Thursday, 29 September 2011

Elemental Interview with the Prairie Tarot

3 of Pentacles - Prairie Tarot 
I recently received this charming bit of Americana through from the author, Robin Ator, who has self-published it.  Robin Ator is also the creator of the Ator Tarot and the International Icon Tarot.

I like supporting individual tarot creators, and it's certainly no hardship having this lovely deck come to stay.  So, donning my favourite pair of comfy jeans and putting out some refreshing lemonade, we settled down for a little chat.

Tell me a bit about your values... the Three of Pentacles

"Well, I value liberty above all else. I'm up for the whole 'Truth, Liberty and the American Way, thing.'"

"That certainly makes sense, I guess, given your very upfront American roots.  What else?"

"I also value teamwork, and the support of community. And I think it's important to make the things we want attractive, as well as just useful or necessary."

"Like tarot decks, which help us understand ourselves better but are also beautiful?"

"Exactly!  And what else?  Hmm, I guess simplicity is something else I value, as well as people who aren't afraid of hard work."

"Very American frontier-type values.  OK, moving on..."

What are you like emotionally? The Fool

"Emotionally, I'm willing to take the plunge, without reservations.  I'll admit I may not always listen to my instincts, and I can get a bit carried away.  Still, I think spontaneity is a good thing."

"Well, spontaneity has got me in trouble a few times, but I'd still rather be spontaneous than not act at all,  dropping into analysis-paralysis.  How about with others?"

"I'll never hold out on someone or not be honest about my feelings.  I say it how I see it, and I'm always willing to connect with others and hear them out."

"Friendly, open, but without giving up on your own point of view, then?"

"That about sums it up, yes."

"Well, talking of talking..."

How do you best communicate?  The Hermit

"Well, I won't shout.  If you want to listen to what I have to say, all well and good.  Otherwise I'll just go on my way."

"Why is that?"

"I don't think you can force anyone to hear something they don't want to.  Like the old saw that you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

"That's very true.  Is there anything else you'd like to add?"

"I think it's important for people to read the signs for themselves rather than being spoon fed information.  So, I talk plain and from the heart, though I recognise that different people may respond better to different ways of speaking.  I am who I am, though, and if that doesn't suit someone, well, they can look elsewhere."

"Fair enough.  Now, may I ask..."

What's important to you materially?  The Six of Pentacles

"Generosity and sharing matter to me. This comes back to my values about teamwork and community.  You can't build a barn by yourself, and you can't herd cattle on your lonesome neither."


"Honesty, too, that's important.  No good letting people onto your ranch if you can't trust them.  And if you aren't trustworthy well, when a time comes that you need a hand, there won't be anyone there to offer it."

"I see your point.  I guess that's especially true in small communities, and yet even with modern internet communities I get that same sense that people support each other, but will notice if you don't walk your talk."

"And another thing, it's no good not putting material things ahead of people.  You can have all the cattle in the world, but if you don't have a home and a community, what's the point?"

"That sounds like a very morally and ethically based approach, which brings me to my last question..."

What are your thoughts on spirituality?  The Queen of Pentacles

"I tend to be pretty down-to-earth.  Still, I find a connection with spirit through small things, and the everyday."

"Can you give me an example?"

"Take compassion, for instance.  Bringing compassion to your everyday life can lead to far more than you might think, both for yourself and for those you show it to.  Like a drop of water in a pond, compassion makes waves, and spreads out to those around you.  So its worth making a small effort, as it can affect so much more."

"I agree.  Is there anything else?"

"I also recognise that when it comes to spirit things are not necessarily what they seem.  I mean, you might think you're just speaking the truth when you compliment someone, but for them it might mean a lot more, and then they'll be happier and nicer to the next person they meet.  Or if you go riding and just take in the beauty of the landscape, it puts you in touch with a whole lot else.  That's what my spirituality is about."

"So, nature matters, and you've talked a lot about community..."

"Family matter to me, too.  They're who we come from, and what we work for.  I count my family as a blessing.  Even when we don't get on, they're still family."

Hmm, I get that one and yet...  Well, we don't have to agree on everything.  Still, I'm pleasantly impressed by the Prairie Tarot's very down-to-earth and yet deep approach to life.

Article first published in the TABI Ezine, Autumn 2011.


  1. This does seem a very down to earth and practical deck. Nice interview, which has given us the reader a chance to get to know this deck.

  2. Hi Helen,

    Yes, I think it's probably especially good for American tarotists, but will do nicely for anyone who likes Americana, or just something a little different and homely :) Glad you enjoyed the interview.


  3. Very nice review! I've had my eye on this deck since it was majors-only. Your review was the spur I needed to order my own.

  4. Hiya Pirate,

    I don't think you'll regret it, it's a great deck. Hope to hear what you think when it arrives :)

  5. I have this deck -- both the majors only version and the new version. I used it exclusively for a few months and got good readings from it. I do like the artwork -- I've always been partial to cowboys and Indians.

  6. Hi Sue,

    Wow, I didn't even know there'd been a Majors only version. Not that I'm very keen on Majors decks, but it's interesting to know about a deck's history. I hope you'll come and share some of your insights on the cards I've been pulling this week...

  7. I will be ordering this today. Been on my wish list for a long time and only deck I really want. My grandparents were ranchers in Canada north of where the deck's creator lived and I was also born in that region, so I identify totally with the western images. Looking very forward to this deck. Thank you for the review!!! BB

    1. I can see why this deck would suit you! And it really is a beautiful, uplifting deck, with plenty of depth to it. Wishing you much joy in your readings :) BB