Doreen Virtue's recently released Angel Tarot (Hay House, 2012). Before that, though, I decided to ask the deck how we would get on, and what the angels would bring me.
This deck has been getting quite a bit of bad press in the tarot community, based largely on it being sold as a "gentle and safe" tarot. I have to agree, I don't like the concept. Life isn't gentle and safe, so why should a tool which helps us understand and deal with it be? Still, I have been pleasantly impressed with the cards. The artwork is often vibrant and fantastical, and the key phrases are surprisingly useful and, although gently phrased, don't avoid or side-step difficulties.
Anyhow, given the suits are renamed for the elements, rather than Wands etc, I decided an Elemental Spread would be the best approach:
1) Fire - What will you help me burn away? Eight of Fire
It seems this deck will help me burn away my need for speed ;) With these cards I will be able to slow down, to focus on just one thing at a time. Often I feel I have to multi-task, to do everything and be everywhere. However, that isn't always a helpful or do-able approach to take. So, a bit of downtime, a friend to help remind me what is really important, sounds like a good thing.
I also like the fact that there are keywords for the Court cards, as well as explanatory phrases. This would definitely be useful for someone new to the tarot (and hey, don't we all baulk at the Courts on occasion?).
Here, then, we meet the Queen of Fire. In terms of purifying myself, this lady will be happy to remind me that I am strong, that I can wash away my doubts and fears to connect more fully with my creativity and independence.
I will help you move forward by reminding you that two heads are better than one. I can act as your second, pointing out aspects and perspectives you may sometimes forget, and also encourage you to seek help and connect with others when appropriate. Burning through the twaddle, I will help you discern the true seeds or centre of any issue.
I can help you connect with nature by reminding you that most anything can be done in nature - you don't just have to go outside for walks or to get somewhere, but can take a book and read outside. I also encourage you to learn directly from nature, studying the seasons, tuning in to the different elements and how they interact. You can connect with spirit through nature, and connect with nature through spirit. All that is needed is to put in the time!
My overarching spiritual message is that it is through plumbing one's own depths, as well as through melding both "civilised" and "wild" aspects of the self, that the deepest learning occurs. Fear is natural, but can hamper our growth if we let it stop us exploring, so visualise yourself cleansed of fear, and move forward bravely, no matter the uncertainty of the path. I am always here to help shed light on where to go.
6) Quintessence - 8+13+2+8+18 = 49 → 13/4 Death/Emperor
At heart, I'm all about transformation. Although I may provide a more structured, secure approach than other decks, that doesn't change the fact that I talk about endings, and how to move on.
I will help with a logical assessment of where you are, and how best to move forward. In that sense, I am always positive and upbeat, not denying that change is hard, but always encouraging you to release what is no longer growth full and determinedly seek the next step.