Button Soup Tarot – a collaboration deck, produced by Cult of Tarot forum.
Putting together a collaborative Tarot deck with thirty-nine artists is not an easy task. Joan Marie just managed fine to keep it all together and brought the ship to the destination.
Some may find these collaborative decks too eclectic – and in some cases they probably are. However, if one will consider that each Tarot card hard has its own spirit and represents a singular, specific aspect, a multi-artist collaborative deck makes perfect sense. On the other hand, the magick ingredients which holds the Button Soup Tarot together are the neutral black border, the thin gold-foil frame which surrounds the artwork and matches the gold stamped name of the card.
The seventy-eight cards and the guidebook comes in a decorative printed and very sturdy two-piece cardboard box. The cards are standard size, 70x120mm, printed on 350gsm Art Paper cardstock with a smooth matte finish. The black and white guidebook has one-hundred pages, and its author depicts each card.
As Joan Marie noted in the introduction of the guidebook, some of the descriptions are “very serious”, while others are “completely irrelevant.” I guess it only adds to the charm of the deck. It may raise issues for a beginner, but most of the experimented readers already have formed an opinion on how to read and interpret the cards.
Now allow me a few observations regarding the artwork. Some of the cards are absolutely stunning. Will only mention some of my favourites: Emperor, Chariot, Justice, Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, Devil, Moon, Judgement, World, Six of Wands, Seven of Wands, Eight of Wands, Nine of Wands, Ten of Wands, Queen of Wands, King of Wands, Ace of Cups, Three of Cups, Four of Cups, Seven of Cups, Eight of Cups, Ten of Cups, Page of Cups, Three of Swords, Four of Swords, Six of Swords, Seven of Swords, Ten of Swords, Page of Swords, Queen of Swords, King of Swords, Ace of Pentacles, Two of Pentacles, Six of Pentacles, Seven of Pentacles, Nine of Pentacles and Page of Pentacles.
For instance, I would be thrilled to see a complete deck created by Melissa Wotherspoon. I really enjoyed the minimalist drawings by Ian Black. Gaby Merman and Benebell Wen, both in different styles, also chose to draw their cards and did a great job. Another card that caught my attention is the Six of Swords by surrealzm – love the subtle symbolism of the floating boat a lot. Another interesting approach is the one by Tori Stevens on the Eight of Wands. Brilliant idea!
I’m not an art critic, although I have some artistic background, and it is my opinion that Tarot should not be about art, but spiritual – esoteric – content. Art and taste is a matter of subjectivity, and it is not arguable. Still, Jessica Leigh Henry, Shilo Lewis, Itinerant Bizzarium, Julianne Victoria, Pamela Steele, Kristine Gorman, Julianne Victoria, AstralPasta, Victoria Lynn Ferrell, just to mention a few, all delivered outstanding artworks. All contributing artists deserve a badge of honour! Each card has its own ‘divine spark’ and contributes to the general vibe and specific vibration of the deck. Each artist contributed with its own creativity and brought life into the deck. As a result, the deck has not one but seventy-eight hearts – strictly metaphorically speaking, of course!
No better way to test a new deck then performs a reading with it.
Question: What do I most need to know about the next three months of my life?
The spread I used is the Five Elements, also known as the Sunrise spread.
The first card represents the inquirer: Ten of Cups.
The Ten of Cups was created by a6raxis. According to the ‘li’l white book,’ the card signifies the fullness of emotional connection with the community, and between generations. “Family is heavily implied, as is fertility, indicated by the rising waves with dancing sperm-like goldfish, swimming upstream which loosely suggests fertilization and the shape of the female reproduction system .”
The second card represents the Element Fire. Fire represents desire, instinct and impulsiveness: Four of Pentacles.
Ailsa Ek created the Four of Pentacles. Allegedly, the upright meaning of the card is “if you ask nicely, Nemo will share her frisbees.” My translation would be, if I know how to ask, I will get what I want. Not frisbees, please!
The third card represents the Element Water. Water represents emotions: Two of Cups.
The Two of Cups was created by Julianne Victoria. The card signifies romantic connections. “Half-drunk teacups, treats, formal tie, and jewelry abandoned at the table in an emotional rush of romantic abandon.”
The fourth card represents the Element Air. Air represents thoughts, respectively, fears and hopes: Four of Wands.
The Four of Wands was created by reall/Irena. Although the card is depicted as a happy dance of celebration, the authors warn us: “keep your eyes open and don’t let your current happiness delude your decision and make you miss real-life opportunities.”
The fifth card represents the Element Earth. Earth represents the material world, the materialisation, respectively, the outcome: Six of Cups.
Melissa Wotherspoon created the Six of Cups. The card signifies nostalgia, and therefore it has a little bit of bitter-sweetness vibe. “It is also possible that some hazy shadow of the past is coming to fruition in the present, or will come to fruition in the near future. Be careful not to depend too heavily on what was. Keep moving forward, no matter how slowly. Letting go doesn’t mean you have forget.”
Although I am quite picky when it comes to choosing my instrument of divination, I find this reading accurate and useful. Once again, I would like to reiterate that the artwork is one of the last things one should consider when it comes to choosing a Tarot deck – we are not supposed to be art collectors. What is really matter is the efficiency of the deck and the accuracy of the readings it provides.
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