Well I finally got a chance to bring out one of my new tarot decks and put it through its paces. The Legacy of the Divine tarot, by Ciro Marchetti. This is the one that everybody seemed to love so much when I was getting opinions for buying my first deck. I got it since I know those I love will be comfortable with it when and if I read for them. Do I like it? Sure. Am I in love? Nah. But its my first deck, so I didn't expect that anyway. (How rarely is first love true love? Took me a heck of a long time to find Jay, didn't it? ;) So worth it. But anyway, back to the article!) I decided to really keep it simple with this for tonight. So after doing my shuffling technique -- which is to go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 with cards, then mix all the piles together -- I did a bit of (clumsy) "normal" shuffling and got ready to give it a go.
My question to the deck was simple. "Who are you?" Okay, that might sound totally bizzarre. Let me explain. I am treating my tarot decks as if they are characters as I practice on them. So with this little mini-reading what I did was draw three cards from the deck and try to get a feel for what its mission was in being here and how it was going to help me with my writing (which is the other primary reason I bought it.)
It give me three cards (duh):
Ten of Coins -- Fullfillment / Well Earned Reward / Inheritance
Justice -- Mercy v.s. punishment / imparitality / fairness / facts of a matter
The Empress -- Motherhood / Creation / Creativity / Natural World / Chaos of Nature
From this, I have concluded: " I am here to help you achieve your goal at writing something that is satisfying, fullfilling, natural and authentic. Something that will be respected and that will give you the success that you, specifically, deserve. (What that might be, I am not sure!) In order to do this I will be brutally honest with you. I will use both wisdom and a sharp tongue to get your attention. I'm going to tell you things whether you want to hear them or not, and so will your characters! I can help you create your world, as I too am a created world. (This deck has a story, something I do like about it.) Your characters will be natural, and will live and breathe. You will feel the effects of giving birth to something -- as in sharing the highs and lows of their journeys. In short, I can help you get to where you are going, but I'm not giving you a free ride. Are you ready to begin now? "
At any rate, I still have not really gotten started with The Fairy Tale Tarot yet. I will have to shuffle it and see how it fares in comparison to Legacy of the Divine. As for things I found likeable or non-likable from this first excursion?
The book that comes with the deck. It has a great selection of correspondences, a quote or two from literature that connect with the cards, various interpretations of each card comparing it to standard symbolism, a special name for each card (not printed on the cards though) and the story behind the cards (still need to read this.) Good print, well written, excellent.
Cards are clearly labeled: There are no guessing games about what card that you are looking at, which is very helpful for someone who follows book stuff at this point (I cannot read this deck by myself -- thats part of my problem with it and I will get into that.)
The way that the images blur into the background, so that its like you are looking into a scrying mirror or something is a cool effect that makes looking at this deck feel like it has more depths.
Beautiful rich colors: The deck is technically gorgeous and is filled with eye popping colours. I love digital imagery and this deck *does* deliver there.
What I don't connect with:
I need cards that have something going on. When I got the ten of penacles I was totally lost as to what was going on with it. I could tell that I had gotten something here and now because the key was present and the box was open. But from there I seriously drew a blank about other symbology. I found out that the two tulips represent wealth and also a sense of fragility in what has been obtained.
Three of the four pages in the deck -- wands, cups and swords -- have the same haircut and look like they are the same character. They could be triplets. Also, pages in modern tarot are suppose to represent the youthful feminine (in Troth traditions they are called princesses instead). The three pages look like boys to me. That or repressed femininity, as though the artist (who clearly states that the pages are female) did not want to make them that way but rather found his hands tied due to political correctness. The fact that he could have done *much* better here can be seen in the page of coins, which is lovely.
Cards without characters. I'm sorry, but something like a box and a key does not really leave me much to work with. I much prefer cards that have people (human or otherwise) on them. A lot of the cards in this deck did have that, but the lacks will keep this from being my absolute favorite deck of all time, I would wager. (The Fairy Tale is not 100% perfect either -- although the card I am thinking of does depict an animal who is the center of the story associated with the card, so we shall see...)
At any rate, I may grow to really love this deck personally or I may stay neutral on it. I'm certainly not saying that I hate it. I am just noting things, mostly for my convienence, that I can keep in mind as I get decks in the future. A card that I think is very well done is the three of swords, which came up in a different reading that I did. As opposed to the standard three swords stabbing a heart, the card instead has a face wth a single tear that is deviding a heart shaped tattoo. "The water is wide, I can't cross o'er..." Whether that is a grieving widow, lovers separated by time and space, or the "lovers in a dangerous time" type deal where seeing one another could spell certain doom, it certainly broadens the field.
Anyway, bed time! I will give The Fairy Tale Tarot a go when I get a chance.