Tarot for the 21st Century!
Feng Shui Tarot, by Peter Paul and Eileen Connolly
publisher: U.S. Games
Very effective in its symbolism - this deck speaks through constant and consistent application of a set of rules. The more you handle and work with this deck, the more those symbols make total sense. A background in studying I Ching or Feng Shui would be helpful but not necessary. Just a good study of the book, and frequent handling of the cards is all that you need.
Majors remain consistent with the following two changes:
Death has been renamed Transition and the Devil, Materialism.
Green Dragon = pentacles
Red Phoenix = cups
Black Tortoise = wands
White Tiger = swords
With the pips, only the court cards bear illustrations with humans while the numbered cards use the animal of the suit in a given environment, involved in a particular action that illustrates the way elements combine and give you a sense of your situation. Animal combines with landscape features ( which have distinct meanings) plus action to render a complete situation in a very effective way.
As an example: In practice, wood element and metal element are hostile towards each other. Therefore, on a card which brings those two elements together, you have a situation of conflict. What is so striking in its subtlety, however, is the depiction of this conflict.
In this Tarot, rounded stones, circular objects and rolling hills are among the images that represent metal. The Green Dragon represents wood. So on the 7 of pentacles, which is Green Dragon Seven in this deck, the scene is depicted by a dragon looking over a stone wall. The scene is punctuated with rounded stones and a rounded archway in the wall. The conflict comes from knowing the relationship between these two visual symbols and what elements they represent. This card suggests conflict in the situation in the Seeker's life in a less graphic way - we have no humans crying or fighting etc. The subtlety leaves it completely open to our intuition.
To take this deck card a step further, the author repeatedly reminds the reader of the need to bring balance into situations that are unhealthy or in conflict. Returning to the Green Dragon Seven, in the author's words "The dragon pauses, taking time to contemplate and plan methods of balancing his surroundings..." Typically what would balance wood with metal would be water, which strengthens wood and weakens metal. Just some possibilities of things represented by water include : remaining true to oneself, nourishment, flexibility, etc. By keeping in mind what the element needed in the scene is, this leads to reflection of that that element can symbolize and what can bring the situation into balance.
This is one of the many strengths of this deck: not only is each card just gorgeous, but the scenes are pure symbols at work, in a system far removed from the traditional tarot of RWS.
The set that comes with a companion book is crucial . This will undoubtedly solidify your experience with the deck - and without it, using the LWB, you won't get all the necessary information you need to master this deck.
If you take the time to study this deck, you will very likely love it. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in I Ching, Feng Shui, or just expanding one's resources with a deck based on sound methods from another discipline.