Deck Review: Everyday Witch Tarot

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The Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake and Elisabeth Alba.

I picked this deck up this weekend (because obviously I needed another deck after IMG_0431.JPGgetting two new tarot decks AND two oracle decks over the holidays ;3 ) at Barnes and Noble because I had some store credit burning a hole in my pocket and they didn’t have the Tarot Coloring book in stock.  I’m going to get the coloring one at some point, but I wanted some instant gratification.

So here’s my thoughts about it:

It comes in a nice sturdy box with a magnetized flip open cover, inside is a 252 page book and the deck itself.  The deck doesn’t come in a separate box or bag, which is kind of a bummer for me, I like my decks to have a box for JUST the cards so I can toss a deck in my bag.  I’ll have to get a drawstring bag or something like to store the cards when I don’t want the big box.

IMG_0430.JPGThe book is pretty nice, it’s full color and has glossy pages.  There’s a short standard introduction to what tarot is and what it does and how to use it.  Nothing revolutionary, but all decent as an introduction for someone who might be picking this up for their first deck.  There was one line about using a card that falls out while shuffling as a signifier which was something I hadn’t heard before, so that was a nice little gem for me.  It also had a little table that spelled out the number pattern thing for minor arcana (aces being new beginnings/opportunities) which I had been meaning to review.  Finding little synchronicities in something like this makes me happy.

As for the cards themselves I quite like them, they’re not perfect, but really I haven’t found The Perfect Deck ™ yet if it even exists.

I’m going to start with the things I didn’t like about this deck.  First of all, as I img_0429mentioned above, no box just for the deck.  Also the card stock that they’re printed on is pretty thin.  The cards aren’t going to hold up as a deck for The Ages, these are going to bend as I work with them.  My last problem with them is a big one, I still like this deck and I anticipate working a lot with it, but it’s got a real problem with lack of racial diversity.  It would have been so easy to add some witches of color into these cards.  There are a handful, I think I counted ten, that could be people of color.  Or they could just be Caucasians with a little bit of a tan.  I find that really disappointing.  Deck creators, please, diversify it up!  I want more people of color in my tarot decks.  Diversity is beautiful and awesome and it’s so important.  Representation is important.  There are a few hints of representation in here, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough.

img_0435This problem aside, there are a lot of things I like about this deck.  It’s witchy, which, spoilers, I’m definitely into.  😉  There’s a cat familiar on almost every single card (cards without cats: Three of Swords, Hanged Man, Six of Wands, Hierophant, and the King of Pentacles, in case you’re interested).  I’m a cat person who has a cat familiar so this scores big points in my book.  One of the first cards I always want to see when I look at a new deck is The Lovers.  I was pleasantly surprised to see two figures that could be easily queered.  There are no gendered markers (aside from possibly the long curly hair, but these days plenty of guys I know have long curly hair) on them.  I looked at a handful of other cards and I saw a handful more semi-androgynous figures.  Then as I was reading the book that came with the cards they said that it was intentionally done “in the hope that everyone will feel included and see themselves somewhere in these cards.”  Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s too bad we couldn’t get some intersectionality here with witches of color!  In other cat related stuff, did you see the cat tails and how they make a little heart!  I loved it!

I also love the way they depict the Hierophant in this deck as well.  This card is oftenimg_0428 shown as a Papal like Christian church man.  This obviously wouldn’t fly in a witchcraft deck so they had to go with something else.  So there’s a yoga instructor with two students.  I love the fact that there’s a woman instructor on this card.  I have often, in the past, struggled with a white Christian male as the authority figure when that’s so far away from my hoped for reality.  Ideally, seeing as the practice of yoga originated in India, I would have loved the teacher to be a woman of color so as not to continue white washing the practice of yoga, but this is progress.  It’s not to say that there isn’t more work to be done, there always is.  I also like that this card shows an ambiguously gendered person.

IMG_0427.JPGThe next card I wanted to share with you is another of my favorites, The Hermit. It shows a witch sitting in front of a crackling campfire.  I adore the change from the dark robed old man with a lantern, even though I really like that traditional imagery too.

Campfires are such wonderful places for recharging for me.  I grew up as  a Girl Scout and so I’ve been to a lot of campfires and I have such strong positive associations with them.  Meditating listening to the crackle and pop of that fire with a cat purring across fro me sounds like a little slice of heaven.  And I always love seeing an owl pop up in readings.  Athena is my matron goddess and seeing her symbol always gives me a little boost.

Overall, I like this deck a great deal.  I think it’s got some great symbolism, I love that it’s witch themed, and I like how easy it is to queer the cards.  I really like that they put those androgynous figures into this deck with intention.  I think this will be a great deck to read with and I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to teach me.

Tarot Talk: Decks I’m hoping to check out

I’ve got a handful of decks on my wishlist this holiday season.  I like to keep decks that I’mtarot-talk interested in on my Amazon wishlist that way come gift giving occasions I make it easy for my family to send me something I’d really like and use.

So here’s a few I’m eyeballing right now.

sacred_rebels_oracleThe Sacred Rebels Oracle.  The description of the deck from Amazon says “Live your own unique, inspired life and share your light with the world as a sacred offering. This oracle deck is filled with striking imagery and beautiful heartfelt guidance to support you in awakening your sacred, rebellious heart. Celebrate and nurture your individuality. Become fully alive and express your authentic truths. Use these cards to gain trust in your own uniqueness and honor your creative power.”

It seems like with all the crap that’s poised to come crashing down in 2017 that this would be a useful and reaffirming deck for activist work and self care.  I feel like we’ll all need some sacred rebel support.

Sun and Moon Tarot.  I’ve had this one on my list for a while, I like the way the people sunandmoonhave varied skin tones and they don’t have faces, it feels like it’d be great for more gender fluid/freed readings.  From the description:  “With fresh, contemporary artwork, Sun and Moon Tarot gives a modern twist to ancient spiritual symbols. By playfully incorporating mythology and astrology, Vanessa Decort brings unique interpretations to traditional tarot, presenting a deck that is both insightful and accessible.”

I think I read somewhere that it leans more on the Thoth tarot and I’m more used to RWS, so we’ll see how that works if I end up with this deck.

hiddenTarot of the Hidden Realm.  I LOVE Faerie energy, the Spoutwood Faerie Festival is the even that I look forward to more than any other event all year.  This deck is all about the Fae and I keep seeing it around.  From the description: “Evoke the powerful wisdom of the fae with the Tarot of the Hidden Realm. Instead of relying on esoteric symbols, this powerful deck uses the raw elements―water, air, fire, and earth―to speak directly to your emotions. The beautifully drawn figures follow the Rider Waite style, but express more energy and movement, drawing you in even as you draw their truths out. The companion guidebook reveals techniques and card meanings for beginners and more experienced readers alike.”

rumi_oracle_sample_6The Rumi Oracle: in my undergrad career I majored in Ancient and Middle Eastern History and I took a class about Mysticism and Islam and it was during that class that I finally learned what mysticism was.  A direct connection the the divine without the need for an intermediary.  We learned a lot about the Sufi mystics and I found it all fascinating and intensely interesting.  Rumi was one of the most famous Sufi mystics and he wrote beautiful poetry in an expression of his faith and also to his lover Shams. So in Rumi I get two of my favorite things, queerness and mysticism.  I definitely want to check out this oracle deck.  And the art looks beautiful.  From the description:  “Rumi speaks a sacred language that we understand with our hearts rather than our minds. He knows the heart is the gateway to divine union and he doesn’t want you to play small this lifetime. He encourages humanity to live and love with absolute surrender, abandon and willingness to accept the mysteries of life.”

Two others that I’ve seen that are very tempting are the Mini Mandala deck and the Spirit de la Lune oracle deck.  I’m also REALLY tempted to get myself the haiku oracle. Also I recently backed two decks on Kickstarter, Dark Days Tarot and Our Tarot so I’m excite about those, but I’ve got a while to wait!

I always love hearing about new decks, which ones are on your lists?  What’s something I absolutely must see?  Let me know in the comments!

Weekly Readings

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Reclaiming Rainbow Brite: A beautiful essay on Tarot by Hilary on rainbow hair and being yourself.  And Oh My God, I so very much identified with this piece.  Take out the bit about being a teenage witch because I came to my witchy-ness later in life, but so much of her experiences rang true for me too.  Middle school hell, the tentative hair coloring all the while wanting more.  ❤

From Sheep to Shawl – Knitting as a Political Act

A New York Legislator Is Sticking It To Mike Pence With Proposed Law Banning Conversion Therapy.

Holiday Self Care.

Talking through Conflict: Communicating with Loved Ones over the Holidays

From Vellamour: Confessions of a Witch – this is a lovely essay about the illusion of perfection and how it’s absolutely an illusion.  This is another one where I identified.  My altar is almost always a mess and I struggle really hard with doubting my intuition and trusting in the magic that I create.  There’s this huge ‘rational’ voice that tells me constantly that I’m making it all up and it’s a bunch of hogwash.  ❤ this little piece.

Hosted by LRT – a Review of the Linestrider Tarot – I have this deck but haven’t yet worked with it much, but it’s so beautiful!

And older post that I came up again and I feel is very timely:  Asali shares her after work Monday night ritual and it sounds like a perfect and relaxing thing that a lot of us could really use right now.

Why feminists (and women) need intergenerational friendships.

Check out this new indie Tarot deck: Dark Days Tarot – and if it’s your jam, it looks like mine, back the project on Kickstarter!

Joanna Powell Colbert shares a lovely piece on Entering the Dark, Sacred Silence. Very timely for me as we’ve had overcast grey skies for days and it’s making me feel weighted down and tired.

A post on oracle decks from Lavender Moon.  I just added a bunch to my wishlist.

From Autostraddle: Some healing magic and spells

What to do when a Tarot reading confuses the heck out of you.

What I’m Knitting:  Technically this was crochet, but I made chair socks!   Also I’ve picked up my cross stitching again and I’m working on my Frosted Pumpkin Stitch Along from last year.  I’m so behind!

What I’m watching: the New Gilmore Girls Episodes!  I am 80% happy and 20% WTF.

What I’m eating:  ZOMG YOU GUYS, this Okonomiyaki recipe is something insanely delicious that I wasn’t expecting to taste that amazing.  And I’m not even a big fan of cabbage.  But just thinking about it makes me want to eat it again.  And I’ve made two batches of this Thai cucumber salad in the last two days.  And I still want more.

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

As I mentioned before, I’m way behind so this one will be long as I catch up on a few weeks wonderful linking!

A Halloween Crocheted Wreath that anyone can make.  The pattern is even free!

From Lavender Moon: rebirth and renewal: a tarot spread for healing.

Ethony offers some advice on what to do when a Tarot reading goes all to crap.

Benebell Wen has created a downloadable set of RWS cards with keywords and planetary associations and some other customizable options for anyone wanting to learn their cards, or for anyone who wants to enhance their understanding.  It’s a pretty cool project!  Check it out!

Asali Earthwork shares some open readings.  It’s kind of just the right nudge that I needed to remind me to do the same.  I need to read more and share more.  She also created a lovely Two Waters Tea Spread, go check it out!

On Little Red Tarot: an interview with Brettley Mason about their Etsy shop Teal Pansy Jewelry.  My Etsy wishlist just got a little bigger!

Also on Little Red Tarot from Andi Grace: I believe you: a tarot spread for femme survivors.

And one more LRT, Asali shares an interview with Courtney Alexander, creator of the Dust II Onyx: A Melanated Tarot Deck.  You can support this deck creation by heading over to the Kickstarter!

Andi Grace again on setting boundaries and some wonderful resources (books and workshops) about helping you learn to develop and maintain your own boundaries.

Something that sounds fun: a webseries about queer ghost hunters!

Beth shares a Tarot reading for an anonymous querent over on Autostraddle.  I find it fascinating to see how other people read cards and see how I would read it and what I can learn from the difference.  Also, I think Beth, founder of Little Red Tarot, is way cool, as you might have noticed, I reshare a lot of her stuff.

10 Best Transwomen in Comics!

An article about the appropriation of Native culture in fashion and at the end there is a list of places where you can buy items from ACTUAL NATIVE PERSONS if you want to support the actual people who are from the cultures.

I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and my experiences were some of the most empowering and self affirming of my LIFE.  So I’m always down to hear about what fellow girls and women are doing, and this article made my day!  This NYC Girl Scout Troop Is Making Our Feminist Dreams Come True.  Also You can help Jenkins and the enterprising young ladies of Troop 3484 reach their goal by donating here.

Feminist Nuns Cycling Across Nepal to Protest Human Trafficking.

Emma Watson delivers a powerful speech about sexual violence.