Category Archives: Tarot Talk

Review: The Angel Tarot


Box, booklet, and deck

I recently started working with a new Tarot deck called the Angel Tarot, published by CICO Books. It’s a 78-card deck based on the Rider-Waite system. Included with the cards is a 64-page booklet written by clairvoyant Jayne Wallace.

The packaging has vibrant, bright colors and the artwork on the box drew me to this deck instantly. I felt a strong, compassionate, reassuring energy just by handling these cards. The card stock is good — just the right amount of sturdy and flexible.

Back of the cards

Angel-Like Characters
The images on the Major Arcana and Court cards feature characters with angel wings. The blurb on the box says that the cards are “angel-inspired.” There is no indication that these “angels” are necessarily associated with beings such as Archangel Michael, Raphael, or others from any of the various religious belief systems.   And to me, that is a strength of the cards — that they are not overly bogged down with a lot of preconceived ideas. As a result, the characters can be seen as angels, spirit guides, or any type of being that resonates with you.

Differences from the Rider-Waite Deck
If you are familiar with the traditional Rider Waite deck, you may know that the images have a lot of detail in them and there is a lot of symbolism from Christianity, astrology, Kabbalah, and more. By contrast, the images on the Angel Tarot are beautifully drawn but simpler. To give a hint at the cards’ meaning, the Angel Tarot cards include keywords that are close to the meaning of the corre

Fool card comparison

sponding card in the Rider-Waite deck.

For example, with the Rider-Waite Fool card, the color of the sky, the pattern on the Fool’s clothing, and the flower the person is carrying all have a significance, according to traditional interpretation. On the other hand, the image of the Angel Tarot Fool does not have that type of symbolism. Instead, the words “Angel of Innocence” are written on the bottom of the card. The idea of “innocence” is the bare bones meaning of the Fool card in the Rider-Waite deck.

The Moon, Rider-Waite
The Moon, The Angel Tarot

I like the simplicity of the Angel Tarot because to my mind, it doesn’t carry the tremendous weight of lore and tradition that the Rider-Waite deck carries with it. I find that some Tarot readers try to cram in every bit of symbolism of the Rider-Waite cards when they do a reading, even when it doesn’t really fit the situation. There is a danger of getting bogged down in tradition instead of really answering a person’s question. I believe that there is less chance of that happening with the Angel Tarot. The reader is better able to focus more on the question and channel a meaningful message, with the lighter energy of the Angel Tarot Deck serving to help guide the reader’s own intuition.

Major versus Minor Arcana

Images on the Minor Arcana are minimalist

The images in the Angel Tarot are most detailed with the Major Arcana cards and the Court cards in the Minor Arcana (Cups, Swords, Pentacles, and Wands). The number cards are like a regular deck of playing cards, with the pips drawn against the background of wings (no angels in them).  Again, on the bottom of each card is a descriptive word that matches with the concept of the traditional Rider-Waite card. So with the  Angel Tarot Four of Cups, for example, the word “Indifference” is written on the bottom of the card. But the image on the card of Four Cups doesn’t help to interpret the Angel Tarot card the way is does on the corresponding Rider-Waite card.

Rider-Waite Four of Cups full of symbolism

Some people may think that it would be hard to read the Angel Tarot without prior knowledge of Rider-Waite. But I’m not so sure about that. The key words definitely help. Also, the booklet gives a bit of guidance on how to interpret the cards. (It also suggests that the suits represent the four elements.)

Even with my knowledge of Rider-Waite, if I were doing a reading for someone with the Angel Tarot cards, I could look at the Four of Cups card to think about the word

“indifference,” and use it as a tool to channel a message from the Universe for the person. Without relying strictly on my memory of traditional card meanings,  I would draw on the idea that the suit of Cups relates to the element of water; I would use a similar concept of the elements when it comes to Swords (Air), Wands (Fire), and Pentacles (Earth).

In other words, I think a person using the Angel Tarot could draw on their knowledge of  Rider-Waite as much or as little as they feel comfortable. In fact, with the key words on the Angel Tarot cards, you could start reading the cards immediately with absolutely no knowledge of Rider-Waite or any other system. You could simply use free association based on the card and key word sitting in front of you.

Ethnic Diversity
One of my favorite  characteristics of the Angel Tarot deck is that there is a multicultural flavor to it. I truly appreciate that the “angels” seem to come from various ethnicities and some of them are racially ambiguous. I applaud this effort toward inclusiveness.

Conclusion
Although I am a huge fan of the Rider-Waite deck and I respect its rich traditional symbolism, it can be a challenge to interpret the cards freely based on modern thinking, modern culture, and individual spiritual guidance. When I use the Rider-Waite deck, I find myself tailoring the reading to resonate with my sensibilities and guidance, as I think everyone should.

Ms. Joyce holding the World card

With that being said, it’s nice to have so many other decks to choose from, including the Angel Tarot,  to offer a fresh perspective on traditional interpretations and to help the mind expand to new horizons.

Long story short,  I really love the Angel Tarot deck and I would encourage anyone to give these cards a try.

Any comments? Have you had experience with this deck? Let me know!

Tarot Talk: The Suit of Wands


When a card in the suit of Wands turns up for the Daily Card or in a personal reading, we’re dealing with a strong urge to perform an action and get things moving. We could call that urge “passion” or the need to express how you feel through your deeds. You can be passionate about many things, but the most common areas with the Wands are work/career and sexual feelings.

Many times, the energy of the Wands has to do with ambition, wanting to achieve success, and taking the necessary steps to get what you want. You may have to take a leadership role to get what you want and thus organize people to help you reach a goal. The Wands also indicates having good ideas and coming up with ways to bring these ideas to light. They symbolize the creative spark.

When it comes to sex, the Wands represent desire, attraction, and the ability to express these feelings. The Wands can also be a symbol of fertility, which ties into the idea of creativity.

The King and Queen of Wands represent examples of how the masculine and feminine energy can each use leadership, charisma, and sexuality in the most balanced way possible. (In fact, the King and Queen of each suit represent mastery of their particular element.)

The Wands represent fiery energy, which means being passionate, taking action, and taking charge. When related to astrology, the Wands are associated with the fire signs — namely Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.

In a personal reading, the position of the card in the spread, the question, and intuition, among other things, help determine what each card means specifically. For the daily card, I clear my head and ask the Universe to show me what message the group as a collective needs to hear. I allow the card to pop out of of the deck as I shuffle. Then I interpret the card based on intuition and channeling.

As a result, any card can have an infinite number of interpretations, depending on the circumstance. But when I see a Wand, I have my first clue as to which general direction I’m going in.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Comments are welcome.

(If you would like a personal email reading, take a look at the options available at my Etsy shop. )

Tarot Talk: The Suit of Cups


When a card in the suit of Cups turns up for the Daily Tarot Card or in a personal reading, the interpretation of it will touch upon the emotions in some way or form.  Generally speaking, the emotion that the Cups leans heavily toward is love. Some would say, myself included, that love — or feeling the lack of love — is the basis of every other emotion there is. In the Tarot, very often, the Cups give a clue as to how to gain emotional stability so that you feel safe and loved, as well as how to give love to others.

The King and Queen of Cups represent examples of how the masculine and feminine energy, respectively, use emotional energy to its best advantage. (In fact, King and Queen of each suit represent mastery of their particular element.)

The Cups represent watery energy, which means being receptive, intuitive, creative, and fluid. When related to astrology, the Cups are associated with the water signs — namely Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

In a personal reading, the position of the card in the spread, the question, and intuition, among other things, help determine what each card means specifically. For the daily card, I clear my head and ask the Universe to show me what message the group as a collective needs to hear. I allow the card to pop out of of the deck as I shuffle. Then I interpret the card based on intuition and channeling.

As a result, any card can have an infinite number of interpretations, depending on the circumstance. But when I see a Cup, at least I know which general direction I’m going in.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Comments are welcome.

(If you would like a personal email reading, take a look at the options available at my Etsy shop. )