This is just a stunning deck , but when I first saw it thought, “Oh here we go, it’s not really Tarot, it’s some kind of oracle deck.” How wrong I was. There are a number of decks that use collaged art (the Touchstone being a very fine example) but this one uses details of paintings instead.
Each of the 78 cards features a painting or part of one specifically chosen to illustrate the traditional (read: Waite-Smith) meaning of the cards. The cards are larger than average at 5 1/8” x 3 5/8” (130mm x 90mm) so fair warning for those with smaller hands who like the smaller size decks. The LWB is pretty thin, with really basic interpretations and only one spread given: a 5-card called the Creativity Spread. I think most of you know how I’ve been really struggling with this new job I started, feeling stifled and repressed, challenged only by the amount of detail involved, with almost no time left for the things I love (my writing, the Tarot). My soul is dying a little each day there, cut off from everything I value. I need hope that life will not always be this way. I mean, I REALLY NEED HOPE. So I took the deck for a test drive, and here are the cards I drew.
It’s displaying badly with this theme, but you can pull up each card individually to have a better look. So here’s the spread. Holy crow, beat me over the head, why don’t you?
Position 1 – Inspiration. What inspires you to do the best work possible. – King of Wands. The King is an enthusiastic, passionate leader. I can’t say I know any one like him, but perhaps this is my own inner passion and enthusiasm that keeps me going.
Position 2 – Influences. Who or what has influenced you in your decisions and your endeavors? Ace of Pentacles. HAHAHAHA! yeah, you betcha, money. It’s the only reason I took this job. Well, not the only. The place I’m at really is doing good work, but my tiny piece of it is so mundane and suited to bean counters, it’s about killing me. The paycheck is the only inspiration I have at the moment.
Position 3 – Challenges. What current challenges do you face in your life. Well, I pretty much know the answer to that one. But, I got the Ace of Wands here. I think the quote is incredibly a propos. This new project/job is a challenge: a challenge to learn, a challenge to care about, a challenge to survive.
Position 4 – Process. Where are you in the current process? What do you need to do to reach your goals? :::sucking teeth::: Seven of Wands. Hoooo-boy. I definitely got dealt a bad hand, so I need to work with what I’ve got. HOW ON TARGET IS THAT? I guess that means suck it up for now.
Position 5 – Final Outcome. What are the results of your creative endeavors or current projects? The Chariot. Well, that’s something anyway. The Chariot is victory, control, steering your own destiny, control of one’s self.
So two Aces (beginnings), two Wands (fire, creativity, passion. I was pretty jazzed about this job before I started it), one Cup (water, emotions), one Pentacle (Earth, physical matters, money concerns) and only one Major Arcana. It’s all within my control, except the outcome, the one Major, Chariot. This was never in question, my own ability to control myself. Some things just go without saying. :::sigh::: It’s not easy to see it now, though. But I found all the quotes on the cards are so fitting.
The the quotes and paintings chosen for each card were selected for a positive message. Charlene Livingstone, the creator of the deck, began work on this after her husband received an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. She turned to the Tarot for guidance and support. This deck is the outcome. She gives a brief narrative in the LWB on how it all came about.
So, despite my initial misgivings about this being just a collectors’ deck, this has turned out to be a very useful working deck. And here’s the pretty back (detail from Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life, but it’s not mentioned in the LWB). The box can also serve as a frame for daily card draws.