calling: Ardeth/Evie [The Mummy]
Change: Bourne/Marie [The Bourne trilogy]
Choices: Landy/Vosen [The Bourne trilogy]
Comrades: Nandi/Tracey [Firefly/Serenity]
Connections: Badger/Mr. Universe [Firefly/Serenity]
Conscience: Neski/Wombosi [The Bourne trilogy]
Consequences: Nolan/Topher [Dollhouse]
Contentment: Lindsey/Max [Lucky Number Slevin]
Control: Adelle/Dominic [Dollhouse]
Cowardice: Anck-Su-Namun/Beni [The Mummy]
Death: the Operative/Reaver [Firefly/Serenity]
Debts: Brikowski/Nick [Lucky Number Slevin]
Deception: Kepler/Mellie [Dollhouse]
Depravity: Hudgens/Stensland [LA Confidential]
Devotion: Imhotep/Rick [The Mummy]
Faith: Book/Mal [Firefly/Serenity]
Fraud: Jack/Marla [Fight Club]
Greed: Jayne/Saffron [Firefly/Serenity]
Guile: Dudley/Patchett [LA Confidential]
Home: Inara/Kaylee [Firefly/Serenity]
Hysteria: Mrs. Peacock/Yvette [Clue]
Jealousy: Angel Face/Tyler [Fight Club]
Loyalty: Simon/Zoe [Firefly/Serenity]
Manipulation: Bennett/Clyde [Dollhouse]
Observation: Col. Mustard/Prof. Plum [Clue]
Obsession: Alpha/Ballard [Dollhouse]
Patience: Rory/Reinette [Doctor Who]
Pawn: Danny/Nicky [The Bourne trilogy]
Power: Abbott/Conklin [The Bourne trilogy]
Principles: Goodkat/the Rabbi [Lucky Number Slevin]
Retribution: the Boss/Slevin [Lucky Number Slevin]
Scandal: Miss Scarlet/Mrs. White [Clue]
Scars: Anthony/Claire [Dollhouse]
Scheme: Alex/Jonathan [The Mummy]
Sham: Mr. Green/Wadsworth [Clue]
Sincerity: Bud/Lynn [LA Confidential]
Stars: River/Wash [Firefly/Serenity]
Trust: Boyd/Echo [Dollhouse]

Clearly I need to stay away from names starting with C for a while!

Next on the list is Doctor Who and Torchwood. I’ve got one already- Patience- and looking at my notes I have somewhere between another 15 to 20 cards from the two shows. I’m not going to do a full rewatch marathon, but I’ll probably watch two or three of my favorite episodes from each season and then get cracking. Hopefully I’ll have some progress to show by next month!