Tarot decks: preferred and home crafted

These are the decks I use most often…there are others I want but that’s a different post.

The Fradella Adventure deck.  This deck uses images of superheroes and villains to portray the scenes typically found in more traditional (and boring)  Rider-Waite decks.  No it’s not filled with pictures of Wizards and lantern wielding Hermits, but it’s images are wondrously animated.  Also, the fiction Ezine put out by the iHero team responsible for creating this deck tells the stories of the Heroes and Villains found upon the 78 cards.  Here’s the Heirophant from the deck, which depicts The Swan:

click to see more

The other deck I like is the Lord of the Rings Tarot by Peter Pracownik & Terry Donaldson.  This deck is great and probably my favorite to work with.  Its symbolism is right on the money.  I like decks that have a story behind them and that don’t just portray static scenes.  This deck takes the  hokus-pokus out of tarot, much like the Fradella deck, but does so in a way the bridges both the modern mind and  the mythic one.

click to see more

The last one I’ve been using more recently is a self created Star Wars themed deck.  I fused three different regular card playing decks together to create it.  I scoured the internet for a Star Wars tarot specific deck, and could only find a few cards that represented the Major Arcana.  Some were good, and some were not.  In the end I used regular sets of playing cards, but with a Star Wars theme.

Firstly I’m using: Diamonds=Pentacles, Hearts=Cups, Clubs=Wands, Spades=Wands.  The numbers are the same and the only difference is that I left out Knights as is common in playing cards.  I’m not going to go into detail here as to why I use Spades for Wands or any of the other specifics – there are plenty of resources for this, and in the end I went with how I felt about it. Here’s a sample image from the finished deck:

The light bordered cards are the Minor Arcana cards – The black bordered cards are the Majors.  This is only a sample, the whole deck is done and has been used quite often.   Most of the Minor Arcana scenes are in line with Rider-Waite meanings, and I have to admit I was quite shocked at just how close they truly are.

If you’re interested here are the decks I used to construct the Star Wars Tarot.

Minor Arcana = Star Wars Famous Quotes Playing Card Deck

Major Arcana = Star Wars Heroes and Villains Playing Cards  –

All decks were bought at a dollar store, separate, and I probably spent less than $5 on all of them.  As you can see I sleeved them.  The reason is two fold; I want this deck to last and the sets have different card backings making it difficult to get an honest reading.  I thought about inking the backs but these sets are not laminated and I felt the ink would go right through.  I would love to get rid of the sleeves, so if anyone as any ideas please share.

Here’s a list of the Majors, which some may disagree with:

Fool = Wicket

Magician = Lando

High Priest/ess = Qui-Gon Jinn

Queen = Leia

King = Han

Homemade Force

Hierophant = Yoda

Lovers = Padme Amidala

Chariot = Biker Scout

Strength = C3PO

Hermit = Obi-Wan (Episode 4)

Wheel = R2D2

Justice = Luke (Episode 6)

Hangman = Anakin (Episode 3)

Death = Darth Vader

Temperance = Bail Organa

Devil = Darth Maul

Tower = Boba Fett (Episode 6)

Star = Mon Mothma (Episode 4)

Moon = Stormtrooper

Sun = Boss Nass (holds a glowing orb above head)

Judgement – Grand Moff Tarkin

World = Shmi Skywalker

Tarot trove

Been working with the Tarot lately.

Firstly I’ve been working with the Tarot as a magic(k)al system via the Golden Dawn way of working.   It’s a fairly easy way of working ritual, beneficial to anyone interested in a Western Hermetic form of magic(k).  At the heart of using the Tarot for magic(k) is the manipulation of

Magician

Elemental and Astrological symbolism built within the Tarot trumps.  Like most ritual magic(k) these energies are called upon and raised via visualization, and through a syncrhronization between Mage and object(in this system that being the Tarot)  this results in the focused direction of Will.

Because of the Elemental nature of Golden Dawn based magic(k)the Mage is asked to work within the confines of quadratic magic(k)al operation.  That means that an altar is constructed utilizing the Aces of every suit each representing the fundamental framework of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Upon this altar the Magician places the object (A Tarot card) that is the goal of the rite and around the Magician circle the 12 Astrological signs of the Zodiac embodied within the Greater Arcana of

the Tarot.   So as in all Magic(k)al operations the Magician becomes the focus of the entire universe in that moment – The heavens above symbolized by the Zodiac and that which is below and within via the Elemental altar and the Magician him/herself.

I decided to take up this Tarot form of working after having put down Enochian.  I had been wanting to experiment with a Western Occult form of magic(k) and learning.  Enochian was far to complicated/christianized/hierachical/expensive for me to play with…so using the Tarot and delving into its symbology along with learning a bit more about Golden Dawn symbolism fit the bill.

Secondly, I’ve been becoming more familiar with the Tarot in general.  The Tarot embodies a story and I’m using decks that draw on the idea that that story is mythic and universal.  My main deck is the LOTR deck primarily because of its mythological relevance; it tells a story, and each card represents a stage of that universal life story.  Also I’ve been constructing and using regular playing card decks that hold the ideals of myth and story that I like to explore with Tarot.

When doing readings for others I feel the cards should not only have meaning for me, but should be identifiable by the Querent.  If I’m using a Rider-Waite deck will the Querent understand the five of wands…probably not.  But if I’m using a deck that carries symbolism that our culture readily understands through our shared mythos of movies, TV characters, or children’s fables perhaps the Querent will be able to add to what I bring as a reader.

Pinball Themed Tarot

So, I’m working on obtaining and constructing decks that remove the mystical from the Tarot and allow Querents to better understand the message of the Tarot through the common mythology of modern stories.  Tarot, and any form of divination, does not need to be weighted down with esoteric gobbledygook, its merely a tool that helps people understand the present and how that present shifts into the future – it’s not inherently magic(k)al, special, or spiritual –  it certainly can be given those connotations, but it doesn’t need them in order to be functional.

Rune Reading

Rune reading for me is an intuitive process.  I like to cast sticks without Runes etched into them and simply read the patterns that form within the sticks.  I use a multitude of ways with my personal readings though; from using Rune dice, to using Tarot in conjunction with Runes, and using various Futharks

For me casting sticks can work well, but I think people tend to like the look  and attention that comes with the placing of cards, or the casting of stones.

This is the guide that I have been using for more Tarot-style Rune readings.  The mat is mine and didn’t come from a book or expert…unless I have unintentionally reproduced it from a reference of which I am unaware.

Generally I’m not a fan of using Runes in a Tarot like manner, but I can live with it.  And this pattern seems to function pretty well for Querents that may not have a specific question but want a more “What’s going on in my life at this moment, and what’s around the corner” kind of reading.

The Runes you see on the mat are not a casting, but a guide for what the location relates too.  The reading answers life questions on three levels:

The Vertical – Symbolized by Raidho, Eiwhaz, Laguz – Which deals with the self through Mind, Body , and Soul.  This is the Querents current state of being.

The Horizontal – Symbolized by Fehu, Hagal, Tyr – Which deals with the terrestrial life of the individual via the first Rune of each Aett and takes into account the caste system hierarchy found in Indo-European societies; Workers,Warriors, and Rulers/Priests.  This is to be read as what is around the corner for Money/Health/and Well Being/Personal Force

The Liminal – Symbolized by Mannaz, Jera, Ansuz – Direct advice that should be heeded in order to improve oneself, to function properly, and how to better ones relationship with the given world in question.  This advice is a directive from the world of Man, the world of Nature, and the world of the gods.

As you can see there is a chronological component here as well.  The Vertical is Now – The Horizontal is Becoming – The Liminal has a more “To be Developed” quality, and requires perhaps a longer frame of reference.

Overall I would place a Time frame of 3-6 months on this reading for the Querent.

Future divination patterns and practices forthcoming.