|Name :||Light Seer’s Tarot|
|Author :||Chris Anne|
|Publisher :||Hay House Inc|
|Tradition :||Tarot Rider-Waite-Smith|
|Packaging :||Rigid bell box / 12.5 x 8.1 x 5 cm|
|Deck :||78 cards / satin, matte cards / 12 cm x 7 cm|
|Handbook :||Booklet of 128 pages in B&W|
|Reverse side :||Yes, the backs of the cards are reversible.|
|Switch of 8/11 :||Yes|
|Use :||Prediction , Personal development|
The game is not delivered in a case, it is contained in a bell-shaped box made of very thick cardboard. A small booklet is slipped inside the box. The cards are of normal thickness for a "mass-market" product. With 12 centimeters high, the cards are rather large, it can be difficult for a person with small hands to shuffle the deck horizontally, in such a case, shuffling the cards vertically will be necessary.
Chris-Anne Donnelly remains discreet about her work and her productions. We only know that she created the "Sacred Creators Oracle", the "Light Seer's tarot" but also the "Muse tarot" more recently. She runs a graphic design company. That's all we know about her, moreover her last name doesn't even appear on her decks, since she signs them with her first name alone.
The size of the booklet and its font are quite small, so it is not very comfortable to hold and read it. That said, it fits perfectly into the game's small box, making it easily transportable.
In the first part of her booklet, the author explains what is the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. She resumes the 4 suites of the RWS, the Pentacles, the Wands, the Swords and the Cups. The association with the 4 Elements, Earth, Fire, Air and Water respects the standard of astrology, which is not systematic among the creators of the RWS tradition. Then Chris-Anne speaks to us about reading the cards upright and reversal then evokes several interpretations. After she invites the reader to draw 2 cards: "a light card" and "a dark card" which represents his relationship with the tarot, what inspires him and what makes him uncomfortable. Finally, she advises to keep a diary of her draws, which seems important to me.
Chris-Anne then presents 5 spreads. The first one is the usual one, a one-card draw of the day. The second is the "Light and Shadow" spread in two cards. Then we have the 3 spread "light maker", "the call of love", "joy of the soul", respectively in 3, 4 and 3 cards. Special feature : The author specifies a direction (upright or reversal) for each position (direction which is therefore not determined when the card is drawn). Each location is specified by a simple question, no other explanation is given, nor any examples. The pure beginner may be deprived of these very short explanations.
Each card of the game is described in 2 pages whether it is the Major or Minor Arcana. The texts are already short, a further explanation of the Major Arcana would have been welcome.
Each card is presented in the same way: A small image of the card in B&W really readable (we are used to much less readable). Then comes a sequence of keywords for the meaning "upright", as well as keywords for the meaning "reversal". A text then describes the card. The author gives little or no explanation of her artistic choices and gives above all a psychological interpretation of the card. In this, the author confirms the current trend : the production of tarot cards for personal development (not predictive) purposes. Finally, a key sentence in large print ends the description of the card.
To note the existence of the official site of the tarot : lightseerstarot.com that provides additional explanations for each of the cards, as well as a series of questions to help us find interpretations for the draws. The website is designed to be consulted from a cell phone, which would make it possible to avoid having to use the booklet during a spread reading. I really appreciate this initiative.
L'auteure a produit un tarot très féminin. Je n'ai naturellement rien contre, mais le lecteur doit être averti que certains personnages habituellement incarnés sous les traits d'un homme dans la tradition RWS (et même dans la tradition Tarot de Marseille) sont ici représentés par une femme, par exemple : LE FOU, L'ERMITE, LE PENDU, LE SOLEIL, LE JUGEMENT. Enfin, dans l'Arcane Mineur, le CHEVALIER DE BATONS est représenté sous les traits d'une femme. Mais l'inverse est vrai puisque TEMPERANCE est représenté par un homme. Là encore, nous devons avoir le respect des choix de l'auteure, je regrette simplement qu'elle ne justifie pas ces choix afin de donner tout leur sens. The author has produced a very feminine tarot. Of course, I have nothing against it, but the reader should be warned that some characters usually embodied as a man in the RWS tradition (and even in the Tarot de Marseille tradition) are represented here by a woman, for example: THE FOOL, THE HERMIT, THE HANGED MAN, THE SUN, JUDGEMENT. Finally, in the Minor Arcana, the KNIGHT OF WANDS is represented by a woman. But the reverse is true since TEMPERANCE is represented by a man. Here again, we must have respect for the author's choices, I simply regret that she does not justify these choices in order to give all their meaning.
I appreciate this rather unusual image of the HERMITE. The lantern remains present and a winding path goes up to the heights. The necessity of the path to be walked is thus well and truly recalled even if the character is static, sitting in a meditative position. I really like the idea that the character floats in the void and looks at a distant horizon as timeless and empty as the horizon of the ocean. This image takes us back to our inner depth, and a Zen approach to our ego, made up of a form (our individuality) and a core (an emptiness). Our inner light (underlined in the image by a light emanating from the character) brings us to a enlightened consciousness because it is purified of all emotion. This image proposes us a kind of meditative presence as a possible incarnation of THE HERMIT.
I like the card LE DIABLE because it seems to me much more concrete and explicit than the rather terrible representation in the RWS or Marseille, where we see a demonic creature and two characters, half human, half animal. The author had well noticed on the original representation that the 2 characters have the rope around their necks, bound by an unavowable pact with the devil. Here, Chris-Anne represents a rather handsome devil who at his fingertips pulls the strings of a human puppet. It seems to me that we have here a modern evocation of what we can live in a situation of hold. Manipulation on the part of people who have bad intentions but who apparently want our good. The dismay of feeling linked (chained) to a situation that we are experiencing and from which we cannot escape. I find that the author has painted a convincing representation of alienation, the main theme of the card.
This card is full of nostalgia. The creators often take up the scene of the two children, evoking childhood memories. Here, the author preferred to draw a man with his dog, the master imagining the same scene but with a child and a puppy. A real tenderness and gentleness emanates from this image.
We have here a scene of life full of modernity, with characters in modern clothes, 3 children making a round, while a young girl dances between her two parents (we imagine). A lying dog is present, adding to the family character of the scene. It is a beautiful evocation of material realization. I simply regret the presence of the Sephirot tree in the upper part of the image. I find that this symbol adds nothing to the meaning of the card, at worst it would unnecessarily complicate the symbolism.
I find very good the representation of this Page of Sword who conceives and takes with her her ideas, ideas represented in the form of bulbs floating above her head. The image speaks for itself with modern symbols understandable by all.
The reader must be warned of the presence of many traditional or even esoteric symbols on the cards. Everything from the use of the Nordic runes, the Celtic triskel, the flower of life, through the tree of life (or Sephirot) of the Kabbalah, to modern graphic symbols, even fractal figures. Certainly, in our world so open, with such a multi-cultural mix, it is no longer surprising to find such a mixture of references. But does it make sense? In truth, I mostly feel that it just looks good in the pictures... I am not convinced that the author used all these symbols in their original and true sense. Probably looking for a stamp of authenticity, and wanting to marry the ancient and the modern, the author has seen fit to draw scenes of lives resolutely modern and to integrate symbols as reminders of ancient or spiritual traditions. If graphically this undoubtedly contributes to the beauty of the images, I am not sure that it adds a deep meaning to these same images.
THE FOOL represents the free electron, the one that has neither standard, nor convention, nor habit. In the RWS, the character walks towards the edge of a cliff, signifying an imminent danger, perhaps that of getting lost in the void, in the absence of any landmark and left to himself. In his tarot, Chris-Anne no longer makes a danger of this abyss, but a destination to or into which we abandon ourselves or let ourselves go. I am already not sure that Waite's vision was timely, replacing the empty horizon with a cliff, certainly much more concrete than an unknown future, but also installing a risk where there was none. For Chris-Anne, there is no risk of throwing oneself into the great void, on the contrary, we must dot it. But is this letting go really the goal of the FOU? No, I don't think so. Letting go is, in my opinion, much more embodied by THE HANGED MAN, held by his rope, that he prevents him from falling, or by the children of the SUN ; or by the woman of THE WORLD celebrating the joy of life and freedom free from the bonds that can still be seen in THE HANGED MAN or THE DEVIL. THE FOOL does not represent the fact that we let go of our environment, that we stop seizing it (or wanting to seize it), but the opposite, i.e. that our environment has no hold on us. THE FOOL shows us how to be mobile or elusive, as opposed to Chris-Anne's vision of letting go.
The pregnant woman of the earth is undoubtedly a touching image full of tenderness. However, the meaning of the number 3 and the symbolism of the empress do not make this card a possible embodiment of motherhood. But in number 2, the Papess is definitely an incarnation of motherhood. But I understand how subversive it can be to show THE HIGH PRIESTESS pregnant. And yet, the number 2 evokes fusion, association, union, accumulation, gestation. THE HIGH PRIESTESS embodies withdrawal, study, the incubation of knowledge, in short maternity in the broadest sense of the term. While the number 3 represents the concretization of this knowledge, of what has been accumulated over a period of time, the emergence and expression of what has been learned and conceived. THE EMPRESS embodies above all the benevolent and generous woman, not the pregnant mother. In my opinion, THE EMPRESS should be portrayed with an infant in her arms or holding a child's hand.
I like in this image, the idea that the woman has been able to totally integrate her wild fury and become one with the beast inside her, to the point that her face is now half human, half lion. The idea is seductive. On the other hand, the nonchalant arm resting on her head shows a relaxed attitude that convinces me much less. Indeed, it is a question here of becoming one with our inner demons. Confronting our own impulses and neuroses requires courage, discipline and perseverance in order to heal. It is not without reason that this card is called STRENGH. In the same way the lamb certainly evokes a part of innocence and freshness gained after this trial or inner evolution. But on the spiritual path narrated by the tarot, we have only just begun to make peace with ourselves, we have taken a first step towards accepting ourselves, significant indeed, but it is only a first step. The innocence and juvenility of feelings will only be fully expressed by THE SUN. In my opinion, this lamb has arrived very quickly, THE HANGED MAN who comes just after will tie it up and THE DEATH will cut it into pieces. Will the lamb be armed to face the trials to come?
The allegories of the Major Arcana are supposed to be rich in symbolism. It is always tricky to use animals, which carry larger, fuzzier meanings. Here, I am not sure that the author is doing the best with this squirrel. Besides, why use human characters on all the cards of the Major Arcana except on THE TOWER. Why does THE TOWER not deserve to be depicted with a human character(s) ? Certainly the squirrel seems surprised by the thunder flash. But he is still sheltered under what appears to be a trunk or a clod of earth. Where is the break, the loss of reference, the reversal of situation ? In the explanatory text, the author evokes well the loss of old values, of having to take the measure of a new situation that sets in. But Chris-Anne projects herself enormously into an image that doesn't speak to me and she puts a lot of questions in the head of a poor squirrel.
The author has renovated the classic representation of the Minor Arcana with modern scenes and modern symbols. I am surprised, and almost disappointed, that she did not try anything special for the famous 8 of Wands, which remains very classical in its approach. Why put originality in some cards that didn't necessarily require it (because the original RWS cards are eloquent enough), and not let her creativity speak for the probably less successful RWS cards like the 8 of Wands ?
This is a remark I could make for the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck. But it seems to me that it is particularly obvious in this tarot. Chris-Anne makes it clear that the Swords sign associated with the Air Element speaks to intelligence, ideas, and the way we communicate. Which I totally agree with. The famous 3 of Swords, shows us a broken heart, split, pierced by swords, a scene that evokes more of an emotion of disarray, anger, moral suffering. A suffering that has more to do with the Water Element (in relation to emotions and feelings). And in this tarot, the scene is speaking since we see a woman shouting her suffering (nothing to do with intellect or communication). Shouldn't this representation be that of the 3 of Cups ?
The primary qualities of this tarot are above all graphic. The author has produced her images with a palette of very harmonious and luminous colors. This deck with its modern life scenes is certainly very beautiful to look at. On this aspect the work is indisputably successful.
As for the symbolism of the tarot, the author has indeed renewed the RWS genre especially on the Minor Arcana with scenes of life more meaningful, even concerning the court cards. As for the Major Arcana, Chris-Anne has shown originality, it's undeniable, however I have difficulty adhering to many cards because I don't find myself in the symbolism used, or I find it too simple. This is a personal perception, no doubt that other readers may feel more concerned by the author's vision.
The beginner can be seduced by this tarot with current and colorful images. He will find the author's approach original and convincing. However, he may be interested in more traditional tarot cards that will bring him richer and more proven meanings.
The experienced practitioner will find in this deck, a true spirit of softness and a luminous atmosphere. He will use this tarot with fearful or young consultants, whose more traditional or even medieval images (such as the Tarot de Marseille) could be repulsive or even frightening.
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