“The Good Tarot doesn’t shy away from the truth of our sufferings. Instead, it gives us hope that no matter how many times we stumble, we nevertheless find immense treasures as we discover our true natures as spiritual beings expressing ourselves through the art of living in the realm of form.”
From the Good Tarot by Colette Baron-Reid
So, let me say upfront, I so did not want to like this deck.
The title of it annoys me, just a little bit…
I mean, if there is a ‘Good Tarot’ does that mean that there is a ‘Bad Tarot’? If so, could someone direct me to the bad deck? Further, what are the qualifications for a good tarot and a bad tarot?
Is this like Good Witches and Wicked Witches? Are ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ real or simply in the eye of the beholder?
The good news (or could it be bad news?) is that I decided to give the deck a chance. After all, I have several decks by Colette Baron-Reid, and I have thoroughly enjoyed them.
Before I read through the LWB (that’s tarotspeak for Little White Book that usually comes with a tarot deck), I looked through the deck. It’s a beautifully designed deck that features mystical, feminine empowering, and fantastical imagery. There are a few changes that have been made to the card names. Lovers is now Love, Death is now Transformation, Temperance is now Patience, The Devil is now Temptation, and Judgment is now simply called Call. Further, the traditional swords, pentacles, cups, and wands have been be replaced with their elemental correspondences air, earth, water, and fire, and there are some minor tweaks to the titles of the court cards. Otherwise, the deck is easy to understand, and the cards are easy to designate for people that are more familiar with the cards.
After reading through the LWB, I loved the approach that CBR (Colette Baron-Reid) uses. Instead of designating cards to traditional meanings, she uses simplified keywords and affirmations. If I am understanding her correctly, she wants to empower the client and instead of showing archetypal trends that normally may be challenging, she wants to help the end-user see how challenges can be opportunities. I feel that this is very creative and is a rather productive use of the deck. This deck could be used by traditional tarot practitioners, but opens itself up to life coaches, psychologists, or other modalities that do not ordinarily use cards.
Let me give an example.
The 5 of Air (5 of Swords) is a card that is associated with strife and arguments. In the ‘Good Tarot’, CBR’s keywords are still tension and conflict. However, here is the affirmation that she uses:
“Conflict is a good way to see my motives and intentions. I can use this experience to grow into a more authentic version of myself. It’s not important to win. It’s important to have integrity. Other people have different ways of thinking and may not always be in agreement with me. I open to this opportunity to live and let live.”
Usually, conflict occurs when two people have differing ideas about a situation. This can be personal, social, or political. When someone steps over the line of wanting something that you believe you should have or should be able to attain problems can occur. Of course, the key to all of this is whether the conflict is worth it or not. If it is worth it, then strife should not be something that consumes you and you should be able to proceed forward with confidence. However, if you do not feel its worth it, then let it go and fight for something you feel strongly about.
I feel that the most powerful part of this deck is giving the querent (a fancy word for a person that is asking questions) the opportunity to choose how they wish to proceed. If you choose to fight the good fight, then obstacles or outside influences shouldn’t matter. You are either all in or you are not. If you choose to walk away, then you have learned how to pick your battles. Either way, you are more psychologically sound for making personal choices.
In the back of the LWB CBR gives a bit of insight into spreads. She recommends only doing one card or three-card spreads with the deck but emphasizes that they can be used to do larger spreads. Her main point that she pushes throughout the LWB is that this oracle is used to co-create with the universe in a constructive way rather than just being passive to its energies or messages.
Here is one of the spreads:
Three Card Reading: (From the LWB)
Card 1: Represents where you are now and what energy is affecting the situation.
Card 2: Represents what is coming in to influence the situation
Card 3: Represents the energy that will come into the situation if you continue along the same path you are on.
I decided to do a reading of my own with this deck.
My question: Should I work on the project?
Card 1: 10 of Earth Card 2: 10 of Water Card 3: 9 of Air
I have recently pondered whether I should work on a new project. Although this is not part of my career as an astrologer or life coach, I still have been drawn to this type of creative work before. I will admit that I was gob smacked when I drew the 9 of Air, which has a notorious negative connotation.
Card 1: 10 of Earth: Affluence, material abundance, mastery, financial security, inherited wealth and knowledge
Affirmation for 10 of Earth: I am now able to step back and observe the results of what I built through my dedication and hard work. I claim ownership of the castles I built that have taken form in the material world. I have achieved mastery and inherited treasures of knowledge and experience thanks to all I have been through. I smile appreciatively at my run of good fortune.
This card made a lot of sense. I have been in my profession for 30 years and have built a sizeable practice and have been able to do astrological/intuitive counseling exclusively for 3 decades. It’s home to me and I have a vast knowledge of the industry and how to market within it. However, this can also be a bit scary because working on another project might take time away from my business practice and I need to figure out whether I would like to take that type of risk.
Card 2: 10 of Water: Serenity, peace, good fortune, well-being
Affirmation for 10 of Water: All is well with the world and with me. Well-being is my natural state. Everything I need comes to me easily and effortlessly. I feel joy and express it to others as I look around and see all the love that we share. I take pleasure in all I have accomplished. Whatever attention I receive or don’t receive, I am serene, for I know good well what it took to get where I am. I celebrate myself and all who traveled down this road with me and feel grateful to Spirit for being my companion always.
Card 2 represents what is coming in to influence the situation. I feel that this card reflects that I am happy and content with what I am doing and that I should realize that even if the project that I work on doesn’t produce much fruit that I need to do it because I already have accomplished a lot with my career and profession. There is much to celebrate. Not many people have the luxury of working in the same profession for three decades. I feel that this card also reflects a positive support system that will be around me as I travel this new path.
Card 3: 9 of Air: Shifting negative self-talk to self-compassion, from fear to possibility, a call to faith.
Affirmation for 9 of Air: With a gentle, mellifluous voice, I tell myself that I will be okay, that I am okay, and that any fear is merely false evidence appearing as real. I forgive myself because I know I am a human trying the best I can and need only call on Spirit to remember that I can and will do better as new possibilities begin to gather on my horizons.
Card 3 represents the energy that will come into the situation if you continue on the same path you are on. Traditionally, the 9 of air is associated with fears, phobias, nightmares and other nasty mental situations that may plague me. Starting a new project is difficult and challenging, and I have already experienced some of the 9 of air elements. However, using this affirmation technique, it tells me to attempt to push past the thoughts and call upon my spiritual beliefs in those moments when fears may overwhelm me. Ordinarily, this card might encourage someone to abandon ship, and focus on the tried and true safety of the 10 of earth. However, the Good Tarot encourages me to press in and press on.
After spending some time with this deck, I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to seek gentle clarity that offers you options and positive self-talk to push you beyond your problems. It’s a great deck for people that are going through struggles and need a little extra boost. I’ve already made a list of people that I feel would benefit from this deck and will purchase several copies as gifts during the holiday season. My only complaint is that I wish CBR had created an actual book to go with the deck rather than the LWB, it would have given her an opportunity to really flesh out her ideals, which are highly creative, yet could have been so much more.
Great job, CBR. Keep them coming!
Here is where you can get the deck — The Good Tarot by Colette Baron-Reid