Aside from scooping up the out of print Tarot of the Origins, which I’d been coveting for a long time, I haven’t treated myself to a new deck in over a year now. Last week, I ended that streak, though, by picking up Lo Scarabeo’s Epic Tarot. I’ve been sidetracked by various bits of biz since then, and haven’t had a lot of time in which to get to know this new deck. I did do a reading with it last night, though, and one of the cards I drew was The Star, a huge favorite of mine in general.
This made me think about how lots of Tarot people have these “make or break” cards – the ones that they absolutely must like in a given pack of cards, or else they won’t consider buying that deck. These are often – but not always – the person’s most well-liked cards.
I never really thought of myself as having make or break cards in this way. If I liked enough cards in a deck, I’d get it, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t. But in recent times, I’m finding that I seem to be drifting in that make or break direction. I now won’t entertain thoughts of getting a given deck if I don’t like its Star card. Or its Hanged Man. Or High Priestess. Or its Moon, Magician, Hermit, Death, Devil…mostly it’s the Majors that most resonate with me on the conceptual level that I need to like now if I’m going to add a deck to my collection. My buying urges aren’t as crazed and lustful as they once were, so it takes more for a deck to lure me out of complacency.
This Star card, I like. At first glance, it doesn’t seem especially Star-like and celestial, and in line with the most traditional Tarot card meanings usually given for Trump XVII…but it occurs to me that it shows this great inclusion of, and connection among, the three worlds of the shamanic viewpoint: the ray of Starlight shines down from the Upper World, it calls to a human(oid) Woman who exists in the Middle World, and it illuminates a flower/Plant Spirit that pushes up from out of the Lower World. This deck’s version of the card is intended to be about the presence of the Divine, and the Divine does exist on all “levels” of life…
So do you have make or break cards? And if so, are they the same as your most well-liked cards, or are the two sets different beasts entirely…?
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