Tarot for the 21st Century!
What better way to review/interview a new deck, but to take it out for a spin? One of the newest decks to hit the market, and one I have personally anxiously awaited, the Simply Deep Tarot by Chanel Bayless and James Battersby, has been released this month by Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
So, what is “Simply Deep Tarot“, you might ask.
“A Rider Waite-style, 78-card Tarot deck designed to help a reader immediately connect with traditional meanings of the cards. Using a basic viewpoint, these vibrantly painted cards implore you to delve deeper on an emotional level, yet still supply interesting little nuances to everyday life. The booklet includes exercises allowing you to bond with your personal story through each card and describes the benefits of achieving emotional detachment energetically. Each card is defined in both upright and reversed meanings with keywords included. Find out how simple it is to read the Tarot and explore you own personal story!”
In the booklet, Chanel answers the question, “So How Do I Go in Deep?” with a one card technique that I hope to demonstrate here. First, think of the question you would like to have answered as you shuffle the cards. Next, draw a card that represents the answer to your question. You can use the booklet to help you identify the base meaning to give you a starting point.
Now, look at your card studying any details that you notice. What grabs your attention? Is it an image, a color, a feeling, or maybe a symbol? How does that symbol relate to your question? Does it have any personal meaning to you? Does it remind you of anything? Once you have determined its significance to you, write it down. Continue to do this until you are satisfied there is nothing else you can pull from the card. Once you are satisfied with this step, take a look at your list and read the story you created. As you do this, don’t be surprised when more ideas or phrases pop up to help answer your question. There is an excellent example in the booklet for this exercise, but I will try a reading for myself using the example given as a template.
My question: “What are the most important things I will learn from working with the Simply Deep Tarot?”and I drew The Empress. My list:
- Butterflies – transformation, metamorphosis
- Swan – grace, beauty, transformation
- Water – depths, emotions, surface,
- Veil – See-thru, transparent
- Green garland – Smell of flowers & growing things
- Red Roses – Love
- Red cushion – Comfort
Already you can see how the story is practically writing itself in answer to my question.
Butterflies go through a metamorphosis to change from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Everything and everyone is in a constant state of change and evolving into something new. The Simply Deep Tarot will evolve with me as I transform and grow. The grace and beauty I see in the Swan as she floats serenely across the water goes hand in hand with qualities I see in the archetype, Empress. Effortlessly she makes her journey with hardly a ripple in her passing. The transformation involved in her journey is slow and steady (i.e. from the ugly duckling to the beautiful swan) but, ever growing with proper care, patience, and nurturing, as most assuredly the garland flowers and roses received. The water is a vast well of emotions where only the surface can easily be seen and yet I know there are many varied depths to travel through and across. The almost transparent veil, will allow me to see deeper into those depths. One thing I didn’t include in my list is the color green. Not only is it my favorite color, but I also associate it with growth. Without change and transformation, there is no growth. The butterflies and roses remind me also of Death, one of my birth cards, which as we know is all about transformation.
What seemed to be a fairly simplistic question gave me a lot of layers and insight by using this technique. What a fun and informative exercise!
Now, let’s take a look at the Aces, the Ace of Swords first. One of the aspects to the suit of swords is clear communication. The main idea (as I see it) behind this Ace is that the pen is mightier than the sword. The advice given is to be honest about your thoughts so you can see with great clarity the decision you need to make. In the open-awed expression on the child’s face in the Ace of Wands, we can see that first spark of imagination, energy, and excitement, associated with the suit in general and this Ace in particular. Elemental correspondences for the suits are easily identifiable. Swords/Air, Coins/Earth, Cups/Water, and Wands/Fire.
I’ve picked some of the cards from the deck that I was really drawn to. The booklet that accompanies the deck is a step up from what we would normally call a lwb (little white book). Each card is represented with a black and white image, keywords, and meanings, both upright and reversed. For example, the keywords listed for the Sun – Happy; Spontaneous; Playful. Four of Wands – Graduated; Celebration; Accomplishment. Three of Swords – Jealousy; Regret; Separation. The Star – Hope; Optimism; Inner beauty. The booklet is 96 pages and includes a short bio for both Chanel and James.
The court consists of King, Queen, Knight, and Princess. Strength is at 8 and Justice at 11. The 22 Major Arcana have retained the traditional names most of us are used to seeing in RWS clone decks. The palette runs from pale soft pastel to bright and vivid. The card stock is sturdy with a gloss finish and they measure 2.75 x 4.5 inches, which make them shuffle nicely. The backs are reversible.
The Chariot is the one card that stumped me though. So I asked Chanel to give me a little insight into the meaning of the image. This was her reply.
“I was trying to capture the idea of the Urim and Thummim. Basically, the idea is that we have a right to choose our path. This time, our ‘Chariot Driver’ is actually standing with this sacred vest, just as a high priest would. Normally, the high priest would ‘decide a sinner via divination’. However, here.. it is more the path of the lesser evil. This breastplate has also been known as the Tablet of Destiny. In this, we can see the chariot driver as being in control of his destiny with Divine insight. Thus, mind over matter concept taken to a different level. He is not running blind, he is taking the insights from outside of him, using divination (Divine Guidance) in order to make a choice that will ultimately change your destiny in life.“
Thanks Chanel! For more information on this concept and it’s origins, follow the link above.
The deck and booklet come beautifully packaged in a self-contained box that is perfect for storage when the cards are not in use. Ribbon hinges hold the metallic close lid, making it very functional. This, I believe will quickly become a workhorse deck and can be used with ease by novice as well as master, right out of the box.
In closing I would like to share a few more images, especially my favorite, The World. I fell in love with this version of the World from the first time I saw it.
Completion; Success; Protection. Each time you reach another phase of completion, another root firmly plants in the ground to support your core.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy these added images from the Simply Deep Tarot.