Tag Archives: quantum

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

Standard

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!

Three Reasons to keep the Quantum Tarot

Standard

Today is my last (half) day with the Quantum Tarot. It has been another busy week, and I’m a little bit sorry that I didn’t get to do a single reading for anyone else with the deck. I suppose one of the reasons why I didn’t make room for even a small reading exchange was my rather uninterested feeling about the Quantum. I neither liked nor disliked it enough to spark any kind of passion for it. So I decided to give it a chance to convince me of keeping it by asking for three reasons why I should do so (no positional meanings).

High Priestess

Yes, you do have some truly great colors. Love the theater curtain effect and the look into (mostly) empty space it creates in this card. Makes me think of passing through that curtain to see what’s on the other side (interesting question: am I audience or actor here?). I take it to mean that there’s more to this deck than I can see right now, and that delving further into its depths might be worth it.

Queen of Cups

Oh, you are a cheeky one! Provoking me by throwing out the card I said I liked least… Well, that is a strategy to make me interested. Looking for what I dislike most often offers very valuable insights. I get your point here, Quantum Tarot.

Seven of Pentacles

No, no, no. This is not how it works, dear Quantum Tarot. I can’t even read this card. Unless you mean you’d serve well as an example of computer art that doesn’t quite work, no matter how many fancy colors, metallic effects, and difficult angles the artist has used? Maybe the companion booklet will offer something worthwhile?

There are six types of quark, and they come in three pairs; up and down, charm and strange, top and bottom. […] The name “quark” is a nonsense word quoted from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake: “Three quarks for Muster Mark!” The two heaviest quarks, top and bottom, were originally named truth and beauty, but this was thought too poetic for physics!

Okay, this is good stuff. I like that something in the natural sciences has been named “charm” and “strange,” and I could entertain myself for a while by pondering how these two are opposites (if in fact they are!). I also enjoy the reference to literature. The companion booklet is indeed a really good one, with lots of starting point for further research into new physics and exploration of related ideas.

We have gathered a lot of stuff, probably more than we’ll ever need. The 7 of Pentacles is not about questioning this surplus but appreciating it. […] What resources have you amassed?

Are you telling me I should keep you as a collectible? That every tarot library needs some books that aren’t read much? Speaking of libraries, you do work exceptionally well as a bookend for other tarot decks (which isn’t very relevant any more, now that I put my decks into two drawers — but you never know when I’ll rearrange things again).

I’ll add an extra reason of my own: the silver edges. Even though they are too much on a migraine day, they are really pretty.

Well. This has been an interesting exercise. Now I just need to make up my mind about whether these reasons outweigh the reasons for not keeping the Quantum Tarot…

Visions, color changes, and imperfection

Standard

There’s a project I need to finish, but I can’t seem to get started with doing that. So I decided to read on it, in the hopes that this will turn out to be more productive than aimlessly hopping around on the internet…

I made up this spread just now, as a variation of many similar ones I saw over the years.

—2
1—
—3

1. The main ideaThree of Wands

I see an alien figure holding out a hand towards the silhouette of a sailing ship. It almost looks like a presentation of a projected image. Three orange beams of light mark three places in the wide open space-ocean surrounding the alien and ship.

Indeed, my project will be a presentation of something old(ish), and it will probably include the projection of images. I see myself as the alien here, reaching out and explaining, hoping for a connection. The results of my endeavour are not clear, it could be very rewarding, a total disaster, or something in between. All the water makes me think of the emotions tied to this project. I suggested doing it on an enthusiastic whim, it’s about something I care about, but I’m really not sure I can pull it off. I may just find myself out of my depth. Then again, I’m already an alien anyway, so how much more alienated can I feel if it goes wrong?

The golden-brown tones of the card feel warm and gentle, though, so I’m focusing on the hope for a good result here. Maybe the glowing stars are flashes of inspiration that pop up throughout the room as I do my thing? They also make me think of camera flashes, which reminds me of telling people not to take any pictures of me. I have no desire to be that famous. I prefer not to have my name and picture come up together on Google (and I just checked to make sure they still don’t).

Let’s see what the companion booklet says. It speaks about galaxy clusters that are surrounded by empty space. To me, that means a group of connected individuals sharing a common space, which sounds good for the event I’m having in mind. It goes on to say that galaxy clusters are so huge that we have a hard time even thinking their actual size. And then there’s this passage:

When this card appears, we need to broaden our vision. This is a time to think big. We must look beyond the limitations of what we believe to be the real world. The 3 of Wands challenges us to formulate a vision based on our biggest, truest dreams. This is the card of positive thinking; its message is that we can have our heart’s desire if only we are willing to expand our horizons in both time and space. — What vision is calling you?

Well, so much for my idea of a cozy, non-threatening, small event… It makes sense, though, to connect this project to a bigger idea of the life I’d like to have. I’m definitely taking a risk here, but it’s also a great opportunity to broaden my horizon (I never did something like it before, let alone on my own).

So I suppose I need to find me a couple of guiding posts for the first few steps into the new territory. Have an idea of how I’ll begin. Feel my way forward, step by step. And remember who my quasi-patron saint for this adventure is — and that she’s actually the perfect example of thinking big. Makes sense!

2. DoEight of Swords

Here I see a ladder of swords. In the background are some colorful balls and a woman’s face, whose eyes and mouth are covered by two of the horizontal swords.

I take that to mean I need to put on my big-girl boots and just do the work I’m trying to avoid. Thinking, structuring, getting done with it. Who says these swords even have sharp edges? They could just be harmless props! So it’s also a message to not be petrified by my fears of failure.

The companion booklet teaches me new things:

Colour is a convention describing the way that quarks are held together with the strong force […]. The attraction between colour-charged quarks is very powerful but only works over tiny distances. When two quarks interact, they exchange gluons (strong force carrier particles […]), which creates a force field that binds the quarks together. The quarks constantly change their colour as they exchange gluons with other quarks. The further apart the quarks are, the stronger the force field becomes. […] Gluons carry both a colour and an anti-colour and so are colour-neutral.

The attraction only works over tiny distances but the force field becomes stronger the further apart the quarks are? Seems as if I’m supposed to look into paradoxes here…I really enjoy the idea of color as a non-dual force. Makes me think of my concept of gender and how we constantly change “color” (sometimes subtly, sometimes radically) depending on who we interact with.

The booklet goes on to say:

…you have become imprisoned by your own limited perceptions. […] — How can you release yourself?

I suppose I can just shapeshift into who I need to be for this event. I’ve done it before. Never mind the tiny space, it’s all about interaction. Good reminder!

3. Don’tWorld

This is a World card I don’t much like due to the high kitsch factor of the double rainbow and the modern dance pose of the person in/on the globe. In this context, I take it to mean that I shouldn’t strive for harmony above all.

Interestingly, the colors and stars (galaxies?) from the first card are repeated here, as if they’ve spilled over. So I may be reaching out, but I need to adjust my expectations. This event won’t be the end-all, be-all of things. There’s always more.

The booklet titles this card “A Theory of Everything (TOE)” and that’s enough for me to know what it means. I’m not supposed to try and make everything about my project fit perfectly, to achieve flawless harmony, to eliminate all contradictions and rough spots. On the contrary. It will be better if it isn’t perfect. Because that will make it easier to relate to. (I hope.)

And now I’ll go and do some of the work I just clarified.

Hubble originals vs. Quantum cards

Standard

While I was looking for suitable links relevant for the Quantum Tarot for the Decks page, I found two websites with Hubble space telescope photographs. Even just on the first page of one of the websites, I found several images that eventually became tarot cards. Most of the originals have been stretched, turned, mirrored or otherwise adapted to the card format, but not beyong recognition.

See for yourself  — and please excuse the bad quality of my cell phone photos that make the tarot cards look terribly washed out compared to the original pictures (I promise, the actual deck is as richly colored as the Hubble images).

8 of Pentacles (other sizes of space photo):

Moon (other sizes):

Ace of Cups (other sizes):

7 of Cups (other sizes):

10 of Cups (other sizes):

Hanged Man (other sizes)

Have fun finding more of the images yourself!

Or, if that doesn’t sound like a worthwhile use of your time, just use this shortcut: a list with all the image sources and links to the original pictures, provided by the Quantum Tarot website.

New deck: Quantum Tarot

Standard

Here’s what the random number generator suggests for this week:

I wouldn’t have chosen any of these today if it hadn’t been for my rules. I decided not to go with the Elemental Tarot because I’ve already decided to sell/trade it. I’ll probably take it off my list altogether. The Liber T would have been nice as a follow-up for the Balbi (all the astrological/kabbalah stuff) but I really don’t see myself studying anything much this week. So I picked the Quantum Tarot for this week.

This is yet another deck I’ve never used. I remember there was one AT member who praised this deck a lot, which influenced my decision to buy it (together with the fact that it was said to go out of print). I hadn’t realized back then that our deck tastes are very dissimilar, so I was a bit disappointed when I didn’t feel the same love for the deck when it arrived. I knew that some of the people in the court cards are/were members of the Aeclectic Tarot Forum. While I was curious at first to find out who was who, now I regret that I did indeed do so with a few cards. I’d rather have them untouched by my impressions of the actual people (although I’m curious to see if my own impressions of them have any impact on my readings).

Initial impressions:

Love the silver edges, although they hurt my eyes a bit today. Love the sturdy box. Really good and useful companion b0oklet that explains the scientific background, gives a divinitory interpretation and offers a question to consider for each card! Unfortunately, this deck is another stinky one (I really can’t see how anyone can like the smell of freshly-printed stuff because I can hardly tolerate it). The card backs are a bit too contrast-y for my taste. I’m still not sure about the images themselves and my ability to read them without referring to the companion booklet.

I’ve had a quick look through the deck and selected some cards for brief comments.

Let’s start with a negative one. The card that works least for me is the Queen of Cups. Her facial expression reads as sneering to me, which doesn’t fit my idea of this card at all. I was puzzled by the Hermes/Mercury reference by way of the caduceus in the Page of Cups but the booklet tells me it’s meant as a reference to Asclepius, the god of medicine, instead — a not-uncommon but still rather embarrassing mix-up indeed, especially for such a scientific tarot.

Several of the cards feel rather busy to me today, but since that seems to be the deck’s dominating style, I won’t single out any specific ones. It’s also possible that I’m just very visually sensitive today (I can get the same effect from the “energy lines” in the Greenwood Tarot — on some days they’re almost painful for me to look at.)

There are some interesting reinterpretations of traditional RWS cards that work well for me: The Six of Pentacles puts a nice spin on giving and receiving with the image of a hand that drops pentacles superimposed on a flash of lightning. The Aces are generally nice, and the Ace of Wands is particularly bursting with energy in a huge fiery explosion. The burden in the Ten of Wands is very obvious, and I see the glaring white light in the center as a flash of back pain. The Eight of Wands offers a great new view of the eight flying rods towards a common goal and is also one of the eye-candy cards for me. The Five of Wands has energy from different directions clash and interfere with each other — and that tension seems to produce even more energy. I also like the peaceful glow of the Nine of Pentacles and the focus on the falcon instead of the woman.

More eye-candy cards: Queen of Pentacles (nice, calm colors), Page of Wands (love the archer), Eight of Pentacles (like the lack of busyness), High Priestess (great colors! almost like a theater curtain), Seven of Wands (nice arrangement and colors). I also enjoy the integration of text and mathematical formulas into the images on some major cards (e.g. Hanged Man, Justice, Lovers, Wheel of Fortune), even though I don’t understand them.

My favorite cards are these: Three of Wands (I like the combination of the four-fingered alien and the ancient sailing ship; nice colors, too), Death (another combination of old and new imagery with the Marseille-style skeleton; also like the road the two scythe blades are forming), Ten of Pentacles (the nine planets plus one sun of our solar system are a nice twist on the “family” theme usually depicted in these cards), Chariot (Einstein makes me think of focusing on what is important to us, regardless of whether we’re paid for it or not, and of following that passion against all odds).

I have a feeling that I may decide to pass on the Quantum Tarot deck after this week, but since — after this initial consideration — I’m already liking many cards better than I first thought, I may also change my mind about that. I’m looking forward to reading more of the companion booklet and to see how the deck works in readings.