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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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Ah. Today I’m writing outdoors, which is a novel experience as it’s usually tough to see the laptop screen in the sun, or else the machine gets overly warm. It’s cool enough for me to sit outside wearing jeans and a t-shirt today, and the screen is a dim but visible enough. (Barely!)

It seems appropriate to sit outside and ponder the Greenwood Tarot.  I’ve been living with this deck for about a month now. For those who don’t know, the Greenwood Tarot went out of print after its publication in 1996. It was created by Chesca Potter (artist) and Mark Ryan (author), and aimed to deliver images aligned to a pre-Celtic British tradition. So there are plenty of visual references to deer, the Uffington (chalk) horse, labyrinths; and even a sheila-na-gig made its way in.

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I attended a class on change management and leadership yesterday. That sounds like a mouthful, doesn’t it? Simply put, it’s about understanding change and how to successfully implement it. This class was geared towards the work world, although the nature of change in our home lives was discussed for comparison and contrast. It was a fun class with a sassy, high-energy teacher. She pointed out that most of the material is common sense, but people tend not to think things through or make time to do the essentials.

I wanted to share what I learned with my peers at work, but I’ve been asked if I’m willing to extend that to people who are “higher up”, including the person in charge of my department. That’s a little scary for me! So I pulled out my Greenwood Tarot and asked: What can I expect the outcome to be for me, if I present to this group? (You can click on the image to see the full size.)

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I recently took a look at the influences surrounding President Trump for the rest of 2017. The central card, indicating a fiery, female influence in the Queen of Wands, was puzzling enough to me to warrant a follow-up reading.

I again used the Greenwood Tarot, but this time I asked for a description of the woman indicated by the Queen of Wands from the prior reading; and used the astrology or horoscope spread. This spread is a 12-position circle, where each position relates to one of the houses of astrology for meaning. I start the first house at the “9 o’clock” location on the left, then run counterclockwise around the circle. Combined we get a snapshot to describe the Queen of Wands. Let’s see what came up.

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For all the fuss about the Greenwood Tarot being the Holy Grail of tarot decks, I don’t feel like there are many examples showing how it reads. Do people actually read with this deck if they’re fortunate enough to own it, or is it so rare that they don’t want to use it? Maybe because it’s been out of print so long (since 1996), people aren’t motivated to post about it? Maybe the current crop of bloggers don’t own it, and tend to focus on the shiny new decks? I’m not pointing fingers there, just pondering aloud.

A google search for Greenwood readings didn’t turn up much for me within the first several pages of results. Heck, there aren’t that many reviews out there. Maybe it’s really rare among the tarot readers who post on the web. Well, here is another reading to help rectify that situation.

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I am doing a test run with the Greenwood Tarot, and wanted to see how it would answer the question: what kind of energies will surround Trump (and by extension the United States) for the rest of 2017? I used the modified Tree of Life spread I learned from Josephine McCarthy.

First Triad – Root

The root of this spread is the 7 of Cups (Mourning), a definite vibe of sorrow and things lost, and a very death-o-matic vibe. The next two cards seem interesting as they have some correlations on either side of the Tree here, with the right being a positive aspect and the left showing negative aspect. The King of Cups (Reindeer) is a male-female polarity card, and it is referring to the powerful reindeer, both rutting for dominance and to the fact that (according to the guidebook) they eat mushrooms which are apparently visionary in nature. Opposite we  have the Lovers, another card of male-female polarity and a very energetic card with sexual undertones to my eye. Altogether, I get a sense of power and posturing while there is a balance of masculine and feminine energies or aspects, all stemming from a deep seated loss (of innocence?). This makes sense if I consider Trump’s blustering and aggressive nature, in business and now in politics. Except for Invanka, his daughter, I don’t see much evidence of valuing women. (Even the First Lady seems strangely absent from the news.)

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Today I am doing a Here and Now reading — my carto-GPS — with my just-arrived Thelema Tarot by Renata Lechner. This is a dreamy looking and reasonably attractive deck, with a handful of standout cards at first glance. My main complaint is that it’s cut poorly, and the top left corner is almost sharp. In person, it looks like all of the cards are pointing to the top left.

ThelemaTarotTitlecard

This spread that I call “Here and Now” can be thought of as a GPS for taking a quick look at where I’m going and what I need to avoid. While I’ve showed daily readings with it so far, today I wanted to demonstrate it applied to a specific topic. Wanting something short, meaningful and that I could talk about freely, I chose this blog as the topic. What direction should* I take for this blog?

 

 Reading-GPS-19Apr2016
Thelema Tarot reading; click for full size image

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I’ve been pondering the subject of oracle decks produced by Doreen Virtue for some time now, but haven’t felt motivated to write what amounts to a defense for their existence and usage. Among the self-proclaimed tarot cognoscenti, Doreen’s decks are anathema to their hard-won, occult (meaning hidden) knowledge. My opinion is that those endless criticisms of her work tend to be less from firsthand experience, and more from the group-think that pervades the online tarot community.

Image by Steve A. Roberts that became Empress; click to visit artist's gallery page

Priestess of the Woods, used as The Empress. (c) Steve A. Roberts. Click image for artist’s gallery store page.

Having been a tarot snob myself in the past, I know exactly where most of those criticisms are coming from. I also think most of them are from people who haven’t touched a Virtue oracle deck, let alone given one a chance. I would like to share some opinions on working with a couple of these decks. Can they be hard-hitting, or are they the fluffy marshmallows that the tarot community claims?

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This past weekend, our winery group had our first outing of the season. The weather was refreshingly cool. In fact, a little too cool, as we quickly migrated from a picnic table outdoors to an inside table. Others must have felt the same because before long, the inside was packed.

My readings have become a popular part of the winery events. So, what decks (or other reading tools) to take, and what format to use?

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