Friday, 14 March 2014

Anna K Overview

There are many things I love about the Anna K Tarot (self-published, 2010, Llewellyn, 2013).  I was first tempted to buy the self-published version after seeing the Eight of Swords: a woman who is unbound, but sees herself in a mirror as she is more traditionally seen, with a ribbon wrapped tight around her and swords all around.  After receiving and using the deck, there are many more things which delight me about it, several of which are highlighted by today’s selection of cards.

For one thing, I adore the more nature-based perspective on wisdom that the cards often embody.  Take the High Priestess: she looks almost like she’s giving birth to the moon.  And the phases of the moon are there, too, representing her understanding of the cycles of life.  It is a deep, bodily knowing, rather than something merely intellectual.  She leans up against a grand, old tree, leaning on the wisdom of nature, drawing from it.  Both her gown and the tree’s roots spills into the pool next to them, representing their connection to emotions and the unconscious.  In all of this, the High Priestess gazes up towards the night sky, looking totally calm and at peace - beautiful!

I love the sunny yellow that is found in so many of the cards, such as both the Queen of Wands and Ace of Wands.  It’s the colour that adorns most of the walls in my home, and has done for the last 13 years.  Before that, I had curtains that colour for a few years, too, before moving in with someone who didn’t like yellow...  No wonder that relationship didn’t last :D 

There is a warmth and radiance to this deck that fills me with happy feelings.  It’s not just about the colours, but also about the expressions on people’s faces.  Look at the Queen of Wands, she is joyous!  There is a wonderful sense of movement to her, too, as though she is dancing, just because.

Likewise, the young girl on the Ace of Wands is exploring with excitement in her heart.  She is using that wand she’s found to bridge a crevasse, to go further, to express her wonder at the vastness of life, and all with a huge smile.

Of course, not all the cards are happy, and that’s just as it should be, too.  The Seven of Swords is quite dark, and yet even here there is the possibility of different interpretations.  Is his expression one of cunning, or simply self-satisfaction at having achieved his aim?  Is he merely a thief, or a Robin Hood figure?  In either case, you have to give him kudos for having planned and executed his robbery well: definitely a case of working smarter rather than harder.

Altogether, this deck is a firm favourite, and I’m delighted it’s now available in a mass-market edition, making it easy to get ahold of!

13 comments:

  1. I haven't noticed the birthing of the moon But I guess it takes one to know one :D
    Still hanging in there?
    hugs

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    1. Hi Ellen,

      It actually happened on Friday :) I'd scheduled this post, went to bed, and woke with my waters breaking just before midnight. Rushed to the hospital, and the new addition to our family came out shortly after 9am :D We're doing well, though stuck in hospital for a bit - not sure I'll be able to post next week...

      Many thanks, as ever, for your kind thoughts and words!
      Hugs,
      Chloë

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    2. O My goddess! How wonderful! Gentle hugs for you and a soft caress for your Little One. Please give my congratulations to your DH and BB (from Big Boy to Big Brother:) I will mail you shortly

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    3. Oh wow, congratulations, Chloe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    4. Thanks, Ellen, the Little One is a big fan of soft caresses :) And yes, BB is making a wonderful Big Brother.

      Thanks, Olivia, we're delighted :D

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  2. Aw, I absolutey love this deck - one of my very favourites too. Strength has been sitting on a shelf above my bed for the past few weeks - she has been helping me through a weird time. I too love the expressions - they are so very human. I hadn't seen the High Priestess in this way but will always see this now! And the Ace of Wands - yes absolutely. It's a genius card, I think - to use the wand as a bridge. (I wrote a post about the Anna K aces here: http://littleredtarot.com/grasping-at-tarot-aces/ )

    It's funny - there are so many smiling faces here, but also a real shadow side - again in a very human way. The expressions of joy and excitement are balanced by faces showing greed, boredom, pain, sadness. It's very easy to relate to - I feel that someone who had never read tarot before could pick this deck up and start reading right away (I bought it for a friend a couple of years back for exactly this reason).

    Have you got both versions then? I only have the self-published one and it looks as though the mass-produced one has lost some quality? One thing I love about the self-pub version is the high-quality card stock and square-ish cards. And I love the simple little symbols on the minors. Good that the deck has become easier to buy (though it wasn't hard to order it direct from Anna - just took a while to arrive!) but sad to lose some of the little details that make it such a beauty.

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    1. Hi LR, yes, I remember your Anna K Aces post well, I hadn't really paid them much mind before then. As you say, they embody their suit amazingly, and the whole deck is richly expressive!

      I can't remember off the top of my head what has been changed in the mass market edition, but Carla blogged about it here (http://rowantarot.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/choose-how-you-react.html) if you're interested :)

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  3. Congrats on your new addition ... so so happy for you and your family xxxxoooo

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    1. Thanks a lot, Carol, we're over the moon, too :)

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  4. One of the things I really like about this deck is how connected the cards are to the human experience (thinking of the 2 of Swords as I type this!). I also love the 2 of Cups and the Lovers. One features a young couple in love, while the latter shows an elderly couple that have grown old together, the relationship that has flourished and developed over the years. I love that! I don't own this deck, but hey, maybe I will some day… ;-)

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    1. It really is well worth it, Olivia! I sometimes find it a little overly teutonic: buxom blonde maids and wicked, dark-haired men, but that's just on my off days ;)

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  5. Yay! And congratulations! ::::smiling and happy for you:::

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