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.
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)
I 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?
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!