TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • You can move forward in you journey until you’re sure the oath is clear. Right now you’re letting bad choices hold you back.
  • You may believe you can stop your addictive behaviors at any time but your current direction (or lack thereof) suggests otherwise. You can’t steer your course or even trust that you’re moving in the right direction if you can’t even tell you’re not moving.
  • Complaining that you can’t get anywhere in your life when you can’t see the forest for the trees is counterproductive. You can only move out of the shadows when you finally face them and admit they exist. It’s difficult to change things when you don’t admit there is a problem.

Transformational Tarot Devil

Transformational Devil

Transformational Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games (2006) ISBN:1572815396

The Book says: Passion at it’s most primal level. Erotica and sensual pleasure. A tendency towards mischievousness. Obsession, temptation, blind impulse. Feeling out of control. Dependence upon another that can lead to misery. Self-destructive tendencies. Ignoring one’s inborn code of ethics. Lack of Balance. It may indicate an inability to trust. The seeker may be experiencing limitation in a current situation which narrow the perception of options. On the other hand this card can imply an attempt to break the chains of psychological bondage. Separation, divorce. It could also indicate pleasure in the subjugation of others: sadomasochistic tendencies.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This is the Spider Woman, the dark lady who lures you into her web and traps you before you even realize what has happened. She seduces, entices, attracts and repels. Her confidence and aura of self-control and power is a powerful bait. She is the Black Lady of whom Cher sings (“Black Lady sang and danced and lit the candles one by one”) She is attractive and soulless. able to capture you in her web and suck all your energy, all your life force. She is the eternal vampire who takes and never gives. As Billy Joel sang “she’s so fascinating that you stand there waiting while she comes in for the kill”. If she doesn’t direct the demon’s actions then at a minimum she approves and possibly enjoys them.

She could just as easily be male. Think of the lonely hearts con man – a sociopathic charmer who can smile as he empties the bank account. This Devil is the dominatrix who teaches you to beg for her abuse; the addiction which holds you in its thrall; or the lack of self-esteem that keeps you captive in a lousy situation. But the key to overcoming this Devil is being willing to say “Stop”. We only become her victims if that is what we want. If we are finally able to wake up and see how we have become trapped then we have the potential to break free. It may no be easy or fun but it can be done. But first you have to take the initiative

Mansions of the Moon Devil

Mansions of the Moon Devil

Traditional Meaning:  The Devil represents being bound by our own desires and shadow.  We could easily free ourselves from these bonds if only we stopped and thought about it.  It’s almost like the novelty toy called Chinese handcuffs – two people put one finger in each side of the object and the harder they pull away from each other the tighter the bond grows.  It is only when they work together and move towards each other that they are able to break free.  The Devil reminds us that is we don’t work with our shadow side, we are doomed to remained chained helplessly chained to it.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks of facing your shadow side, that dark, “evil”, primitive side of ourselves which we would prefer to deny even exists. Psychology has many terms for this side of human nature – the id, the anima/animus, etc. At first glance this card seems somewhat dark. The presence of the winged woman, reversed pentagram, the goat-headed female and the green demon all suggest the struggle between good and evil, between right and wrong, between heaven and hell. But if we look closer we see signs that all is not quite so gloomy. Yes, there is a darkness inherent in this card. But there is also a sign of hope.

The flaming torch may be the gift of the shadow side – enlightenment and illumination. Once we have faced the darkest side of our nature we are freed. We acquire knowledge and wisdom about ourselves and about the world. In many ways it reminds me of growing up and realizing that the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. That our parents are not perfect and don’t have all the answers. The Devil is a reminder that the challenge is not in being able to face this dark side, it is in being able to incorporate it into our being without becoming lost in it. Losing ourselves in addiction or mental illness or unhappiness means the shadow has taken over. We have the ability to face the evil in humanity without losing sight of hope and the good things. ‘

Sometimes when watching the news there is such a focus on negativity that it’s easy to forget about the positive things. This card reminds me that there are millions of ordinary, every-day people who face this darkness each day and are still able to emerge hopeful and triumphant. They can embrace, accept and forgive this darkness and not lose themselves within it.  This is something we should all aspire to achieve in our lives.

Dark Carnival 2 of Duckets Dark Carnival Queen of Axes

Dark Carnival Tarot
Created by Rachel Paul
Self-Published

Dark Carnival Strength

I first learned about the Dark Carnival Tarot at the 2013 Readers’ Studio when I won a print of the Strength card from this deck.  When I looked at the image I was blown away by the art.  It has a graffiti style with a very gritty, urban, edgy feel to it.  The cards drew me into a surreal landscape that is both familiar and frightening.

In the companion book, Rachel introduces the reader to the Dark Carnival/Juggalo worldview with its bizarre face paint, supportive community and sometimes gratuitously violent imagery.  I had never heard of this movement before and found it interesting.  I may never enter Juggalo-world myself but, other than the music, it’s not all that different from the one in which I grew up.  Perhaps that’s why this deck appeals to me so much.  Despite its otherworldly, sometimes creepy imagery, I have a feeling this deck will kick me in the teeth when necessary to force me to face facts and not sugar coat my bullshit.

The suits in this deck are Gats, Faygos (you have no idea how excited I was to realize I know what Faygos are –  they make a diet chocolate soda I love), Axes and Duckets rather than Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.  Each suit is inspired by a Juggalo musical artist:  Gats – Violent J; Faygos – Shaggy 2 Dope; Axes – Twiztid and Duckets – Blaze.

Dark Carnival King of Duckets Dark Carnival Warrior of Faygos

The Court Cards are either real or symbolic characters who populate the Dark Carnival/Juggalo world with names like Big Baby Sweets (King of Duckets) and Boondox (Warrior of Faygos).  Even as I write this I have no idea who these artists are but I don’t think it’s necessary.  I’m sure knowing gives the reader additional insights into the meanings of these cards and the energies behind their imagery but I don’t think it’s essential.  I know who Insane Clown Posse is and I’ve heard of a few of the other groups but this a lifestyle with which I’m totally unfamiliar.  It rather reminds me of a grittier, more urban group of Deadheads but that might be quite a superficial understanding.

Dark Carnival Juggla Dark Carnival Emperor

The Majors are Juggalo takes on the familiar archetypes.  Most maintain their traditional names with some having a more Dark Carnival tag added on.  For example The Magician becomes The Juggla, The Emperor is aka The Carnival of Carnage, The Star is aka The Spirit of Detroit.  Even amidst the chaotic, violent, vivid imagery there is depth, hope and insight.  Although the companion book is written in a manner reminiscent of a gangsta rap song, it has a similar depth of feeling, rawness and emotional honestly.  There is something searing and honest in this deck.

Dark Carnival Star

Rachel Paul is not trying to sugar-coat anything or pretty up reality.  She is tearing back the curtain and saying “this is my world, my reality and welcome to it.”  She reminds us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that life can bloom in the middle of a garbage strewn lot.  This deck proudly proclaims “the world is full of chaos and craziness but if you can find the truth at its core you will also find depth, meaning and beauty.”  This deck reminds us that there are various worldviews and lifestyles out there.  Each is just as valid and legitimate as another.  The Dark Carnival Tarot offers a glimpse into one of them.

I’ve used this deck for my daily draw for the past few days and must say I find it easy to read.  Although the companion book offers additional insights and background information, I think anyone familiar with Tarot could use this deck right out of the bag.  The art might not be to everyone’s tastes but if you are open to its energies I think this deck will prove quite useful for shadow work or pushing you beyond your usual preconceived notions.  So take a chance and step in the tent of the Dark Carnival Tarot.  Who knows what wonders might be revealed to you?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: