Pagan Paths

Carl Jung's ideas have been influencing the development of Neo-Paganism from its inception in the 1960s and 1970s. But what if Jung's ideas have been misunderstood by many Pagans: literalized on the one hand and oversimplified on the other? What fresh insights can a Jungian Neo-Paganism contribute to Pagan discourse and practice today? And might Jungianism serve as a bridge between the earth-centered and deity-centered Pagan communities?

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My Favorite Tarot Decks

Before I talk about tarot as a Jungian Neo-Pagan practice, I want to take a time out and share some of my favorite tarot decks with you.

Mary-El Tarot by Marie White

My absolutely favorite deck is the Mary-El Tarot.  I waited literally years for Marie White to finish this deck.  It is non-traditional and based on White's own fantastic oil paintings.  I could stare at the art of any one of these cards for a long time.  I think the Death and World cards below are especially lovely.  If I had more space, I would have included several of the Minor Arcana cards as well.  

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Archeon Tarot by Timothy Lantz

The Archeon Tarot is a non-traditional deck using digital collage.  It's got a dream like quality that lends itself to Jungian practice.

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Robin Wood Tarot by Robin Wood

The Robin Wood Tarot is a great deck for Neo-Pagans.  It uses a traditional format with Neo-Pagan imagery.  The Magician and High Priestess cards below are good examples of the Neo-Pagan imagery.

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Golden Tarot by Kat Black

I picked up the Golden Tarot deck at Pantheacon this year, but I'd had my eye on it for years.  It consists of sumptuous collages from paintings from the Middle ages and early Renaissance.  I like this deck for the sense of history it conveys.  Make sure you don't confuse Kat Black's Golden Tarot with the much inferior deck Liz Dean by the same name.

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Vertigo Tarot by Dave McKean

This is the first Tarot deck I ever owned.  I bought it when I was a teenager, long before I was Neo-Pagan.  The Vertigo Tarot is a surreal deck based on characters from the Vertigo comics.  The art is by the Sandman cover artist, Dave McKean. Those with even a passing familiarity with Neil Gaiman's work should recognize John Constantine (Helblazer), Death (Sandman), and Timothy Hunter (Books of Magic) in the cards below.

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I've used King and Queen of Pentacles from the Vertigo Tarot for my altar to represent the Masculine and Feminine Divine.  (I'll give $10 to the first person who can anyone identify where I got the ram's skull above the King of Pentacles card.)

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I'd love to hear what your favorite Tarot decks are.  Share in the comments!

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John discovered Jungianism and Neo-Paganism at the same time through the writings of Vivianne Crowley, Margot Adler, and Starhawk, and the two have remained intertwined for him ever since.  John is the managing editor at HumanisticPaganism.com, a community blog for Naturalistic Pagans. He also writes about his spiritual quest on his blog The Allergic Pagan (www.patheos.com/blogs/allergicpagan/), where he explores his personal religious history, Paganism, UUism, and Jungianism.

Comments

  • Danielle Aubenque
    Danielle Aubenque Monday, 14 April 2014

    I too have the original Vertigo deck and it's my personal deck. I have the Geiger and Black tarot too. I use Crow's Magic for readings for others as it's easier for others.

    I see a few I need to add to my collection. Thank you!

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