Symbolically Speaking

Exploring the symbols, metaphors and archetypal patterns found in myth, pop culture, nature, literature, astrology, religion, psychology, Tarot, art and history--and why they matter.

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Janet Boyer

Janet Boyer

Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot and Tarot in Reverse, as well as the co-creator (with her husband, artist Ron Boyer) of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot. With her sixteen-year-old son, she created the Boyer Charming Oracle. Currently, Janet is working on her third and fourth traditionally-published Tarot books--Naked Tarot (Dodona Books, 2015) and 365 Tarot: Daily Meditations (Dodona Books, 2015). As a respected, trusted Amazon Hall of Fame/Vine Reviewer, she's penned over 1,200 published reviews that have also been featured in print magazines and other online outlets. In addition to being a Tarot teacher, author, deck creator and professional reader, she is also a frequent radio guest (and former host), essayist, short story writer and homeschooling Mom. Her hobbies include cultivating flowers, tending biota, watching retro TV on DVDs (60s + 70s), trying new recipes (she's an award-winning cook), serving as a Patron of the Arts, photography and reading (especially mysteries/suspense). Visit Janet online at JanetBoyer.com.

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Ghetto Tarot

A group of Haitian artists have taken the Rider-Waite-Smith iconography and turned them into a vibrant, colorful photographic interpretation called the Ghetto Tarot. You can find out more about the project at IndieGoGo here

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AuraScopes Zodiac Cards and Prints

Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab--Zodiac symbols are arguably one of the most recognizable motifs in the world.

Kayti Welsh, who brought us the 78 Tarot collaborative deck, has teamed up once again with different designers to create a fun, sparkly take on the 12 Zodiac symbols with AuraScopes--a set of greeting cards, metallic prints and T-shirts. 

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Earthbound Oracle Deck

Here's another wonderful deck currently crowdfunding: The Earthbound Oracle Deck by Amy Swartz. I own her Majors-only Wooden Tarot, and it's gorgeous. She paints on wood, and those images are then turned into cards. 

You can support Amy's latest project on Kickstarter at this link (I did).

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Tarot of Bones

Just discovered (and backed) a unique Tarot deck called the Tarot of Bones. Images will be made using actual bones and nature art photographs from the creator, Lupa. Check it out at this link.

I love her video and idea, connecting the "bones" of nature to the symbolism and archetypes of Tarot. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tiffany Lazic
    Tiffany Lazic says #
    I am very excited about this project. I saw Lupa at Paganicon and attended one of her workshops. Love her work and am excited to s
  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    My pleasure, Tiffany! I can't wait to get this deck in my hands.

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Mystical Cats Tarot
There’s a handful (or two) of feline Tarots on the market, but by far the best of them is the Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and Mickie Mueller.
 
Rather than anthropomorphisizing cats or merely posing them in Rider-Waite-Smith scenarios and stances, the creators took on the challenging task of portraying them in alignment with their varied natures: curious, mischievous, playful, mesmerized, predatory and—of course—lounging. 
 
Some of the 22 Major Arcana have been renamed (I’ll list them later) and the 16 Court Cards become Kitten (Page), Tom (Knight), Queen and King. The 40 Minor Arcana cards are divided into clans: Fire (Wands), Sea (Cups), Sky (Swords) and Earth (Pentacles). Weatherstone says of the four clans:
 
“Although every cat is unique, they have common affinities and traits that are determined by their clans, both by heritage and by clan culture. It would be difficult for an independent Sky Cat to feel at home among collective-minded Earth Cats, or for a dreamy and psychic Sea Cat to understand the restless urge for adventure that motivates a Fire Cat. Your own cats also belong to one of the clans, though they may not choose to reveal it to you. By observation and deepening your knowledge of clan characteristics, you may come to know them better—and know yourself better as well.”
 
Mystic Cats 19As with all her Tarot deck companion books, Weatherstone’s prose proves spiritually insightful and psychologically relevant, not to mention an enormously enjoyable read. For every card, she shares a general overview as well as sage “cat’s advice” for both upright and reversed images.
 
Mueller’s watercolor renderings are adorable, perfectly capturing cat antics both expected and impenetrable. What I love most about her art for the Mystical Cats Tarot, though, is her conscious act of adding herbal infusions to watercolors as part of her artistic process. Catnip made it into the paint for every image, while various card-specific herbs were included based on significance and symbolism. For example, the artist incorporated ginkgo leaf and olive into the Stars card (ginkgo is noted for its memory-enhancing qualities).
 
Thirteen artist sketches with collaborative notes between Weatherstone and Mueller serves as a nice touch to the 201-page companion book, giving us a behind-the-scenes peek into the often demanding work of deck creation. (Weatherstone’s notes to Mueller about raising up a cat’s head with the flehmen response so it doesn’t look like a Mystical Cat hairball is too funny!)
 
Cards measure approximately 4 ½ x 2 ¾ inches with a flexible, satin finish card stock that shuffles like a dream, while the attractive mirror-image cat’s paw motif on back is ideal for reading reversals. 
 
There are four spreads included in the companion book, and I’ve tried the 3-card Shield of Sekhmet layout with great success. I look forward tot trying the Nine Lives Spread sometime this year (on a momentous occasion). 
 
I’ve used the Mystical Cats Tarot several times within the last few months, and find it extraordinarily accurate—and a delight to use. Whether this is because of Weatherstone and Mueller’s talent or from owning (and loving) cats I can’t be sure. But if you DO adore cats, this is THE Tarot to own, in my opinion. 
 
Here’s a rundown of the (mostly) re-titled Major Arcana cards:
 
Mystic Cats 20The Cat (Fool)
Cat Magic (Magician)
The Priestess (High Priestess)
The Empress
The Emperor
The Priest (Hierophant)
The Lovers
The Chariot
Strength
The Hermit
The Wheel (Wheel of Fortune)
Consequences (Justice)
The Floating Cat (Hanged Man)
Death
Grace (Temperance)
Demon Cat (Devil)
The Tower
Stars (The Stars)
Moon
Sun
Good Kitty (Judgment)
The World
 
To see 18 additional images from this deck, click here.
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Seeing Red - Symbolism of Red for Romance, Love and Sex

Quick: Think of symbols relating to love, romance and sex.

If you're reading this near Valentine's Day, you've already been bombarded with ads, decorations and posts that likely feature many symbols tied to these areas.

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Using Symbolic Charms for Insight

I'm always on the lookout for symbols, stringing them together like mystical pearls--or, perhaps, like magical mala beads inscribed with sacred prayers, spiritual insight and everyday wisdom--begging for me to decode and apply their particular meaning for my life. 

If you think about it, everything we tell ourselves is a story--including the way we decode symbols.

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