The first time I listened to the Beastie Boys, I wasn’t impressed. As a matter of fact, I took the tape out of the player in my car and put it aside for a very. long. time.
Later – I am not sure if a whim struck me or if someone else reintroduced me – I fell in LOVE with the Beasties. When I took the time to really listen to them – when I was ready to hear them – I actually adored their musical talent and wise words (FYI – they are about WAY more than fighting for your right to party).
Video: I Don’t Know… from the Beastie Boys
That’s kind of what happened with me and the Hermetic Tarot deck.
The deck came to me as a gift for briefly moderating a tarot study group on Facebook. Payment for the time I spent welcoming new members and helping to field tarot related questions was paid in decks. As I am a collector who didn’t have much money to purchase new decks at the time, I was happy to be paid in cards instead of dollars.
The cost of my choice was limited by the owners of the group, and the Hermetic tarot looked interesting – so I chose it.
I’d read that the deck was based on the Thoth tarot deck (a fave of mine, and the first deck that I purchased for myself way back when), and I was intrigued by the black and white format of the Hermetic Tarot. When I got it and started sifting through the cards to connect with the deck… well, let’s just say I wasn’t very impressed. Had I written a Hermetic Tarot deck review at that time, it would have read much differently.
My feelings about the cards might have been the way I parted ways with the giver – I got fired after only like a day of duty – or it could have been the artwork on the cards, which borders on ugly in some of the images (like Death’s scraggly beard), and that was a turn off to me. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I didn’t like them.
Interestingly enough, the other day I was looking at my decks for another tarot group, and I came across the Hermetic Tarot deck again. I decided to take it out, shuffle it up, and let the cards fly. This time, my impression of the deck was much different – and that is what drove this review of the deck.
For some reason, this time I found the cards striking. Much of the artwork is this really interesting, hyper-detailed mix of sacred geometry and psychedelic daydream vision that is packed full of symbolism. The messages contained in these cards vary from the simple and obvious picture based symbolism to the classic tarot meaning to the advanced Kabbalah and astrology meanings. There are also word clues in the cards because the card titles give more insight into possible meanings for the cards.
Pack all that detail, insight, and information together in a tarot deck, and this girl is hooked!
While the Hermetic Tarot deck might not be as visually appealing as the Tarot Illuminati or Shadowscapes, it has a charm of its own. If you step back from wanting a “pretty” deck and allow yourself to work with a deck that speaks plainly and at all levels at the same time, then the Hermetic Tarot is a deck for you.
What kind of things should someone consider when trying to choose the perfect tarot deck?
Angel Biz Tip! I was just spying on my keywords, and came across the search term, “Choosing a New Tarot Deck.” I thought, ‘What a fabulous topic to discuss!’ (Biz angels, do check out your keywords to get some SEO friendly writing topics to ponder!)
Back to the post…
I know there are others out there who, like me, admittedly start squeeling when one of our favorite artists announces a new deck – tarot or oracle, or we find out about a deck that we simply MUST. HAVE. That is the easiest way to choose a tarot deck!
I am currently waiting for the Tarot Apokalypsis by Erik C. Dunne and Kimberly Huggins, a favorite tarot creation duo of mine. You can see many of the cards as they are released on the Tarot Apokalypsis Facebook page. I love the artwork that Erik does; I love the prose that Kimberly uses to describe the meanings of the cards; I love the presentation that they use: a gorgeous box with rich colors and elements of gold. The cards are just the right size in my hands, and the card stock is quite nice – not too thick, not to thin… just right! Their Tarot Illuminati deck is one of my FAVORITE decks! It is stunning, full of detail, and the deck is easy to understand because it is based on the Rider Waite system (you can see it on their Pinterest page). All in all, a great deck to work with – and that makes me want more decks from them!
When I am not waiting with baited breath for a deck, then it is something of exposure to certain tarot artists and their work. For example, I love most of the oracle and tarot decks from Doreen Virtue, and I choose to pick those up when the mood strikes. Angels, Ascended Masters, Goddesses… they all speak to me, the decks help me with my Shamballa Reiki sessions, and I love having a variety of different sources to call upon for guidance for myself and for my clients. Not only does Doreen release cards that can allow you to connect with different deities, she also covers a variety of different topics like Romance, Life Purpose, and Healing. She also co-creates decks with Radleigh Valentine and other experts, like Robert Reeves, ND.
I became more familiar with Robert Reeves, ND’s work when I was volunteering for Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine in Zurich, Switzerland this year. Actually, I had the privilege of working quite closely with Robert, as I was helping translate his one card readings from English to German for his German speaking fans who were there! After getting such an up close and personal and very thorough introduction to the Flower Therapy deck, to Robert, and to his philosophies, I had to have the deck. I love it’s gorgeous pictures and its simple, but very striking messages! And, he is a super nice guy, so I was happy to support him by buying his cards and book!
Another great reason to choose a tarot deck is because of a feature specific to a deck. For example, I heard about the Psychic Tarot‘s Chakra cards, which allow a reader to either lay out a card for each of the different energetic centers in the body or shuffle the Chakra cards into the deck, allowing for energetic influences to show for different happenings in a person’s life. Those go so well with Reiki and energy therapy sessions, and I LOVE using them to get a little more information about what a person might be storing in a particular Chakra. Please be aware, though, that the Psychic’s Tarot isn’t a standard tarot deck.
There are also oracle card decks being released by fabulous spiritual and wellness authors like Louis Hays and Dr. Wayne Dyer. These decks make excellent additions to your collection, and can add more information, cues, and clues into a reading!
And then there are themes, like Ancient Egypt, Angels, Halloween, dragons, fairies, cats… you name it and there is likely a tarot deck that is based on it! Personally, I have the Isis Oracle deck and there is an Ancient Egyptian tarot deck I have my eye on, along with the Art Nouveau deck and a Jungian deck as well… (Yes, I am a little addicted to decks… Just a little…)
Of course, when choosing tarot decks for your collection, you have to also consider the classic decks. I don’t feel that any tarot collection is complete without the Rider Waite deck and the Thoth deck. Both are foundational decks that many, many other decks are based on or refer back to. The first deck I ever bought was the Thoth deck, and I find it to be one of the most trustworthy, open, and humanly honest decks that I have worked with. I learned so much from that deck – and I also learn from the Rider Waite deck every time I use it!
There are going to be decks that you love the imagery from, but that just don’t resonate or work well with your energy. For example, I have the Shadowscapes Tarot deck from Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and it is phenomenal. The artwork is stunning – dreamy, light, airy – simply beautiful… but that deck and I haven’t been able to work well together. I just can’t get the same level of messages from it as I do from other decks I work with. Maybe I will work with it more because I think it is such a beautiful deck and I WANT to connect with it! I do! I do!!
And there are also decks that I just don’t like, no matter what others think of them. Well, I like them, but they are just not ‘my style’ – like some of the darker, heavier decks, and cutsy themed decks. No thank you; they aren’t for me.
Bottom line is that your tastes should drive your tarot and oracle deck choices. You don’t need to work with a particular deck because it is what everyone else is working with. But, there is such a wide variety of tarot decks to choose from that there is bound to be something that fits your specific taste and needs.
Some great resources for checking out new decks are:
Your local bookstore or metaphysical shop. They will likely have at least a few different decks for you to look at. If you have the chance, take a look at the cover art and the booklet. If you can get your hands on a sample that they have, make sure to shield yourself before you touch it, tap out the old energy in the deck, and then leaf through the deck to see how the imagery and artwork strike you and what the energy of the deck feels like. Even if you can’t hold the deck, holding the box and concentrating on it should give you an indication of how that deck would feel to work with.
AclecticTarot.com has a wide variety of decks listed. They show a variety of the cards in the deck, all of the stats, and also have several reviews to peruse.
Lisa Frideborg’s blog – Lisa interviews the decks as she gets them! You can check her work out here: Lisa Frideborg
You can check out my deck selection here: My Decks. If you’d like to schedule a reading with me, click here.
Ahhh… The call of the free tarot reading. When someone advertises “freebies,” they generally get a line going around the block.
I used to LOVE having reading parties! The energy was fantastic and I had a lot of fun…
But free readings can be draining for a reader. They take time, energy, and resources.
And then figuring out that I was reading for 30 or 40 or a hundred people who had no intention of actually buying a reading got frustrating. I’d see the same names over and over again on my free reading threads, but never once would many of those same people pay for a reading – even when I would run a “Pay What You Can” offer.
That made me feel so unvalued and just plain old used, to tell you the truth.
So, after more than a year of running an online tarot, oracle, and angel card reading business, and after having given away literally hundreds of free readings, I have decided to make some rules for my “free readings.” You’ll want to pay attention to these for future reference!
1) Each person can only have ONE free reading per year – unless they win a contest or send 3 referrals to me.
Free readings are meant to be a sample of my work so that a person can see if they appreciate my style – they are not meant to be our only means of interacting with one another! I do notice the same people requesting free readings over and over again – so obviously they like what I have to say, but they just might not value my time or understand about energetic exchanges. Because of this, I need to create boundaries.
Free tarot readings are also meant to be a form of appreciation or a thank you from me! Those people who purchase a reading from me will be added to a special pool that will get insider access and notification of when I am running freebie offers.
Also, those clients who refer 3 people to me who buy readings will get a free reading!
2) Those who don’t give feedback for free angel and oracle card readings will be put on my No Thank You list.
I really have a problem with those who can’t even say,”Thank you for taking the time to read for me.” Honestly. We all know it is quite rude. Please don’t even put your name down if you can’t bother to say thanks!
3) Please do not contact me behind the scenes to ask me for a free reading. The answer will be no.
**Reiki and energy healing are totally different things to me, and I will gladly pray for or send a bit of energy to you, your friend, or your family member regardless of their ability to pay.
4) I am going to start bringing the free readings on my Facebook page. I may run a contest on Facebook or have a Twitter chat from time to time, but the majority of my “free reading” offers will be on this website.
5) My direct mails will give details about free reading times and venues in the future. That means that, if you want to know when I’ll be practicing working with a new deck or where to sign up, you’ll probably want to sign up for my newsletter.
Honestly, I LOVE doing readings and I love working with people. This is the job I have chosen (or that has chosen me), and I want to do well with it. I am a real person who puts her heart and soul (and time and energy) into readings, and I won’t just give myself away for free any longer.
I am totally happy, though, to show my appreciation and gratitude for those who truly support me by giving them privileged access to my reading parties and learning sessions. Those who support my work by actually purchasing readings and referring new clients will get better access to free offers.’
If you’d like to purchase a reading from me, click here for the details.
If you are just looking for a free tarot reading, there are so many different websites to go to. Here are a few of my personal faves:
My new home on Facebook is Susan Ellis-Saller. Come on over and follow the Hey, Beautiful posts there!
This is a great assignment, as well.
Today’s assignment is to see what you can condense or get rid of to best serve you!
For example, I started the See You… Be YOU site about 2-3 years ago, and I want to keep doing these assignments that have been there from the beginning… but in the mean time, I also started Facets of Wellness (for my Reiki), and then started Clear Vision Readings and Reiki to have a space for my tarot and oracle card readings. Then I started The Place to Goal…and Project Happy Monday… and… and… and…
It all got a bit overwhelming, as you can imagine, because there are sites to keep updated, Facebook and Twitter accounts to (wo)man… and real work, kids, house, etc.
Then I had an A-HA moment (and several people helped me to arrive there)… where I thought that I should put all of everything under one roof – Susan Ellis-Saller. ME! My passions, my offerings, my interests that I like to share.
Think about all the time and effort that will save me to cut all but 1 entity to contain.
So think about your life…Is there anything that is redundant, that isn’t serving you, that is making you have to double or triple your work load without bringing much back?
Cut the fat and keep only the best, most relevant, and most rewarding things! Get rid of the rest.
Believe me, the thought of it will seem unbearable at first – especially considering all of the love and hard work we put into all that we do – but just think about how you can maximize your efforts and decrease your workload if you do cut the unnecessary!
What does the tarot card, The High Priestess, mean? What different symbols are integrated into the card to give the tarot reader an inkling of the message contained within?
Symbolism and The High Priestess
(II) Two – partnerships, balance, choices or crossroads, duality, femininity. Moon cycle crown – an homage to the card’s association with the goddess, Isis. Also an allusion to religions that worshiped goddesses rather than gods. Veil behind the central figure – This blocks the heart of the temple from the view or from access. It is also a metaphorical symbol relating to the subconscious mind. Water – The collective consciousness; the unconscious aspects of people within their own lives. Black and White Columns – These columns indicate opposites and duality that is natural in life. Kind of a ‘yin/yang’ feeling to the symbol, showing the good in bad as well. They are also representative of some of the holiest places on Earth: the temple of Isis and the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem. B&J – Again, references to the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem B for Boaz and J for Jakin – these are the names of the two main columns within that temple. Scroll (or book in some cards) – Something akin to the modern Bible or wisdom that is directly from God, but that is not easily understandable for the masses because or those who are more base/seeing things only with the intellect and not allowing the heart or soul to have a place in understanding Crescent moon (at her feet) – woman, femininity, the menstrual cycle. Religious robe and cross – The robe and cross, again, point back to the Divine Feminine.
The High Priestess’s Meaning Upright
The High Priestess is a card that has a lot of intuited meaning involved. On the one hand, it can represent subconscious or intuitive thought. It can also relate to very feminine principles, like receptivity and passiveness. Another possible meaning of this card is the hidden potential of someone who has not fully realized his or her strength. This card can indicate a pause in action to gain a better understanding of the situation at hand, or looking into our subconscious for the solutions to our most pressing issues.
When you think of this card, you can think of the seed under the surface of the soil – containing everything it needs to grow and gathering nourishment and the strength to erupt into full vision – even though it is in a dark and hidden place.
Interestingly enough, this card can symbolism a halt in forward motion – as one has become content with being passively led around in his or her own world. It can also represent someone who is more reserved and more comfortable with looking inward, instead of interacting with the surrounding environment.
The High Priestess’s Meaning Reversed
The High Priestess reversed shows an active roll in dealing with life. Passion and emotions are higher with the reversed High Priestess. While a little of this might be good, one has to watch to make sure that the inner, instinctive, intuitive self is not lost in service of outer or material pursuits.
My Experience with The High Priestess
The funny thing is that the primary message of this card has been a key message in my life lately. Just as there needs to be a pause in life where things are allowed to just rest. I needed that return to my inner self and guidance in order to help me to move forward. Breaks are necessary and do not mean that nothing is happening… it just means that a person is taking the time to honor the down part of the cycle and all of its value before starting in to the another active phase.
I also really love the way that Rachel Pollack described the societal want for a Divine Feminine figure in life. We can feel so detached or disconnected from God, or even hurt when bad things happen in our lives. We long for a part of God that is warm, receptive, kind, nurturing… the one that represents love and caring – not just creation and wrath. This card is symbolic of that longing for a more gentle aspect of the God equation. LOVE IT!