So, the contenders are Bohemian Gothic by Baba Studios, the Second Edition as my First Edition is retired to collector only status, Deviant Moon by Patrick Valenza, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, and Tarot Maroon, self published by Tomasz Maronski. I asked each deck in turn what I could expect from them as a working deck this week.
|Bohemian Gothic Tarot- Six of Wands|
Bohemian Gothic- Six of Wands: This is a card of victory, hard won, and justifiable pride. I am very proud to own this deck, and one of my 17 year old sons has been learning to read tarot with it. He is so intuitive and I am so proud of him for the ways he sees things in the cards I never have, in 23 years of reading and studying. I feel this deck often brings to the surface shadow things I may not want to face, but it has a quirky sense of humor to me that somehow lightens the meaning enough that I can laugh at my own issues. I am also taking particular note of the gargoyle resting above the archway. Gargoyles are notoriously ugly, and they look evil, but they are actually benevolent protectors of home and hearth. The images in this deck may look scary, but they are actually quite protective and kindly, if you can trust your feelings and not just the surface look.
A reason I may not want to use this deck is it is not currently readily available, and I like to review decks for people to consider adding to their own collection. In that sense, a shadow aspect of the Six of Wands comes out- arrogance and false pride. I have something you don't, and can't, have. However, I have learned from The Baba Store that they are considering a reprint in 2013, which I am sure I would gladly pick up, and I am hoping for a reprint of the book, as Karen Mahony's writing about tarot has a unique voice.
|Deviant Moon Tarot- The Sun|
I would like to use this deck because it is a favorite, it feels like an old friend, and it often sheds light on issues I would not have noticed before, in ways that help me have a breakthrough understanding. That is just how the art talks to me.
The black figures in the card are twins, and that brings up a reason I may not want to use this deck- I have used it often, we know each other quite well, and because I feel so familiar with it sometimes I am blinded by that familiarity. Choosing this deck may be choosing the easy way out, which may not be an entirely bad thing on this week that I will be in the hospital for at least a day, and recovering after that.
|Tarot Maroon- Four of Wands|
Wands are passion, Fours are stability, and here in this deck many of my passions converge, and give me a safe outlet to express all of them.
A reason I may not want to use this deck is it is not expressly a dark deck, and my intention was to use dark or Halloween themed decks both here and on my Daily Draws on the 78 Whispers Facebook Page for this Samhain celebration month. (If you don't do Facebook, I usually manage to pin most of the images to Pinterest as well, here for general tarot coolness, here for things specifically related to this blog, if you are interested.) This figure also looks like the Waite Smith version of the Ten of Wands, an overburdened figure trying to make his way into the world. With my impending surgery, this deck, which currently offers no book and most of what is written about it is in Polish, as well as the at times non traditional imagery of trying to get home, may be a bit much for me to take on. In further addition to this imagery, this deck is not readily available in the United States, though as I understand it can be shipped anywhere, and I myself got it from the creator a few years ago. Sometimes Tarot Garden, a favorite purveyor of mine, has it available. It may be hard for my readers to carry home, should they fall in love with it, as the Four of Wands indicates is entirely possible.
I am not sure I have a clear answer yet, but I do have a blog post for today, with beautiful images from three great decks. All of these decks offer clear advantages. You'll have to tune in tomorrow to see what I pick, I guess. What would you pick, based on these images and the decks themselves? Or what would you like to see used and then reviewed?
These images come from The Bohemian Gothic Tarot, Second Edition, self published by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov at Baba Studios, Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza for U.S. Games Systems, Inc, and Tarot Maroon, self published by Tomasz Maronski.