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Beautiful imagery, but not as good as the first
on 3 October 2014
This, John Holland’s second “psychic tarot oracle”, this time related to the Heart (Hay House, 2014), follows the same pattern as the first (Hay House, 2010). Courts and Tens (which numerologically are dropped from a regular tarot structure, hence the “oracle” nomer. Yet, the remaining cards follow standard tarot notions for the most part, with the addition of seven chakra cards. So, a total of 65 cards: 4 suits 1-9 (36), 22 Majors and 7 Chakras.
The artwork for the cards is accomplished and colourful, with a broad spectrum of people and situations depicted. Many cards, though, have backgrounds, as opposed to landscapes. For instance, in “Shine” (equivalent to the Sun), we see a beautiful woman with long red hair floating, arms outstretched and chest radiating light. Around her swirl colours from blue to purple to gold, with shining orbs glowing all about. This card speaks to me of joyfully flowing with our passion, and surrendering to the what the Universe brings us moment to moment.
I am less impressed with the chakra cards. Each shows a pedestal of the appropriate colour, with a depiction of the relevant symbol. However, I find them rather blocky and ugly, surrounded by darkness. The cards in the first deck were nicer, to my eye, but I guess he had to come up with something a little different the second time around...
As for the Aces, they are not particularly obvious - if you glance through the deck, you wouldn’t go “Oh, that’s an Ace” as soon as you saw them. Still, as this Ace of Fire shows, they are interesting. Here, the card is renamed “New Vitality”, and shows a man blowing on panpipes (hmm, Ace of Air?), which look like mini-rockets of chakra-coloured energy (ah yes, the fiery energy of spirit and will).
Finally, a pip card, the Nine of Air, renamed “Darkest Fears”. A handsome, dark-skinned man with a goatee and wearing a purple coat (colour of the crown chakra), stands in a blue background, with rays of lighter blue shining out from his crown. Before him are five phases of a solar eclipse, when light is blocked out by shadow for a while. Still, he looks remarkably calm for someone facing his fears. Perhaps he knows these are temporary troubles, which his spirit can overcome...
I can’t imagine using this deck if asked for a regular tarot reading, given the “missing” cards. Still, it is an attractive, upbeat oracle, with less of a learning curve because of the tarot tie-in. And for those who don’t like Court cards, it’s clearly a win-win situation.