Monday, August 31, 2015

how to use novelty playing cards for divination

I'm usually a purist when it comes to playing cards for divination. I teach my course using a standard playing card deck. One of the reasons is because in a standard deck, the red and black cards are easily visible and because the face cards face in different directions. We use these face card directions to understand the outlook and interactions of other people in the reading.

But since I've been posting on Instagram, I realized a standard deck just won't do. Visually, it's just not that interesting. So, I searched the Internet for a few playing card decks with unique pips and face cards. I looked for hours, then for days and then it occurred to me, why not make something?

After more days and weeks, I was creating (more like curating) unique decks using free clipart. I created a few concepts I'm really pleased with.

This still leaves us with the question, how should you use a novelty deck for divination?

All of the general rules still apply but with a novelty deck, the concept and artwork must be factored into your interpretation. I have my primary meanings which apply across the board but, prior to the reading, I set an intention for how I wish to integrate the artwork in a deck. The deck concept also plays a role in determining what type of readings the deck is best suited for. Here are the playing card decks I've created and how I might adapt my divination system to them. 

Miss Demeanor Playing Cards

Despite its innocent looking retro characters, this deck has a dark side. It gives a playful nod to the Chicago musical song, Cell Block Tango (He Had It Comin'). The Kings and Queens in this deck are women, and the Jacks are dangerous weapons. The men are the Jokers. Each suit of the pip cards features a different ink blot pattern, meant to be blood spatter patterns. This would be a great deck for shadow work readings and relationship break-up readings.

Lolly Pops Playing Cards

This is the cutest deck. The photo above shows all of the face cards. But what I love most about this deck is that each suit reflects different scenery. The Spades suit is a barren scene and each successive suit builds to create an abundant happy scene with the Hearts. The characters in this deck are very cute but I tried to match them with their respective face card. For example, the Jack of Spades is frowning. The Queen of Diamonds looks motherly. The Jack of Hearts has a heart on her jumper. This deck can be read like any other playing card deck except that the face cards don't face any direction. I've also found that readings tend to be a little more pleasant with this deck and the visual cues are important. For example, in one weekly forecast I got the Queen of Hearts who holds a lollypop. I didn't encounter that Queen as a person but I did eat lots of candy that day.
Smiley Faces Playing Cards

With this deck, each number through the face cards has a different smiley face (see photo above). I think it might be fun to do a weekly forecast and see what faces appear to reflect my daily mood. The mood shown on the card might supersede the actual card meaning in readings with this deck.

Stickman Playing Cards

This deck is set up just like the Smiley Faces deck, with each number through face card featuring a different image. I am finding the action-oriented artwork works well for many types of readings. I've used it for a couple of relationship readings and was able to compare the actions and energies of each partner using just the artwork.

Little Birdz Playing Cards

In this deck, each suit has a different image and there is a single image for all Kings, Queens and Jacks. I don't have any problem using this deck in the same way I would use a standard deck of cards. The cards are simple enough that the artwork doesn't distract or lend itself to a change in my meanings. However, I have used the Joker cards to represent restriction or feeling caged.

I'll be showing example readings using these cards in the upcoming months so you can see them in action.

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