Remember when I had apprehensions about having too many Tarot decks? Well, I’m over it. Two new decks have been added to my collection, bringing the total number up to nine. Forget all of the nonsense I’ve said in the past about how many Tarot decks I think is appropriate. I’m only a Fool.
Anyway, this post is dedicated to the Deviant Moon Tarot (DMT), which is apparently pretty popular, despite (or perhaps because of) its slightly grotesque art style (photo-manipulation of gravestones makes up a lot of the clothing worn by these characters, by the way).
I’ll be honest: at first I was repulsed by this deck, almost entirely because of the Hermit. My favorite card in the Tarot has gotten a very non-traditional and downright unflattering treatment in this deck. Where is the wisdom I’ve come to respect so highly? In fact, the entire Major Arcana disappointed me when I looked through these cards online. Some of them were cool, but some were not, and the majority stuck me as just mediocre. Not that the artwork was poorly executed – it’s all very well done I think; rather, it was just some stylistic choices that I didn’t really care for (like the Chariot, for example, and of course the Hermit).
The Minor Arcana is what really stood out to me – really, it blew me away. After looking through them, I was thoroughly impressed, and I could not forget them. Over time, pictures kept coming up online, and I kept turning it over in my head, each time leaning closer and closer to wanting this deck of cards that originally left such a bad taste in my mouth. I was on the verge of clicking “buy” on amazon, but just did not do it, leaving them in the cart for me to mull over some more. That very day, I found the deck in a bookstore, and that was that. I brought them home, and did several readings with them. It was because of the Minors that I was initially attracted to this deck, which is not typical for me.
The Minor Arcana are not totally traditional, either in artwork or in meaning, although you can sense the influence of the RWS on some of the cards.
This deck is undoubtedly darker than most. This is part of the reason why I was drawn to it in spite of myself, though. I’ve got so much light, but light is meaningless without darkness to counterbalance it. This deck has the nightmarish landscapes to contrast with the peaceful dreamscapes I’ve come to associate with the Sun and Moon Tarot. This deck has the corrupt and decaying city to contrast with the vibrant and living nature in the Wildwood Tarot. It fills a void in my collection, that unappealing place in the back of my mind that is there nonetheless, and it does so with a grotesque beauty. And with all that said, this deck is not without its lighter moments, and it has a conspicuous sense of humor. I like that. I haven’t spent any time doing shadow work with my Tarot collection yet. When I do work up the courage to dig up my demons, however, I will probably do it with this deck. The demons will feel right at home in the light of the Deviant Moon, and the humor will help me maintain my sanity.
The more I turn these cards over in my hands, the more I like them. Even the Hermit has grown on me. There was a discussion on the forums on aeclectic.net about this card that gave me heart. I’m not the only person who was let down by this card. But it was asserted by someone that, perhaps, this Hermit represents the man prior to his enlightenment, the very moment before he turned his back on society. His anguish is the anguish of a man who needs to be left alone. It’s all too much. The Hermit has to leave sometime, after all. You can glimpse a hint of what’s to come in the half of his face that is turned away from us – almost serene. He wasn’t always the wise and lonely old sage that is pictured in so many decks. He’s got to start somewhere.