Welcome to ‘‘Musings on Tarot Decks” – in AstroLogic Magazine:

The Tarot Primer

That famous food guy Anthony Bourdain once said, “Anyone can be a good cook—the only thing you need is the desire to be a good cook.” I feel the same way about reading the Tarot—-if you want to learn to read the cards, you can learn to read the cards—it just takes the desire.

I believe we are all born intuitive—-it’s a survival mechanism built into all animals. Our problem as humans is, we spend the next 20 years or so learning not to use our intuition, to base our decisions and judgements on facts, not feelings. Then you receive a deck as a gift, or inherit one from a beloved relative and it has sentimental value, or you bought A deck because you thought it was pretty. You struggle, then give up, thinking you have no talent. You don’t  pause to think that it might be the actual Tarot deck you are using isn’t ‘speaking to you’.

Some students believe if they inherit a tarot deck it means they are required by some special, secret Tarot law to use that deck. Others believe you are never supposed to buy your own deck, that a tarot deck needs to be given to you to work. None of this is true. If you’re given a deck, it is absolutely a sign you are supposed to study the Tarot, but you are not under any obligation to use that particular deck.

Not all decks speak to all people. When I first began holding Tarot workshops, I limited my class to no more than fifteen students, and I suggested six or seven different decks. Eventually, I struck each deck off my list for one reason or another until I now only recommend one.

I own 80 decks, and I’m still buying them. I love tarot decks, that’s why I collect them. But, do you know how many decks I actually use on a regular basis? Four, and one deck I use almost exclusively if I work an event or party, because if I accidentally lose a card it’s not catastrophic–I can buy that same deck again, brand new. It’s still in print.

I’ve discovered it’s the easiest deck to learn from for beginning readers. It’s perfect because it’s pretty and each card is a compilation of easily understood images brains recognize immediately.

This is the first deck I’m reviewing today. It’s the one one I now recommend exclusively for my students. You can get it on Amazon.

The Golden Tarot

by Australian designer Kat Black

To create The Golden Tarot Kat Black compiles images taken from art work, the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, and layers them to achieve a perfect representation of each card’s meaning, with lots of detail.

The cards have gilt edges and are printed on shiny, high quality card stock and aren’t so oversized as to make them difficult to shuffle.


You know a Tarot deck is going to be a good one when the ‘Queen of Wands’ Court Card shows a beautiful redhead with a sly smile. You are in no doubt this queen is fiery and interesting, maybe even a flirt.

Other favorite cards in this deck are:

The Eight of Swords:

— a perfect visual for that cards meaning— ‘A prison of your own making’. Loose blindfold easily removed, loose chains easily dropped, and swords stuck in snow. All her obvious impediments are either mere figments of her imagination or easily overcome.

She thinks she’s stuck, but she’s not. Perfect.

I also really love ‘The Empress’ card from the Major Arcana (Greater Secrets):

Babies, bunnies, Cupid’s, fruit, and a pregnant queen, everything you need to see in a card describing the “Celebration of the feminine”. Creation, birth, fertility, abundance, security, peace.

There’s so much to love with this deck I had to search to find a negative, but nothings perfect—-I don’t like her ‘Wheel of Fortune’ card (from the Major Arcana.)

The Wheel is so small, barely visible in the upper left hand corner of the card. But look at it— what exactly is happening here? A woman with a baby in bed, a priest burning something under the bed, but what? its supposed to be a classic nativity scene, but this card feels like a stretch to represent the meaning of ‘Roll the dice, take a chance, there are no guarantees—-it’s a gamble’.

Even the meaning Black writes in the great little book she includes with the cards seems vague– “Life will always send you challenges to overcome”. This just feels like a strange description of the way I read that card’s meaning in my readings. Give me a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ card with a big wheel and little else, and I’m pretty happy.

Otherwise, a near-perfect deck.

Kat Black also included an interesting layout in her little book and one I’ve never used before.

It’s called The Horseshoe Spread:

This is my new, favorite spread when we have a question that needs answering.

Ask yourself a question and hold it in your mind. Choose one of the Court Cards (one of the queens, kings or knights you feel most resembles ‘The Querent’ (the person asking the question) and place it face up in position ‘0’. Cut the cards and shuffle the cards, cut, shuffle, cut. Do this three times, then take the cards from the top and place them face up in this order (see diagram):

1. Past. Factors in the past that are affecting the situation.

2.  Present situation. Current factors that are known now and obvious.

3.  Hidden influences. Factors currently at work that you are not aware of.

4.  Obstacles. Impediments, both obvious and hidden, in the way of the querent.

5.  House. Close friends and family and their influence.

6.  Action. The best path to take for a successful outcome.

7.  Outcome. The most important card in the layout—-The answer. If it’s a Court Card, the answer a person.

Read the cards linearly from left to right, repeat the key words for each card and allow them to paint a moving picture in your mind, much like a series of storyboards for a film.

If the answer isn’t clear to you, shuffle and do it again. Pay attention to any repeat cards. Those are the important cards for the answer to your question.

If you have any other questions, or just want another take on one of your own readings, contact me at pinkchronicity@gmail.com.

— Read on www.astrologicmagazine.com/welcome-to-the-tarot-primer-deck-review/

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