Deck Review: The Wooden Tarot

RATING: ●●●○○

The Wooden Tarot created by artist A.L. Swartz has been making the buzz rounds around the tarot community. It’s main attractor being the frankly incredible art.adwThere’s no denying it, the deck is gorgeous, particularly the Major Arcana, which were the artist’s original goal. As such they are the richest images, beautifully conceptualized. They are also very creepy. There’s no denying that. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m okay with keeping a deck that occasionally unnerves me (there’s also something to being unnerved, makes me pay attention). The artist is very clear about it, stating: “I like to combine opposites in my work by fusing the beautiful and the grotesque, the living and the dead, and the real and surreal.” Even the back of the cards, what seems to be a rather traditional triple goddess moon, is transformed with the use of an eyeball as the full moon. Creepy. The cards watch me even as I shuffle.wpid-20150627_210352-1.jpgSpeaking of shuffling, when the cards came there was a slight arch to them, a mild curvature that only made itself really known after shuffling when the cards wouldn’t lie flat on each other. I don’t know what caused this, as the package was intact when it got to me with no visible damage. Still, it didn’t make shuffling any harder, in fact these are the easiest deck I’ve shuffled. The cards are all of slightly different shades, this is because the art was originally painted on wooden boards with different grains. This might bug some, I absolutely love it. Note that the God (Aces) cards- which on the front are significantly different and thus look like they might be easy to identify- are not distinguishable from the back and thus blind shuffle is maintained. ss2The Minor Arcana [Stones (Wands/Fire); Bones (Pentacles/Earth); Blooms (Cups/Water); Plumes (Swords/Air)] have less detail, and are at times disappointingly sparse, especially the Bones suit. For the Minor Arcana at least, you will need your own LWB to feel out the meanings of the cards, though there are some markers you can draw out for interpretation.

I’m also unsure as to why Stones should be given to Wands and not Pentacles (though Bones for Pentacles does make sense). Stones aren’t as dynamic as the suit of Wands often is. The Stones are indicated by crystals though, which do have their own sort of dynamic energy, I’ll submit.

I don’t think I’ll be reading with this deck for others for a while. I need time to get acclimated. This is not a deck I would recommend for beginners, though if you’re willing to do the work, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get it. If only for the stunning art.

The Wooden Tarot deck is still available via Etsy here. The artist was later inspired to create an oracle deck, to be made available around September but you can get in early for a discounted price here.

RATING: ●●●○○

Deck Interview: Experiencing Wonderland w/ The Wooden Tarot

I just received The Wooden Tarot and it is quite lovely with just a hint of intimidation. Decided to make the first reading an interview with the deck.

This should be interesting.

wpid-20150628_000734-1-1.jpgFirst impressions: not a single Major Arcana card, which feels significant for some reason. Lots of cards in shadow, and the STONES (Wands) suit seems to weigh heavily on this spread, which indicates concerns of an energetic, passionate and creative nature.

1.Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
SIX OF BLOOMS (CUPS) – alright then! I’m intuiting that this is a deck of memory- in that past experiences and a connection with my inner self will be important moving forward. It’s also reassuring, that despite its surreal nature, it is full of good intention should I choose to recognize it as such.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?
QUEEN OF PLUMES (SWORDS) [reverse] – okay, art like the one on this card is why I treated myself to this deck. It’s reverse position tells me that this is a deck of heart space, not particularly grounded in solid reality. Which makes sense with the overall imagery and energy of this deck. The crescent moons are at the top of this card indicating a creativity and opening up of space. I’m looking forward to see how this manifests itself as a strength.

3. What are your limits as a deck?
THREE OF STONES (WANDS) – not a deck of foresight. Got it. This will not be a deck that I ask about future scenarios, it’s wispy wily nature would probably doom me if I did, or at least miss important signals. I sense it’ll be good for unlocking current energies and evaluating where I’m at in a particular moment. Good for internal work.

4. What are you here to teach me?
EIGHT OF STONES (WANDS) [reverse] – here to teach me how to move with the energy of this suit, which its reverse position indicates I tend to resist. It encourages flexibility and quick creative action where I may be feeling like slowing down or getting to grounded.

5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
TEN OF STONES (WANDS) [reverse] – must resist the urge to ask too much of it; I feel like its a warning to accept the messages for what they are and not seek endless clarification once a spread is given. Weighing myself down as I move with this deck won’t work. (Seems all my decks continue to ask me to learn how to let shit go!)

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
THREE OF BLOOMS (CUPS) – the first card I could read straight from the art without checking my knowledge of the cards. Creative fruition, an ability to move with necessary flexibility, a growth of self (perhaps learning release, finally).

What an interesting conversation. Whirlwind of an experience this will be. I feel like Alice down the rabbit hole.

DeckLust and Tarot of the QTPOC: The Numinous Tarot! (FORTHCOMING)

The Numinous Tarot is being created by Noel Arthur Heimpel.

1.of, pertaining to, or like a numen; spiritual or supernatural
2.surpassing comprehension or understanding; mysterious: that element in artistic expression that remains numinous
3. arousing one’s elevated feelings of duty, honor, loyalty, etc.: a benevolent and numinous paternity.

This is a forthcoming deck, the creator and artist is still working on it, they’ve just completed the Major Arcana.

Untitled- It is absolutely stunning, including people of color and what looks like non-binary characters in it. I can’t wait for this to be released. I actually would purchase this deck if the artist released just the Major Arcana. Continue reading

Clean & Cleanse Quick DIY

You’re eventually gonna to have to wipe down a surface in your home- floors, tables, shelves, ceiling fans, etc- so why not cleanse as you clean? Clean as you cleanse? I’ve talked about sweeping as an energy clearer before, but here’s one I’ve fallen deeply in love with.

All you need is:
– Spray Bottle
– Sprig of your choice of herb/Essential Oil/Small crystal (or any combination of these 3)
– Water

Put some water in your spray bottle, add your herb/essential oil/crystal (charged with intention), and get to cleaning and cleansing!

Personally, I like to combine all three:- I use a sprig of rosemary, a couple of drops of lavender and sage oil, and a small piece of rose quartz. The best thing is, a good spray bottle with mist action will last quite a bit and I can continue to reach for it whenever I have to wipe something down. Even better, with a mist action spray bottle, I don’t even have to be wiping anything down. I can literally spray down anything, couches, floors, blankets, beds, pillows which not only gets the energy I was going for moving through the room, but also leaves that beautiful scent everywhere (goodbye Febreze!). Changes the feel of the entire room, it’s glorious! Also great for clearing the air before a reading, meditation, etc.

NOTE: Do not use soluble crystals, like selenite; or toxic ones that may leech chemicals out into the water (and definitely don’t ingest this!). Quartz family crystals are usually recommended, but again, have a care for your health and look the crystal you want to use up. Research and use your good judgement, please. Same warning goes for herbs and essential oils (for example, don’t use anything your allergic to, for goodness sake!).

Tarot of the QTPOC Series: The Collective Tarot

Admittedly one of the most famous non-conforming tarot decks out there. The Collective Tarot deck was designed by a collective of creators- artists, writers, etc- dedicated to creating a deck that bucks most of the traditional tarot mores, representations, and symbolism.

faThe creators aimed to include “beings and bodies of size and of color… as well as differently-abled, multi-gendered and multi-generational characters” in the deck to match the diversity of peoples who use tarot. It’s out of print for the most part, but I was lucky enough to receive a reading by this deck and I can speak to its beauty and insight.

More Tarot of the QTPOC.

Tarot of the QTPOC

I’m always on the hunt for decks that include people like me, that is queer and people of color (perhaps, *gasp!* even queer people of color).

I once went into a metaphysical store and one of the women who worked there inserted herself into a conversation I was having with a friend. I was discussing a list I was looking to make of tarot decks that had queer and people of color, and she, completely uninvited, remarked that most pagan practitioners are straight and white.


Somehow I managed to contain both my laughter and anger and walked away with nothing more than an irritated hum despite my burning desire to tell her about the many ways she was WRONG. Needless to say I purchased nothing in that awful store (trust and believe they didn’t stop with the micro-aggressions there) and I don’t plan on ever returning.

Anyway, I’m going to start posting decks that are inclusive as a record for myself and to positively highlight them in my Tarot of the QTPOC series. I always take recommendations!