In my previous post, I discussed the Arcana of the Tarot in the context of the Four Elements of nature. Here I will discuss the four suits of the Tarot, starting with the suit of Wands, the suit of Fire.
I’m fairly familiar with traditional tarot decks, but almost never use them, preferring instead to use my own symbols and pictures rather than hold a deck in my hands. I’m also a natal astrologer and have been using a natal astrological system for a couple of years now.
Pride Tarot, Community Game
Reviewed by Lily
Pride Tarot, a collaborative game
Published by U.S. Games Systems, 2020
Collaborative decks are always a bit of a gamble, and that’s what makes them so interesting. Through such projects, we ourselves can discover new artists and contemporary interpretations of familiar archetypes, which can give our lectures new ideas. I was really looking forward to the Pride Tarot. In Lynn Araujo’s guide, he writes: We knew we wanted this game to be positive, welcoming and celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. It is unfortunate that this intention does not always translate into the cards themselves, as I will explain in this review.
There’s something incredibly powerful about seeing yourself in the cards, which is why games like this are so important for those of us on the margins of society. A third of the postcards are clearly inclusive and representative of the community. Here are a few of my favorites:
I was thrilled to find Mummi Swan’s work in this set (I bought a pair of her Lovers earrings a year ago, and they’ve quickly become my favorites), and to get a taste of her upcoming Sapphic Magic tarot deck.
Those of you familiar with the Next World Tarot will recognize some of the cards in this collection. I was a little disappointed by the lack of new work from Christy S. Street (but that’s just me being greedy). Upon further examination of the set, I discovered that it contained extra cards from previously released sets: The Two of Sword is from the Devastating Moon Tarot, and the Four and Ten of Cups are from the City Tarot. This is not mentioned in the guide, which I think is a major omission.
Most of the cards are pretty neutral; you can see pederasty in the cards, but it’s pretty low key.
There are about 10 cards that really make me think. I don’t understand why they’re in the game.
Supporting allies is definitely a good thing, but it’s a missed opportunity when there are so many incredible LGBTQ+ makers making incredible art and you don’t have their creative input.
While I appreciate that each artist’s name is on the postcard, I can’t help but find it a bit distracting – it leads me away from the image itself and makes it hard to see what the postcard is inviting me to do (when I actually want to read the artist’s biography, see more of their work, or wonder why they rendered the postcard in a certain way). Another note is that the guide does not include biographies of the artists Robin Scott and Jeremy Hash – I would have liked to know more about these artists and their work.
I love the back of the card; I find it very attractive, especially in layouts. Speaking of which, the distribution suggestions in the guide are excellent: The rainbow ranking is accompanied by a separate chart and is self-explanatory. The grand marshal is also mentioned as part of the parade – a hero or a paragon. For this review, I chose the Queen of Cups. Six maps accompany us on the journey/parade:
1) Getting started – What is my goal and how do I get started?
10 of Cups. Start with what you want to continue! I am currently nestling happily and raising my two year old son as a teenager with the support of a loving partner. I love my queer family.
2) Challenges – What are the challenges I will face?
Three of the pentacles. Lack of support, especially in my area. I felt like a really lonely guy last year. We are taking steps to move to a supportive community to make it easier and more convenient to meet our needs.
3) Support – Who or what supports my efforts?
The pentagram side. By the artist Raine Klar: I drew a portrait of Aamina Shakur, a senior citizen from the LGBTQ+ community. Aamina is a fountain of knowledge on many subjects and gives advice to those who ask for it. I see the elements of shepherding in their actions and work, and I hope they give you the courage to do what it takes to get the results you want. Good advice: ask your parents. I often read this card as an invitation to be humble, to ask the Spirit to guide my next steps, especially in ministry, and that fits well ~ relying on the spirit and wisdom of the elders.
4) Change – What needs to change to move forward?
Queen of the rooms. I need to be in my body more, take more physical steps towards my goals. I take care of my ship, my home, my adopted family. Trust your natural wealth and parenting instincts.
5) Progress – What signs of progress do I see? What have I learned so far?
Smoke. You have to laugh. I think we all had a bit of an energy shift last year ….
6) Conclusion – What is the end result of my journey?
The King of Coins. Ambition, success, generosity, loyalty and precision. I agree! I found this section of the guide, written by artist Helena Nelson-Reed, particularly interesting: Water symbolizes transformation, nourishment, purification and the transient nature of life. ~ That’s why I chose the Queen of Cups as my signifier. I never thought King of Pentacles was too watery, so this artistic interpretation was a new perspective for me that I hadn’t considered before. I work a lot with water in my spiritual practice, so I wonder if it will play an important role in the future. Overall, I was very pleased with this book.
As with all games from U.S. Games Systems, the quality of the game is good and the size of the cards makes them easy to shuffle. My game arrived a little crumpled in the mail and the box was a little torn at the bottom, so I don’t know how long it will last. The publishers have donated $10,000 to the Trevor Project, which will undoubtedly have a greater impact on our community than this bridge….. I can’t help feeling that the cover of the game symbolizes what this game really is – rainbow capitalism. I guess I’m just a pederastic cynic. My general feeling is that this game is best suited for cis women, as there isn’t much imagery outside of this aesthetic. (For those looking for a more complete deck, I suggest looking at my personal favorite, the Numinous Tarot, or the Next World Tarot if you like Christie’s cards).
Nevertheless, the deck is pretty easy to read (although I wouldn’t choose it as a deck for beginners), so if you’re familiar with the tarot, I’m sure you’ll get an accurate interpretation. If you don’t already have a game in your collection that resonates with LGBTQ+ patrons, this is an easy way to get there.