After some agonizing on Friday evening (and a near-swerve to plucking out an old favourite, the Cosmic Tarot, which I haven’t used for a while), I’ve finally decided to go with the Dreaming Way Tarot for this week’s DoTW…
For all of its initially whimsical qualities, this is actually a rather odd deck; and I mean that in the best sense of the word. At first glance it is easy to dismiss it as a Rider Waite clone, but then you start to notice strange little details, which hopefully I’ll be able to look into with greater depth this week.
I skipped the interview spread and dove straight in with this one:
For starters, isn’t the artwork wonderful? After turning over these three cards I just sat looking at them for a little while. There’s a lot of lovely detail to the cards that I like (check out the pommels of the swords in the last card), but at the same time there is still enough leeway with them to leave them open to different interpretations each time they appear in a reading. Take the middle card, the five of cups. Is the girl that’s facing us closing her eyes in boredom, relief, or even frustration? Ditto with the woman in the third card. Her eyes are closed, but her hand still rests lightly on the pommel of her sword. Is she waiting for someone (or something), meditating, or something else?
It’s funny: the more I learn about tarot, the more I realise that each deck, each spread, even each time you lay out the cards, is different, and your approach to reading them has to be flexible as a result. Sometimes it makes sense to read them in a more structured manner, taking the details of the card’s suit (or element), number, and “traditional” meaning into consideration. Other times it’s just the straight pictures on the cards that tell you a story. This freedom when it comes to interpreting what’s lying on the table in front of me makes me feel so much more relaxed and open to reading, that I think my abilities have improved hugely. It certainly feels more fluid, more natural, in any case. Just some thoughts.
Anyway, the reading:
The first card doesn’t deviate too far from the Rider Waite image, with its portrayal of the two children sharing flowers. However there is a cool kookiness I like with the boy balancing four cups on his head (is he overly emotional?) Traditionally this is the innocence card, that can literally mean childhood, or looking back to a happy time in the past. It’s pretty straightforward.
In the five of cups, a girl faces us, holding two full cups, with her eyes closed. Behind her, back to us, another girl has three cups, but is in the process of dropping hers! I know this isn’t the traditional interpretation of this card, but I’m thinking the girl dropping the cups has taken more than she can manage, and as a result has lost it all. The girl at the front, who was more modest, or at least less ambitious when she gathered up her cups, is calmer and more satisfied with what she does have.
In the four of swords, we see a woman sitting by a tree, eyes closed, but with her hand balanced lightly on a sword. Three others appear to be mounted on the trunk of the tree nearby. Each sword has a different pommel. She’s resting, but I think here she’s waiting. She’s chosen the right tool for the task ahead, from a range of different options and approaches, and is now meditating, or regrouping, before she takes the next step.
So how do they work in sequence?
The cards move from six – five – four, but I don’t get the feeling that the woman in the swords card has regressed in any way. The movement of emotion to thought is interesting, as is the movement from the childhood card to the more mature contemplation card of the four. To me, this indicates a progression away from youthful thinking (the kid balancing everything on his head; being crazy), to the realisation that eventually you can’t have it all (which I still thought was possible in my twenties, before I actually wanted to commit to anything – relationships, work, etc)… and heading towards a refinement, a specialisation, a choice made, a direction chosen.
I can relate to this progression in my own life: teens – twenties – thirties. Making the choice to have a child, to come back to New Zealand after travels overseas (and dreams of living in so many different places, but never staying for long), to enjoy a long-term relationship, these are all choices that potentially close some doors, but give a deeper feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Interesting – and a much deeper outcome from this so-called “light” deck than I had expected.
Dreaming Way Tarot By Rome Choi Copyright © 2102 US Games ISBN: 978-1-57281-712-8