Tag Archives: tarot card interpretation

The Antique Anatomy Tarot: Review

The Antique Anatomy Tarot, published in 2019, is a delightful and quirky 78-card deck by digital artist Claire Goodchild. The imagery was inspired by the pictures in medical textbooks dating back to the Victorian age (1837-1901). In the guidebook, Goodchild explains that she was also interested in the local apothecaries used at that time—pharmacies where people bought herbal remedies and potions for any number of ailments.

Illustration from Gray’s Anatomy

Of course, the premiere medical text of the Victorian age was Gray’s Anatomy, written by Henry Gray and illustrated by Henry Vandyke Carter. This influential work and highly recognizable drawing style is well regarded to this day. True to its source of inspiration, the Antique Anatomy Tarot is densely populated with bones, body parts, and whole skeletons.

The Sun

Instead of the artwork being dry, academic, or morbid, Goodchild manages to make these figures fun, alive, and relatable. Part of it is the way the figures are decorated with flowers in nearly every card. Part of it is the frequent use of medicine bottles with labels that help with the card interpretation. Mostly, though, it’s the way Goodchild finds imaginative and whimsical ways to represent the traditional interpretations of the Rider-Waite-Smith divination system, which very much speaks to the affairs of the living.

Packaging and guidebook

The deck is beautifully packaged and is accompanied by a handsome, perfect bound guidebook. The guidebook includes pictures of each card, detailed card meanings per the RWS tradition, and numerology/astrology correspondences.

Card Back

The cards themselves are sturdy, have a matte finish, and are easy to shuffle. The backs of the cards are simple, showing the four suits—Rods (Wands), Coins (Pentacles), Blades (Swords), and Elixirs (Cups). The front of the cards have an old textbook-like, tan background, with fantastical images and bright colors that are interesting and lively.

Page of Coins

Although the guidebook explains card meanings based on the RWS tradition, the images do not duplicate the pictures of the classic deck. This is an interesting deck for beginning Tarot readers to start with, but as an FYI, there is nothing imagery-wise to connect the Antique Anatomy Tarot to the RWS. But for those familiar with RWS, these cards can help expand and deepen your Tarot card understanding.

The Emperor
The Empress

Some of my favorite cards from the Antique Anatomy Tarot are the Pages, whose skulls are clearly that of an infant (the skulls are not fused and you can clearly see the fontanelle). The Emperor and Empress are interesting in that they are almost identical images except that in the thigh area, one appears to be more “masculine” and the other more “feminine” than that other, and one appears to show more muscle and the other more bone. The Hanged Man, shows a full skeleton that is not upside down and unlike in the RWS, appears to have been hanged as a criminal.  

The Hanged Man

Some cards depict body parts other than the bones, such as Justice, which seems to be a fusion of the brain and the heart. Other cards feature medicine bottles, as in the feel-good potions in the Three of Elixirs. Others have a mixture of human elements and bottles, as in the Knight of Elixirs.

Three of Elixirs

It must be noted that Goodchild does not explain her choices when it came to the design of each card. She does not label the names of the bones or body parts. She also does not explain how the specific images she created relate to the interpretation of the card. All of this is left up to your imagination, knowledge of anatomy, or lack thereof.

Knight of Elixirs

I’m not sure why some authors choose not to explain their work in the context of the card interpretations. On the one hand, I would love to understand their thought process. But on the other hand, not knowing their reasoning allows me as a Tarot reader to tap into my own subconscious to come up with meanings. In the long run, coming up with my own reasoning helps make me a clearer channel for messages from the Universe, as told through the cards.

The World

With that small gripe aside, I absolutely love this deck. It speaks directly to the part of me who has spent many years working in the field of medical publishing. In its unique way, the Antique Anatomy Tarot strips us down to our most basic form as humans, physically and spiritually.

Tarot Card Meditation: Queen of Wands

Hi, All! I hope you all are well. The Queen of Wands shows is a master at harvesting energy, as the Wands represent fire, passion, and energy. So, this may be a good day to channel any energy you have into creative projects.

What exactly is creativity? My definition of creativity is to turn whatever you do into an expression of how you feel.

How can you express yourself today? If it’s writing or drawing, that’s great. But it could also be dancing. Just turn on some music and move: You don’t have to be a ballet dancer. Simply express how you feel with your body.

Sing along with music that mirrors how you feel today. Or, gather up different flowers and make your own flower arrangement.

You don’t have to limit yourself to expressing only happy emotions. If you need to let out some anger or sadness, find creative ways (that don’t hurt you or others) to express those emotions.

There are as many ways to express yourself as there are people in the world. Find the way that uniquely expresses you. 

What is creativity to you? How do you express yourself creatively? Feel free to share in the comments. Have a great day. (A version of this post originally appeared on my Patreon page on June 15, 2019.)

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The Suit of Swords in Tarot: Tarot Card Meanings

The suit of Swords in Tarot talks about thought, verbal communication, decision making, and mental clarity.  In this video, I explain each card in the suit of Swords, giving broad definitions.

Please like, share, and subscribe. Also, I’d love to hear your comments.

Ms. Joyce Tarot on YouTube: Mission Statement

Hi, all! This video is an official welcome to my YouTube channel.

It describes what I do: I am a spiritual consultant who uses Tarot as a tool to help empower people become their authentic selves.

I lay out my schedule: I post a card-of-the-day video every weekday around 8:00 a.m. On Saturdays around 10:00 a.m., I post a video talking about spirituality in general, Tarot card interpretation, and other similar topics.

I also ask people to hop on this train as we continue our spiritual journey. Subscribe! 🙂

The Suit of Cups in Tarot: Tarot Card Meanings

The suit of Cups in Tarot talks about emotions, especially love. In this video, I explain each card in the suit of cups, giving broad definitions. Feel free to comment on your own take on the suit of Cups. Also subscribe to my channel and give it a thumbs up.