Here’s what the random number generator suggests for this week:
- Elemental Tarot – by Caroline Smith & John Astrop
- Quantum Tarot – by Christopher Butler & Kay Stopforth (Künati edition)
- Liber T Tarot of Stars Eternal – by Andrea Serio & Roberto Negrini
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).
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.