Two Decks that NEED to EXIST!!

I promise, I don’t just sit around searching for new decks to drool over, but sometimes they fall into my lap (and sometimes my enabler friend puts them in front of my face and I just can’t look away until I’ve spent money — thanks, Irmata!). Right now, there are two decks on Kickstarter that I am absolutely BONKERS about, so of course I’m going to share them with you!

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#1 – Slow Holler Tarot

Slow Holler Tarot is freaking GORGEOUS

Slow Holler Tarot is freaking GORGEOUS

I mean… holy effing CRAP!!

This deck is a collaborative effort, and you can just tell that it’s being made with the utmost love, passion, and care. Check out the Kickstarter video and then throw your money at the project so that it can exist and I can OWN IT.

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#2 – Tarot of Brass and Steam

The Magician & The Devil | Tarot of Brass and Steam

The Magician & The Devil | Tarot of Brass and Steam

This is a steampunk deck, and it’s an interesting combination of creative vision and commissioned artwork. But DAMN it’s looking good. I mean: Nikola Tesla is The Magician and Thomas Edison is The Devil. DUDES. Dudes. Just… please, go look at more of this awesomeness, and then throw your money at the project so that it can exist and I can OWN IT.

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Wow, are you actually still HERE, and not going GAGA over those decks?! 

Expanding Intuition with the Locus Tarot – A Whole Different Kind of Deck

It’s no big secret that I’m kind of addicted to backing tarot decks on Kickstarter. To date, I have backed 21 tarot decks on Kickstarter (18 of which were successful; 14 of which I’ve received so far), and I just recently back the amazingly gorgeous Linestrider Tarot on IndieGoGo thanks to Irmata’s gentle prodding. So, it should come as no surprise that I’ve teamed up with Mike Stop Continues, whose tarot deck project went live on Kickstarter March 5th.

Introducing: Locus Tarot

Crisp, minimalist deck focusing on the metaphysical underpinnings of the tarot, aiding inspiration, creativity, and self-discovery.

Locus Tarot by Mike Stop Continues
I have to admit, I’m not usually a fan of decks with minimalist pips, let alone an entire deck of such minimalist design! But the clean design, bold color palette, and patterns throughout the deck really caught my eye. I wanted to understand more about a deck like Locus Tarot, so I asked Mike a few questions…

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All Kinds of Tarot Updates

Since it’s impossible for me to keep this blog up-to-date (I mean, don’t even believe that my Collection and Wishlist pages are accurate), I figured an update post would as least be nice.

I’m addicted to buying new decks.

Decks I’ve acquired in the past year:

I love making my own cards, too.

I’ve also been busy making more collage cards with my lovely group of tarot friends, and I FINALLY got around to updating my Collage-My-Own-Tarot page. It now has slideshows for all of the cards, since it was getting really cluttered with images. Some of my favorites:

02 - High Priestess - 5/16/14 06_Lovers_071114 16_Tower_110114

I also love reading tarot for people!

I’ve been reading for friends here and there over the past year, and it’s fulfilling every single time. I basically ALWAYS read with two decks now. I learned this trick from my old friend Irmata, and it’s a technique I’ll probably never drop. What I love about it is that you can combine decks for different kinds of readings. I always have a main deck, then I choose a pairing. The pairing could be an oracle, another full deck that will add a different perspective, or — my new favorite — The New Tarot, because it’s a whole new extension to the original deck. I seriously freaking LOVE IT.

The Tarot Memory Palace

Lately, my husband has been somewhat passionate about improving his memory, and has been working on practicing some different memory techniques. We learned about this method called the memory palace from a TED talk by Joshua Foer (and I even found a random article on the topic in a copy of National Geographic I was browsing for collage images, so I ripped it out and brought it home to him). He’s been building various memory palaces and trying to find valuable lists of information to memorize.

So, what is a memory palace?

“…imagine you’re walking through a place you know well and make a connection between the point you want to make and the items you see. He gives the example of a presentation on technology.

Say, you first want to talk about Apple. You may imagine stepping inside your house and seeing a bowl of apples on the table. If the next thing you want to talk about is rapid change, perhaps you imagine a clock above the bowl of apples that’s spinning fast. When you begin your speech, you step back into your memory palace and visualize these cues, allowing them to guide you through your presentation.”

Dan Roam, author of Show and Tell

A month or so ago, my husband been working on improving his main memory palace and was asking if I had any suggestions for things to memorize. I asked how many spots he had, and he said 22. So, naturally, I suggested that he learn the Major Arcana of the tarot, and he agreed! I listed out each card, and he stored them in his memory palace one by one. Then he immediately repeated all 22 of them back to me. This was impressive enough, considering it’s taken me a long time to remember which card is which number, and I have some friends who’ve been reading for over a decade and still can’t remember.

But that’s just the beginning!

I then suggested we go back and have him remember simple meanings/keywords with the Major Arcana, so we did, and he remembered them easily (!!!). And since we were on such a roll, he wanted to go ahead and do all of the Minor Arcana, too. We went through each suit, had him repeat them back to me, then went on the to next.

By the end of it, I had him list out every single card, along with its “traditional” meaning, which he did with only one or two cards that tripped him up. YOU GUYS, this all happened in a stretch of about two hours. For the next couple of weeks, I would randomly ask him to list them for me, and he always did it with very minor trouble (if any)!

I was astounded.

Since then, I’ve been having fun talking about tarot with him. Sometimes he’ll ask me about a specific card and its reversed meaning, or want clarification about a card’s meaning. (Previously, he was curious-to-moderately-interested in my tarot adventures, but never really wanted to interact with the cards — as a reader or a querent; so this is an exciting development for me.)

What I find really encouraging is that his intuition is playing a larger role in the whole thing than I think he realizes. Some cards he repeatedly intuits as a different meaning than the “traditional” one, but it’s still RIGHT ON, and I love it (this frustrates him, but I keep trying to explain to him that we each may have our own relationships with the cards and our own intuitive meanings… I think he’s coming around to this idea).

He is so good at it, that it continues to impress me. I plan to blog about this in my next post, but the other night I did a personal reading, and asked him for his impressions after I’d written down my own. Here’s a snippet:

"Things will improve with practical, steady application." | The Star, Cheimonette Tarot | Queen of Keys, The New Tarot

“Things will improve with practical, steady application.” (The Star, Cheimonette Tarot | Queen of Keys, The New Tarot)

And a bonus? All of this practice has helped ME improve my intuitions and meanings of the cards!

Five Months Later

Last September, my longtime friend and tarot mentor gave me the ultimate birthday gift: a tarot reading. It was full of all kinds of advice and wisdom that I knew I needed to take to heart. She made some fantastic observations and some great suggestions, so in an effort to be mindful of this, I set the spread image as my computer’s desktop wallpaper.

…Five months later, I still haven’t acted on it.

Sigh.

So today I decided to read back through her email again (I do this periodically, to remind myself of all the richness within), and discovered that I’ve been making some strides toward these things in any case, without even realizing it!

It feels like there is the strong possibility that you could really come into your own this year, however: the Actress needs to remove her mask first and let herself be her self.

The Actress - Journey Oracle

The Actress – Journey Oracle

And right at this moment of typing that, I’m reminded of the connection you felt to the sigil for desire -Is there something you’ve buried, or hidden? Something you’ve neglected because it wasn’t “important” enough? It might be time to grab a shovel or a dust cloth and re-examine those things to see what latent potential they might have, even if the only purpose is to bring you joy.

The thing is, when you starve one area, the rest suffer too – much like the Actress who hides her true self behind her mask, denying who she really is in order to play a role. How soon before she forgets who she really is? I get the sense, though, from the overall tone of the rest of the reading, that this is a card of change (as all 5s are). I think the situation here is one that is about to change, or _can_ be changed.

There a few key things that stuck out to me this time:

  1. The idea hiding my true self behind a mask, and needing to change this.
  2. Starving in one area of my life (due to focusing heavily on another one).
  3. Pursuing passions that I may have neglected or dismissed as not important enough.

All three of these themes have been moving toward the front-and-center area of my life lately, mostly all due to the same project! This year, I teamed up with two of my best friends and started a whole new online project, which has yielded a variety of interesting results.

1. I started using a real-photo-of-me avatar on the website and various social media sites tied to it.
This is something I hadn’t really wanted to do, but felt it was appropriate and almost necessary, because of the goals of the project (and to maintain a sense of cohesion, since both of my partners use real-photo avatars). Though the avatar I had been using for a long time was an artistic representation of my actual face, using a real photo is quite different.

The avatar I switched to was also a deliberate choice. It shows me in my natural state: dorky. (Honestly, I think it’s impossible for me to make a normal face in photos — I just can’t do it!) My husband doesn’t like it because he says it doesn’t represent the real me, but I argued him down. This shows me as I am, in a very candid way. While it would have been easier to choose a photo that just makes me look attractive and nice and pretty (which is certainly what my husband would have preferred), I knew that just wasn’t the route I wanted or needed to go.

(After a few weeks of using this new avatar, I have to admit that I am getting tired of seeing my goofy face, but I think this is important because it’s almost forcing me to become comfortable with the essence of who I am — and showing that to the people I encounter.)

2. I realized that I had been severely starved in the creative area of my life, and now that its being fed, I feel better in the other areas of my life, too.
The project I embarked on pretty much fell into my lap from the universe, like it was this gift from my muse, all packaged and ready-to-use. It has served as a conduit for many of the things I used to enjoy doing: web design, programming, graphic design, and personal expression. Working on it — and with two people who understand and motivate me in just the right ways — has been fulfilling and satisfying in a way that I haven’t felt in many years.

Thanks to this, I might spend a bit less time with my husband, but it feels like a necessary compromise. I realized I was spending too much time focusing on Work and Husband and not enough time on Creative Me. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I get to express my creative side on a regular basis — and how much it feeds me with even more creative juices!

3. I’ve begun (or have made plans to begin) pursuing other neglected passions.
Working on this project with these two friends has not only fueled my creative passions in that particular area, but each of these women has individually inspired me to get off my duff and start working on other things I’ve been wanting to do as well!

One of them keeps bombarding me with her mixed media art projects (pictures and descriptions of her processes) and it just makes me anxious with the desire to get back into that as well — and to try out new media that I’ve been daydreaming about for YEARS!

The other continues to hint at creative writing ideas that both of us have. We often tell each other about how we want to write stories/novels, but we don’t work on them for various reasons. We have now made it a goal to encourage each other to do this and share our writing with each other as a means of accountability and motivation.

Tarot amazes me.

You’d think by now that I’d be used to the cards being accurate and telling it like it is. But every time, I’m still just blown away by how complete and deep their messages are. I am grateful for every single reading I get, and I love the way that the cards’ advice just works its way into my spirit and helps me grow.

Irmata, if you’re reading this: thank you, so much.