The sword in the stone: Meeting the Dreaming Way Tarot

I don’t do pastels, I don’t do ‘whimsical’, I don’t do ‘fey’.

So what the heck am I doing with the Dreaming Way tarot?

Sheesh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s seeing cards like these:

dreaming-way-tarot-cards-2

…or these:

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…that convinced me after six months of resisting that I just had to get my hands on a copy.

I’m not regretting it one bit. This deck is a true beauty.

The Dreaming Way tarot was created by Korean tarotist Rome Choi, illustrated by Kwon Shina, and published by US Games Systems in 2012. It has the standard majors, regular suits and page-knight-king-queen courts. In the introduction to the deck, Choi says the ideas and images in this deck are based on the Buddhist principle of understanding that you already have everything you need to be happy – that happiness is not something that can be pursued or sought, but simply exists within us.

I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I am sure how I feel about this cards, which is that they’re beautiful, and give wonderful readings. I keep getting the deck out and shuffling through it and, amazingly, I’ve already used if for client readings. It just…asked me to.

Like so many tarot decks, the people on these cards are uniformly thin and white-looking, which is always a damn shame. On the up-side though, they really lend themselves to a little queering and genderqueering (a lot like the Steampunk Tarot.) Everyone is kinda femme in a louche, dreamy way and it’s all very pretty, with a punky, big-stompy-boots edge. I absolutely adore the clothing in this deck – these strange characters wear billowing bloomers, starched apron dresses, biker boots and some seriously lovely knitwear… is it superficial to love a deck for the way it dresses? Because I do. I really, really do. It’s not just the clothes, it’s the entire dreamscape presented in these cards, and the way its inhabitants move through their strange worlds. The cards have a sharp, daggery way of stabbing and grabbing you (despite the pleasant and loving aspirations of their creator), they make me gasp and draw me in.


Interview reading with the Dreaming Way Tarot

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

The Star

The ability to shine a light on my own personal truth.

I love the dispassionate way the figure on this card is pouring water, and the way that rather than wings, they’re wearing an apron. It suggests to me that all the feelings I have about The Star (i..e that it represents that tiny kernel of myself that I can hold onto when all else fails) is more mundane and accessible than I think.

2. What are your strengths as a deck?

King of Swords

Cold hard truths, no bullshit, no arguments. Okay then!

3. What are your limits as a deck?

Six of Pentacles

Don’t expect any special treatment. This card isn’t here to be charitable. Help yourself or go home.

4. What are you here to teach me?

Queen of Swords

That life’s toughest moments are the ones where we do the most growing.

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

Seven of Cups

Keep an open mind and heart – don’t make decisions before using this deck.

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

Page of Cups

Good times. Love. Humour. Friendship.

 

I feel like this deck is one for life’s trickier moments.

As The Star, it’s a rock, as the King and Queen of Pentacles, it will be cold, but kind. Ultimately, this is a deck I can turn on when I feel wobbly, when it’s not so much a hug that I need as a flag of truth and a star to guide me.

I’m so glad I picked it up for my road trip. I have three months stretching ahead of me and no idea what will happen next. Whilst for the most part I feel strong and excited, I’ve also experienced momentary wobbles. What am I doing here? How can I ground myself when I’m in near-constant transit? The Dreaming Way tarot feels like a deck I can pull out in those moments for compassionate but un-fluffy guidance.


 

So – do you have this deck? How do you get on with it? Which is your favourite card? Tell me all your feelings!

 

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I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.

I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.

5 comments

  1. Danielle says:

    okay, so when i did this same reading with this deck i got: king of pentacles / four of cups / nine of cups / page of pentacles / the lovers / six of swords

    the four of cups as a strength of the deck & nine of cups as a weakness kind of mixed me up (also it was literally the first time i ever drew the four of cups for myself!) – but i LOVE the page of pentacles as the answer to “what are you here to teach me”, especially since one of the phrases in the guidebook is “act on your dreams”!

    SO glad that i got it, haha! <3

  2. Emma says:

    I love this post. Makes me really excited even though the images don’t initially do it for me then I read this:

    ‘The cards have a sharp, daggery way of stabbing and grabbing you (despite the pleasant and loving aspirations of their creator), they make me gasp and draw me in.’

    Ha! Brilliant!

  3. Rebecca says:

    I love the Dreaming Way deck. It has a very different personality than my other decks, and it is the one I turn to when I need practical, no-nonsense advice about how to get my life together and think clearly. When I interviewed mine, the Eight of Pentacles showed up as its most important characteristic, and continued to show up in many readings afterwards. The deck does not coddle me at all. Sometimes, it says, things will be hard and I have to power through with some practical earth spirit. It may be called the Dreaming Way, but I emphasize the “way” over the “dreaming,” because the deck’s message is that I have to have my feet firmly planted on the ground before I can dream!

  4. Shannon L. says:

    This deck. Oh, my. This deck. I put off getting this deck for some reason that I can’t remember anymore. I ordered it finally, on a whim one day and once I got it, this deck took over most of my reads. I will get excited about a deck but this one hit me somewhere deep in my love center. I remember clearly one day when I was having a bit of a hard time and as I drove home from work I actually felt a physical yearning to just have it in my hands.

    I love the artwork, the size of the cards, the design on the back, the texture, the weight of the cardstock. Everything about it. The honeymoon phase is finally calming down enough for me to pick up some of my other decks but I feel like the love for this one will be there for quite some time.

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