✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

Elemental Power Tarot, by Melinda Lee Holms

Elemental Power Tarot, by Melinda Lee Holms
CICO Books, 978-1782499220, 64 page, 2020


Elemental Power Tarot is a beautiful deck, which uses rustic, muted tones and hand-drawn images to create an earthy look. What is unique about this deck’s approach to the tarot is that none of the cards feature images of people — only inanimate objects and animals are featured in the images.

The author and designer, Melinda Lee Holm, explains in the book accompanying the deck that it is her intention the querent superimposes themself in the images instead of see another person there. So, for example, The Fool card depicts a winding dirt pathway that meanders out off the side of a cliff, as if the querent themself were taking this risk instead of watching it be taken by somebody else. Likewise, the High Priestess, Empress, and Emperor all depict empty, yet appropriately decorated thrones. Meanwhile, the Heirophant depicts a Buddhist meditation shrine on the side of a path.

I quite like this approach as it challenges the querent to truly see themselves in the midst of the situation at hand and not simply as a passive observer. Some of the cards seem to present environmental messages as well — the Death card portraying a bee on a skull and crossbones, and Judgement shows pollution buried underground. Each Major Arcana features both an astrological symbol and a Hebrew glyph to invite the querent towards further insight into the meaning of the card.

However, the only thing I do not like about this deck is that the cards of the Minor Arcana only show the element (Swords, Wands, Cups or Disks) in the amount of the card’s number. There is no scenic image to help discern the meaning of the card. My good friend exclaimed as she picked up the deck that she would not be able to read the cards because she’s trained in the method of reading solely based in intuitively interpreting images. So from this light, this deck is not the best choice for someone who is on the newer side of reading tarot and doesn’t the meanings memorized. Still, the accompanying guidebook is thorough and easy to read, so really anyone willing to take the time can get an accurate reading using this deck.

The book accompanying this deck is actually quite exceptional. Holm starts off with instructions on how to perform a 5-element ritual to welcome the deck into your life and initiate its prophetic power. From there she includes suggestions on phrasing questions in “tarot speak” to get clearer results as well as an intuitive technique she calls “reading the room.” Holm offers her readers 3 different simple spreads to get started: classic 3-card, 5-card and 10-card spreads. The spreads are clear and easy to follow — the 10-card is based on the classic Celtic Cross spread for those who may be familiar.

The book also includes a chart of all the Hebrew glyphs and astrology symbols used on the Major Arcana cards in the deck. This quick-reference chart is something any tarot reader would greatly appreciate, as she side-steps all the esoteric rigamarole and gets right to the point with clear, one word meanings.

In terms of the individual card descriptions, the book offers each card in the deck a symbolic interpretation, a guidance, and a challenge (though it isn’t specified, a querent might favor the challenge if a card is reversed). What is remarkable about this deck is that in the book for each of the Major Arcana cards Holm includes a section called “Apothecary” where she pairs an herb with the card and offers instruction on how to use it.

For example, The Magician: “Cinnamon activates personal magick. Sprinkle it on porridge, boil the sticks to make tea, or use it as a room freshener in potpourri.”1 This was a wonderful addition that helps to connect each reading to the realm of nature, while also learning about the uses of different herbs in energy work.

The Body Tarot, by Emma McArthur

The Body Tarot, by Emma McArthur
CICO Books, 1800650965, 72 cards, 66 pages, April 2022

After reading tarot cards for so long, I am always excited for adapted decks that use the tarot as a foundation to build from to create something novel. This is exactly what Emma McArthur has done with The Body Tarot, which bridges the magic of the body and the subconscious to reveal hidden insights. Integrating Western and Chinese medicine, this deck offers a unique look at what’s going on inside of us both literally and figuratively.

In the guidebook, McArthur explains how studying the physical form of our bodies deeply impacted her art and gave rise to the idea for the deck.

“When I first began doing anatomical drawings, I was astounded at the complex structure of our flesh, bones, and blood. The patterns, shapes, and colors enchanted me and I wanted my art to reflect how little we know of our inner workings and introduce that to my audience. It began conversations about the body that showed me that many of us are in the dark about what we actually look like on the inside. ”1

Then McArthur realized this lack of knowledge of our internal physical structures was similar to the hidden, mysterious workings of our subconscious mind too.

“This then made me think of how we often do not know the workings of our subconscious mind and we traverse situations reacting instinctively without realizing why we’re behaving in a certain way. It seemed to me that the tarot, rather than simply a predictive divinatory system, is also a profoundly useful tool to discover the impulses hidden within us. In this way, the idea of the tarot deck was born.”2

But this is no ordinary tarot deck. While it does have a twenty-two-card major arcana, there are no court cards, which I’m sure might prompt a sigh of relief for some readers since they can be challenging to read at times. In their place is a fifth suit, Metal, which corresponds to the suit Pentacles, as does the suit Earth. The other three suits are Wood (Swords), Fire (Wands), and Water (Cups). This integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine into the suits makes for slightly different interpretations than the traditional tarot deck. But once understood, it greatly enhances the readings, particularly if one has some background knowledge about Chinese medicine.

Regardless of your level of knowledge about Western or Chinese medicine, though, the cards themselves are helpful in determining their message. There is a keyword at the bottom of each card to assist with interpretation. The major arcana cards in The Body Tarot even have the name of the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) card on them too for easy reference. Admittedly, the minor arcana is a bit more of a leap to learn since one has to remember the corresponding traditional suit with each Chinese element suit, but the keyword leans a hand in figuring out the meaning, as does the resourceful guidebook.

One of the most interesting aspects of the minor arcana cards is how each element suit has both a main and secondary organ association, which is featured on the card. For instance, the main organ of the suit Fire is Heart and the secondary organ is Small Intestine, both of which are featured on all the cards. For me, this added layers to the interpretation of the card because it felt multilayered.

I am someone who enjoys the interpretive process of discerning a card’s message, so I would piece together the information about the heart and spiritual intestine from the guidebook plus what I know about the traditional meaning of the card and come up with my own intuitive approach. Granted this didn’t work as well on the Metal suit, since that one felt a bit foreign to me, but in a delightful way. It’s even prompted me to learn a bit more about the Chinese elements, since this one is rarely included in Western practices.

For those who want a more straight-forward reading and aren’t as interested in playing around with the layers of these cards, the guidebook is also immensely helpful. For each card there are additional keywords and a description of the card’s message. Here’s a little sample of the guidebook for The Eyes, or the Chariot traditionally:

“Around 80 percent of our sensory perception comes from our eyes, if we are sighted. While we often hear the truism that appearances can be deceptive, for the most part, the other saying that “seeing is believing” is the one we follow. This card is telling you that your eyes are not deceiving you and the succes you may have been craving is your for the taking. There is an element of divine help (if you believe in a higher powers) or dumb luck (if you don’t), but the greater part of the victories indicated by this card will come from grit and faith in your own abilities.”3

I chose this description for this card because it appeared in a reading I was doing for a querent asking about making a career shift. Since I was reading with the deck for the first time, and it was a social get-together rather than a professional reading, we consulted the guidebook. The indication seemed clear she should pursue the opportunities in front of her and the combination of her own determination plus a bit of luck would pave the way.

As for the card illustrations, this deck is vibrantly colorful and beautifully simplicity. McArthur describes how she was influenced by Gray’s Anatomy, a 19th century medical reference book, by Henry Carter. Peering into the marvels of the body is such an interesting way to also delve into the wisdom of the subconscious, and McArthur does a wonderful job stimulating the reader visually to assist in making these connections.

I even spent time meditating with some of the major arcana cards, such as the Eyes, Ears, and Muscles, while doing an awareness breathing exercise through my body. Connecting to the physical body part helps me to better embody the messages I’m receiving from the deck, which is a neat aspect to it that is different from other tarot decks.

All in all, The Body Tarot is a very special synthesis of science and intuition. The blend of Western and Chinese medicine makes for multi-faceted readings that can be as straight-forward or layered as the reader feels called to explore. The learning curve of this deck will be inciting for readers who have the traditional tarot down-pat and are looking for new avenues of insight and creative interpretation, while beginners will be able to gather ample information from their readings through the descriptive guidebook. The best part of this deck is the connection it fosters by making the internal visible, prompting further curiosity and deep appreciation for all that goes on in the unseen realms of body, mind, and soul.

The Wanderer’s Tarot, by Casy Zabala

The Wanderer’s Tarot, by Casey Zabala
Weiser Books, 1578637597, November 2021

There is room for everyone to improve in life, but sometimes we don’t know where to start. The Wanderer’s Tarot by Casey Zabala appears to be an amazing jumping-off point for this particular activity; only time will tell, and I doubt time will prove this observation wrong. Casey Zabala is a creator after my own heart, believing in divination as a means of healing self-discovery and personal empowerment. Her deck, The Wanderer’s Tarot, is a tool I will be keeping in rotation for a long time.

This box is just superb! The design is simple, but the sleek all black design with white text is inviting. The artwork present is barebones, but alluring. The picture on the back made me immediately paw through the cards to see which card art inspired it (it’s the Wanderer of Stones).

The spine is completely blank: there’s no name, no doodles, just black inky nothingness, which I only see as an issue if you display your decks on a shelf of any kind with spines facing out. But then again, you could resolve this issue with a sticky tab or, dare I say, writing on the box yourself! The opening mechanism is a hinge style clam-like lid. Now, I wouldn’t go shaking it about, but it stays quite secure. I would trust this box to protect the cards on the go if you take a deck with you.

Now onto the cards themselves. The card stock is great. They have a good amount of give without feeling thin and aren’t obnoxiously thick, I have small hands so card sizing is very important to me in a deck. If I can’t shuffle the deck, I’m less likely to use it and will then feel bad about neglecting it.

The cards were thankfully held together not by plastic but rather by a simple black paper band that I was able to slide back on after removing if I was careful… up until the point where I stepped on the band like a goofus. Off topic, so let’s get back on track with the edges of these bad boys. They are so shiny! I have in the past gone out of my way to color the edges of some of my other decks, but these cards came pre-treated with a shiny silver, and I am in love to a degree.

On flip through, the cards stuck together much more than usual, and my hands came away with a faint dusting of silver the first few times of handling. This silver is a gorgeous contrast to the solid black background of these cards. The backs lend themselves well to reading reversals. The circle in the middle with lines radiating off of it gives me “light at the end of the tunnel” vibes, and I like that a lot. These cards are a bit wider than your standard deck but it is still very shuffle-able.

Reading with these cards is a bit tricky though. The numbering for both the majors and the minors are not consistently placed, so I find myself looking for the numbers or names on some cards. I do, however, appreciate that the majors don’t use the traditional roman numerals and the minors are denoted by tally marks only.

It makes you think a little when doing a reading, and that’s kind of the whole point of the deck: diving deeper into the mind and self to better your existence. The minor arcana is drawn in a very pip like style which, in my mind, would prove a bit hard for a new reader to understand as there isn’t any of the traditional RWS context images to help them out.

We’re gonna talk about that smell now. This is my biggest problem with this deck. Trying to riffle shuffle them the first time made it more obvious than when just holding it. If smells trigger any issues of yours, let these cards air out. Set them on a window sill or a table spread out for a few days, otherwise you will not have a fun time. Do the same with the box, leave it open before storing them.

Enough tough talk, let’s look at the guidebook. The book isn’t so much a book as it is a pamphlet with quick info on the cards. Zabala makes it pretty clear that we’re supposed to sit with these cards and come up with our own personal meanings and really suss out how these cards make us feel when they come up, rather than treat the guide like it’s some kind of god.

Our major arcana cards get a few keywords apiece, which is pretty standard fare. The minor arcana got an interesting treatment though. The only bits that get any kind of in-depth meaning is the suits and court cards, as they were changed for this deck. Pentacles are now Stones, Swords are Knives, Wands to Feathers, and Cups to Moons. There is a short explanation of each of the suits on their own panel.

But the truly interesting part is how the numbered minor arcana are treated. We get a numerology cheat sheet of sorts that we have to pair with the traits of the suits to get our meaning. The courts are a bit tricky; they feel like their own entity completely divorced from the RWS courts. I couldn’t figure out a one-to-one correspondence, so here they are for you to decide: Philosopher, Goddess, Prophet, and Wanderer. I won’t say anymore on them as I feel you should pick up this deck to sate that curiosity and support the creator yourself.

There is an option to purchase a more in-depth book from their shop for $20 USD. I would suggest picking up the book with this deck, even though I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. In the description of the item it says there are spreads, in-depth meanings plus reversals, and a brief history of the tarot in the big book. As of writing this, the full guidebook is out of stock on Zabala’s shop, but here’s a link to the book itself anyway for your viewing pleasure.

The sheer amount of self-reflection I’ve been forced to do with this deck is unreal. From the moment I pulled my first card, it was already reading me to filth. There is a brutal honesty in these cards that most of my other decks also have with me, so I guess that’s just how I get messages best. Tell me straight up — no sugar coating, hit meh!

While I don’t feel any more connected to the wider world around me through the work I’ve done with these cards, I feel more grounded in myself. I’m setting down roots that I need to start reaching for the cosmic truths this deck wants to throw at me. So, if you pick this one up, get ready for a journey cause you’ll be going on one whether you think you want to or not.

The Wanderer’s Tarot holds lessons that I think everyone should hear regardless of how you identify, and I would love to say everyone should pick up a copy, but I can’t. Are you open to looking into yourself? Can you admit to yourself that things need to change and are you capable of enacting those changes? If the answer to any of those questions is “no”, then this is not for you at this time. This change is what the deck wants for me and what it will want for you. It will make you think, it will tell you the same thing as many times as it takes to get you to do something about it. It will fight you FOR you to ensure growth is happening.

The Sacred Sisterhood Tarot, by Ashawnee DuBarry and Coni Curi

The Sacred Sisterhood Tarot: Deck and Guidebook for Fierce Women, by Ashawnee DuBarry with illustrations by Coni Curi
Red Wheel, 1590035259, 80 pages, 78 cards, October 2021

Despite tarot reading becoming a booming trend in recent years, few readers seem to be discussing the esoteric foundation of the common Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) deck. Essentially, the RWS deck is steeped in tradition of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which drew from the Qabalah, astrology, numerology, Christian mysticism, Hermeticism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Enochian magic, and Renaissance grimoires. Talk about overload!

As a seasoned tarot reader and energy worker, I’ve been on a mission to find tarot decks with a different energy for my readings. The Sacred Sisterhood Tarot: Deck and Guidebook for Fierce Women by Ashawnee DuBarry has been so immensely rewarding to discover. A deck that isn’t steeped in occult traditions that I don’t practice NOR a patriarchal framework? Yes yes yes! This is what The Scared Sister Tarot offers.The energy feels so deeply resonant with my spirit, and the good vibes of this deck have been shining through in all my readings so far.

The box for this deck is hefty, and I love it. Looking at the image on the box makes me feel ready to take on the world. I love that there’s some weight to the deck. Yet, the cards themselves are the perfect fit for one’s hands. Measurements aren’t really my thing, but I would say they’re a little taller than normal play cards yet a bit more narrow in width. Basically, they fit in my hands perfectly and make it really easy to shuffle.

Opening the box is a color-pop of oranges, yellow, red, and light brown tones that make the cards feel infused with solar energy but also grounded. The back of the cards have lovely, luscious pomegranates on them, which is the perfect representation of Divine Feminine energy, as they are known for being a symbol of fertility and abundance.

Illustrator Coni Curi has done a marvelous job featuring a multitude of women in this deck. As you go through the cards, it becomes evident there’s one “no size fits all” model for women. This concept is bolstered by the intent of the deck to tap into the different facets of Divine Feminine wisdom, through both the major arcana and different suits of the minor arcana.

“The Sacred Sisterhood deck was created with inclusivity in mind, from trans folk to cis-gender- all are welcome, unlike the original tarot, which centered its images and descriptions around hte old gender roles. True sisterhood is all about coming together in a sacred space to support one another, no matter how  you identify.”1

The representation in the deck is remarkable. From multiracial relationships between women to women with disabilities, vast identities and body types are portrayed. And this diversity  imbues the deck with a feeling of empowering solidarity, as though I want to see “I see you! I know we’re all out here doing our best, learning what it means to embody this Divine Feminine feeling in our life.”  It’s beautiful because it feels so REAL. This is what womanhood looks like, and it comes in so many shapes, sizes, shades, and orientations, which is something worth celebrating.

While there is plenty of symbolism for each card, Curi didn’t stick to the traditional tarot imagery. I enjoy the modern take on the cards’ meaning and alternative representation to the traditional RWS tarot. One of my favorites is the Judgment card that has a winged angel playing a saxophone as two women dance beneath her. 

There’s a simplicity to the cards too. Each card has a solid-color background that emphasizes the main image on the card. This makes it so the reader isn’t lost in detail and can easily connect with the image that is popping out to represent the card.

Additionally, the emotion of the women featured on the cards is also something that makes this deck unique. Curi has clearly conveyed sadness, discontentment, happiness, and sovereignty. The women of the deck help to connect with the many emotions of life, tapping the reader into their own feelings. Beginner, intermediate, and expert readers all will be able to find meaning and resonance with the imagery of the deck.

Though, I will mention the one thing that threw me off a little at first: the card names are written in French! For instance, The World is called Le Monde and the Ace of Pentacles is called As De Deniers. Luckily, from the imagery and general knowledge of romance languages, I’ve been able to figure out what each card is, but it definitely was a stumbling block that  made initial reading not feel as intuitive as it might with a deck in English. Now that I’ve been reading with this deck though, I feel pretty cool for knowing the French name for these cards though!

Plus, the guidebook is a huge help for understanding the card’s meaning. I love it so much!! I think it’s one of the best guidebooks I’ve ever seen. It’s large, easy to read, and very colorful. DuBarry offers a complete guide to working with the deck, including tips for getting to know the deck, shuffling, and doing readings. What I liked most though is the suggestions for how to use the deck aside from just doing readings, which included things such as candle magic and shadow work. There’s also plenty of spreads to use with each card position thoroughly detailed.

The cards’ messages are all very meaningful. DeBarry clearly conveys each card’s essence through their interpretation. For every card there are keywords and meanings for the card upright and reversed, plus the best thing about this guidebook, which is the answer for yes/no questions.

HALLELUJAH! This yes or no meaning guide has been so incredibly useful. You often hear the advice to shy away from yes/no tarot questions, but so often I just want some quick insight about if I should do something or not, and this guidebook is perfect for those questions!! I so very much appreciate this being shared.

Moving through each definition, DeBarry strips away traditional meanings of each card, so that readers can see the card’s energy through the lens of the Divine Feminine. I especially loved the card and message for The Hanged Woman, traditionally The Hanged Man, which reads:

“Take some time out, as this will give you the space you need to pause for a moment and analyze what may need to be released for the sake of growth. The Hanged Women can also represent a person who looks at life in her own way, not allowing herself to be influenced by the actions or opinions of other people.”2

I’ve been reading tarot for over a deck, but this was the first time I identified personally with the card. Why had I never thought to view it as The Hanged Women? It’s like this simple shift of making it so I felt seen within the card completely changed the way I identified with it.

The Sacred Sisterhood Tarot has become my go-to for both quick questions and more reflective readings. Reaching out for the deck has started to feel like calling up my bestie to talk about life. There’s a gentleness to the deck, though it has consistently given me the honest advice I needed to hear in the moment. I trust it because I feel it has my best intentions at heart.

Plus, reading or meditating with this deck taps me into an empowered sisterhood solidarity, and I love envisioning other women also using it, pooling our collective Divine Feminine wisdom for healing, divination, and spiritual growth.  I highly recommend this deck for beginners, as it is perfect for getting to know the cards (with maybe the exception of the French! Lol), as well as intermediate to expert readers that are looking for a new way to explore the energy of tarot.

The Relative Tarot, by Carrie Paris

The Relative Tarot: Your Ancestral Blueprint for Self-Discovery, by Carrie Paris
Weiser Books, 1578637627, 96 pages, 82 cards, November 2021

Ancestry has been a prominent theme for me this November. I’ve taken an ancestral astrology class, while also curating book club questions on Hiero for Badass Ancestors. The Relative Tarot: Your Ancestral Blueprint for Self-Discovery by Carrie Paris came along in perfect harmony with these other happenings. So far, it’s one of the most unique tarot decks that I’ve ever worked with. I’m just loving the bridge it opens between past, present, and future.

And this is exactly what Carrie Paris does best, as her work often allows for divination across the barriers of time and space. She holds a Masters in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination from the University of Kent, UK. Paris also has recently published Generations Oracle with Lisa Bonnice, which uses casting pieces, such as charms and coins based on the Lenormand Oracle, and a pendulum to connect with ancestors.

One of my favorite divination systems created by Paris is the Magpie Oracle, which uses small charms to cast divinations. I’ve always found her approach to divination very out of the box. It’s refreshing to have new ways to connect with spirit, and it’s clear Paris puts a lot of thoughtfulness into her creations.

The methodology for The Relative Tarot is just as unique. Paris asked her readers to send her photographs of their ancestors, and thus this deck was born of their images and stories. Initially, she planned for it to only be Majors and Court cards, but she received so many portraits and requests to be included that she decided to also include the Minor cards as well.

A sturdy box holds the cards. It has a side-flap for easy opening. Right when flipping it open, a mysterious woman with a mask and wings catches the eye, piquing intrigue and igniting curiosity in the reader. The potency of the deck can be felt as a glittering shimmer of magic that is decades old, now recreated to continue to flow through the veins of time.

The cards are absolutely stunning with their golden edges and beautifully crafted imagery. Old photographs are laid over colorful starry backgrounds with traditional tarot symbolism intermixed too. They feel of a different time, and this out of the ordinary sensation heightens the connection to the slip-space in the cracks of time, where intuition shines.

As I look through the cards, I wonder who these people were and what their story was. It’s like discovering a treasure chest of photographs in the attic, enchanted with memories, hopes, and wishes. You can see the personality of all the ancestral relatives on these cards shining through the looks in their eyes.

I am someone who enjoys historical non-fiction books because I enjoy the sensation of putting myself in someone else’s shoes and seeing what their life was like to live. I listen to their story and then integrate it into my own life, filled with the wisdom of those I have taken the time to learn more about. I feel like this deck gives me the ability to do this, only now these relatives are guiding me in regard to my spiritual path and potential future outcomes.

However, The Relative Tarot is not like a usual tarot deck, and as soon as you look at the guidebook you will see this. This deck is intended to help the reader “to create a divine Tarot Blueprint that will illuminate who you are, and what you’re here to do.”1 Paris writes this deck was created to experience your soul’s truth through an ancestral filter, helping one to see how ancestral influence is affecting one’s personal evolution and ancestral line.

Paris uses three types of cards for this ancestral and self-discovery method: Birth Cards, Annual Cards, and Significator Cards. Birth Cards are Major Arcana cards that represent one’s soul expression, including their personality, core ideals, challenges, unconscious urges, and ancestral agenda.2 Annual cards are also Major Arcana cards, but these change each year, offering a glimpse of the energies of the upcoming year, including opportunities for growth and key lessons. Then Significator Cards are Court Cards that connect the reader to their ancestral imprint, showing what might be impacting our choices and behavior.

To make it easy to navigate these calculations, Paris provides detailed instruction on how to find your cards through numerology. Then the Major and Court Cards in the deck are labeled with numbers to make pairing the cards together easier. The bottom left show the Birth Card numerological patterns and the bottom right indicates the corresponding Minor Arcana Cards with that Birth Card pattern.

For example, my Birth Card pattern is Universe, Hanged Man, and Empress. This pattern pairs with all the 3s in the Minor Arcana. However, it goes even deeper than this because within the Birth Card pattern, there can be shadow cards, whose energy is often unconscious or not tapped into.

To be honest, at first I found the entire system a bit confusing. I had to really concentrate and do the calculations and read the guidebook thoroughly for about an hour to start understanding this system. But Paris does a fairly good job of making this complex system approachable for readers. There’s even a Blueprint Review on pages 50-51 of the guidebook that is a fill-in-the-blank page for all the calculations.

In the end, I did get a lot of meaning out of using this process to learn more about my soul’s path and ancestral influences in my life. I think it would be especially helpful if readers also used this deck in combination with Mary K. Greer’s Archetypal Tarot, which focuses in-depth on birth cards. It’s also worth noting, this system is very different from simply doing tarot spreads to learn more about your ancestors, such as the process described in Ancestral Tarot by Nancy Hendrickson.

While this deck is phenomenal in what it offers, readers should be aware that it doesn’t give any descriptions of the tarot cards in the guidebook. For this reason, I recommend it to more experienced readers that are already comfortable with the traditional meanings of each tarot card, in case they want to use the deck to do spreads or read for others.

But it’s for this same reason that I DO recommend it to advanced readers because it’s a deck tailored to a different system of reading that can yield rich insight. Even though it takes a bit of time to learn it, I think once the general meaning of the Birth Card, Annual Card, and Significator Card is understood, this becomes a potent way to connect more deeply to one’s soul purpose, current lessons, and their ancestral line.

One last thing that really impressed me about the deck was how Paris designed it to have 82 cards, and this isn’t because she added new cards. Rather, Paris offers a much-needed option for tarot decks: the choice of three Lovers cards (one male/female, one female/female, and one  male/male). I thought this customization was just lovely to make the deck more inclusive to all relationships. Then Paris also allows readers to decide if they want Strength and Justice in the Major Arcana to be 8 and 11 or 11 and 8, depending on the system of reading they use.

All in all, The Relative Tarot is a really neat deck to add to one’s collection, especially for advanced readers or those interested in learning more about their ancestral line through the cards. The imagery is stunning and the process of reading with these cards is rich and potent with soulful wisdom. Paris has made a timeless deck that moves us into the liminal realm where our ancestors can speak to us and our intuition can be heard; past, present, and future weave together to open a portal for spiritual discovery and integration.

Uncommon Tarot, by Shaheen Miro

Uncommon Tarot, by Shaheen Miro
Weiser Books, 1578637147, 64 pages, 78 cards, October 2020

I absolutely love when artists put a new twist on the classical tarot, which is just what Shaheen Miro has done with the deck The Uncommon Tarot. This mixed-media deck is filled with surprises that gently push on the boundaries of the traditional tarot cards. The imagery gently invites the reader to reimagining the tarot, as this deck has infused it visually with the symbols of diverse cultures and spiritual traditions, inviting in new wisdom to the cards.

The box this deck comes in is a lovely design. I appreciate when a creator uses a different design than a standard box where the lid separates from the bottom. The Uncommon Tarot folds open and has a magnet to keep it secure. It is small, but sturdy, and the box fits neatly within my collection of decks and ensures the cards will not start to fade in time, as happens with decks without a good box. It also has a yellow ribbon to gently guide the cards out of the deck and prevent them from getting stuck. Absolutely marvelous packaging!

It’s no wonder the box is so well designed, as the cards themselves are truly masterpieces. The cards all have an ethereal feeling to them that transcend the bounds of time and space. Some seem to have themes of Renaissance art, while others bring to mind Surrealist imagery. Interspersed is Native American, Asian, Indian, and African people and, sometimes, animals to depict the energy of the card.

My favorite card in the deck is Strength. It has a classically painted woman looking over a relaxed, life-like looking lion. The lion is crowned with a green infinity symbol. In the background is a mixture of sunflowers and painted leaves. There is a serene energy to the card. I love how the sunflowers and yellow hues remind me of the card’s correspondence to the Sun, while the green infinity symbol reminds me of the connection to the heart. While my words may not do the imagery justice, it’s as though my unconscious mind picked up on all these subtle visual cues to feel the meaning of the card within my soul.

What strikes me the most is how even though re-envisioned, every card seems to still perfectly encapsulate the energy of the traditional tarot card description. It’s as though the cards have been enhanced and are now  more revelatory because of the added element of subtle fluency and dynamic expression. Here the energy of the tarot is no longer locked into the traditional deck, and the deck comes alive through its ability to truly express the energy it’s always wanted to.

You can look at cards and still see intuitively the meaning. The minor arcana still includes the image of wands, pentacles, swords, and cups for every card, and the major arcana images still capture the essence. There’s also the name of the card at the bottom. A few names have been changed, such as the “Fool” being renamed “Wander” and “Temperance” renamed “Alchemist.” Once again though these revisions seem to magnify the energy of the card, distilling the past bias and stripping away what is excess to merge with the liminal energy of the deck between the physical and spiritual world.

There’s more emphasis on the artwork speaking for itself to guide readers to discern the information coming forth than relying on the guidebook for information. The guidebook is only a short 64 pages. For every card there is a corresponding question, keywords, general theme, and reversal information. There’s no guidance on how to do a spread, just a suggestion about how to acquaint oneself with the deck and an invitation to be creative. There’s a brief explanation of elemental energy and the meaning of numbers. And that’s about all!

One could skim through the whole guide book in about fifteen minutes. But in no way do I feel like this diminishes the deck. In fact, I feel this would still be a wonderful deck for expert or novice tarot readers because it offers the ability to reconnect with one’s intuition. Rather than offering explicit meanings, these cards leave room for there to be understanding within without it need to be clearly stated. Seeing these cards is enough to prompt your intuition and send the answers you seek through your entire being. There’s no need to run back to the words to seek the validation of what you’ve uncovered, though if you want a bit of illuminate there’s enough in the guidebook to put your mind on the right track.

While the artistry wonderfully captures the energy of the standard 78 cards in the tarot, it also infuses new layers of meaning that have really assisted my readings. I have found this deck awakens the imagination, and the visual cues of the collage-like imagery draw forth intuitive information that I may not have otherwise picked up on. This happened just this morning actually in a reading with my querent when Six of Swords was drawn.

The traditional Six of Swords tarot card has an image of a hooded figure being rowed away from shore with the swords at the front of the boat. In The Uncommon Tarot, the imagery is of a yellow butterfly soaring over the top of six swords, highlighted by blue, green, and yellow background shading, looking absolutely radiant. The moment my querent saw it, she immediately intuited the meaning of this card to represent a transition from being her cocoon to emerging to be the butterfly.

It was remarkable to see her so quickly discern the energy of the card from the artwork, and her vivid excitement about it let me know that it deeply resonated. I always appreciate when the imagery on the card speaks to my querent and infuses them with the energy of the reading beyond the words I may be saying; this is what makes for the readings people remember for a long time.

For those who are collectors, The Uncommon Tarot is definitely a deck to add to one’s collection. The title aptly describes it’s uniqueness with the magnificent artistry makes it stand out among other decks. This inclusive tarot deck successfully draws upon the ancient tradition of tarot and infuses it with a modern imagination. I highly recommend this deck to anyone looking to add a bit more fluidity to their reading, as it invites the energy to flow through the imagery and guide you to new levels of awareness.

The Magical Nordic Tarot, by Jayne Wallace

The Magical Nordic Tarot: Be Inspired by Nordic Legends and Explore Your Past, Present, and Future, by Jayne Wallace and illustrated by Hannah Davies and Tracey Emin
CICO Books, 1782498865, 64 page, 2020

The Magical Nordic Tarot by Jayne Wallace is a serenely magical deck. In recent years I’ve found myself attracted to all things Nordic such as hygge, the Northern Lights (which is on my list of things to see), and a society that promote a healthy work/life balance. However, I am not at all familiar with Nordic myths and legends. I have been looking forward to using this deck because I was curious to see how this deck would incorporate Nordic myths, gods, and goddess with the card interpretations. I am happy to say it wonderfully connects the reader with the exceptional energy of Nordic mythology, infusing the reading with the wisdom of Scandinavian culture.

The deck has a nice card stock and the card size is manageable (about 4” x 6”). The illustration on the outside of the cards reminds me of a love child between Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and the Northern Lights. A bright yellow star is and smaller illuminated stars are placed on a background of colors of muted purples, pinks, and greens.

Hannah Davies’s illustrations of the Major Arcana cards are pure beauty. The depiction of light, landscape, and images reminds me of the dancing Northern Lights. Most of the images on the Major Arcana cards are set in a Nordic landscape and each card has a unique keyword at the bottom. In the accompanying book Jayne provides a description of the scene, key words, a message, and a meaning. Also included is a description of the card’s connection to Nordic myths, folklore, gods, goddesses, or legends that provides a deeper explanation of the card’s imagery. 

I pulled a few Major Arcana cards as I familiarized myself with the deck.

The Lovers shows a man and woman each standing on what appears to be a mini iceberg. Two white swans swim towards them. Pastel colors of purple, pink, and turquoise are used in the illustration. “Passion” appears at the card’s bottom, supporting the message “I am entwined with passion.” 1 As the Nordic connection to the card, Jayne writes that “The goddess of spring and eternal youth, Idun, was thought to have magical apples that would help the gods and goddesses stay young and beautiful forever.” 2

The Magician is cloaked in a fur-trimmed jacket with the beams of the Northern Lights behind him. In the foreground is a compass, representing the directional points in which one can move. Mastery is the keyword of the card, representing that ultimately, we are all masters of our own fate.

In the Empress card, a woman sits on the ground, surrounded by blooming flowers and three rabbits (fertility). She lovingly caresses her belly that is pregnant with new life. In the background, mountains are set against the Northern Lights. Jayne describes that “in Nordic folklore it was said that seeing the Northern Lights could ease the pain of childbirth.” 3 Nurture is the keyword for this card, a reminder that we need to nurture the new. 

The Hermit depicts a young man sitting in contemplation against the background of a waterfall. In the far distance, the Northern Lights shine like beacons. A rabbit and deer stand near but do not disturb the man. Jayne details that “the Nordic tree of life was thought to have three wells under it, all of which would water its roots and keep it alive.” 4  Wisdom is the keyword, the wisdom that comes from inner knowing that bubbles up when we are silent.

Interestingly, Jayne included an extra card titled Clarity to the Major Arcana. Clarity is depicted as a blue cat, “one of the most sacred animals in Nordic mythology.” 5 Unlike the other cards in the deck, this card was illustrated by Tracey Emin and so has a different style, more of a loose Japanese water color with no Nordic references.  It is described as a card of compassion and self-care. The blue cat is “synonymous with the goddess of love and beauty, Freya, who’s thought to have traveled in a chariot pulled by cats, felines were highly prized by ancient Nordic people, who believed the cats had been given to Freya as a gift from Thor.” 6 I did not pull this card in any of my readings, though, but remain intrigued by its placement in the deck. I’m curious to see in which reading it will emerge.

The Minor Arcana cards contain depictions of each of the four suits. In the book, Jayne explains each of the four suits, their respective elements, and associations (for example, finances for Pentacles). The accompanying book also provides a description of the meaning of each card and a keyword. There are no Nordic legends or myths written about for the Minor Arcana cards. 

The numbered cards of the Minor Arcana show the respective number and suit image with a different colored background for each suit. For example, One of Swords has one sword on the card against a purplish background. While the numbered cards lack illustrations that might help one in determining a message, each card has keyword at the bottom. Going back to the One of Swords, the clarifying word is Clarity. However, the court cards of the Minor Arcana are illustrated in the same Nordic style of the Major Arcana card. Most are set against a background of mountains and Northern Lights. They also include a keyword. I feel that a beginner can easily become familiar with the meanings of the Minor Arcana with a keyword which compensates for the lack of an illustration. The austere background of the numbered cards in no way diminishes one’s ability to read the cards. 

The accompanying guide book is divided into four sections: Introduction, the Spreads, Major Arcana, and Minor Arcana. 

The Introduction offered advice to both novice and experienced readers. I liked that Jayne Wallace walks new readers through various ways to connecting with the deck. Before diving into different spreads and the card meanings, Jayne suggests ways to get the most of a reading, advice that I have found is often skipped in tarot books. I think it’s really important to build a relationship with one’s cards and liked that this information was included. Jayne recommended various ways to connect with your deck including touching every card and also sleeping with the deck under your pillow. She also offers ways to care for your cards, which I think is another aspect of working with a deck that is also often neglected. 

The Introduction also suggested various ways to begin the reading, set the mood, and participate in a closing ritual. I feel that these different components covered in this section reinforce the idea of respecting the cards, opening a “dialogue” with them, honoring the process of a reading, and concluding the reading with a ritual. I admit that I haven’t done a closing ritual in all my years of working with my cards but now plan on including last step in my ritual, which is generally centering one’s self and thanking the cards. Beautiful!

The second section of the book was on various Spreads. The Spreads range from one and three cards spreads to a spread that used 36 cards. The smaller Spreads are geared to both the Beginner and also a more experienced reader who wants a quick bit of guidance or clarification. I was not familiar with some of the spreads that Jayne included such as the four card Nordic Compass, the six card Horseshoe, the seven card Light Within, and that large 36 card spread, Clock. 

I did a few quick reads which were amazingly spot on. But of course, I had to try the Clock spread which intrigued me. In this spread you pull 12 cards and set them out like the numbers on a clock and continue the process of laying out the cards until you have three cards for each of the 12 number spots, each of which corresponds to a topic such as Money, New Beginnings, Obstacles, and Past. As Jayne writes, the spread is meant to give insight into life at the present, offering help and guidance to any obstacles or challenges. As I sat with each of the 12 piles I came to see that the three cards in each spot began to reveal a story and I was able to get a deeper understanding of the message coming forth in each of the 12 positions; much more clarification came through by pulling the three cards rather than just one as many spreads often suggest.

All in all, The Magical Nordic Tarot is a beautiful deck. I enjoyed embracing the Nordic myths and legends while engaging with the deck. The deck seemed “quiet” to me, quite like the world seems after a snowfall. The messages come through, but in a muted way that gently seeps into one’s being versus a loud pronouncement. This feeling invited me to sit with the cards, enabling them to open themselves to me. I highly recommend this deck for those who seek an unassuming read filled with the beauty of Nordic landscapes, myths, and spirituality.

Women of Science Tarot, by Massive Science

Women of Science Tarot, by Massive Science
MIT Press, 0262539934, 94 pages, September 2020

Did you know the first African American woman to get a PhD in chemistry was Marie Maynard Daly? I didn’t until recently! This is one of the many things I’ve learned from Massive Science’s Women of Science Tarot deck. Though it is promoted as a game deck, it has all the features of a standard tarot deck. Designed to explore the tarot through the lens of science, all the minor arcana features pioneering women who made their mark in scientific fields. The blending of tarot, science, and inspirational women makes this one radically unique and empowering way to seek guidance.

Before diving into the Women of Science Tarot, let’s start with the organization, Massive Science, who published this deck in coordination with MIT Press. Massive Science is a content and media company that has a consortium of scientists publishing articles for the masses. They deliver cutting-edge scientific research to their subscribers, all authored by current scientists in the field. As of now, scientists from over 50 countries have joined Massive Science’s mission of “giving science a voice in cultural conversation.” 1 You can learn more about this innovative organization here.

The community-centered approach of Massive Science is wonderfully applied to the Women of Science Tarot, which features 56 women scientists that have contributed to advancing their respective fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). These scientists all worked to overcome obstacles in their personal life and careers to leave a lasting legacy. Honestly, I am not familiar with most of the women on the cards. It has been exciting to learn more about the biographical information of these women and the paths they forged.

The box of Women of Science Tarot is well-designed and looks very couth. Upon close inspection, the box dons what appears to be a Venus of Willendorf symbol, along with mer-women holding science tools like beakers and telescopes. My favorite part was the number of players ranging from 1- ∞, once again promoting a sense of inclusivity.

Opening the box reveals a glossy, sleek guidebook and bright pink cards. The guidebook is color-coded by section. The Introduction is brief, but does include an informative suggestion to “Use the meaning of each card to narrate the plot points of a story you tell yourself or a friend.” 2 This is very helpful advice on how to use this deck for guidance, as the meanings aren’t as explicitly stated for each card and require a bit of ingenious thinking to make the connections — a very fitting method for a science-themed deck!

The next section is Major Arcana. The major arcana cards all have science images on them, intended to represent the traditional meaning of the card but through a scientific lens. The description in the guidebook reflects this scientific paradigm and ties in bits of history, knowledge, and insight for reflection. For instance, the description of the Death card discusses the extinction of the dinosaurs with a reminder that sometimes old systems of beliefs need to die off for new ones to emerge. 3

One of my favorite cards in the major arcana of this deck is Justice, which features what appears to be a swirling galaxy surrounded by the ouroboros. This card perfectly captures the merge of esoteric, mystical knowledge with science. The guidebook description discusses the conservation of energy in physics and how new stars and galaxies are constantly being formed from the remnants of old stars. 4 This is beautiful to me and really hits my soul, knowing this process is always in motion. This scientific knowledge seems to bring gnostic wisdom to life by allowing one to see how these principles are embodied in the Universe, nature, and life.

The final section is Minor Arcana, which is divided into colors to distinguish the four suits. This deck labels them nano (cups), micro (wands), macro (pentacles), and astro (swords). Nano represents sciences in the invisible field, such as math and physics; micro is the suit of molecular fields, such as chemistry and microbiology; macro is the systematic fields, such as ecology and geology; astro is the cosmic fields like astronomy. 5

The minor arcana cards have the name of the woman in the top center, with the rank to the left and the suit symbol to the right. Underneath the woman’s name is the type of scientist she was. Then there is an image of her on the card, depicting each woman in her element. All the cards have a color palette of pink, maroon, grey, and black, which makes for visually appealing color contrast on the cards. The women on the cards span centuries, come from different economic backgrounds, and represent a range of cultures, nationalities, and races, which is something I always appreciate! Yet another example of inclusivity in this deck.

To be honest, at first the symbols on the cards were a bit confusing to me. But once I found the explanations of suits in the guidebook the cards made a lot more sense. I would recommend looking at it on page 32, along with the brief description of each type of minor card on page 33, before doing your first reading. Once I understood the correspondences, the cards became much more intuitive. I was then able to translate my readings better because I could draw from the energy of the traditional tarot card and mix it with the message of the Women of Science description of the scientist featured on the cards drawn.

However, even with the informative cards, I still rely heavily on the guidebook for the purpose of familiarizing myself with each scientist. While some are well-established heroes of mine, such as Hypatia (Ace of Astro) and Ursula K. LeGuin (Page of Astro), the majority of women I have yet to learn about. For me, this is a fun endeavour because I find out more about each woman’s inspirational story, while also buffing up on my scientific knowledge.

It’s an interesting combination to be in the midst of an intuitive reading, when suddenly I find myself researching more about mRNA to better understand the message Elisa Izaurraide (Two of Micro) has for my life. Since she’s appeared in my readings three times so far, I feel there’s a deeper connection here I need to make with her, and to do this requires me to delve into her research and more deeply ponder how it may be relevant to my own life.

I’ve always loved reading biographies of women because their life stories are often filled with nuggets of wisdom and motivation. In the highlight reel society of our time, featuring on the most memorable Instagram posts to paint a picture of perfection, biographies have always reminded me of the highs and lows of life that no one can hide from. They feed me stories of how women before me have overcome their challenges, conquered their insecurities, and pushed forward on their path, regardless of the obstacles that stand in their way — and not without the occasional fall from grace or grief-striking moments in life that seem to rip it apart at the seams, humbling me to my own perceived slights from the Universe.

Women of Science Tarot is the perfect mixture of stories about these scientists’ lives and guidance for our own lives, distilled from their accomplishments, struggles, and research. Using this deck may be a new style for more intuitive readers, but the descriptions in the guidebook make it easily accessible to even the left-brained, more creative thinkers to find meaning from the lives of these scientists. It’s a different type of reading that prompts us to celebrate the pioneering path of women scientists, while also promoting creativity in how we invite their stories into our lives to bring us to new heights and revelation. I highly recommend it to everyone, for we can all use a bit of scientific wisdom and women empowerment in our lives.

Angel Tarot, by Travis McHenry

Angel Tarot, by Travis McHenry
Rockpool Publishing, 1925924206, 72 cards, 122 pages, April 2020

Many angel oracle or tarot decks feature sweeping images of light, splendor, and magnificence, along with a comforting affirmation of the angels’ eternal love and devotion. While Angel Tarot by Travis McHenry does facilitate this sacred connection to the power of the angels, the deck is unique because it also offers sigils, seals, and ancient grimoire knowledge to invite the angels into your life. Working with the Angel Tarot allows you to do more than just your standard tarot reading; the energy of the angels is yours to evoke, meditate with, and conjure for magical purposes.

Travis McHenry is a seasoned occultist that has had a varied career. He has an academic background in anthropology and has studied a variety of religions; he was even ordained as a deacon in the Baptist church at one time. McHenry also served in the United States Navy as an intelligence specialist. Afterwards he became a recruiter for the largest telephone psychic company in the world.1 Previously to publishing this deck, McHenry created The Occult Tarot, which is a 78-card deck featuring daemons of the 17th century with guidance on demon conjuration according to Solomonic principles.

It is McHenry’s incorporation of high magic that makes Angel Tarot very different from the usual New Age angel oracle cards or tarot decks. Every card features the tarot correspondence, the angel’s divine name, angelic number, few word description of the meaning of the name, astrological meaning of the card and angel, the angel’s abilities, summoning sigil, and magical seal. I realize this may not make sense to someone who doesn’t have much experience with high magic, but McHenry offers enough guidance that even a novice would be able to effectively use the cards to summon angels.

The guidebook introduction describes Cornelia Agrippa’s doctrine about every human being born with three guardian angels. McHerny describes the difference between each guardian angel, but leaves it up to the deck user to figure out which angels are their guardians. Then there is a brief overview of the hierarchy of angels. I have written a series about the different angels, so if you’re interested you can read a general overview here.

From here, McHenry provides succinct and straightforward directions to conjure angelic spirits. He even includes an image of the Grand Pentacle of Solomon to keep practitioners safe while using the deck. For those who wish to evoke an angel using one of the cards, there is a script for before and after the evocation. McHenry’s directions make it very easy to choose an angel from the deck to petition, connect with the angel, state your request, and then formally end the ritual. I absolutely love the ability to use the cards as a focal point while summoning angels. Angel magic has been what I plan on devoting my studies to this year, and the Angel Tarot is the perfect accompaniment for this undertaking in a safe, contained manner.

Other ways to use the cards suggested by McHenry are meditation and divination. Meditation can attune someone to the angel of your choice’s energy if they do not feel up for doing the full evocation ritual, and is what I would recommend from someone just getting used to the system of this method of working with angels. Then for those doing divination, McHenry writes, “When reading with this deck your answers may come from the tarot connection, the angel’s astrological connection or the angel’s ability.”2 This gives a lot of versatility with this deck, along with plenty of room to explore the different angel correspondences for study and oracular purposes. So far I’ve enjoyed working with the cards more for meditation than divination.

The rest guidebook is the description of meaning for each card. Fair warning, it is not in the style of a usual guidebook that will explicitly state what the card means. Each description has a biblical verse, photograph of the card, and information about when the angel is the soul, mortal, or physical guardian (excluding the six archangels, which have almost the exact same description on their card). This information is how one can find out who their three guardian angels are if they are interested in fostering a relationship with them in particular. The guidebook also shares the intonation for each angel’s name, which is important for ritual evocation, and rank in the angel hierarchy. I learned my moral and soul guardian are the same angel!

There are no specifics given about how the cards relate to the tarot other than this card is this tarot correspondence and guidance on how to do some common tarot spreads. Therefore you should already be familiar with the energy of tarot, otherwise you will not be able to make the associations as easily. Even without knowing the tarot correspondence though, there’s still value in this deck as a method to work with angels. I say this to ensure that someone who sees the title Angel Tarot knows that the main focus is on the 78 angels.

The cards in the deck are gorgeous. They are all coated in gold trim and have The Grand Pentacle of Solomon on the back and in the background of the front of the cards as all. The color scheme of gold, grey, and white hues give the deck a sleek, classical feeling. The images on the front of the cards look like Renaissance sketches. There’s a complexity to the simplicity to the cards, for they all look clean-cut but are filled with sigils, seals, imagery, and words that all seem to attract the eye at once. Red and black emphasize the imagery on some cards, making them more pronounced and striking as one looks through the deck.

I highly recommend Angel Tarot to anyone looking to establish a practice of summoning angels, enhancing their high magic practice, or learn more about the kabbalah hierarchy of angels. While it seems more suited for an experienced occultist, this deck is absolutely user-friendly for people to work with at a beginner level. As I delve into my year of dedicated study of the angels, I am very grateful to have this deck as an enhancement to work I plan on doing. McHenry has done a wonderful job of synthesizing arcane grimoires, occult knowledge, and magical practice to create an outstanding deck.

Visionary Path Tarot, by Lucy Delics

Visionary Path Tarot: A 78-Card Deck, by Lucy Delics
Park Street Press, 1644110601, 32 pages, 78 cards, 2020

Lucy Delics (aka Emma Lucy Shaw) has created a stunning black and white deck that captures tarot archetypes woven with spiritual symbols, plant medicines, and Peruvian images in Visionary Path Tarot. Delics worked for over three years on the creation of this deck, utilizing the plant medicines ayahuasca and huachuma and connecting with her guides, high up in the Andes mountains of Peru. The Visionary Path Tarot contains all of the 78 cards of the Major and Minor Arcana of a traditional tarot deck. (Note:  Delic does not number the Major Arcana cards, yet the guidebook lists them in their traditional order for your reference.)

In the guidebook, Delic describes her journey from the UK to Peru and how ancient plant medicines and Peruvian Spirit doctors helped her heal her heart after her mother’s death.1 She goes on to describe experiences with shapeshifting, psychedelic journeys, and seeing the visuals that became many of the images for these beautiful cards. The guidebook provides direct and reversed interpretations for each card, as well as a few spreads for utilizing the cards for divination. 

On Delic’s website, she says that the deck, “Features intricate black-and-white archetypal and fractal images that act as binary codes of consciousness, allowing you to feel the inner guidance flowing from the cards and make intuitive interpretations.”2  She also shared briefly about her studies of several different traditions, including Norse, Celtic, Navajo, and Egyptian.  

These cards are so beautiful and are both intricate and simple in design. For example, the Two of Pentacles features a scale and an eagle.  Only two elements, yet the background design is also an intricate series of curvy lines that can take you on your own journey. If you meditate on the card, you can allow the energy to be your vehicle for transformation or healing. When you connect in with the card’s imagery, you can also feel a message bubbling up and the guidance enters your aura and lands on your heart and soul.

I really enjoyed the back design of the cards as well.  It features the drawing of a hand, also created with intricate, black and white art, with the index finger touching a four-pointed star.  It is like the healing hand of some great Medicine Doctor or Peruvian Shaman. It makes a great meditation aide, as well as the flip side, where you find each card design.

It was hard to select a favorite card, so I picked two:  Death and Strength.  Strength is typically the card I look to when I am appraising a deck for my own personal use.  If I can connect with the Strength card, then the deck is going to be a good fit for me. In this case, Delics uses the traditional symbolism of the maiden and the lion. Yet, the girl is not the demure archetype in other decks.  She is strong, confident, and commanding.  I also get a “yellow brick road” vibe from this card, as if she is on her way to fulfilling her dreams. The lion is there to remind her of her innate courage and strength.

The Death card features a coyote or some type of fox.  He is cunning, kind, and benevolent, according to the feelings that I get when I meditate on this card.  There is also a beating heart, which is connected to both the Spirit Animal and the designs on the card. Some of the valves are attached to arteries and one is attached to a leaf, perhaps plant medicine? She also features a snake skin for rejuvenation, a figure eight for simplicity and balance, and a face that looks like an Egyptian Pharaoh.  All in all, this Death card represents transformation, regeneration, and rebirth.  I could meditate on it for hours and learn more and more about myself and my journey.

I used the deck for a reading for myself, using one of the spreads that Delics includes. The Horseshoe Spread3 is a good one for an overall reading.  With the 7 cards that I drew, I learned that I might benefit from:

Being aware of too many irons in the fire, as well as being ready to take a risk on a new beginning.  I was also reminded that I have all of the resources I need and a suggestion to use my healing gifts for myself and my family.  

Such a strong message from these cards!  I really enjoyed this reading and the simple, yet profound messages that came through. I’m looking forward to using the cards more for personal reflection and healing work.

The Visionary Path Tarot might be best for a seasoned tarot reader or student.  Because the designs are simple, yet intricate and more than a few vary greatly from traditional tarot symbolism, a reader might want to have some experience and knowledge in the tarot to benefit from using these cards. The guidebook has very basic meanings for each card, almost like key words.  For this reason, I also recommend this deck for a more experienced reader. 

Delics has created a truly magical deck, rich in symbolism and imbued with hidden messages and codes for personal healing. She currently lives in the Peruvian Andes with her family.