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In Is the Greenwood Tarot Worth It? (Part 1), I started writing about whether the Greenwood Tarot deck, by Chesca Potter and Mark Ryan, is worth the effort and expense to obtain. This was continued in Is the Greenwood Tarot Worth It? (Part 2), where I looked into worth in three contexts. Now that we’ve reached the third post in this series, it’s time to bring it home and come to some conclusions!

Context and Worth

When I examined context for “worth it,” I suggested three contexts for this deck’s use that may be summarized as collectible, study or working (readings). Any of these contexts are valid, but I felt that having a working deck is the riskiest, because it subjects the cards to wear-and-tear — maybe literally! They are so expensive and in limited quantity that use is a risky proposition.

So, is the Greenwood Tarot worth it? Like so many things, it depends.

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In my previous post, Is the Greenwood Tarot Worth It? (Part 1), I started writing about whether the Greenwood Tarot deck, by Chesca Potter and Mark Ryan, is worth the effort and expense to obtain. In that post I gave an overview of the deck’s history and how it came to be a collector’s item. I will continue by looking at how this deck might be used.

What, exactly, is the context for “worth it?” The way I see it, this deck can be obtained for use in three contexts:

  1. As a collectible whose value is by being owned and (hopefully) admired.
  2. As a deck that will be gently used by someone who wants it for comparative study and maybe a meditation focus.
  3. As a working deck for someone who wants to use it for readings.

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Earlier this week, I made my regular pilgrimage to the used bookstore, where I always hope to find some new and perhaps obscure deck of cards. Yeah, I can’t help it, I’m wired that way. I found a new deck; not necessarily obscure, but certainly outside of my “zone:” The Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards: Spiritual Teachings of the Sioux, by Chief Archie Fire Lame Deer with artist Helene Sarkis.

lokota_cards

I’m not normally drawn to Native American themed decks or spiritual trappings. Aside from the every-present risk of made-up New Age teachings and an awareness of inappropriate cultural appropriation, that is just not something that’s ever called to me. However, when I saw this box on the shelf, the cover caught me and after looking through the cards in the store, I found them appealing enough to purchase. I liked the bold art style, the predominance of earthy tones, and that the deck depicted a lot of animals and nature without relying on people.

I have no idea if the source of these cards is legit, in terms of presenting authentic teachings. They seem earnest and respectful; and I haven’t seen anything negative online yet. Only one review at amazon.com was negative, seemingly on general principle, which was encouraging. In any case, my interest was the possibility of reading these as an oracle deck on my own terms, with any education they may provide as a bonus.

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Today was my first reading to test drive my new Card Deck of the Sidhe. As I am not familiar with these oracle cards, I decided a two-card reading would be appropriate. Besides sharing this short reading, I will talk about my initial impressions of this oracle deck meant to connect with the “people of peace.”

I wanted to know: What would the outcome be for me, if I had a particular discussion at work today?

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I got an unexpected gift in the mail when my pre-ordered copy of Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen arrived today. I was expecting a typically sized tarot book. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out of the shipping box!

HolisticTarot-cover

Seriously, it was so thick I had trouble grabbing it out of the box. Which isn’t a complaint. This book isn’t typical in size, and doesn’t look to be typical in content — in a good way.

Finding New Books

It’s been a while since I bought a newly published cartomancy book. I think the last such book I bought new was Rana George’s Lenormand book. (I’ve looked at some “indie” books available on Kindle via amazon.com, which tend to run smaller or be focused on topics like business aspects.) There hasn’t been much new to catch my eye. The last time I bought a tarot book targeting an advanced audience, I found it disappointing since I was familiar with the techniques and approaches it described, having built my tarot style around them.

Last month, thanks to Josephine McCarthy, I discovered the blog of Benebell Wen. I had not seen the lovely Ms. Wen’s blog before, but looking through it I enjoyed the content enough to add to my blogroll. I saw she was a soon-to-be-published author. After reading the blog archives and looking up Holistic Tarot on amazon.com, it promised to be different enough that I pre-ordered it, which is a rarity.

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I’ve always had a fascination for the Indian tattwas (or sometimes tattvas). “Tattwa” is often translated as “thatness” and represents a certain quality of something. There are generally five tattwas which are related to the five elements of akasha (spirit), air, fire, water and earth. The tattwas made their way from India to the West via the Theosophical movement and the Victorian-era and UK-based magical group, The Golden Dawn.

The five tattwas and their symbols as related to Western use — including this tarot deck — are akasha (spirit; a purple egg or oval), vayu (air; a blue circle), tejas (fire; a red triangle), apas (water; a white or silver crescent) and prithivi (earth; a yellow square). It’s a bigger subject than I have time to write about now, but if you want to learn more, you could start at Wikipedia. If people are interested, I can share some references to works about tattwas at a later date.

At any rate, they are commonly used as symbols for improving meditation, concentration, visualization and even scrying ability for those who lean in that direction. Imagine my pleased surprise when one day I learned there were two tattwa-based tarot decks!

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A while ago I took a look at my shiny, then-new Law of Attraction Tarot deck.

law-of-attraction-tarot-front

Skimming the linked article, I was quite enamored with it when it was new. How has it fared in my collection over time?

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Lately, I’ve been using an app for iOS called Day One Journal, made my Day One and available for both iPad and iPhone as a single, universal app. (It is also available for the Mac, although I haven’t used that version.) I’ve found Day One a convenient tool for recording personal card readings, and I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

day-one-teaser

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You’ve heard it before. Maybe you’ve asked it, or been involved in a discussion about it. Now it’s time to bring this fine philosophical question to the cartomantic detective: Does size matter?

Of course, I’m talking about the size of cards; of Lenormand cards in particular. One of the nice things about the Lenormand deck is that it lives up to it’s French surname of “Petit.” The average Lenormand is about the same size as a playing card deck, which is nice and small. After working with these for a while, the typical tarot deck can feel super-sized!

But are all Lenormand decks cut equally when it comes to size? Is there such a thing as too small; or for that matter, too big? Let’s take a peek!

Tarot and Lenormand cards. (Click for a larger image.)

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I haven’t bought any decks for a while, and for some reason the art I’ve seen for the Law of Attraction Tarot was calling to me. I was lucky enough to find the kit (deck and book set) at a local bookstore yesterday. Wow!

This modern style tarot deck isn’t one I’d have expected to like, yet it really impressed me at first look. Enough that I am posting my impressions, even though some of you may be mentally subtracting my tarot ‘street cred’ for getting this deck. 😀

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the crop of modern books about the Law of Attraction, notably The Secret and its ilk. My familiarity is more with creative visualization, hermetic principles and some of the ideas that come out of New Thought. I suppose they all overlap, but my background is more varied and … magical?

That said, let’s break it down and see why I was so attracted to this deck!

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