Pagan Otherworlds Tarot

The painful wait is over!  I ordered this deck in, oh, April, and it has finally arrived.  And how happy I am.  First, let me discuss/gush…

Having the deck in my hands, I am not overwhelmed by it’s beauty or it’s personality.  The cards are most definitely a piece of art, and are lovely to behold.  However, if you’ve seen Linnea and Peter’s Instagram page, I think you’d agree that “understated” is a great word to describe their aesthetic.  The images are subtle, but deep, combining traditional tarot symbolism with the foreign Otherworld we have come upon.  The mood of the deck is perfect for fall, as we’ve passed the Autumnal Equinox and travel in to the darker months.  I feel compelled to use this deck, not because I’m in awe of it, but because it is comforting, clear, and already feels like a friend.

The deck is weighty, thick stock, large cards.  They are of actual playing card stock.  People often describe decks as shuffling like “butter” – this one, actually, does.  The cards slide over one another, not sticking together, and sometimes slide right out of my hands (I’m a terrible shuffler though).  I’d rather them move nicely than clump together.  The floral card backs are simply meditative.  One melding in to another as I watch myself shuffle.  This deck will hold up to time, aging like a well used playing card deck – which is perhaps my favorite thing to age, ever.  And now, on to the interview…

I used Little Red Tarot’s deck interview spread, as usual.

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(Did I mention the cards photograph like a dream?)

  1. Tell me about yourself.  What is your most important characteristic?  X of Swords.  The skull, the fruiting, thorny plant.  The swords, crossed as scissors, ready to prune.  This deck is not about to mess around.  It’s ready to get to the bottom of old, worn out thoughts/ideas/patterns.  Though it may hurt (TEN swords ready to strike), in the end there is new growth and renewal.
  2. What are your strengths?  VI of Wands.  The victor’s wreath, the gaily flowing ribbon, weaving between, and touching, all of the wands.  Continuing from the X of Swords, the VI of Wands is the welcome outcome.  Hope, motivation, victory.  There must be death in order to have life, and VI of Wands is the belief that the wheel will turn again towards strength, potential, and a new beginning.
  3. What are your limits?  Ace of Swords.  The powerful grip on the sword of clarity.  Though the deck works well with breaking old thought patterns, the Ace of Swords here tells me that it can sometimes be unclear.  The answers cannot always fall directly in to our laps, and we must seek further.
  4. What are you here to teach me?  X of Pentacles.  The dogs, looking toward their not-pictured master, who is calling them home, the well-built and -guarded fortress in the distance, the ten pentacles in the sky.  The card of manifesting prosperity, in all aspects of life.  This card is the antithesis of the X of Swords.  The most important characteristic is integral to what the deck is here to teach me.  The X of Swords must come before the X of Pentacles.
  5. How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?  The World.  The angel on top of the world, one who has reached true completion and wholeness.  I read this simply as, by showing up and doing the work, is the best way for me to work with this deck.
  6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?  II of Wands.  Perhaps the same fortress from the X of Pentacles, from a different angle, in a different season, appears between the two wands, in the background of this card.  Two choices:  through the wands, or around.  Will they lead to the same place?  The same fortress?  And then, what do you really want?  The safety or the adventure?  Neither is wrong, but now is the time for bold consideration and to follow your bliss.

As a whole, this reading is about hope, victory, success, change – exciting life paths are before us all.  This deck, in it’s understated clarity and whispered answers, is here to help me forge my own way to my version of the X of Pentacles, the World, of prosperity as I see it.  This deck arrived with much anticipation, but lands gently.  My draws since this interview have very much reflected the delicate form of guidance that I picked up from this interview.

Do you have the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot?  What do you think of it?  Leave comments below…

exploringly yours,
Alaina

Interview with The Fountain Tarot

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Well, I took the plunge.  This deck has been all around me since I started my tarot journey, and at first I was not attracted by it.  I thought the artwork looked fuzzy and was not drawn in to it.  But – I saw more, and I read more.  What really made the deck click for me was going to The Fountain Tarot’s website and reading about how all of the artwork was based off models.  “Artists we admire, friends, and family from all over the world” – photos were taken by the artist, Jonathon Saiz or provided by the models themselves.  And it showed bits of some of the photos used for the cards.  The artwork then came more in to focus for me, it gave the deck context.  That real people, not just random fashion models or abstract concepts, inspired each card elevated the concept of the deck.  I would so love to see a book of all of the original photos one day!

I’ve read a lot about this deck, so I’m not sure how to rephrase all the wonderful things that have already been written and said.  But pulling this deck out of it’s box alone was a treat – the rainbow glinted at me – and there was a note that was signed by the three creators.  The box, as others have said, is excellent and sturdy – it opens like a book, inviting you in.  I love the rainbows hidden on the box, and I love the words on the inside, which is part of The Fountain card’s description – “You are the voice and the breath of universes.”

Unfortunately, I had to wait for a couple of days to work with the deck because of work and such.  But when I did get the cards out, I found myself pleased with the cardstock, the matte finish.  I got glitter all over my hands the first couple times I shuffled, but I think that has worn off now.  I find the corners a bit too pointy, but I won’t whine about that.  The artwork can still be “fuzzy” (muted would I suppose be a more polite term), but it is so much more beautiful in person than in photos.  Then I took the cards out in the sun, and interviewed them (see photo above).  For each card, I will start with quotations from the little white book (which is one of the best LWBs I’ve read; it really says it all) that I found particularly inspiring, and go from there.

  1.  What is your most important characteristic?  Three of Swords.  “Personal growth from disappointment.”  For traditionally being a thoroughly upsetting card, this is a breathtaking depiction.  The mountain in the background, the icy heart, the glint of a rainbow in the icy heart.  I love that the guidebook emphasizes growth after the tough times, and does not emphasize the “relationship” aspect of this card.  So, quite plainly, this deck is here to help me grow through painful situations.
  2.  What are your strengths?  Queen of Coins.  “Trust your own abilities, and embrace your unique way of being in this world,” is the counsel the Queen of Coins offers.  The Queen of Pentacles has been a little bit of a stalker card lately, so I was pleased to see her here.  I love this depiction.  She does not look cold or awkward here, she looks self-assured and sensuous, that she actually does trust her own abilities and way in this world.   This deck is here to help me do the same.
  3.  What are your limits?  The Moon.  “Even time seems to be disappearing, but there is an urgency for you to move, or risk being lost here forever.”  The Moon is one of my birth cards, and it has been showing up more and more lately across different decks (I mean, I guess one can have multiple stalker cards?….see next question as well).  This card has strongly come to mean trusting myself and my intuition.  Here, the Fountain seems to be saying that this deck has limits, plain and simple – it can’t do all the work, I have to show up for myself.
  4.  What are you here to teach me?  Five of Coins.  “Precious misfortune…difficulties related to living outside the mainstream.”  I’ve also been pulling this card pretty regularly lately, and what is written in the Fountain guidebook completely encapsulates how this card and I are interacting right now.  It is true, I have been challenged lately, and this card (and deck) wants me to find my strength.
  5.  How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?  Nine of Swords.  “Deal with the facts and ground yourself in the rational; your peace of mind depends on it.”  I mean, that really says it all, doesn’t it?
  6.  What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?  Ace of Wands.  “Creating (or destroying) something to bring about transformation… Find your courage and make your move.”  Energy, will, determination, passion.   “Bold steps forward” is another key phrase for this card – bold, my word of the year!
  7.  Final message?  The Magician.  “The Magician advises that all new creations, if they are to succeed, require more than just skill: they require faith in the unknowable.”  I don’t typically connect well with the Magician, but I do like this guy.  There are so many possibilities in this world, and this deck is here to help me see it.

This interview was a journey:  heartache, trust in abilities, trust in myself, misfortune, grounding, creation, faith.

A searing, enchanting, and disorienting deck/interview, in the best possible way.  It’s quickly catapulting to one of my favorites.

Do you own The Fountain Tarot?  What do you think about?  Leave a comment below!

exploringly yours,
Alaina