I can only assume that what photographer Porsupah Ree captured here are binkying bunnies. A binky is a playful and happy expression made by a rabbit in which it jumps in the air and twists its body around in a convulsive fashion.
Number One Rule about collecting decks: Get what you like.
Everything else is secondary. Though my wallet would like to remind me that it still has the last word on if a deck is acquired or not. Having a feel for a deck is a fancy way of saying “being able to tolerate the appearance”. If the cards visually repel you, the chances of you being able to use the deck with confidence dramatically drops because you keep getting hung up on the particulars. (See also: My response to the Hanson-Roberts Mini.)
When I first acquired the Universal Waite, I had a problem connecting to it. Of all the various recolorings of the Rider deck, this was the most appealing to me, but it was still visually distant. It wasn’t until I had explored other decks and learned more about Waite and his background, that I was able to go back and see the cards as more than just a collector’s item. The visual style had to grow on me.
When the Deviant Moon came out, everyone recommended it to me as a “dark and deeply emotional” deck. Allow me to confess that it just doesn’t appeal to me, and I have no idea what other folks see in it. But it works for them, so good for them. The Legacy of the Divine was shown to me as a last ditch effort by the shop’s clerk. When I thumbed through and got to the 3 of Swords, I bought the deck on the spot. That was the “emotional depth” I was looking for. I still consider the Legacy to have a deeply emotional appeal to it, though others tell me it’s a bright and happy deck. That personal response is how you measure the feel of a deck for you.
The right deck(s) for you is the one(s) you want to keep for yourself. If the deck came recommended by all the tarot organizations and schools on the planet, and you still give it stinkeye because it just doesn’t appeal to you, then all those recommendations are moot and you are more than justified in passing it up. The inverse is also true. If your “save one from the fire” deck looks like it was scrawled by a drunken prophet having an LSD flashback while having his back waxed, but it’s your One True Precious, then it doesn’t matter that the reviewers chucked their copy into the nearest incinerators. It’s your deck. You do what you want.
Images are tricky over the Internet. Subtleties get lost in the compression. Light sources fool the camera. Whites look like cream and reds are often over-saturated. If you’re looking up cards for a certain deck, try to find images from several different, and disconnected websites. You’ll get a better feel (heh) for the cards under candlelight, sunlight, fluorescent light, etc. If the images don’t have a human hand or something to show size comparison, break out the ruler and hold that against your hand to see if the cards are too small or too large. Which cards are you make-or-break cards? For many it’s the Devil, the Tower, and Death. Look up your make-or-break cards to see if you’ll have a visceral reaction to them before hand.
Otherwise, ordering cards over the Internet is much the same as walking in the store. New decks are shrinkwrapped and still stink of curing ink. (Unless it’s the Fey, which smelled of cotton candy for months after I opened it.) You identify what you want, you pay for it, and it takes a few days longer for it to be in your hands. Once you unwrap the shrinkwrap and open the box, it’s yours and how it got to you doesn’t matter. (Mostly. I got a few stories, but they’re all anecdotal and unique to the Special Snowflake that I am.)
I ordered the Bosch, the Fey, and the Sweeney via Internet. The first two I had put Google Images through its paces until I was able to see each and every card in the deck. The Sweeney is the progeny of Tumblrite Lee Bradford, and all the images are available at the Sweeney Tarot Tumblog. I gave all the images the same scrutiny as if I had a sample deck in hand. There were other decks in consideration, but after going through them, I found their imagery was not as appealing to me and did not order them.
Notice I’ve said nothing about the LWB or the systems they go with. I had bought the decks for the imagery first and foremost. Only after the decks were in hand did I look over the LWB and decide if to merely use the systems I already knew (Waite’s and Crowley’s), or to use the suggestions included with the deck. So far, I’ve hit the jackpot with all my decks, as the Bosch system is a treasure, the Fey’s system makes it good for those avoiding esoterica & occult, and the Sweeney’s down-to-earth handling makes it an Everyday Deck. Of course, these all being tarot cards, I could always blow off the LWB and use any tarot system with them.
All factory made decks are inert upon manufacture. Period. Paper and ink. (And in some cases, plastic.) That’s it. The worst it can do to a person is give them a papercut. The Thoth, the Hermetic Tarot, ~insert notorious deck here~, they are all merely paper and ink. It is what you do with the decks that determines if they become something more than that. The “power” of a tarot deck is not in the cards, it’s in the reader. If you just want to look at pretty pictures and allow those pictures to inspire you to write great words, then that’s wonderful! If you want to take that same deck and through various actions, transform it into a magician’s tool, then you do as you will! There are no premade decks that are inherently (spiritually) harmful to the person that picks them up.
My daughter has a tarot deck. One that was chosen specifically for the imagery. She doesn’t use it for divination. She uses it for story prompts. That’s it. Doesn’t reduce the ‘value’ of her deck in the least. It’s her deck, she does what she wants.
Receiving used decks is like getting a used car. It’s not the same as others of the same model. It could be an easy drive, or it can make you swear off combustion engines for life. I haven’t personally adopted used decks, but I have made sure the decks I’ve given away were cleansed and purged of my influence so when they arrived at their new home, they would be just as empty as when they were first shrinkwrapped. No one has declared condemnation on my head for anything I’ve sent, so I guess I did a good job of it.
Help a broke university student out, would you? I need to raise £500 to get out of my bank overdraft.
I’m offering a selection of tarot and other card readings at reasonable prices:
All answered privately
Three tarot decks available to choose from.
Use the Checkout link below to pay and send me your question/desired reading and a contact address!
(you can also send me your reading through tumblr if you prefer, with the payment id attached)
Browse wittedknitch.tumblr.com/tagged/mah+tarot+readings to see readings I have given before!
There’s one week left for funding The Wooden Tarot full deck on Kickstarter! Here’s the last stretch goal- a 22x22” screen printed tarot spread cloth to be added to each reward tier that receives a copy of the full deck.
We’ve got about $1,500 left to go before it’ll be added, but I think we can do that in a week!
*climb to top of hill to do ritual*
*realise I’ve forgotten the instructions and the words*
But wait! What is this magical device in my pocket?
Thank fuck for smartphones and mobile data. I redownloaded the instructions I needed, and read them off my phone.
A rowan cross. In Scottish tradition, it is said the the rowan tree (also known as mountain ash) would protect those from evil spirits. Talismans were made out of the rowan twigs and bound by red thread. We have one hanging above the door in our home and I used to wear a talisman around my neck when I first ventured in witchcraft to give myself a bit of a shield against entities I did not fully understand yet. When crafting a rowan cross together, you simply repeat the following until the talisman is completed:
Rowan berries and red thread; put all evil to its speed!
Photo credit here.
Books and various people won’t tell you this quite often (sometimes because they weren’t told either), but a lot of “you need this root and that leaf and do it under the waxing moon and throw the result north” is all based on symbolism. They’re just drawing on symbolic associations you don’t know yet.
Items are often put in there due to the Doctrine of Signatures, observed medical effects they have (like putting emetics or other purging herbs in banishing spells), or because they appear in folklore in some related capacity, etc. Moon phase or hours, same deal - symbolism of growing or shrinking, being at full power or being in darkness, or following folklore about potent occult hours, or following something like Agrippa’s hour charts. Directional associations also are often due to folklore, or symbolism associated with directions like sunrise or sunset (again, waning or waxing effects).
You can do the same things with random modern objects around you. It doesn’t have to be Old Timey to have power.
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (via cosmicspread)
ETA: Those valleys and mountains you love so. Water made em. Ice is water being even more watery. There’s a secret there.
Tarot Pokemon II.
I wouldn’t hate having a Pokemon Tarot deck ok
You have Empoleon the Emperor Penguin sitting on his throne of ice, observing the core material of his kingdom.
You’ve got Togetic, which is a Pokemon you can only get if your Togepi is really, really happy around you, bringing a Luvdisc (in the Pokemon world, giving a Luvdisc to someone means long-lasting, true love) to a pair of Nidoran, the only Pokemon to have had explicit sexes since the game began. (would also be cool to have this be an interchangeable card - two Nidorang F/M, or maybe shinies to represent non-binary people)
You’ve got Manectric being pulled by two Ponyta, one of which is shiny. It is my head canon that shiny fire Pokemon burn at a hotter temperature than normal ones. And especially given that this shiny Ponyta seems more aggressive than the normal one, you have to be careful how you use your resources. Also, the very sparks from Manectric’s body can cause forest fires - burning desire, amirite?
And then we’ve got what has to be the most feminine Pokemon in all the games, Lopunny, easily controlling Entei, who is fire made flesh. I notice that Lopunny is missing its chest fuzz, but that may have been accidental.
Ahh, there is a remarkable amount of depth to these. I love it!