Monday, March 16, 2015

The King's Journey Tarot -- Bordered Edition - A review

I got an email from my firned Christine Aguiar who is working with James Battersby on the highly anticipated Cultural Revolution Tarot, asking me if I was up for doing a review of James' latest deck. The King's Journey Tarot - Bordered Edition that she was working on.

Knowing how amazing the original deck was, of course I said, yes, so here is the review.

Now some of you may be thinking, "HEY! I have that deck in my collection!"... and you'd be mostly right. The original King's Journey Tarot was published in 2010 by my friends, Chanel Bayless and James Battersby. As you can see, the cards had no borders or numbers and the reader was left to decipher the card by the image. A stunning deck, but many young readers find it difficult to connect with.

James says that he'd always wanted the borders and numbers, especially since he is an artist first and comes to the tarot by way of his art.

This new release is THAT desire come to fruition.

Chanel declined participating in this deck revival as she walks a different pathway, so James called on Tarotist, Christine Aguiar to help him to stay true to the card meanings.

Well, yesterday I opened the deck. It came wrapped in printed newspaper that I had to take great care not to rip. And in a purple and silver tulle drawstring bag.

My first thought as I fanned the deck? What beautiful colours.

The Borders really stand out and lineate the cards. James has inked beautiful Celtic designs all the way around the cards that frame the images beautifully while creating a frame under which the names of the cards have been painted on scrolls.

He's suitably chosen colours to match the images; green for Coins, blue for cups, yellow for swords and pink for wands and lavender for the Major Arcana.

If you are an owner of the original deck, the first thing you notice is the minimization of the beautiful images that James painted. The artwork is absolutely stunning. I understand why Chanel chose him to work with originally.

This deck is less shocking in its presentation, which, in my mind, is going to make it far easier to be used by tarotists as their working deck.

Per my usual procedure for getting to know a deck, my first action is to have a conversation with the deck to see how well it thinks it can read for me.

Decks never lie, and it doesn't matter how well or how poorly they are painted.

Well, this deck responded to my request for introduction with the Hierophant.

Which is to say, I will be your teacher.

At first, I thought it was a pretty arrogant response for a deck to take with me, but, the voices I hear when I read are so varied, I didn't think much of it... yet.

Having had a little chat with the deck, I will do a series of cold readings for people. Usually, I'll do them on one of my tarot groups where I am exposed to other readers, but this time, decided that I wanted to show off my "talent" to a group of friends who live in my area but aren't familiar with my reading ability.

So, I offered a series where I would do a Tarot Twreading for whoever in that group wants one.

I got about 20 takers.

The most impressive image of the day was when the Seven of Swords presented itself in a reading to represent a group of bikers. The querant tells me that the young woman peeking out from behind the tree is VERY reminiscent of her. She showed me a photo, and so it is.

Needless to say, the cards sang to me, they gave me information and images that I have yet to truly experience with any previous deck. My heavens this deck is lovely to talk with. I like it, like it, like it.

The learning curve for a deck is often tricky for tarot readers as the tarot images are sometimes vivid and clear and other times obscure and difficult.

These images are anything BUT obscure. Testament to its beginnings with Chanel's knowlege and expertise of the tarot and James skill as an artist, these images are quite expressive.

Now, I'm an intuitive reader and I only really know the "book meanings" of the Tarot because most artists paint them. In this case, the paint is true (at least for the cards I've read with so far). And since my readings don't care if I understand Tarot or not, the images in these cards work very, very well with my intuition and as an extension, my spirit guide, Melody.

I invite you to read this deck. I hope you find it as warm, friendly and talkative I have. And if not, it is a beautiful addition to your collection.

Thanks to Christine and James for gifting me this beautiful voice. I truly look forward to offering it as one of my working decks.