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