Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘#31DaysofTarot

I made it to the end of the month and the end of the “31 Days of Tarot” for 2020. For me, this is a good way to start the year and reflect a bit along the way in my Tarot and cartomancy journey. I would like to take a moment to thank folks who stopped by to check things out. Hope you will come back now and then. Now let’s wrap this up.

Prompt for Day 31: What are your Tarot goals for 2020?

Things I would like to continue. These are things I do now that I would like to continue doing in 2020:

  • Doing the daily Tarot card pull on work days, including sharing it on social media in the evening.
  • Continue reading books and studying Tarot and cartomancy in general.
  • I started creating a notebook of spreads, cartomancy notes, tools, and other items for reference. Basically, this is for information I want to keep handy. Not quite a grimoire, but similar idea.
  • I fell a bit behind reviewing decks I’ve worked with, so I hope to catch up a bit in 2020.
  • Reading cards for others where I can.

New things I would like to try in 2020:

  • A weekly oracle card draw. I will likely do this for myself, not shared in social media. This is for me to add another element to my small rituals, plus it is a way to work a bit more with oracle cards.
  • Try out and share a card spread at least once a month. This will likely be trying out a spread that others have shared. I’d try it out, with proper credit to a spread’s creator, and share how the spread worked out for me.

Longer term goals I may or not get to in 2020:

  • Start studying a new cartomancy system like Marseille or Thoth. Lenormand is another option.
  • Try doing small, free initially for practice, readings online. I need to figure out how to set that up, some boundaries, but it is an idea on the horizon. Down the road maybe charge some small fee for more complex readings. Kind of start developing a bit of a side hustle, very modest.

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You can find the original prompts by Ethony Dawn here.


Prompt for Day 30: What Tarot card do you feel represents you (art, meaning, vibe) and why?

For me, The Hermit- IX is the card that represents me. Being a highly functional introvert, I identify strongly with this card. Solitude and taking time to think and reflect are things that I value and treasure.

Below are three depictions from favorite decks of mine:

The Hermit- IX Steampunk Tarot_111418 small

The Hermit-IX, from Steampunk Tarot deck by Moore and Fell.

The Hermit- IX Vampires Tarot of Eternal Night_20171116 small

The Hermit-IX, from Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night by Davide Corsi.

The Hermit- IX Panda Tarot_052219 small

The Hermit- IX, from the Panda Tarot by Severino Baraldi.


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You can find the original prompts by Ethony Dawn here.

Prompt for Day 27: What is the strangest place you read in 2010-2019 and tell us about the reading?

Prompt for Day 28: Ever turn someone from a Tarot non-believer to a Tarot enthusiast?

Prompt for Day 29: Your top 5 underrated Tarot decks.

I am skipping the prompts for days 27 and 28.

For day 27, I have not read in any particularly strange place between 2010 and 2019.

For day 28, no, I have not turned someone from a Tarot non-believer to a Tarot enthusiast. If anything, I may have gotten some non-believers to be curious about Tarot, at least enough to take a chance on it.

Now that we got those out of the way, we can look at day 29. As for underrated decks, even after rewatching Ethony’s video where she explains the prompts (it is on the link below), I was not totally sure. The prompt seems to be about decks that probably deserve to get more attention than they do. Before I go into my list, let me make a small digression and commentary.

I do know that I often see the same decks over and over again in Tarotlandia (yes, I just made that up, but you get the idea. I may have to trademark that, food for thought). For the record, these are just some observations I have seen in my Tarot and cartomancy journey as I travel in Tarotlandia. I am not judging nor questioning choices, you do you (and let me do me in peace by the way). Anyhow, some things I see again and again:

  • The Wild Unknown Tarot deck. Once this came out, it really took Tarotlandia by storm. Those who love it, rave about it. Those who don’t love it as much express it as well. If you do not see an RWS deck, odds may be good you may see a WU deck. I do have a copy of this, though I have not gotten time to work with it. On the other hand, it is our daughter’s deck of choice; she also uses the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle deck.
  • Any Rider Waite Smith Tarot deck, and I mean basic RWS, not clones. This I get given the deck’s popularity and abundance and influence. There may be some variants, like the Universal Waite and the Radiant Rider Waite, but aside from some coloring variation for aesthetic reasons they are the same deck. RWS is like that bottle of bourbon whiskey that is always available, usually affordable, and it makes a good starter if you’ve never had it before.
  • A small range of independent decks. There are a lot of independent decks out there (as well as a lot in the mass produced market, but the mass market is something we can consider later). However, I often see a few of the same independent decks in Tarotlandia’s social media and YouTube. If this was bourbon, these would be like the Pappy Van Winkles: extremely hard to get, expensive (at times at obscene prices), and in some cases highly overrated (there are affordable options that taste as good or better). But many Tarotistas do like to chase those and have the budget to do so. Again, as I say, you do you. On the upside in Tarotlandia, I have never seen Tarotistas set up tents in front of an esoteric shop for days before some new high end independent deck is about to be released in order to buy tickets to a raffle that would give them the chance to buy said deck if their number comes up. Yes, that is what high end bourbon people often do when some high end fancy bourbon is getting released.

By the way, the only reason I used bourbon whiskey as a comparison is that I am recently working to learn about bourbon and whiskey in general and appreciate it more. Some of the behaviors of high end bourbon and whiskey aficionados and high end Tarotistas are fairly similar. I think it could be fun to write a blog post on those similarities sometime, but that is a thought for later.

Anyhow, since I am just a Tarot and cartomancy student, I can only say what is underrated, or perhaps underused, for me. On that basis, here is my list of some decks I see as underrated with some commentary; the decks are featured in the photo below. These are decks that I do have:

  • Llewellyn Classic Tarot. While I do like and use the Rider Waite System, I am not a fan of Smith’s art. So I have a few “clone” style decks in my collection. This deck is a good choice as it is good RWS style with good basic colorful art. If you like graphic novels and comics style art, this may be a good choice too. It also tends to be affordable. I got my copy of this deck on the Tarot Made Easy kit published by Llewellyn.
  • The Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine. When it comes to steampunk and Tarot, you usually see the Moore and Fell Steampunk Tarot deck. The Moore and Fell deck is very good, and it is a favorite of mine that I keep on regular rotation. Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine could use a bit more publicity. It is a deck with a story (see the companion book), and it has good art. If you like works like The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, films like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (or better yet the graphic novel), and/or the Bioshock video game this Tarot deck may be a good option for you. I am not sure if it is still in print, but you can still (as of this post) find it online at affordable prices.
  • Tarot of the Cat People. Another deck with a story to it (again, see its companion book). It is within the RWS system.
  • Black Cats Tarot. If you like cat themed decks within the RWS system, this is a cute and playful option. It can still deliver some solid and serious readings too.
  • Night Sun Tarot. These days people love and rave about the Santa Muerte Tarot by Fabio Listrani and with good reason. It is a solid Tarot deck with great art and a good tribute to Santa Muerte. Though not totally RWS, Listrani does some unique things, it is close enough for RWS users who also use intuition. It is one of my favorites, and I keep it on regular rotation. However, not many speak of his previous deck, the Night Sun Tarot, which is rich in symbols and also has great art. If you like Listrani’s art and style, this is a deck worth checking out.
Top 5 underrated decks 31 Days of Tarot 2020_011720 small

Left to right, clockwise: Tarot Made Easy kit (contains the Llewellyn Classic Tarot deck), Steampunk Tarot: Wisdom from the Gods of the Machine, Black Cats Tarot, Tarot of the Cat People, and Night Sun Tarot.

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You can find the original prompts by Ethony Dawn here.

Prompt for Day 26: Show us your Tarot journal if you have one.

I’ve kept writing and journaling for my practice since I started in 2016. I’ve filled up a few notebooks by now. I mainly record my daily draws. Now and then I do spreads which I record, and I jot down spreads to try out later. I also jot down other commonplace notes.

I use nice but inexpensive notebooks and journal books. Usually when some place that sells stationery has a sale or puts some notebooks on clearance, I go stock up.

Below are some photos of my Tarot journals.

Current Tarot journal_01142020 small

This is the journal I am currently using for my Tarot and cartomancy journaling.


Tarot journal blessing text_01142020 small

This is the blessing I write by hand into every notebook I use as Tarot journal.


Sample Tarot journal page with spread_01142020 small

This is a sample Tarot journal page. This is for last year’s (2019) Samhain spread that I did. Though I did the spread on October 31, I did not get around to writing it up in the journal until November 1. When I can, for spreads I did not create I try to jot down source if I can find it.



Selection of Tarot journal notebooks filled_01142020 small

Selection of previous Tarot journals. I can say I was using the Steampunk themed notebook around time I was using the Steampunk Tarot (Moore and Fell). I like variety in my journals as much as possible.

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You can find the original prompts by Ethony Dawn here.

Prompt for Day 25: If you could meet any Tarot creator, author, who and when?

I would like to meet a few. One that comes to mind right away is Pamela Colman Smith. Granted, I’ve stated I am not a fan of her art, but still her influence cannot be denied. Not only is her art popular and actively used to this day, but her art has influenced many deck creators who create decks inspired by her art (as well as those who defy or try to get away from her art). Some of those decks we call clones. Others are something else but still draw on her art. I’ve always seen those and so many other decks as Pamela’s children. So, if I had a way to travel back in time, or meet her in the afterlife, I’d bring a list of questions, because I do not just want to rely on memory, and I’d bring a big bag with a diverse sampling of decks. At one point in the conversation I’d say something like, “Pamela, all these decks and more, these are your children, look how they have grown and evolved. Look what you have set in motion. Look where all these artists went with what you started.” And maybe Arthur Waite is there too for if Pamela Smith was the mother, Waite would be the father, and it would be a nice celebration.

And since I am imagining, those creators would show up to the party as well, and they would also visit with Pam and Arthur, making for a big family gathering across time.

Plus maybe Walter Mercado would show up too, and we’d hang out, and we’d talk a while too, but that is another story. . . .

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You can find the original prompts by Ethony Dawn here.

July 2020


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