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Deviant Tarot

pink_fluffy_unicornsWelcome to the latest edition of the Tarot Blog Hop. This month, Karen, our wrangler has given us this brief:

I’m interested in hearing about encounters with cards that for some reason or another stuck out like a sore thumb, deviated from expectations or challenged your usual way of thinking. Cards that have twisted your brain in a similar way to the phrase ‘Oracular anomalies’ twists the tongue. 

Before I continue on that topic (or my anomalous interpretation of it), here are some navigation links to allow you to visit my neighbouring blog hoppers, or if you’re completely lost, the master list.

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Perhaps you were misled by the title into imagining that this was going to be about the freakish Deviant Moon deck, which I do admit I dislike and find as unpleasantly creepy as clowns. Nope, that sinister Mr Punch thing just doesn’t do it for me, but lots of people do like it and all power to their elbow if it works for them.

Now you might regard anomalies to be the presence of something unexpected or that which makes you frown in a “not how I see it” kind of way but, for me, the real anomalies can lie in what is absent, at least where Tarot is concerned. Let’s face it, unless a deck is a slavish clone of RWS, and even then, you are going to get some diversity of interpretation manifesting in any deck worth its salt. Even the ones that do nothing for me or simply don’t appeal are likely to be thus due to some variance in my preferred art/style/rendition/interpretation rather than a fundamental “wrongness”. That’s fine with me though, since we all overlay our own interpretations on the cards over time and experience, so the cards become deeply personal. If anything, you want the cards to show enough detail to allow some flexibility of interpretation. A deck full of fairies or gnomes or bunnies in various poses is all very well, but somewhat limiting from a reader’s perspective.

No, these are not truly anomalies in the brain twisting sense, merely variations in interpretation and that’s fine with me*. The true anomalies, or perhaps I really mean travesties, are the readers who remove the “scary cards” from the deck for fear of upsetting the sensitive souls who come for a reading. I mean…WTF? There are times when words fail and only a TLA (three letter acronym) will do!

*(as long as they don’t try to tell me theirs is the one true interpretation or any such nonsense)

Batman-facepalmI was recently disgusted to see the inexplicably successful Doreen Virtue, burbling on in a video about her “safe” Tarot deck, (as if her angel, dolphin and unicorn infested creations weren’t saccharine enough). It was blatantly obvious that she knows nothing about Tarot (72 cards? uh-huh!) and precious little about reality or life (or, indeed, angels). I mean that’s what we need in life…safety, wrapping in cotton wool, protecting from any hint of reality…right? I refuse to give her the oxygen of publicity by including a link but I expect you could find it on Youtube. Just make sure you have a bucket handy and resist the temptation to punch the screen.

So what would a “safe” Tarot deck look like?

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Death? No, such a thing does not exist in our happy, rose-tinted world. Ten of Swords? No, you just imagined the bit about the Ides of March. Everyone knows Julius lived to a ripe old age and died in bed surrounded by all his loving chums. No, of course they weren’t holding knives! People just don’t do that kind of thing, we’re all lovely kind souls with never a bad word to say. What is this “paranoia” of which you speak? Never heard of it.

The Tower? Nope, HSE assure me nobody has ever fallen off our Tower and the lightning conductors are fully tested and up to spec. Away with you! On the subject of Health and Safety, that Fool on the edge of the cliff with his unmuzzled and unrestrained dog will have to go. Good grief, that chap in the Ten of Wands is going to do himself a mischief and the bloke on the Seven of Pentacles looks as if he’s already put his back out over-doing the gardening.

While we are on the subject of Health and Safety, should we really be encouraging that clearly overweight man to drink (and probably eat) quite so much in the Nine of Cups? Think of his health, not to mention the strain on the NHS. I don’t think that would be socially responsible at all. After all, think of the “units” in 9 cups of wine…obviously it’s wine or alcohol of some sort, who lines up 9 cups of water FFS! No, having what you wish for is definitely and absolutely a bad thing, because people can’t be trusted to wish for the right thing. They’ll just want the things that are bad for them.

Devil? Where? I see no Devil here, only fluffy pink fairies and rainbow unicorns, glitter…oh, and turn those lights up, we’ll have no darkness here, thank you very much. Lucifer, an angel? I think you are mistaken, angels are light and kind and …umm…angelic. Lalalalalala! Not listening!

Hmm, that Five of Pentacles looks a bit grim too, best ditch that and while we’re at it, they don’t look all that happy on the Ten of Pentacles card either. They obviously have far too much money and it’s making them unhappy because they haven’t given it all away in taxes and charitable donations, and they probably got it by exploiting someone anyway. Besides it gives them an unfair advantage and we don’t want to encourage aspiration because there’s no knowing where that might lead. That Six of Cups with the strange dwarf  and child looks a bit iffy too and, on reflection, the Swords suit, well, its all a bit miserable isn’t it? Might be best to get rid of that one altogether. I mean, all those sharp objects and as for those challenging images. Too, too depressing, dahling!

Ace of Cups is a bit blatantly religious and might offend someone. Out it goes. And really, most of these are just…not very cheery, are they? I mean, if someone’s having a bad day and they see the face on that card… can we afford to take the chance that it might send them into a spiral of depression? A few of these don’t look too bad…even a bit jolly. We’ll keep those, but as for the rest…well, we’d best chuck them out, just in case. Let’s stay safe, because we’re all about safety here, right?

Tell your future? Of course I will. Oh, I only seem to have two cards in this deck…would you like the 10 of Cups or the Four of Wands first?… Here you are…your life will be one long celebration until you….oops, almost said the “D” word…until they discover the secret of eternal life, whereupon you will live happily ever after. Oh, and there will be fluffy pink unicorns dancing on rainbows. I’m so happy I could give you a true and accurate reading!

That would be “safe” though, wouldn’t it? What an utterly nauseating prospect! Depressing too, for what is life without darkness to make the light shine more brightly. Without downs how would we cherish the ups; without warnings, how would we avoid those non-existent problems in our fluffy little unicorn rainbow world. And, without violence, how would we give these people a damned good slap!

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2 February 2015

21 Comments to “Deviant Tarot”

  1. Ha ha brilliant – new age fluffiness should always be answered with the most biting sarcasm we can muster!

  2. Ania!! I’ve read this through tears, you have made me laugh so much! 😀 THANK YOU!!! You are the dog’s doodahs! 😀 brilliant! 😀

  3. The Gummi Bear and Hello Kitty tarots are ‘infested’ with sweet …but they retain the ‘scary’ cards : yaay ! 😀

  4. I could go on all day about how much I am not a Doreen Virtue fan. Honestly I get all She-Hulk just thinking about it. We must be on the same wave length cause I was thinking about sharing how I felt about her in a blog post soon.

    • On the whole, I find it quite easy to just ignore her, but sometimes I get a client who brightly announces that they read cards too…angel/unicorn/fluffy bunny cards. I have to fight the urge to laugh and point.

  5. What a brilliant read Ania, thank you.
    I wonder, did you watch all of “that” video, or click out very quickly like I did, (less thank 45 seconds)?

  6. Fantastic, thank you for providing me with a much-needed laugh! I couldn’t watch that video to the end either…

  7. Love it! Gave me a right good laugh this morning 😀

  8. I am always amazed how many people who get a reading from me will say: “oh, I don’t have tarot cards because I only get negative readings, so I got some angel cards”…… :/ My usual response is just kind of a blank stare. How to react to that?!

  9. I’m not a fan of Doreen Virtue either, but I have to admit a student brought her first tarot deck to class once and I was able to get a good reading with it. But DV’s insistence that tarot is scary is too much for me and I simply can’t recommend her. I appreciate your take on the subject!

  10. This blog mirrors my post, now I used to have a heap of DV cards, but her new ones have nothing to connect with. LOL Did you see the video for the Guardian Angel Tarot? LOL scarey! How can you have a tarot deck full of fluff, (my Catrot deck is exempt)

  11. LOL! Sing it … but sing it loud! 😉

  12. Hmm, I like fairy decks and the Deviant Moon, yet I must agree I hate the notion of trying to make Tarot ‘safe’. For me, having bunnies on all the cards is simply amusing, and still allows me to think about any aspect of life. A bunny can jump to escape the snapping jaws of a fox, and I still get the message to keep my wits about me. Loved your last sentence, some people are begging for a (metaphorical) slap!

    • I confess to having the Rabbit Tarot, which is all kinds of cute. It also has one of the sweetest and most poignant Death cards I’ve ever come across, but it does have a Death card.

  13. Doreen Virtue epitomizes most folks’ arguments against the rose-colored-glasses version of New Age thinking. Her total ungroundedness and probably unconscious or conscious hypocrisy just makes the actual hard work of inner transformation look very superficial. It’s damned hard work to live here in the theatre of opposites, and also some of the greatest joy there is. Like you said, you can’t have one without the other. Might as well not be here, then.

    I rather like the idea of a bunny tarot, though. Could be quite poignant indeed if handled well. Will have to check that one out. 🙂

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