Psychic Kathleen

Confessions of a Psychic - the life of a psychic practicing off and online in Canada for more than 30 years.
Picking a Tarot Deck

If you are considering purchasing your own Tarot deck, I think it's crucial to pay attention especially to how the artist/creators of the deck have depicted people/characters.

People Symbols

I always recommend to my initiates that they avoid decks depicting uniquely white people in positions of light and power. 

Tarot images of people represent the values and attitudes of the people who have drawn them.  The human image is likely the most powerful of all the symbols used in the Tarot because they act as mirrors of us and people in our lives.

You want to be mindful that your deck isn’t sexist depicting only male images exemplifying a quality of control, command, aggression, or leadership, and female images demonstrating qualities of passivity, nurturing, submission, or receptivity. 

The exclusion of other races besides Caucasian reinforces the misconception that the Tarot (which reflects the pattern of life) is only relevant to the white race.  Some decks that do include people of color, use their race to symbolize our fears, and pains, our guilt, unknown depths, our uncontrollable urges and our bondage or entrapment; i.e. The Devil, slaves, or The Hanged Man.  It is a spiritual and psychological imperative that we conscientiously research the decks we are to employ, watching carefully for the ways in which racism is being perpetuated, either by the exclusion of people of colour or by their inclusion in negative or violent imagery.

Originally the Tarot Attracted a "Leisure Upper Class"

Historically, the Tarot has been used primarily by the ruling class, occult initiates, educated philosophers, and witches or gypsies.  The insights and information of the witches and gypsies has been transmitted by word of mouth and is not always publicly available to us.  Instead, we have the materials that have been developed and published by the ruling, privileged classes.  The scholars and nobles that developed the Tarot materials as we know them today, depicted Emperors, Kings, and Popes.  They drew on esoteric philosophies, mystical teachings, classical works, and the literature, history, and myths of many cultures.  They saw the Tarot as a tool to be used by the initiated or privileged people who had the leisure and education to study and understand the Tarot’s intricate maze of symbolism. Only in the twentieth century has the Tarot become available for use by the general public. 

Today we have an opportunity to de-mystify the Tarot.  Some authors are presenting interpretations that steer clear of references to scholarly literature and avoid allusion to obscure mythological or philosophical writings.  They make clear that the Tarot is a tool that is available to everyone. Many have renamed the cards in an attempt to have the titles describe the meanings of the cards instead of reflecting archaic social structures.

Few people have perfectly proportioned bodies.  In many Tarot materials, people who are not “ideal” in their physical shape or abilities are included only if they also point to poverty, disaster, or misfortune.  Many decks show us somebody’s concept of a perfect person.  To remain open and sensitive to the larger universal energy we need to work with a divination tool that projects imagery that is inclusive of all the peoples in the world.

Be Mindful of Value Judgments Made

Ageism is another issue that surfaces in some decks.  Children are the ones depicted as creative and energetic ready to begin life with enthusiasm and faith.  Young people are seen as reckless, willing to take a few risks on the road to adventure and experience.  Middle-aged people are seen as the sensible, mature leaders of society.  Older people are depicted as quiet but inactive sages. 

Be mindful of the value judgments that the author has made.  You need to look carefully at the cards you choose to work with and examine which of your own attitudes they represent and reinforce.

Choose a Tarot deck containing symbolism that holds meaning for you and looks good to you.  Peruse several decks; then notice which one you keep returning to. Pay special attention to the one you think of when you wake up in the morning. 

Be practical however, and look for a deck that is a size and shape that you can easily handle.  Be open to choosing more than one deck!  You may find several decks that appeal to you. You may want to use a given deck for certain moods and questions, and another to explore different issues.  After tuning into your own value system, your philosophy, your taste, your intuition, and your hands, choose the decks that “fit” you.

Visit My Web Sites for More Information

Tarot by Kathleen
Tarot in Canada
Spirit Guide Cora Richmond
Free Online Dream Dictionary
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