Cartomancy Part I

5:18:00 PM

I'm a divinatory card deck collector in addition to cartomancer, tarotist.  It's rather simple, I just really adore the symbolism and what it can represent in ones life.  I never purport to know the future, that's simply against the rules as far as I'm concerned.  I don't tell the future, I tell fortunes and I guide paths.  The phrase, "the most likely scenario for the path you're on" is common in the tarotist community, I've heard it my whole life.  There can't be a commitment like a promise of the future, because the Fates are ever unwinding the twists and turns of what free will there is.  The destination is unavoidable fate, but the journey is an unwinding tale that can change; especially when people are made aware of their probabilities.  When people know how things may go down, they can't help but try and influence it and change fate.

Good luck, I say.  Fortuna is blind, and she is a patroness of cartomancers and seers, ever reminding one that the wheel of fortune is blind and chaotic, that is ever-present and must be respected for what it is. Fortuna walks blindly strewing fate before her and kicking it away from the reaching as she dances by.  When we play odds, gamble, tell fortunes, try to peer ahead where the Fates fool us, we are just at the mercy of fortune, are we not?  Well, I respect the game, I don't promise you the future, I can only show you what I see on the path you're taking.  It's not a guarantee, it's a guidance.  It's not a vision, it's an insight.  It's not fate, it's fickle, frightening, lady Fortune.

Fine Art Decks:  The Golden Klimt, The Golden Botticelli,  The Golden Renaissance.  These are my preferred decks to work with, I adore classical art.  My Klimt is my most used public deck, while my Botticelli is the most used privately.  Golden decks have the added benefit of beauty, that's their only difference.  Often times they can be frustrating to use because the images can contradict standard card themes or fall short of being meaningful expressions.  In the case of the Klimt and Botticelli, the images have been manipulated enough to take on a fair amount of significance, but still, one needs to thoroughly aquatint themselves with the decks as individuals.  Usually, a medium only uses the decks to interpret intuition they already receive, and so they don't necessarily need the images to properly reflect each individual meaning, but when you're reading for others, it can help for them to feel connected to the cards too, to make some of their own interpretations of the symbolism.  I chose decks for their functionality more than their aesthetic.
The Mantegna is a unique deck of 50 cards which are used in an oracular solitaire in order to divine ones place within the world around him.  Of course, this is from the perspective of the time period in which it was constructed, and used originally to teach affluent children the class system of the era.  These days, the only way I have ever used Mantegna or witnessed its divinatory use was by playing the solitaire game in order to divine on the existential.  I have never seen it used to divine the future though I do not doubt it is adapted to this purpose by other readers.
The game is played through a process of elimination.
Lenormand are a not a tarot, they are their own thing.  Based on the Game of Hope from the early 1800's, the 36 card  deck is named after one of the godmothers of modern cartomancers, a patron spirit among readers, Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand.  She did not read Game of Hope cards, rather she was a user of other decks, likely of her own creation in addition to classic Etteilla cards but after her death, the cards were named for her to honor the legacy of the great Napoleonic cartomancer of Europe.  I am becoming increasingly closer to Lenormand decks as I get older, valuing their simplicity and bluntness.  They are literally interpreted, unlike tarot cards which are intuitively interpreted and can be read in reverse and in single, double or almost any number of combinations.  In a way, they can be a challenge because they are so different from the tarot in their manner of manifesting, and remembering their themes in addition to the many varieties of 78-card decks one must become accustomed to to master tarotism can be a difficult challenge to ones memory, but I like the simplicity of what they represent. I'd like to make my own one day.
Minimalist decks are fascinating and useful for concentrating, and the more modern ones carry symbolism more representing the themes of each card and suit.
Classic Decks:  The two most well known contemporary decks are the Morgan Greer and the Rider Waite.  The reason they are so favored still is because of the deep imagery and rich symbolism that helps illustrate the occult attributes of the cards.  For a cartomancer who reads from within, the cards are just a method of sorting an already existing stream of consciousness, while for readers who divine from outside themselves rely on the spirit of the cards and the symbolism of the cards to read effectively.  Either way, symbolism and encoded messages within the cards helps to evoke a state of subconscious self awareness and can plant suggestions and guidance in the minds of the seeker.  A talented reader will be able to pull their clients into each image and make them see themselves reflected in the images.   A truly illustrated deck can really help in this method.  
The Golden Thread Tarot, designed by Tina Gong. 
Review:
I've owned a little over thirty decks in my lifetime as a reader.  I've owned expensive, beautiful and one of a kind decks.  But truly, nearly none compare to the masterfully crafted Golden Thread Tarot by Tina Gong.  The unique and detailed design is ripe with symbolism and completely unique. When I first saw t the deck while surfing through the normal channels, I was instantly taken aback by how totally stylized it is without being cartoonish or juvenile.  Its design is a mixture of sigilry and esoteric symbolism, well balanced and highly symmetrical.  Beyond just the sleek and detailed designs which make readings easy and clear, the deck itself is well made.  It shuffles smoothly and bends perfectly at the center- something I noticed the new wave of tarot s starting to lack.  Unlike some of the new wave, these ones aren't cheap thick card-stock that creases when you bridge the cards, these ones bend and glide easily over one another.  Without a doubt going to be a popular deck soon, it's just too well made and well illustrated not to catch the eye of serious tarotists.

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