Tarot Artfulness & Tradition
Beautiful day today - birds singing, sun shining, gentle breeze, perfect temp, everything is aglow - it's all abundance and I think of The Empress on a day like this. Playing some more with my new Chrysalis Tarot and while I still love the beauty of the art and the soft, bright happy colors and positive spins of most of the card meanings, the honeymoon may be slowly winding down.
I guess I'm a traditionalist in that I like my decks to mean what I know, what I've studied (RWS mostly); sure I love imaginative variations of the art - as long as the standard meanings are still clear. If a card (or entire deck) is beautiful or edgy, or whatever, I can appreciate the artwork and artist's innovation and imagination, but if the traditional meaning of too many cards doesn't come through, then I likely won't use the deck for readings. It will sit on my shelf, maybe getting very occasional use or no use at all - and certainly never with clients. I might pick it up simply to enjoy the illustrations, but for me, it's not a reading deck. Unfortunately, the Chrysalis Tarot is beginning to fall into this category.
The meanings of many of its cards don't adhere to RWS at all, or at best, the meanings are greatly extended above and beyond anything RWS had dreamed of. Most of the cards have positive twists - even the most "negative" or frightening ones (think Tower, 10 of Swords, etc.), which is ok, but often the meanings are so far out of the ballpark that they're almost entirely different. Therefore, working with Chrysalis properly - that is, using it the way the creators meant it to be used - with their meanings and interpretations - means having to use their LWB (Little White Book) for each reading rather than just relying on my own experience and knowledge (and intuition) as I would normally do. While it is usually uplifting to read the creators' interpretations and takes on each card, it feels more like I'm using an oracle deck than a tarot deck. I suppose with repeated use I would eventually memorize the Chrysalis meanings and not have to rely on the LWB, but still, it would be a different sort of reading - a much less predictive and basic nuts and bolts sort (which is what many people want and expect) - and a much more psychological/spiritual one.
Granted both oracle and tarot decks are divination tools and are catalysts to tap into a reader's intuition and the spiritual realm; however, when is a "tarot" deck a tarot deck and when is it an oracle? For me, considering the wide deviation of meanings, the Chrysalis deck is really an oracle and should be used as such (not for predictive purposes, for e. You know, there's really something to be said for tradition!
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I am an intuitive counselor and visionary artist who has studied and worked with Tarot for over 20 years. I am an avid collector of tarot art, as well as a creator. I am the creator of four oracle decks. I also have an extensive collection of tarot art images on Pinterest.com which you can enjoy.