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.

Nine of Cups

Nine and Half Full Cups

I pulled Nine of Cups this morning and braced myself. I thought, I know what it is about:

Being productive. Planning. Getting my cups, I mean, ducks in a row.

I had a long to-do list and I was in a better mental state today compared to the last few days. If I played my cards right and do most of the things on my to-do list, I would feel accomplished at the end of yet another workweek.

It’s now 16 minutes to midnight. I didn’t manage to finish a work task that I started at 10 AM and continued working on until 9 PM. I didn’t have time to run any errands today, nor to exercise and read. I haven’t written anything except of course for this.

But do I feel semi-accomplished? Tbh, kinda.

I filed my taxes, led a meeting and created an extensive excel spreadsheet. I studied 20 pages from my CPA textbook, which might seem nothing, but at least I started. Also, since I read a book to study, maybe I could claim that I also read. I checked on my cousin, spoke to my parents and told an annoying person off. Granted, I did it all with the help of three cups of coffee. But still, not too bad, eh?

It made me realize that Nine of Cups ━ feeling accomplished, can be seen as a glass half empty or half full. Especially for a Virgo like myself. Today, I chose to see it as the latter.

Seven of Swords Fifth Spirit Tarot

Real Bird vs Tarot Bird

I was running around the neighborhood, huffing and puffing trying to clock-in my daily target of 4km, when I saw a black and white feathered bird chilling at the exact the same place I took a picture of the The Fifth Spirit Tarot’s Seven of Swords card a couple weeks earlier. And I thought to myself: another tarot imitating life moment.

Seven of Swords Fifth Spirit Tarot
Tulips Pink Flowers Valentine

Lockdown Diary: Day 5

It’s last hour of lockdown. Making it the shortest lockdown I have experienced so far, but didn’t mean it was in any way easy or got easier.

These five days have been a constant battle of staying positive.

I couldn’t take a mental health day off today from work, nor can I anytime soon. And by the end of workday today, I felt entirely drained, like I am running on empty.

Alas, it’s almost over now. For now. This wave.

Ps. After work, I watched Contagion to wind down. Weird choice, I know. It’s a good movie, eerily similar to the current situation.

Pps. Something random, I wondered about the zoo personnel during the lockdown. Some of them still have to go to work every day to feed the caged animals. Strange time we are living in.

Ppps. Tarot card of the day was the Seven of Pentacles from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck.

Seven of Swords Fifth Spirit Tarot

Strategizing With The Seven of Swords

During a recent tarot reading, the Seven of Swords kept appearing. And every time it did, I sucked my breath grudgingly. As you might have noticed, I had never written about it before because, well, I am kind anxious around it.

Unlike other cards that I am not a fan of, because either I don’t have much understanding of (Temperance) or just not that into (Queen of Pentacles), I am all too familiar with the Seven of Swords.

Especially the young me.

As a teenager living under a strict roof of my traditional Indian parents, I have called upon and emulated the Seven of Swords energy plenty of time. Tricking, not telling the whole truth or just plain lying to manipulating ━ I have done it all ━ just to have a chance of a normal teenager life; like eating pizza with friends, not coming straight home after school or going to a friend’s house over the weekend.

Learning the Seven of Swords as a tarot-loving adult unwillingly brought back all those childhood memories ━ or traumas, depends on how I feel like framing it. Either way, it wasn’t fun; hence I avoid hanging-out with the Seven of Swords.

Back to the reading, I was expecting advice along the “beware of trickers and manipulations” line, but the reader kept saying “strategize” whenever the Seven of Swords popped up.

At the end of the session, I asked why, and she said:

“Because it asks you to strategize. You might have the tools, but you need to know how to use it for your advantage to achieve what you want — kind of like The Magician.”

Seven of Swords is the strategy card

Before then, I had never seen the Seven of Swords in a positive light. Strategize doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Maybe I can work with it to slowly rewrite my childhood stories.

Four of Wands Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck

At Home With The Four of Wands

We are looking for the Four of Wands“, Glenys the tarot reader told me as she laid out the black cloth with numbered boxes painted on it. She went on saying that:

“The Four of Wands is the card that indicates anything house related”.

Back home, after the unfavorable reading, I flipped through the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck on my nightstand to find the Four of Wands card.

It took me a while as the card didn’t resemble the classic Rider Waite Smith. In the RWS the Four of Wands potrayed fancy gown wearing people, garlands, grapes, flowers and a castle in the background.

There was none of it on the Four of Wands card that I was holding. There were no wands. Oil lamps have replaced the wands, surrounding a vintage cooker. Burning fire. A boiling kettle and a sizzling pan on top of it.

Could it be… breakfast food?

The image reminded me of the mornings in the Echuca farmhouse, where I was greeted by a very similar scene in the kitchen — of Fafa making us coffee and breakfast.

This card carries so much more home-ey vibe for me than the classic RWS. After all, I don’t envision a castle when I dream of my nest, but more of being greeted by a warm home-cooked meal.

I put the card on my altar for the day, to attract the new home energy that I wish for.

cafe cucinetta murphy street south Yarra Nine of Pentacles

Dining With The Nine of Pentacles

I drew the Nine of Pentacles today from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck as a daily tarot reading. The card portrayed a banquet from the reader POV. Later, on the same day, Liz treated me the most delicious Italian dinner I have ever eaten in Melbourne at Cucinetta.

Right before we ate, I managed to snap a picture of our meals which reminded me of the image on the card. And that, my friend, was one of tarot-imitating-life moments for me.

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.

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.

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Ektar 100 Nine of Pentacles The Moon Void Tarot

Channeling The Lady of Leisure with Nine of Pentacles

I had never given much interest on Nine of Pentacles until one day I saw it on This Might Hurt Tarot deck and read the description on the booklet. Then and here it’s crystallized in my mind that I want to be the lady in the Nine of Coins. That’s the energy I want to emulate in my life.

I started looking at other the Nine of Pentacles to see the different interpretations offered by other tarot decks. In the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, the Nine of Pentacles drawn as a lady in a robe holding a pet bird on her finger. It’s well, pretty irrelevant, which might be why the card never caught my attention before. But in This Might Hurt Tarot deck, it’s depicted as a girl reading a book in a garden.

I can relate to this image so much! It’s what my dream life looks like, precisely what I want to do in my leisure days.