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!
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!