Quarantine Tarot: My Top 2020 Decks

A year.  An entire year now in basic quarantine.  Even as we phase to reopening, we have only recently become vaccinated enough to start hanging out more, planning events.  Like many tarot readers, I found myself incredibly blacked-out divination-wise during the lockdown.  I didn't want to explore the past, present or future.  I was tired of seeing disaster on every horizon, grief in every path... I just took a break and started focusing on practical crafts to keep my wandering mind busy.  The crushing anxiety of a pandemic, chronic illness, book release and personal losses made everything about reading for my path (or anyone else) just a nauseating thought.  And frankly, I've never gone so long in my life without being asked for a reading, which was honestly a breath of fresh air.  

But, all that aside, I never let go of my love for the cards.  I kept the collection growing, exploring what these incredible authors and artists from around the world have to offer.  And while 2020 may have been the dickiest year I've ever lived through, I have never been so impressed with the direction that cartomancy is taking. If you have been at a loss for inspiration and direction after a year sitting with this ridiculous nonsense of a past year, then maybe some of these fabulous offerings from 2020/21 will give you some fire.  I mean, these decks are fire.


1. The Infernal Tarot by E. Pollitt


I had begun backing this project in 2020 and it is a phenomenal deck, one that should prove very interesting for readers into that old-world demonology vibe.  Bendy, smooth, thinner cardstock, great gold edges, the etching/woodblock style is fascinating and the colors were a nice slash against the more muted background.


2. Materia Prima by Uusi


Uusi is basically the premium deck maker of our day with some really astonishing offerings in their catalogue, this large deck based on the periodic elements and their relationship to our universe is an interconnected journey through the spiritual interpretation of science and really takes some getting used to.  Those who know their chemistry will really excel with this deck, but people a little less familiar with the science will need to make sure they get the booklet that accompanies.  Perfect cardstock, silky and probably some of the highest quality you can get. Unboxing below...


3. Jonasa Jaus 5th Edition

Every green witch in the world needs this deck.  It's literally green!  And yellow, and black, and white.  It's seriously a wonderful pallet.  Floral, feminine, sensual and emotional, it is my favorite overall artwork for the 2020 picks and I highly recommend ordering her other editions as well.  What I loved was that the cards tell everyone a different story, and they tell me the story of a lush, wild, shaded garden and a woman's romantic journey through it. All of the editions are fascinating, and this edition is wider than a typical deck, but not too difficult to shuffle.  I'm a big fan of the overall aesthetic and you will be too. Unboxing below...


4. Ad Orbita

A wonderful offering through Old Rose Press is an interesting combination of nature and space, teaming planets and stars with rooted vines and seashells.  For those who prefer to do some work in interpreting and who dig the poetry of the abstract, this deck is very appealing.  While the cards are a bit heavy, and the deck is thick enough to be a little difficult for a traditional shuffle, I can't complain because as always, the quality is just so damn fine and the simplicity is refreshing.


5. True Heart Intuitive Tarot

Beloved figure in the world of witchy media Rachel True brings us a long awaited gift that really stood out last year in the best way.  Offering hope, guidance, positivity, color and inclusion, this deck was a splash of good vibes in a dreary year, and really reflects the wonderful evolution of tarot styles.  Frankly this is the deck I'd get anyone looking to start because it is so easily interpreted.  The packaging was great, the accompanying booklet was thorough and useful and frankly the whole thing looks really unique and classic at the same time.


Seriously, if you need to reawaken during these, the vaccine times, then these decks are ready to guide you.

North American Witches

Cover-art by A. Jimenez, from Folkloric Witchcraft and the Multicultural Experience by Via Hedera


Nightflyer, Spirit Wanderer-  we fly in our dreams, or by other means, alone or in teams, under moon beams, on the backs of horses, without their skins, to the hilltop with the Devil and all of his friends.


Shapeshifter-
changing into beetles, black and fat; wandering through keyholes as a frog or a cat. To unshoe horses or just to make mischief, or to haunt the barn like a common milk-thief.


Healer- of the living


Hexer- unforgiving


Diviner of unknown things: tells fortunes from eggs and rings, makes friends with the damned and reads omens in hands and sees whatever your future will bring.


Conjuror of spirits- who dwells between worlds, who opens doors for the dead; and makes spirits tremble as they wander the wood, in awe, and in honor, and dread.


Speaker to bees,

Fly as we please;

Worshiping at idols,

And braiding our bridles.

Knotting up love charms,

Cursing your side-arms.

Summoning the blue-jay,

keeping rivals away,

put lizards inside you,

make nightmares that ride you.

Snake-rooter, dairy looter,

Hair-ball and bullet-shooter.

Hilltop matron,

Crossroad patron.

Hair-tangler--

Mind-mangler;

Bone-boiler,

And body oiler.

Through a keyhole,

And through the sieve;

Dancing at Midsummer and All Hallows' Eve.

Through thick, through thin
and way over the hillside;
we are new world witches,
and that's how we ride.

-Via Hedera

Vernal Awakening: News, Revisions and Spring


Awakening:

It's up to the cherry blossoms and dandelions now... it's up to the sun and the new day.

Whoa this has been a lot.  I mean a lot.  Have you ever stood in the shallows only to look over your shoulder at a massive wave as it inevitably rolls towards you?  I have.  I remember that moment on a beach in California.  Vague memories of visiting the wildlife center, and then down to a crowded beach with waves so sudden and high, they scared me to death.  That what Spring has been since last I wrote here- a tremendous wave coming right at me.  Thrilling, fun, daunting, humbling, sad.

Out there, beyond the walls of pre-vaccinated restrictions, there is a world itching to open up.  We plan to hit the road for summer, see the Oregon high desert, Yosemite, the Bay and back up the Coast again, scouting new living locations along the way.  We're westerners to our bones and prefer to stay over here, but the world is changing and it's time to go see it.  Spring is about movements, and we are all so jittery.

If you're feeling very jittery, one way to pass the time is by going outside- to the garden, wide-open parks, to the greenbelts, national parks to places where the land is greening and changing (and you can be safely distanced from others).  Watch those changes each time you go to a place, the turning of buds overnight into bushels of flowers, the awakening of spiders in every corner.  Remind yourself that life is a cycle, and it is always changing to a rhythm.  Not much left to do after that but dance the jitters out.


Spring:

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel?  Featuring folk charms in real life; everything from clay withering hearts, to tarot unboxing, to black witch-bottles  The channel hasn't been updated in a little while due to winter/covid, but now that the daylight has returned, so will the videos.  I'm working on covering every aspect of folk-magic that I find interesting, including rat-letters and egg fortunes.  Mostly. I'm aiming to get better equipment and take more time to show off the beauty of the Northwest.

Updates:

Last I wrote here, I was waxing poetic on the sweetness of Valentines Day, but since then there's been a lot of spring changes; small improvements to my long declining lung health, a scheduled vaccine, a new bunny buddy, a book debuted to kind and compassionate responses, I've finished a bunch of deadlines and now have more time for art, parks volunteer opportunities are restarting for the spring, I'm transferring to complete my major, looking to leave the area and start new adventures elsewhere... but then again, who isn't trying to move right now?   Seems like the pandemic has given us all the itch to get closer to family and further from the expense of the metro areas...  I guess we're all free-falling a bit, standing before the wave...

I've been getting a lot of wonderful questions and feedback about my statues, the writing and some of my social media content and it's been incredibly humbling and kind.  Being able to speak with the fine folk over at That Witch Life Podcast was a highlight of my year honestly, they were so welcoming and forward and funny and open-- it's that kind of energy that makes me grateful for the community we've built- a sentiment I expressed recently with Cory over at New World Witchery Podcast.  It's always a pleasure to speak to Cory, to bond over our mutual appreciation for so much magical shit in the world.  And if you somehow didn't know, Cory has a new book out that you simply MUST have in your collection!

Those of us flying free on that wild magic seem to be coalescing into a mutually respectful and supportive niche community of witchy weirdos and being able to nerd out like this the last month or two has brought me some incredible peace at a time of incredible fear and stress in the world.  A huge de-stressor was hanging with Lori over at My American Melting Pot Podcast and vibing on the mystique and media of witchery.  Hanging out with so many writer and speakers and thinkers in the world of multiculturalism and magic has been incredibly humbling, and I'm thankful for it.


Authors Note: A Vital Revision to Folkloric Witchcraft and the Multicultural Experience: A Crucible at a Crossroads

In the process of writing and publishing we meet all sorts of challenges and difficulties.  Most authors I talk to walk away feeling just a little more anxiety, as there are always parts of their books that needed  a seconds more attention in the editing process.  While there are a few noticeable inconsistencies in the punctuation and typeface, a glaring error that must be addressed is the misidentification of the tribal affiliation of story-teller Vi Hilbert, who belongs to the Upper Skagit people of the Pacific Northwest and is a revered figure in the cultural restoration movement of Lushootseed-speaking tribes of the Puget Sound.  It is imperative that I correctly identify this elder and I apologize for this mis-affiliation and ask that readers please make a note of this change going forward in current editions, and be aware that that e-books will be updated and print editions revised going forward.  With love, support and acknowledgement to the first people of the Pacific Northwest and their traditional territories.


"by way of ivy"
via Hedera
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