New One-deck-wonder: Old English Tarot

I loved my time with the International Icon Tarot. Simply loved it. It’s an incredible, incredible deck, and I really recommend it to anyone interested in taking up some in-depth study of tarot symbolism and colour.

That said, I’m in the mood for something different now! And having had a bit of a break from tarot for the past few months, it seems an opportune time to pick up a new deck. I was poking around in my tarot drawer (where the decks that don’t have pretty bags yet live), trying to decide which deck to choose. And this little deck caught my eye:

Old English Tarot

OET - Ten of Batons

(‘scuse the grubby desk; there’s a long story there.)

It wasn’t that long ago that I’d actually ordered the deck, after reading some great comments by a few others on the AT Forums. A couple of people had complained about the usual minors-as-pips phenomenon, but the Old English looked to be a bit different, with some little illustrations accompanying the pips, but not dominating the cards. Poking around a bit further, I found this great piece by Maggie Kneen herself, on her interpretation of the minor arcana. (I confess I’ve clipped all the details to Evernote, as the hosting for the site looks to be a bit on the tenuous side.)

(There are a few more pictures here.)

And so: a simple draw. Nothing fancy (I used to religiously do a “getting to know you” draw for all my new decks. But it seems like too much work, and besides, there’s something comfortable about this deck, that makes me feel like I can just flip over a few cards and relax into things.)

OET: Ten Coins - Hanged Man - Hierophant

(See, I told you this is a relaxed sort of deck. Even the cup of tea gets into the shot.)

Aren’t the backs pretty?

In any case, my methods of reading have got so relaxed that I rarely look stuff up, unless I’m really puzzled by something that doesn’t seem right. In the case of this spread it came to me immediately. I guess I’m just getting better at “modular thinking”; i.e. taking different components (i.e. cards) and being able to tell a story from them. It feels good. (Yay!)

So here, I immediately thought of St. Francis (or the Buddha), turning his back on material things in order to achieve spiritual gain. That’s him in the middle card. Although, in this case, the Hanged Man isn’t totally in “the moment”; he’s thinking back on all those luxuries he’s given up, and possibly wishes he still had. Meditation is kind of like that too – you are meant to be just experiencing the present but your mind runs back over all the unhealthy things you don’t want to be thinking about, but can’t get out of your head.

In a way, I’m in a similar position; giving up work, which, though I didn’t really like it, allowed me to spend up on all my hobbies and interests. I’m still struggling a bit with not having a ready source of income (and my credit card is creeping up a bit as a result). I’m like the dudes in the Hierophant Card, asking Steve for money!

But seriously, I have made the decision, wholeheartedly, to give up work for a while to spend as much time as I can with Leila, our wee girl (she’s six months old already; I can’t believe it!). I need to accept that life is not the same as it was before she came along.

(It’s better!)

Old English Tarot
By Maggie Kneen
Copyright ©1996 by US Games
ISBN: 978-1-57281-040-2

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