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The Illuminated Tarot by Caitlin Keegan- A Review

The outside of the box

The Illuminated Tarot by Caitlin Keegan

When you first lay eyes on this tarot deck, you are unsure whether it is a book or a box. The outside packaging for this is so beautifully designed, in a dark blue colour with a design inlaid in gilt.

Upon opening the box, the inside is decorated with a variety of moon phase illustrations and hourglasses within a chess-board like configuration. There is a book inside the box, with the same image as the front of the box, this time in colour. Underneath the book is the deck of cards, 53 in all, which we will move onto in a moment.

The guidebook talks a little about the history of tarot, as well as giving examples of ways to read the cards within. The back of the cards has a beautiful design similar to that of the front of the box and book, but with a star in the centre rather than the sun.

Review

The Illuminated Tarot is an interesting deck for tarot. Most tarot decks are around 78 cards and feature both the Major and Minor arcana, however, this deck features just 53 cards. The cards are interesting because they go along the same lines as a deck of traditional card deck- with the suits of hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds.
Related to the tarot, the clubs are wands, diamonds are coins, hearts are cups and spades are equivalent to swords. Going further in the meanings, some of the ‘regular’ cards also have connotations to the major arcana, in that the meanings are also related to the major arcana. 

The front cover of the included book

The cards are wider than the ‘traditional’ tarot you may be used to, like in the Rider Waite deck for example. Having 53 rather than 78 cards also means that it’s less to learn for the beginner, with the same amount of meaning.
I’d say that going from a traditional 78 card tarot deck to using a 53 card deck is a lot easier than it may be in reverse. If you are used to one card meaning a few different things in this deck, going on to learn a traditional tarot deck may be harder after getting used to and using this deck, as the cards may not feel the same to you. However, if you already have some grounding in a traditional deck, this may actually make your readings quicker and perhaps a little easier compared to the 78 card version. On the other hand, you may also find that it doesn’t give you as much depth compared to a full 78 card deck. This, I feel, is a personal preference.

The designer of the deck, Caitlin Keegan, designed one card every week for a year. The result is this beautiful deck, which can be used for both gameplay and personal reflection if you so choose.
Although there are 3 example layouts discussed in the book, a quick search online will show you many different examples of tarot spreads. Even though this deck has fewer cards than the ‘traditional’ tarot decks, you can still use the same spreads.

You can find the tarot from http://caitlinkeegan.com via her shop, and you can also read more about her work on this project and other projects she has been/is involved with.

Full Moon Tarot

This full moon feels particularly potent this time around. I’m not usually one to look into astrology and the like, but for some reason this time it resonates more with me!

So, as it is so potent, I felt the need to draw a tarot card for the energies surrounding at this time. What exactly is going on anyway?

I drew the card from my Rider-Waite deck before looking up the meaning behind or astrology drive behind this moon. Many people like to take stock of or use things like Mercury retrograde as an excuse for poor behaviour. After all, you can’t punish a planet, right?

From astrology’s point of view, this full moon is supposed to be affecting all kinds of relationships in your life. The need for love or affection will grow stronger, but alongside this, the feelings of jealousy or anger/intimidation are also likely to grow. I guess even if you don’t believe in this (like myself) you can still have the knowledge that you have been forewarned. I suppose it’s nice to be able to reflect on what is going on and step back, rather than let things fly out of control.

With this alignment of planets, etc, it may make those of us in relationships moodier, quicker to jump into arguments or fights. It may also have an effect on those who are single – you may feel like lowering your standards just so you are not alone. However, if you are in a healthy relationship, this can actually help to bring any frustrations to the surface and enable you to resolve them now rather than letting them simmer below the surface.

So what did the tarot cards say?

6 of Cups, upright, from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

The card which appeared for this reading was the 6 of Cups in an upright position. This card takes you back to the happy memories of when you were younger. The connections you made there are ones which bring you joy and happiness.

This card showing up is interesting, based on what I have found out from astrology related to this full moon. This card is based around relationships, as is the moon this time around. So this card showing up, which indicates that there is an increased level of harmony at your disposal, is fitting. It’s showing that with a little patience, the issues which may arise can be handled with ease. Giving and receiving is in full flow, and you are willing to give each other the benefit of the doubt – after all, everyone has their off days.

This card encourages you to give into your playful side. Be childish. Do the things that make you happy. Play the games you used to. Visit the old haunts of your childhood or teenage years with the same people once again. Embrace living life to the full.

It can indicate children coming into your life too. Perhaps you or someone close to you is yet to find out they are expecting a child (or two! This can indicate twins!). It may also be showing you that you may soon be spending more time with children. Maybe now is the time to embark upon becoming a teacher or a nursery assistant. Children are open-minded, curious and usually have some kind of outlook to life we can all learn from. Keep an open mind, keep moving forward and enjoy the little things!

Sunday Spread 28.04.2019

This week’s tarot cards are from the fantastic Zombie Tarot deck. You can get these cards from many retailers, both online and offline. They add a bit of retro fun to a spread, as they feature an ever growing zombie outbreak in the face of the apocalypse. What better weapon to have against the undead hordes than a pack of tarot cards, featuring a box which looks like an old ammunition box?

So, onto this week’s ‘chosen three’ cards. You can see the image below of the cards. See which one resonates with you, and then be sure to read on for the reveal!

Image showing three card backs from the Zombie Tarot deck. They each have a dice above indicating number 1, 2 and 3.

These are the three cards from the Zombie Tarot. Once again, we seem to have a tie between the most chosen cards. So we will take them in numerical order as to the most popular. The two most chosen cards are number one and number two. Number three is a close contender, but there is a difference, thankfully.

So, we shall begin with revealing card number one below.


Number One – Five of Cups

Card Number One: The Five of Cups

This card is commonly seen when things have not gone your way, or if all seems lost at the moment. It could be the culmination of things not working out as you wished they had, or simply the loss of a great idea.

Focus now on what went wrong – but do not spend too long grieving this lost aspect, as the world will move along without you in it.

You may be stuck in the past, unable to move on, or simply let go. No one is suggesting you forget – just to let go and live. Learn from the mistakes, learn from what didn’t work out.

Remember to live in the present and not allow the past to drag you down.

Things are waiting for you; new, shiny things. But only once you have accepted what has happened and made steps to move on in life will you reap those rewards. Blessings may be hidden in disguise, but you are too caught up in your own sadness and grief to notice new opportunities.


The next card which was most popular is card number two.

Number Two – Six of Swords

Card Number Two: Six of Swords

Transition is afoot. It could be a rite of passage or a release of baggage from past dealings. Change is not to be feared, and this has long been in the works. You may be moving house, changing your job, or you may be moving country. You are leaving what was seen and considered as familiar and taking a step (or leap!) into the as yet unknown.

It may bring you sadness to take this much-needed step into the unknown and into new territories. However, you know in your heart of hearts that this is the right path on which you need to follow.

Stepping away from things which no longer serve you – be it a relationship, job, house or country – will benefit you in the long run. A lot of the time, we are sentimental beings, and we tend to choose to hold on to those things which may not actually serve us. However, a change is as good as a rest, and things will settle down once more.

It can be easy to dwell on things which once anchored you as you move into your new life. This card gives you permission or instruction to move forward without looking backwards. You made those choices because they needed to be made. Holding onto the past is not going to do anyone any good, especially you.

There is, however, nothing wrong with taking the time to reflect on what has come to pass. Events in our lives make us who we are. Taking the time to reflect and in turn let go of these feelings and aspects will help clear the way for new things to become settled and certain.

Through this inner reflection, decide what you want to hold onto in your new life moving forward. Do not take what no longer serves you, mentally or physically.


The final card is number three.

Number Three – Seven of Swords

Card Number Three: Seven of Swords

This is a card which symbolises some form of deception or trickery is afoot. It may be that you are sneaking around, doing things which you perhaps shouldn’t, whilst hoping beyond hope that these things do not see the light of day.

It’s also a possibility that you are the one being manipulated. You could be dancing to the tune of someone else’s beat, so to speak.

It is a very difficult game to play if you are deceiving others. If you are especially unlucky, it may be that you will be caught in the act, and your true self will be revealed.

You may be on the receiving end of this deception, trusting someone who you think is genuine and honest, but being stabbed in the back when you are not looking. This could be through any number of things – infidelity in a relationship, or just someone trying to gain and hold the upper hand in a situation of power.

The main thing to remember with this one is to listen to your gut. If something or someone seems too good to be true, then those things likely are. Instinct is a very strong tool, and this card is telling you to start using it.

It can also be symbolic of being able to use the ‘backdoor’ to get results that you want. Perhaps you are able to take a shortcut in whatever you are doing in order to get what you need, without going down the traditional routes.

You also need to keep an eye on any potential workloads. We can only do so much as humans, and the more we take on, the worse the end results are likely to be. If you have ‘bitten off more than you can chew’, as the saying goes, you may not be able to focus fully on the tasks you need to get done, and instead end up worrying about them.

This card can also be related to procrastination. Are you putting things off that you really should be getting on with? Are there tasks or assignments you should be doing, but the cleaning or watching a movie seems that bit more important at this moment in time? Cut the crap and get on with what you should be doing. You’ll thank yourself later!


An image of all three cards revealed

So which card did you resonate with? Let us know how your week goes in relation to this!

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