Interviewing the Collective Tarot

We finally meet.

After years of ogling others’ Collective Tarot decks, I’m so happy I now have my own.

I’m gonna sit here, on this gorgeously bright Wednesday morning, with a bowl of porridge and a good strong coffee, and ask these cards all about how we’re going to get along….

the-collective-tarot-reading

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

Temperance

This is such a beautiful card. It shows a person who is neither conventionally male or conventionally female – they have blended whatever elements of gender they wish in order to find personal harmony. As the book says, this is a healing act, and one of transformation and rebirth.

The Collective Tarot is a valuable tool for undergoing this process. It contains within itself many different expressions of gender, many different ways of being a person. It supports personal transformation and helps us in our search for personal balance.

This is also a card of co-operation, reminding me of the creative process behind the deck itself. This is not called the collective tarot for nothing – it was created as a result of people working together, playing to their strengths, bringing many different elements, ideas, processes and skills together. That’s a valuable lesson, and one that is key to working with these cards.

collective-tarot-temperance-three-bottles

2. What are your strengths as a deck?

Disaster

Wowee. I love this deck’s recreation of ‘The Tower’ as ‘Disaster’, plain and simple. I gather this is a deck I will turn to in moments of crisis (thank you!)

How do you experience disaster, as adversity or liberation?

In those moments of crisis, this tarot deck will be here to light up the pathway between Disaster and The Star – showing me the silver lining of my clouds, the gold in the rubble when my world crashes down once again.

Beyond this, I can see this deck actually bringing about the ‘disasters’ we associate with The Tower. Looking at the card, which is tiled with mini-images of what disaster might look like, I can see that this deck is here to bust apart the beliefs we cling to when it’s too hard to face the truth.

3. What are your limits as a deck?

Ace of Keys

Keys correspond to wands in a traditional tarot deck, and I love the connotations of unlocking potential, treasure chests, ways forward. The Ace is the starting point – the initial opportunity – and here, I feel like this card is telling me that The Collective Tarot isn’t going to do my hard work for me. It’s down to me to recognise opportunities for excitement or growth, it’s down to me to seize them.

collective-tarot-ace-of-kets-eight-of-bones

4. What are you here to teach me?

Eight of Bones

I know that this deck is about personal transformation – Temperance and Disaster insist on it. The Eight of Bones is my lesson. That transformation takes work. This is not just about going with the flow, but about consistently showing up, putting in the time, committing to learning, to developing myself, and the craft of reading tarot to help others to do the same.

The image of a crysalis is a beautiful reminder of this. Situated between ribs, like a beating heart, this card suggests a person, almost ready to emerge.

5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?

The Moon

No surprise here – there is an element of surrender in working with this deck. I love the introductory lines in the guidebook:

The Moon card is about the unknown forces that lie beyond the physical realm, and how we cope when we feel like we are losing control.

The Moon encourages us to explore these weird, often frightening realms with an open heart, willing to be guided by intuition that comes from deep within. it takes courage and conviction to surrender to this, to let go of the rationality and surface feelings we rely on in everyday life and allow something deeper to take over, but this is what The Collective Tarot demands of me.

The key here lies in simply trusting and believing in your own primal, visionary genius.

Indeed.

6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

Three Bottles

Hurrah! Friendship, community, natural, loving fun. Collaboration. Co-operation. Love. This is a deck which has brought many people together over the years since it was published. Seeing this card, I feel that community open its arms and welcome me in.

the-collective-tarot

These cards are not like any I’ve worked with before. What stands out for me is Disaster, in the ‘strengths’ position. If I don’t challenge myself, this deck will challenge me, and I had better be prepared for some hard work – as shown by the Ace of Keys and the Eight of Bones.

Ultimately, the rewards are huge – the calm, genderqueer Temperance figure and joyful partygoers in the Three Bottles warm my heart and make me feel ‘accepted’ into a community, whilst The Moon suggests that in surrendering myself to the shadowy, irrational, deeply creative elements of myself, I will learn to embrace a totally different way of being in the world.

It’s a journey I’m ready to make – I’m grateful to The Collective Tarot for opening its arms to me in this way.


If you enjoyed this post, you can read interviews with a whole range of other tarot decks here.

Or try this tag for more on The Collective Tarot.

 

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7 comments

  1. raggedpoet says:

    This deck looks fabulous, and I am in want! Just got your newsletter and am totally drawn to the Shoggoths, I will be going back to read more soon. So much juice in this weeks bits n bobs! I have to say, the canal water outside my boat never seemed to look so blue as that outside your window.. but maybe it was, that pic,, above all made me want to rush back and find a boat.

    Your hair looks gorgeous… my daughter Polly shaved her head once, it looked stunning and brave yet vulnerable…as does yours 🙂 Looking forward to Tabby on Monday.

    Have agreat weekend… full on end of semester college stuff here! xo Bobby

    • Beth says:

      Thank you so much!
      Yeah, I use this spread with every new deck I get these days, I find it such a nice way to ‘meet’ a new deck and begin getting to know it. It’s also really interesting to come back to those old readings a year or two later, and see if your relationship with the deck turned out like you thought 🙂

  2. owlsdaughter says:

    Interesting! I teach this spread to all my beginner students. I even have a very pretty handout for it. Wish I could add the jpeg of it for you. I never knew where it originated, do you?

    • Beth says:

      Hey! I don’t I’m afraid…I first came across a similar version at tabi.org.uk (it was posted in the forum I think) but I’m pretty sure the person posting it had found it somewhere else…!

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