Tag Archives: navigators of the mystic SEA

Looking back on five months of “decks of the week”

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For my 100th public post on this blog I’m going to look back on the “deck of the week” project that was the reason I started blogging here again pretty much exactly five months ago. So far, I have used 21 decks in 22 weeks (17 of them have been tarots, the remaining four were oracles, one of which was a non-card oracle). I think this is totally worth a toast!

Those have been 22 very different weeks in terms of my tarot-related activities.

Sometimes, I did a lot of readings in one week, like with the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA, Waking the Wild Spirit, or Deviant Moon (unfortunately, I can’t show you most of the readings here so you just have to believe me). The one thing I’ve stopped pretty soon is doing daily draws/readings. I just don’t have that many questions. As a result I currently don’t participate in exchanges all that much, and I also don’t read much for myself. I’m also doubting that readings are as interesting to the readers of this blog as they are for me (and hopefully my sitters). I may eventually go on to borrow the idea of Tarot Bonkers to read in second person or the one of Sharyn’s daily draws with more or less “impersonal” associations (and an interesting quote). Or I may try and read for fictional/historic characters that are somewhat well-known like Satu did a while ago (I especially liked the ones for Eve and Voldemort).

In other weeks I felt more like contemplating a certain aspect of the deck as a whole (e.g. gender in the Deviant Moon, flora and fauna in Waking the Wild Spirit, Hubble space telescope photos that have been used in the Quantum, the Classic suits, or relationships between men during the Renaissance inspired by the Da Vinci Enigma). That has always been fun, especially since all of these studies happened because I suddenly got curious about something…

In yet other weeks I’ve done experiments or exercises with the respective deck (e.g. rearrange furniture and write a Halloween story with the Margarete Petersen, read about Star Trek episodes with the Balbi, do a reverse tarot reading with the Songs for the Journey Home, try out unusual reading methods with the Da Vinci Enigma, chat away with the Silicon Dawn). I’ve also enjoyed those a lot, mainly because I like trying new things. I’ve come across several other great ideas for future experiments on other people’s tarot blogs, so I may use a few of them eventually.

Sometimes I read a lot of background material (like with the Discordian Deck and a little with the Da Vinci Enigma), and sometimes I read nothing but the cards. Often, I just explored individual cards and decks on the side while I was doing a reading (usually for myself). I’m aware that combined readings/card reflections aren’t the best way to present insights, so this is another aspect of this blog that may benefit from some changes.

And sometimes I just blinged the hell out of a card or two (Deviant Moon, Thoth [not a “deck of the week” yet], International Icon Tarot). I’m sure there will be other candidates for that approach.

I was surprised to discover that I wasn’t as happy as I thought when I had the chance to reconnect with old favorites (e.g. Housewives, Ironwing). This led me to the decision to focus mostly on my (nearly) unused decks in my selections for this project. I was also surprised – once again – how well I could read with non-scenic pips (Balbi, Classic, Oswald Wirth, and also the Discordian Deck), and how much I enjoyed that. Finally, I was surprised by how much I liked decks that I felt hesitant about at first (Balbi, Discordian), and how right I was about thinking I’d enjoy others (Key to the Kingdom cards, Silicon Dawn).

I once used two decks in one week (Discordian, Fantastic Menagerie) because I feared one of them (the Discordian) wouldn’t read well enough for me, but quickly noticed that not only had I erred in my assessment of this deck, I also didn’t have the time to look at two decks in just one little week. I also used one deck for three weeks (Silicon Dawn) because I had been looking forward to exploring it during my holidays and then extended the exploration for the entire duration of my time off work. I don’t plan to repeat this with another deck, but the Silicon Dawn was definitely worth it.

The main “trick” for me with this project was not to allow myself to use a different deck just because I don’t like the one I’ve picked for the week (exceptions were my short interlude with the Story Cubes, going back to the tarot deck of the previous week to fulfill an exchange agreement that I couldn’t do with an oracle, or one reading with an erotic deck for an exchange where only those decks were allowed). I found that I can get along with nearly every deck for a week (the Celtic Wisdom Sticks  were the disastrous exception, closely followed by the mess of the Northern Shadows – but I still stuck with each them until the week was over).

I have decided to let go of four of the decks I’ve used (Waking the Wild Spirit, Quantum, Celtic Wisdom Sticks, Tarot of Northern Shadows). I most regret not clicking at all with the Northern Shadows, but pretty pictures really don’t make up for incredibly sloppy research and egomania. I’m actually really glad that I managed to pick some decks for the trade/sale list since I don’t consider myself a collector for collecting’s sake. My idea still is to have a library of working decks, and I’d rather have a small one of tried and tested ones than an ever-extending one of decks I barely get out in a year. I have also acquired seven new tarots/oracles (most of them from fellow Aeclectic members) since I started the project, three of which I’ve already used.

The most-clicked post (excluding the Pagan Blog Project ones) was Bling the Deviant Moon! and the least-clicked one was Why “Deck of the Week”?. The Deviant Moon is one of the most searched-for decks, closely followed by the Margarete Petersen. Most people come here by way of a Google image search, but I hope that some of them also stay around for some of the text.

So far, the project has been totally worthwhile. It kept me using my decks and it made me explore new ones that I hadn’t used before. A week seems a good time to get at least a basic idea of a deck and its compatibility with me, so I’ll stick to that schedule. Anything less would be stressful, and anything more would make me procrastinate because there’d always be next week… Since I’m easily bored, a good deal of variety is key to sticking with something for an extended period of time. I’ve found a lot of interesting things to do with a tarot (or oracle) deck, and I’m sure I won’t run out of ideas anytime soon.

I also have a question or two for you readers (feel free to answer any or all of them):

  • What kinds of tarot/oracle posts on this blog do you like best? Why? (Excluding the ones for the Pagan Blog Project, because those are a completely different category of writing for me.)
  • How do you feel about the posts from the “reading” category, especially the ones that aren’t also “experiments”? Do you like them? Why (not)?
  • Would you like to see some other kind of tarot or oracle-related posts that I haven’t written so far? (I’m not saying I’ll fulfill any wishes but you may just inspire me!)

Please feel free to add any other comments you’d like to make about this project and my way of blogging about it. I’m very curious! I’d also like to get a better idea of your interests and preferences so I can better judge what of my writing is of public interest and what is better kept behind the scenes. After all, I don’t want to bore you!

And now all I have to say for today is: Good night!

Navigating away from the Navigators

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It’s time to change decks again, so here I am looking back on the week with the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA. Since I did a new deck interview with this one again, I’ll use that as a reference point.

1. What key lesson does this deck have for me this week? Chariot

I’m inching forward on my path toward a more fulfilling life (especially in terms of work). This week, I’ve discovered a few more small puzzle pieces to add to the developing picture.

Service to a deserving goal still plays a big role in that.

2. What is this deck best used for?Six of Wands

Ignoring all the theoretical background for the deck worked well indeed. I just jumped into reading with it and managed to do three readings for other people in addition to one for myself. Pretty good for a rather busy week.

And yes, I like this deck a lot more than the Quantum Tarot from last week. I’m definitely keeping the Navigators. There’s so much more to explore, and I haven’t even touched on any of the possibilities for actual study of the deck.

3. What will I take away from my time with this deck at the end of the week?Five of Swords

I managed to stay within my limits with the exchanges I participated in, but one more would have been too much.

The keywords worked surprisingly well for me. In some readings they almost assumed center stage before the actual images. I now consider them another detail of the cards that I can zoom into when appropriate and completely not-see at other times.

I already said this on AT, but here it is again as a part of my summary of my time with this deck:

“I’m surprised by how short my readings with the Navigators are. There are so many details in most cards, but I ignore most and just zoom in onto 1-3 of them. I don’t even try to describe the cards anymore, let alone in detail.

This may be related to my new technique of turning over all cards at once and looking at the big picture first. Or it may be this deck in particular. Whatever the reason, I enjoy exploring this new facet of quick, to-the-point (I hope!) readings.

I don’t think I even came close to grasping the Navigators deck as a whole (that has been easier with other decks), but I’ve gotten a few worthwhile glimpses that prompt me to keep the deck for another few rounds. This could also be an interesting study deck.”

I notice that my way of reading a spread is changing a bit. The readings are getting shorter and I stopped exploring every single detail of a card. I’m curious to see if this is a lasting change.

Where do I go?

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Is anyone else singing along with me to the melody of the song from “Hair”? My quest is a lot less all-encompassing, though. You see, two invitations for two different events reached me during the last few weeks. I would like to accept both of them but the events happen to be at the same time, so a combination of the two is unfortunately not an option.

So I’m asking the Navigators for some input to help me make the right choice. The cards are laid out on the two written invitations. The spread is a slightly changed version of one Soaring Eagle posted on AT recently.

1 – 2 – 3 — 4 – 5 – 6

Event #1
1. Positive of going there
Five of Pentacles (keyword: adversity)
2. Negative of going thereKnight of Wands (affiliation)
3. Outcome of going thereTen of Swords (destitution)

Two cards face left, which is the past to me, and the third has a strong “end” theme.That makes sense because this event would mostly be a final get-together with a group of people I used to work with. Saying goodbye at that event would be nice for a proper end of this time of my life. However, it could also be an opportunity to meet new people from that group and/or reinforce connection to some “old” ones, and I’m not sure what the point of that would be. They are nice people, of course, but I only have so much time for taking care of my friendships and I’m not interested in the Facebook kind of “friends.” So I’m afraid I’d make promises to stay in touch that I wouldn’t end up keeping, and I don’t really want to do that. Furthermore, the snake in the middle card stands out, but it feels lonely and in the wrong environment. Snake is a meaningful animal to me, and having it appear so “lost” (and possibly even about to be attacked by the knight) enforces the negative side of this affiliation.

Event #2
4. Positive of going thereLovers (discrimination)
5. Negative of going thereAeon (realization)
6. Outcome of going thereSix of Swords (ascendancy)

Two majors and an outcome card that is very clearly moving forward. This would be an event focused on the future. It would offer the opportunity to reaffirm a choice I made or introduce me to an even better alternative, or maybe even a combination of the two. In the middle card is a bird carrying a bone, which is also very meaningful to me and underlines the sense of “right place,” even if this is the “negative” card.

Well, I think that decision is already made, I just wasn’t aware of that before this reading. Or maybe I couldn’t admit to myself that I’d rather focus on the new beginning than on the end of the “old” thing.

I have to admit I mostly read the keywords and general directions of the cards and didn’t zoom in onto many details. This is a new technique for me, which may be related to turning over all cards at once and looking at the big picture first. It also makes the reading much shorter and less rambling.

Hello, Navigators…

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I found a different version of a New Deck spread here, on one of the early reading exchange threads for the Deck of the Week people, so I’m curious to try it with the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA. I slightly reworded some of the positions.

1. What key lesson does this deck have for me this week? Chariot

There’s a bat hanging from a microphone stand. The microphone cord ends at the shoulder of a kneeling person who has their mouth taped shut. The person offers a sword to a woman with her foot on a small chariot on two wheels. However, there are no actual reigns between her hand and the horses. She seems to be guiding the animals by telepathy.

To me, this says “stop talking, start acting.” Or, “stop announcing what you will do and just do it instead.”

It also tells me the most important powers I need to move forward are my mental capacities, not any kind of physical force. An attitude of service to a larger goal would probably suit me well.

This doesn’t seem to be about the deck as such (although it could be), but about my life in general..

By the way, the LWB says about this card: “You understand the needs and desires of your ego, and are capable of silencing its voice and demanding that it regard you with deference, for you are far greater than it can ever be.” I think I get the ideas of not letting one’s ego run the show and of being more than one’s ego, but I’m not convinced that bashing the poor ego into submission and silence is the way to go..

2. What is this deck best used for?Six of Wands

This horse and rider have arrive triumphantly at a finishing line marked with a fiery banner. The scene does look a bit circus-y.

Since wands are associated with intuition in this deck, I take this to mean that my planned intuitive approach to readings is exactly right (for me, this week). Besides that, the deck seems to be best suited to playful, easy successes (neither rider nor horse look particularly strained by the effort). How I’m supposed to make sure of that I don’t quite know… But it’s probably true: a handful of easy successes often goes a long way in motivating me for a stretch of hard(er) work.

The LWB suggests I “need to become open to all experiences, using them in a positive way to strengthen [my] ultimate goals” and to “be clear and truthful about [my] motives and aims.” Okay: I want a playful time with the Navigators deck this week that gives me an easy sense of success. I also wouldn’t mind feeling more enthusiastic about this deck than I did about last week’s Quantum Tarot.

3. What will I take away from my time with this deck at the end of the week?Five of Swords

One person seems to have stabbed the other with a sword (although it’s unclear why there are three swords altogether, plus two in the background). At first, it looked like a scene that I don’t especially want to take away from my week with the Navigators. But then I noticed the lizard slithering out of the picture, green unlike anything else in the card…

I take that to mean that I’ll be untouched by whatever intellectual disputes there may be about this deck. I may end up realizing that any study of kabbalah (however you want to spell it), astrology, and whatever else is associated with this deck is completely optional and that a lack of it doesn’t harm my ability to read with the cards.

The LWB speaks of “promises [that] have been too easily made and not kept” because “the mistake was to take on more than [I] could comfortably handle.” I take that as a warning not to take on too many exchange/readings commitments because the week  may end up being shorter than it seems today. (The deck’s creator, Julia Turk, really must have changed a lot of things about the deck compared to the Rider-Waite takes on the Golden Dawn tradition — normally I would associate that kind of message with the Ten of Wands…)

Note: The keywords don’t add anything for me, so far. If anything, they are limiting my interpretation of a card, what I can see in the image.

New deck: Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA

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The random number generator has spoken again and gives me a choice between these decks for this week:

The Rider-Waite was out fairly quickly, even though it was nice to briefly handle my rather unevenly trimmed version again (unevenly due to cutting along the inner borders which apparently framed differently-sized pictures). I remember using it exclusively for a couple of months, and it now has a nice, used feel to it. Nevertheless, it wasn’t the deck I wanted to use this week. I was torn between the other two for a while, but eventually settled on the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA.

Initial impressions:

This is yet another deck I never used before (I feel as if I say that nearly every week, but then I tend to pick the unknown ones from my suggestions). I don’t have the companion book, but the little white book (LWB) informs me that the majors have had their order reversed, which — they say — is “the Way of the Future.” Likewise, the minors start with the tens as the lowest cards and end with the Aces as the highest ones. Only the court cards keep their traditional order, which here represent “four gradually rising levels of initiation.” According to the LWB, the deck is “based on the traditional Golden Dawn foundation of the Hermetic Cabala.” I’m not sure why I even have so many decks with strong kabbalistic leanings since I don’t have much interest in studying the kabbalah (at least right now). That way, I’m probably missing out on a lot of layers of meaning with these decks, but I’m just not into the rather cerebral approach to spirituality and all the hierarchies that I seen much of what I read about the kabbalah and related things (which may also just show how little I do in fact know!). Since the majors aren’t numbered and no Hebrew letters appear on the cards, it seems easy to ignore all this, though.

All cards have a keyword, which I usually really dislike. So I’m curious to see how I get along with the keywords of the Navigators deck. If I decide to keep the deck, I might be tempted to trim off the keywords and the U.S. Games logo at the bottom…

I know Le Fanu loves this deck due to the androgyny of most of its characters (he has also written a great review of the deck that explains several things I had been wondering about — including the capitalization of “SEA”). I read most of the characters as male, but its a rather feminine maleness that reminds me of “gay interest” vintage photos of male gymnasts, Wilhelm von Gloeden-style “ephebe” portrayals, or posed male nudes in general. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you.

I really enjoy the colors of the deck, in fact that was one thing that initially drew me to it. I also like the animal companions in a lot of the cards and am curious to see how they figure in readings.

The cardstock is fine, not quite as nice as that of the Balbi, but at least they’ve skipped the shiny lamination of the Deviant Moon here.

I think I need to read with the deck now to say more.