Tag Archives: smell

New deck: Quantum Tarot

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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.

New deck: Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot

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I’ve decided to change to my next deck a bit early since I don’t think I’ll get anything else out of the Deviant Moon today after that huge analysis.

The random number generator gives me a choice between:

Wow, that’s a tough choice! I’ve read with all of these decks before, but not often. All of them seem like good candidates for further use. I think I’ll go with the one that I found most difficult to read so far: Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot.

As before, here are some initial impressions:

This deck originally comes with borders in garish colors that distract hugely from the card images, and two sets of titles (above and below the image, respectively). I immediately wanted to trim the deck when I got it. Since the cards don’t follow any tarot tradition in their imagery, however, I hesitated about cutting off both titles at once. When I learned that Poppy Palin didn’t mean to create a tarot deck but was persuaded by her publisher to turn her deck into one, I decided to trim away the upper titles because they also had the tarot numbering. That pretty much made the cards unidentifiable for me, since the three sheets of mini-descriptions that came with the deck give only the upper titles. I suppose this is one reason why I never got into using the deck. I may still eventually trim off the lower title and border as well, since those don’t add much to the cards anyway. At any rate, I will use the deck as an oracle (with a few tarot influences) in the coming week. I mostly read individual card imagery over assigned meanings across decks, so I should be fine with that.

What bugs me most about the deck are the frequent 1980s hairstyles (hair in general isn’t what Palin draws best). While many of the cards are drawn in a beautifully realistic style, there are some with human anatomy that makes me cringe because it’s so unintentionally off. The right arm of the Spirit Guide/Interpreter/Hierophant is just one example, the left hand of the red-haired person in the Blood Bond/Four of Water is another. I’m also pretty sure that no actual horse has muscles even remotely like the one in the Wild Power/Natural Force/Strength does.

What I like best about Waking the Wild Spirit, is the range and intensity of colors. I love that there are a lot of animals in the deck, and that all of them (except unicorns) can be found in Europe (wolves and bears don’t exactly live round the corner from me, but they do exist). I like the magic-realist style of the images where humans, animals, and various kinds of fairies/sprites co-exist. I also like that most scenes take place outside in nature.

I don’t have the companion book for the deck, but I’ve just re-read two reviews of it that make it sound rather awful. Judging from Poppy Palin’s website, she does seem to be on a mission indeed, and I don’t react well to her style. I’ll include the quasi-LWB (little white book) she has sent with the cards when I bought them from her (there are scans of the three pages at the very bottom of her webpage) in my readings to see if it works for me.

Okay, I think we’re ready for the first reading!

ETA: I think I will choose the least stinky deck next week – this is another one with a rather chemical smell…)

“Deck of the Week” Project

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I’ve decided to join the “Deck of the Week Project” over at Aeclectic Tarot (AT).

As of today I have 48 tarot decks, plus 10 oracle decks. So if I do a deck a week, I’ll be busy for over a year.*gulp*
I’d rather not sign up for such a long period all at once, but I’d like to start and see where this exploration takes me. I’ll start my weeks on Sundays (even though it’s technically Monday already).

I plan to do daily draws, and maybe a bigger reading each week. I may also participate in the reading exchanges that happen on AT for those who do the “deck of the week,” in addition to the ones I take part in anyway (I won’t post these here but may write more generally about them). I’ve decided to also blog about my daily draws as far as I’m comfortable to do so, and about my deck reflections and reading experiences. If I do any research or study about a specific deck, I may also post about it here.

I’m going to choose my deck of the week by a combination of a random number generator and conscious choice. That means, I’ll generate three numbers and then pick one of the decks associated with these numbers.

This week, I got a choice between:

I’ll go with the Deviant Moon first, since the Marseille is a bit much for a first (I hardly ever read with non-scenic pips before), and I already have a bit of experience with the Shaman’s Oracle.

Before I go on to do my first reading, some initial impressions:

I’ve had this deck for quite a while now without ever getting around to actually reading with it. I’m usually not much drawn to so-called “dark decks,” but I liked the Deviant Moon’s weirdness and its color palette. Special favorites were and are the Tribal Style bellydancer in the Two of Pentacles and the gorgeously strange Queen of Wands.

I still would much prefer matte cards instead of the highly glossy ones. The deck also gets points withdrawn for the intense chemical smell that persists even after airing it out for several days when I first got it, and then sitting on my shelf for at least a year. Yuck. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m having a bit of a cold these days…

I wonder if the faces are going to be same-y in readings or if there are going to be enough differences to actually read them. I also wonder if the deck will give readings that tend to be a bit pessimistic since the Deviant Moon world doesn’t seem to be a particularly happy place.

With that, I’ll now proceed to my first reading…