Culture Themed Tarot Decks

There are only a handful of things in life that I am more obsessed with compared to tarot. One of it is culture (check out my other blog: KultureKween).

Eventually, researching the interconnection between traditions and tarot, which started as a curiosity, grew into an obsession and has now turned into a life goal.

I also must admit that I have spent an embarrassing amount of hours researching tarot decks with the two cultures that I associate the most with, Indonesian and Indian.

Though there are more than a few Indian culture themed tarot decks out there, I didn’t find any that I liked nor could relate to as of now.

As for the Indonesian themed tarot deck, first of all, I was surprised that it existed to begin with. It’s called Tarot of Nusantara but it didn’t call out to me either. Instead, I found some other culture themed decks that I absolutely adore. Here they are, sorted by my liking from top to bottom*.

1. Tarot of Divine – $22

With rich, vibrant art and a keen understanding of traditional tarot archetypes, illustrator Yoshi Yoshitani infuses Tarot of the Divine with worldly insight and an intriguing selection of fables and folktales from cultures across the globe. With fables from more than forty countries, this spiritual journey is a worldly experience like no other.

This is a dream deck for a culture-geek such as myself. That combined with the price and zero shipping fee made it too easy for me to click pre-order sometime last year. I am still waiting patiently for it to arrive at my doorstep.

2. Yokai Yochi Tarot – $53

There are plenty of Japanese culture themed tarot decks in the market. From the traditional art of Ukiye to the pop-culture Manga deck but none of it spoke to me as much as Yokai Yochi did. The deck portrays ghosts, folklore, and traditional Japanese artwork. This is the second time I have mentioned this deck on my tarot deck list. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and order it.

3. The Gentle Tarot – $60

The Gentle Tarot is an indigenous-made, hand-drawn tarot deck filled with imagery influenced by life in remote Alaska. Mariza, the artist behind Mari in the Sky and The Gentle Tarot deck, is a nature-inspired illustrator, grew with ceremony and daily rituals that connect us with the elements, songs that ancestors sang with words and sounds that speak to this connection. She is inspired to share the love, honor, and respect that the planet is due.

Best part: 10% of all proceeds from the deck sale are donated to ocean and climate change research.

4. The Delta Enduring Tarot – $50

I mentioned above that I couldn’t relate much with the Indian tarot decks out there, but then I could relate so much to some of the cards from The Delta Enduring Tarot deck.

It’s an illustrated tarot deck centering on the natural beauty and struggles of life in the Mississippi Delta. The Delta Enduring Tarot pays tribute to these ebbs and flows, and to the lives of those that continue to make the deep south a more verdant, just, and enduring landscape–despite the storm of oppression always on the horizon. Egan, the artist, is an illustrator born and raised in the arms of the Mississippi Delta. They practice medicine and the esoteric arts of magic, with a predilection for the healing of communal ritual.

This deck has been sold-out, therefore very hard to find. I am not sure whether it will ever be reproduced but I surely hope so.

5. The Hoodoo Tarot – $33

Celebrating the complex American Rootwork tradition, The Hoodoo Tarot integrates esoteric and botanical knowledge from Hoodoo with the divination system of the tarot. The cards features full-color paintings by magical-realist artist Katelan Foisy and elegantly interprets the classical tarot imagery through depictions of legendary rootworkers past and present as well as important Hoodoo symbolism. In the accompanying guidebook, Tayannah Lee McQuillar provides a history of Hoodoo and its complex heritage, including its roots in multiple African and Indigenous American ethnic groups as well as its European influences.

Read the interview with the artist here.

6. The Magical Nordic Tarot – $20

I almost got this deck a few times. I am into Nordic culture and lifestyle and it’s pretty affordable (it’s the cheapest deck on this list), but knowing the majority of the deck (all the minor arcana cards) is not illustrated left a lot to be desired.

*Prices are in USD, excluding shipping.

The Star Tarot The Spacious Tarot

Abandon All Hope Thy Who Pulled The Star

I kept pulling The Star whenever I do a tarot spread during the past couple of months. Be it a new moon, full moon or monthly tarot spread. I should be delighted. The Star is one of the most positive cards in the tarot.

Of pinned hopes and granted wishes.

All these would be a good omen to get if it hadn’t keep turning up on the release/let go part of the spread. Repeatedly.

I knew what it has been trying to tell me. But I kept ignoring it until I couldn’t anymore. So the last time The Star appeared on my tarot spread, I pulled it aside and half-yelled at it that:

Yes, I get it. I must let go of holding on to hopes this year!

I shall… surrender. Hopefully, it will stop appearing in an unfavorable position going forward.

Justice Fifth Spirit Tarot

Justice in Love

Admittedly, I “huh?“-ed when I pulled the Justice card as a part of my self-love tarot spread last week. My question was:

“What is the one kind thing I can do as an act of love for myself?”

Alas, I let them take the lead and braced myself to explore together.

The Justice in the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck is drawn as a bad ass person. I love everything about them from the expression, attitude, the down to the outfit. Did they appear to remind me of my own bad-ass-ness? To bring it out more often as an act of self-love?

I also noticed that on the scale, unlike on other Justice tarot cards I have seen ━ including the classic Rider Waite Smith, the heart weighed more than the feather. (I can’t wait for the guidebook to arrive to read the artist, Maria’s, reasoning behind this).

Justice Fifth Spirit Tarot

Are they trying to convey that heart matters more than the mind? Is it asking me to listen more to my heart instead of my mind when it comes to self-love? Or is it reminding me to balance it out since I tend to operate the other way around?

Wille of A Little Spark of Joy tarot blog said this about the Justice card in relation to love:

(it) represents decision and choices. Do you know your worth? settling for far less than you deserve, whether single or committed, is never an option.

Well said!

Back to the card I pulled, my attention kept going to the tattoos covering their upper body. Maybe my self-love act can be of getting the evil-eye tattoo on the same part of my body. And that my friends, is what I call wishful thinking.

Evil Eye Mug Fifth Spirit Tarot Journal

Lockdown Diary: Day 3

When I sat down for the Monday Morning meeting, the first thing discussed was the high probability of lockdown getting extended. Not a great way to start the week, eh?

I tried to push the speculative news aside, along with the thought that I most probably won’t see my parents nor go on Kumano Kodo pilgrimage this year.

Instead, I spent the day working, reading a few pages from the boring CPA textbook, running, practising yoga for runners, texting friends and gentle journaling.

Some highlights of the day include bed coffee, payday (I pulled the King of Pentacles), cozying up on the sofa with Fafa and watching The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel on Netflix, the smell of the burning candle ━ a gift from Jik, getting a package and Wood Frog’s pumpkin seed sliced bread.

Lockdown Diary: Day 2

Happy Valentine‘s Day! It’s the second day of the third lockdown. Gah! As soon as I typed it, I realised how polarising those two first two sentences were. Alas, both are valid.

My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.

Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.

We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.

I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.

After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.

There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.

Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:

My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for,  I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.

I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love 💌.

 ❥K

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Color 200 Government Housing Melbourne South Yarra Simmons Street Hoarders

Lockdown Diary: Day 1

Today is the first day of Melbourne third lockdown.

There ━ a sentence I was praying never to write. The authority announced it yesterday afternoon; said it’s going to be only for five days and calling it a circuit break. As if making it sound mechanical could help to ease the despair.

I wanted to share my experience here, diary-style, as I regret not doing it consistently during the last previous lockdowns. Also, I figured surely I can commit for five days.

Today, on the day one, I woke up, turned off the alarm, recounted my blessings, drank my bed-coffee and shuffle my tarot cards.

First, I drew the card for the day, Queen of Pentacles and Judgement flew out. Then, I did a lockdown tarot spread. By the time I finished journaling Fafa had come back from the market (shopping for essential is still allowed) with an almond croissant. What a treat!

I stayed on the bed until past noon, which seemed the least I could do for myself in the name of self-care after the work week I had combined with the lockdown announcement and having had to cancel both the Airbnb and dinner-date to celebrate Valentine this weekend.

After that, I did healing yoga, showered and went to the market myself. I wanted to get myself some flowers and the over-priced hipster juice from there, which I deemed as my happiness potion. Unfortunately, the roses were also over-priced and the hipster food store was closed. Instead, I came back with stuffed capsicum and quinoa salad for lunch, red velvet Vals cupcake and iced coffee for Fafa.

I read for a while but then thought I’d give my weary brain some rest and joined Fafa to half-watch Your Honor while browsing Affirmations decks on Etsy.

For dinner, we ordered fancy-ish take-away to recreate the date night that we had to cancel. We got Szechuan style king prawns and spicy fried rice from Dainty Szechuan and when we realised we forgot dessert, tiramisu from Thirty Eight Chairs.

I also watched The Descent (2005), it was really good; and The Neighbour (2017), which was extremely boring.

Right before bed, I called my parents and got an earful to be extra cautious as if being put on lockdown is not enough. And with that, I shall retire this first day take three.

Fifth Spirit Tarot Spread Interview

Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck Interview

Hello Fifth Spirit Tarot, tell me about yourself!

1. Your vibe:

Two of Cups.

2. What type of reading suits you best/What are you good at?

Six of Wands.

3. What is a challenge for you?

Page of Cups.

4. How to treat you?

Judgement.

5. How do you spill your tea?

Ten of Wands.

6. What are you here for?

Page of Wands.

7. Our vibes together:

Ten of Swords.

Wolf Full Moon in Leo Strength The Empress Moon Void Tarot

Zero Energy on Full Moon in Leo

Howllo! It is the Wolf Full Moon in Leo ♌︎.

Leading into it, I had some plan to honour the Leo (Strength) full moon (The Empress) by doing fiery, action-oriented things like cooking the spicy mutton vindaloo I had promised Fafa; or at least clock in more kilometres while running.

But instead, I woke up feeling exhausted with no reason. I had to drag myself out of bed and go through the work-day motions with low energy; skipping cooking, running even meditating.

We still went out for dinner; delicious African cuisine at Nyala but only with one glass of wine I was ready to crash on the bed. So yeah, looks like the Full Moon in Leo managed to burn my energy completely today. So I am going to bed now, even though it’s only 9 PM. Hopefully, I woke up the next day feeling a lot better.

Goodnight Lioness Moon!

🦁 K

The Chariot Moon Void Tarot The Spacious Tarot

Flights, Chariot, Action!

I pulled the Eight of Wands and The Chariot (Cancer) as the cards of the day. It wasn’t a surprise. It has been a tradition of mine to travel on the 26 January; even before I moved to Australia, which has it as the first public holiday of the year.

This time though, what caught my attention was The Chariot card.

Along with The Magician, The Chariot was one of the first few tarot cards that I liked and understood. Or so I thought.

When I first started learning tarot based on the images, I associated The Chariot with travelling. Obviously, as the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck is riding a chariot. He is on the move or about to move. So is the witch who is riding the bike on the Everyday Witch Tarot deck.

But the Chariot on the deck I used for the reading today, the Moon Void Tarot, shows pages and pages of papers. Each one dated by month. July 2016, August 2016 and so on. There is a hand holding a pen writing on one of those pages. As if the person is scheduling and making plans. I don’t see anything that resembles travelling, which ironically fitted my situation of being unable to travel this time.

Alas, it got me curious about the artist’s interpretation of the card, and I dug through my piles of to-read books and found the guide book for the deck which I bought separately (one of the best tarot related decision I made so far: When in doubt, get the guide book). It says:

“…connect with our momentum, as we develop a clear vision, we begin to take action. …daily practice becomes the structure that takes us from one phase of life to the next. Small steps in physical reality will be met by large leaps from the Universe, but first, (you) must begin.”

I then went through The Spacious Tarot deck wondering how The Chariot is depicted there as I don’t think I have ever pulled this card from that deck. The image on the card itself reminded me of the Milford Sound in New Zealand South Island. Again travel related. But the mini-guide book offered an explanation closer to one given by the Moon Void above:

“…define exactly what is it that you want to do. What hard things do you need to do at this time? Affirm that you are capable and go do what you need to do.”

Wow. Reading it was like peeling another layer of The Chariot card.

The one that I didn’t even know existed.

The one about taking inspired actions.

I love it when that happens. That is also why I am love learning about tarot. The more I understand, the more interesting it becomes.

🛒 ❥K

New Moon Capricorn Tarot Spread Moon Void Deck

New Moon in Capricorn Tarot Spread

As you might have known, one of my tarot goals is to do a tarot spread for each new and full Moon throughout this year. So here is the first one, in conjunction with the first New Moon, in 2021.

The tarot spread is inspired by Shinjini’s New Moon in Capricorn tarot spread. I am using a freshly smoked-cleansed Stef, the Moon Void Tarot deck which seems to be a perfect fit for Moon-related tarot spread.

1. Significator for my career goal this year:

Eight of Pentacles

Can it be any clearer? Eight of Pentacles is about mastery and hard-work. To reach my career goal for this year, I ought to apply both attributes into my work-life.

Our efforts compound, even when we can’t see the growth.

2. Mindset that’s holding me back:

The Hermit

Err.. I struggled to grasp this one immediately. As a Virgo, being a hermit is like a normal state for me. But Hermit can also be a feeling of being disconnected and alone. This, connected with the action plans, below reminds me that I am not alone and that I have the support that I need to reach this goal.

3. Mindset that I need to adapt instead:

Seven of Wands

I am not at all surprise that Seven of Wands made an appearance. Seven of Wands is the overall energy I want to manifest into my life this year and that includes in the career aspect of it. I need to stand my ground, take up my well-deserved space, show myself and make sure that I am seen.

4. Action plans to reach my career goal:

Page of Pentacles

Crystal! Above anything else, Page of Pentacles for me represent learning. Continues learning and improving my skills at work will bring me closer to the goal.

5. Message from the Moon:

Judgement

It’s reminding me to put the hard-work now without worrying too much if I don’t see the expected result immediately/soon – which is something I am currently struggling with. That I ought to trust the process and the day will come when I will get to reap what I sow.

Also, a message in the book regarding Judgement:

Change is necessary in order to grow and evolve.

Well, that’s about it for me. I need to go back to do some more work tonight to reduce the piling new work-tasks. With that, Happy New Moon in Capricorn everyone! May it sprinkles us with the hard-working Capricorn energy to get a head start to reach the goals we set for ourselves this year.