Friday, 18 July 2014

Mystical Cats Overview

The Mystical Cats Tarot (Llewellyn, 2014), authored by Lunea Weatherstone and with beautiful artwork by Mickie Mueller, is the latest in a long line of cat-themed tarots.  While I'll admit I'm a total cat-lover, I also think this is a good, readable deck.  While perhaps not as true to the cat's perspective as the Cat's Eye Tarot (US Games, 2011), it has a lot of lovely features, useful symbolism and is very evocative. 

Take the High Priestess; this elegant grey cat sits in an amethyst cave, outside of which a crescent moon glows in a starry sky.  Amethyst is a crystal associated with intuition, and with the crown chakra.  Hence also with wisdom and a spiritual connection to the Universe.  Between that and the crescent moon, there's plenty of symbolism that speaks to the archetype.

The Court cards are another interesting and well thought out aspect of the deck.  Recently, Steve of Tiferet Tarot bemoaned decks with no apparent age difference in the Courts.  In the Mystical Cats Tarot these are indicated by having a Kitten/Page (definite squee factor!), a Tom/Knight, and then the Queens and Kings.  As seen with this Fire Tom (the suits are given elemental titles in line with the most frequent traditional attributions, though Air is titled Sky), the Toms show nicely the dynamic nature of the Knights.  Here, the Tom wends his way between a plethora of burning candles, all without setting his tail on fire.  His focus is on one candle in particular, but who knows how long that will last...

The Aces all have this kind of paw print banner, with a colour and background appropriate to their suit element.  This works quite well, I think, suggesting the possibility of making our mark in a given area or field.  Nothing exists yet but the potential, action is needed to materialise it, make it more than purely symbolic.

Finally, we have the Minors. As we saw on Monday, and as we see here in the Eight of Sky (Swords), these are RWS-based.  A grey cat seems trapped by the branches of a fallen bough.  Meanwhile, eight bats fly towards hir through a darkening sky.  If s/he could get beyond the fear s/he could work hir way out between the branches.  And so, it is not the branches or the bats that trap hir, but hir own thoughts and fears.

Altogether, I find this deck very cute, and also full of wonderful symbolism and ideas that echo the traditional, while also allowing intuitive readings of the cards.  It has many cat-centered delights and pearls of wisdom to share.

3 comments:

  1. Nice thorough overview, Chloe. And thanks for the mention!

    Even though the characters in my own cards are not miles apart in age, I do find it strange sometimes when the court is all young (such as in The Fenestra) so it is nice to see an obvious development through rank (I like how Joanna does this in the Gaian). I've not been into buying tarots so much in recent months, but always good to keep up with what is going on. I enjoy these overviews a lot.

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    1. Well, thought I'd do my bit to send people over to your new blog :) And glad you enjoy these overviews, I know I like to hear other people's take on decks...

      I think your Court cards work because the age isn't so apparent in silhouette, so people focus more on the posture and other symbolism. So, even without really obvious age differences, the character variations still show up :)

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  2. Yes, your'e right. And in many cases, we can project how we feel onto the silhouettes. It's possibly easier for a younger person to relate to a more mature character without too much detail, and for a mature person to understand their youthful side without seeing an 'actual person' in a card. They become aspects of ourself more easily, maybe, because they can be moulded by the reader more readily.

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