Representation Matters In Tarot

For years, I did not see myself within the cards.

Living as a gay and disabled man, when I read with the cards I found it difficult to see myself. I know that Tarot goes beyond gender and race but there is just something so wonderful about picking up a deck and automatically seeing yourself without having to think about how you would fit into the cards.

For Pride Month, I thought I would take a deep dive into the decks where I’ve seen myself without having to look too deeply, the decks where I’ve immediately felt at home within the cards. I think it’s so important for anyone who uses Tarot to see themselves within the cards. It’s especially important during Pride Month.

Here are the decks I return to again and again that are unapologetically GLBTQ+:

The Numinous Tarot by Cedar McCloud

I love The Numinous Tarot for so many reasons. It’s a totally GLBTQ+ revisioning of the cards in bright and beautiful colour. There is representation of race and also disabilities. You can get your copy here: https://numinoustarotthird.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

The Harley Spencer Tarot Deck by Harley Spencer

This deck is amazing. It’s queer positive and is so inclusive of gender, race and sexuality. I particularly love how in the Lovers card, the people are neither male nor female. They are just two beings who love each other. You can get your copy here, but upon publication it looks like the decks may be sold out except for the new factory-made edition: https://www.hs-tarot.com/

The Fifth Spirit Tarot by Charlie Claire Burgess

This deck is so inclusive and so wonderfully queer. It has people of every gender type and is inclusive of race and disability too! It goes beyond binaries and is wonderfully diverse in every possible way. You can get your copy here: https://www.fifthspirittarot.com/

The Urban Tarot by Robin Scott

I love this deck so much. It’s got representation of GLBTQ+ and gender, race and disabilities too. It’s wonderfully diverse and it’s more aligned with Thoth than RWS, but it’s so evocotave and wonderful. You can get your copy here: https://www.usgamesinc.com/the-urban-tarot.html

This Might Hurt Tarot by Isabella Rotman

I hear this deck. It’s wonderfully diverse and just so sweet and lovely. It’s got so much substance to it and it’s inclusive of GLBTQ+ and people with disabilities. It does a remarkable job of representing people from different races too. You can get your copy here:

https://www.thismighthurttarot.com/

Tarot of the Divine by Yoshi Yoshitani

This deck uses stories, legends and myths from all over the world to tell the story of the cards. It’s inclusive of GLBTQ+ and races from all over the world. I love how Yoshi chose each story or legend to represent each card and it’s so bright and colourful. You can get your copy here:

The Pride Tarot by US Games

This deck is a collaborative deck with all kinds of GLBTQ+ Tarot readers and artists creating cards for this deck. It is so wonderfully inclusive in terms of race and disability and of course being the Pride Tarot it’s unapologetically GLBTQ+ and oh so wonderful. You can get your copy here: https://www.usgamesinc.com/pride-tarot.html

The Uncommon Tarot by Shaheen Miro

This deck is a wonderful reimagining of the RWS we know and love and it includes beautiful collage artwork. It makes this deck somehow timeless and more current. It’s inclusive of gender, GLBTQ+ and race and is oh so lovely! You can get your copy here: https://redwheelweiser.com/detail.html?id=9781578637140

Any one of these decks would make a welcome addition to your collection or perhaps start you off on your Tarot journey.

Happy Pride Month to everyone! Be proud, be loud and let’s celebrate!

The Tower Takeover Tarot – Deck Review and Thoughts

I think that everyone can agree that 2020 was one heck of a year.

It was the year that brought us Covid and along with that there was so much upheaval as our lives changed forever. It was as if someone had hit some kind of a restart button and we were left to pick up the pieces.

After Covid began, I had seen this meme and laughed. 2020 really did feel like it was a year full of Towers where we had to constantly shift our perceptions as our foundations shifted beneath us. At the time, I thought a deck full of the Tower card would be funny and very kitschy and very appropriate for what we were all going through.

Kaylani Perisho, the creator of the Tower Takeover Tarot, took that original meme idea and instead of having a deck simply full of Tower cards, the infused the Tower card with each different Tarot card. This changed the meaning of the cards I knew so well. It took the idea from being funny and kitschy to being transformative and introspective. It added a depth to the cards that hadn’t been there before.

I was surprised that the Tower Takeover Tarot wasn’t simply another clone deck, but a deck that stood on it’s on merits. Take the Ace of Swords for example

Normally, this card marks the beginning of a new journey. The Sword brings mental clarity and perhaps a mental breakthrough as it cuts through all the mental thoughts that try to drag us down. It is a card of writers and philosophers, thinkers and doers. However, looking at this card I was stuck by it. The hand had let go of the Sword. What did it mean if the Sword was falling? After thinking about it for some time, what occurred to me was that maybe I was afraid of the clarity that a mental breakthrough would bring. I had chosen to let go of what the Sword promised instead of facing the change that needed to happen. See how much that changes the meaning of the card?

Or take the Strength card. The woman and the lion fall through the air from the Tower. I typically read this card as choosing to be courageous to love yourself. The woman normally befriends the lion who represents all the wild parts of herself. Loving yourself can be a difficult thing to do and the Strength card asks you to consider all the ways that you are worth of love. Well, what does it mean if they are falling from the Tower? I read this version of the card as turning away from self-love, choosing fear instead of choosing to love yourself. Self-love and self-compassion can be difficult to achieve, especially if our foundations have been shaken. When I look at this card, I read it as that I’m being asked why I would turn away from self-love when it is the one thing I truly need?

How about the Ace of Wands? Normally it is the start of a new creative journey, one that will take your spirit to new places and bring light and hope. It asks you what you will create and how that will change you and make your world brighter. Well, what does it mean when the hand lets go of the Wand and lets it fall from the Tower? Well, I read this card as turning away from what brings you joy, walking away from a creative endeavour that would bring light to your life, maybe out of fear for where the new creative project would take you. It’s a lost opportunity and you have to stop and think of why you’re letting it go instead of holding tight to the joy that it brings.

See what I mean? The tradition meaning of the card is turned on its head and forces you to take a deeper look within yourself and what is going on in your life. Far from being funny and kitschy, these cards are deep and introspective. I love how the cards in this deck make you really think about the different and deeper meanings of the cards.

I was honoured when Kaylani asked me if I wanted to be in the deck. Of course I said yes. I had no idea which card she had put me on until I received my deck the other day. I was thrilled to see that I had been placed on the Page of Wands card! Normally, the Page of Wands is at the start of a new journey, one that brings possibilities and new beginnings, inspiration and new ideas. However, what about the Page of Wands falling from the Tower? When I look at this card, I read it as a fear of beginning on a new journey, turning away from inspiration and what I’m capable of. When I hit the ground, I’ll have to begin again anyways. Why try to turn away from inspiration when it will always find me?

I love everything about this deck. It comes in a hard cigarette style case and the cardstock is fabulous.  The cardstock is wonderful and the deck shuffles so well, both regular and riffle shuffling. I love how bold the card backs are, more of that lightning striking across the back. It also comes with a small guidebook that is full of information, including spreads and different draws you can do as well as questions to ask. For such a little book, it packs a whole lot in there.

All in all, this is such a wonderful deck. I didn’t think that a deck full of nothing but Tower cards could be such a life changing, inspiring deck. Kaylani Perisho calls it a transformative deck and it certainly is that. The Tower Takeover Tarot is a wonderful deck and I love everything about it. So take a chance and get yourself one. You can buy it directly from Kaylani here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/868030256/tower-takeover-tarot-deck

Kaylani has done such a fantastic job taking something that could have been tacky and turning it into something that is a lovely tool for introspective guidance and counsel. She has paid so much attention to the quality of the cards and has taken so much care with the Tower Takeover Tarot every step of the way.

Take a chance and see what the Tower can teach you!

This Might Hurt – A Deck Review!

71317428_10162145721050702_4254172927823446016_nThere aren’t enough words to say how much I love this deck, but I’m certainly going to try.

I backed This Might Hurt Tarot on Kickstarter and I was fortunate enough to get my deck early so that I could review it. I’ve included a video below where I go through the cards, but I’ll summarize my thoughts here, too!

Isabella Rotman has created something amazing!

The Box: Right away, I knew the deck was something special. It came in a magnetic close box with gold foiling. It’s just breathtaking. It’s good and solid and excellent quality.

The Cardstock: It’s perfect. It’s not overly bendy and it’s not too thick. It’s got a soft matte finish and no gloss so your cards won’t slide. It’s also edged in black holographic so that even ads to the allure. It shuffles like a dream and it also riffle shuffles beautifully.

The Card Backs: The card backs are so lovely, with the Ouroboros on the back! I love how the deck references that myth, that Tarot and life are a never-ending cycle. I love the myths and legends that play throughout the cards, but seeing the woman from the World card on the back just made me happy.

The Art: Is gorgeous!!! I love the art in this deck and how Isabella has modernized the ThisMightHurtTarot_Logo_whiteRyder Wait Smith deck that is so well known, keeping true to the symbolism, but making the deck her own. It truly is a gorgeous deck and seeing all body shapes and sizes was another plus. I loved the 2 of Cups. It’s the first time that I’ve seen two gay men in a card. It’s the first time that I’ve seen myself in a deck and it’s so wonderful. Addison Duke has done incredible work on the colouring, making the art appear deeper and more vibrant.

I don’t just love this deck. I *heart* it. It reached into me with every card and every small detail in this deck. This Might Hurt Tarot was clearly a labour of love and it shows in everything that Isabella had produced. This deck is a true gem and it shines so brightly.

Find out more at http://www.thismighthurttarot.com You can also pre-order the deck here: https://thismighthurttarot.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

The Synesthesia Tarot – A Deck Reveal!

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Hey Everyone!

I got another one of my Kickstarter Decks in! This one is the Synesthesia Tarot! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this deck for a while and couldn’t wait to open up the box. It came with a pin, a deck bag the deck and the guidebook.

The deck is very simplistic, leaving room for the readers own interpretation. I can’t wait to use this deck to see how it reads!

Check out my deck reveal below!

Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot – A Deck Reveal!

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It came!

I backed the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot Deck on Kickstarter last year and finally got my deck. I was salivating for it. It’s a beautiful piece of work and I can feel the hum of the cards when I run my hands over top of the cards. Part art, all magic.

There are comparisons to The Wild Unknown, but they are few. Both are primal decks that feature animals. Wild Messengers goes a whole lot further. The Guidebook feels like it’s some kind of magical grimoire. It’s got invocations, alchemy positions, journal prompts and more.

I love everything about this deck. I’ve had to relearn how to read Tarot in order to appreciate this deck. I did a deck reveal of Wild Messengers and the deck is glorious.

Watch below!