Friday, 3 October 2014

Kitty Kahane Overview

It's funny, neither the colour palette (lots of purples and pinks), nor the art style (primitive) of this deck appeals to me much.  However, I became intrigued with some of the interpretations it offered and actually bought it.  As soon as the Kitty Kahane Tarot (AGM Urania, 2006) arrived it felt right and easy to read.  I'd received a reading request that very morning: the messages I got were really clear and powerful, and that has been my experience with every reading since.

The Majors are obvious in following tradition, and yet with subtle but interesting variations.  Take the Tower: while it has the typical two figures falling from it, in this version there are a further two, who seem to be anthropomorphic elements of the Tower itself.  And this Tower is not only blowing her top, getting rid of the obviously unhealthy little voice in her head.  She is also picking up sticks and moving from the circumstances that have made a change necessary. 

The companion book, charmingly called The Magic Mirrors of the Kitty Kahane Tarot, offers a section for each card to speak for itself.  The Tower says: "I fly through the air and break through walls: My strength comes suddenly and with shocking force, leaving me astonished at my own power and not one stone left upon another.  Walls which seemed impregnable quiver in fear and would rather fall over on their own than face my fury.  Now a bolt of blazing insight strikes me and I am flung like a bride's bouquet into a new dimension of space.  Tower power!"  Tower power indeed :)

The Court cards, too, though offering some strange colour choices, speak eloquently.  The King of Pentacles may have purple skin and a fuchsia robe, and sit on an acqua throne.  Yet, he sits in a green landscape with small trees to either side, a golden Pentacle in one hand and a pink flower in the other.  The suggestion of a connection with abundant nature is clear, as is his enjoyment of his senses.  His crown is interesting, too, looking like a building and so bringing in the idea of man made prosperity.  While that kind of shape is found on many of the cards, as are the strange creatures on his throne, these add coherence to the deck rather than making interpretations monotonous.

Turning to the Aces, these also have their own quirks.  The Ace of Swords shows the traditional sword, blade piercing up through a crown.  Yet, the crown does not simply float in the air. Instead, it is on the head of a strange mountain man covered in flowers.  Perhaps this new idea or way of communicating is needed to bring movement to a way of being that has become too rigid, set in stone...  Or maybe we need a good grounding from which to put this new vision into practice!

Even the simplicity of the Three of Swords offers some different interpretations.  The heart pierced by three blades seems cracked and fragmented, with a pool of water gathering below.  Our unhelpful thoughts leave us feeling emotionally shattered and drained.

This deck is remarkably easy to read straight out of the box, while still offering nuances and variety on every single card.  The companion book, too, while small is insightful and interesting.  Altogether, a worthwhile purchase.


  1. You review is tempting and the symbolism quite well rendered, but he artwork puts me of too much :D

    1. Fair enough, Ellen. As I say, I looked at it quite a number of times before I gave in, and I'm a soft touch for a new deck :D

  2. I've had this experience so often - I think I'll never enjoy working with a deck because the art puts me off, etc., but when I sit down and read with it I find it clicks in one way or another. That was the experience I had with Deviant Moon. I was sure I'd never use it but when I finally gave it a try I really enjoyed it. I can see that happening with this Kitty Kahane deck as well!

    1. It's funny, I generally think I can work with most decks, and used to make a point of rotating through my collection when I worked the phones. Only a few didn't actually work for me, such as the Paulina (too busy). However, I generally prefer decks where the artwork appeals to me, which here it didn't, hence my surprise at how well it read :)