30 March 2022

My Deep-divers (and maybe a couple of Double-dippers)

A deep diver seems to be different things to different people. Some people see it as a deck that contains a lot of symbolism and requires a great deal of study. Others see it as a deck that assists in uncovering layers of complexity in the psyche, or decks that are used for spiritual or emotional development. I'm firmly in the "all of the above" category. 

Deep-Divers

Hierophant
First up has just got to be my Spirit Keeper's Tarot by Benebell Wen, and I apologize for listing a deck that is currently unavailable. This deck has so, so many uses for me. It is a support deck for my mystical practices, a deck I use for evocation and invocation, a tool for communication with ancestors, spirit guides, angels and the divine, as well as a divination oracle. I don't allow others to touch it, and it is mostly used for myself, though I do make exceptions. I've been known to use it when reading for one of my Plutonic partners. 

I do have 2 editions, the original, which I have actually altered a bit to make it my own (I can hear the gasps now), and the Revelations edition. I did have the Vitruvian but sadly I had to sell it, due to some dire financial circumstances after my surgery. 

10 of Disks

Second on this list is the Tarot of the Holy Light by Christine L Payne-Towler and Michael R Dowers. I think I have the 1st Ed, but I really haven't paid much attention to release dates since I first acquired my copy, which was ages ago. This one took a while for me to warm up to, because it utilizes the continental system, which never fails to throw me off. But I have found if I focus on the symbolism contained within the images (and just not look at the astrological correspondences), I go much further with this deck. 

I'm glad I've stuck with it. I'm a Gnostic and there aren't many decks with a strong Gnostic theme, designed by a Gnostic, so I really appreciate this deck. I use it primarily for spiritual guidance and for pathworking and contemplation. 

Hermit

The Mary El Tarot  by Marie White is another of my Deep Divers, mainly due to the learning curve. It's a gorgeous deck full of lush and often dark imagery, and the overall sense of the deck can only be described as "otherworldly". All that said, it has taken me a minute to find my footing with this deck. It doesn't, as far as I can tell, follow the Thoth or the RWS systems. I have heard some readers call it a Marseilles deck but I strive to find that reflected in the deck's imagery. I do find it to be a great deck to read intuitively, focusing solely on the images, but I also feel a lot can be gained from more intense work with the deck. 

I have both the 1st and 2nd editions. The card stock of the 1st was very troublesome for me, and since I don't trust myself with trimming, I didn't use it so much. I know some of the illustrations were changed for the 2nd edition, but I just never got familiar enough with the first edition to be bothered by the changes. I'm very pleased with my 2nd edition.

Double-Dippers


ace of cups

My first Double-dipper has got to be the Tabula Mundi by MM Meleen. From the moment I laid eyes on this deck I knew it was for me. Bold colors, plenty of symbolism and correspondences, beautifully detailed artwork. And it is a deep-diver for me. I use it a lot for spiritual work and occult guidance, but I can just as easily pick it up and give myself a nice, clear and concise reading. 

It's a Thoth-based deck and I learned tarot using the Thoth system, and so reading with the Tabula Mundi deck was a breeze, right out of the box. I can't say enough good things about this deck, it's truly magnificent. 


Hierophant

Well, it had to happen. You all knew the Alchemical Tarot by Robert M Place would be on this list somewhere. It is genuinely my hardest-working deck. If I want to go deep, I have lots of alchemical symbolism to work with, but the images are so expressive and insightful, that it offers a great deal of clarity. This deck is never very far from me. I can use it for client readings just as easily as I can for spiritual guidance for myself. 

I have the second edition and I've often considered getting one of the later editions but I just adore the rose on the backs. And I'm not sure if the card stock will have changed in later editions (I just love the size and flexibility of the 2nd edition). This is my deck. 

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