The Portland Tarot
Author: Theresa Pridemore, with Jamie Morris
Artist/Designer/Creator: Theresa Pridemore
“Our hero’s journey (and the artist is a hero) leads us to many
forks in the road. Each time the road splits, one path leads
back to the safety of home, and the other, through dense
brambles. We hope our destination is behind the thorns, but
we can’t guess how far off it is or what exactly will await us
when we arrive. That’s art for you. Staying the quest is an
ongoing process. Going home is an illusion.”
~ Theresa Pridemore
The second edition of the Portland Tarot takes what was a totally awesome deck and ramps it up into the ozone! It includes refined artwork, three new bridge cards (the St Johns Bridge, the Vista Bridge, and the Fremont Bridge), an expanded 64 page instruction book, and eco-friendly packaging, including a beautiful blue drawstring bag to hold the cards. Those Bridge cards … they are tied to the Bridge Spreads below! Very special people, they are!
It is a 23 card Major Arcana deck (the additional card is entitled the Weird, and has been redesigned from the version included in the original deck). Envisioned by Jamie Morris, co-writer of the LWB, the Weird represents the “space between spaces”, the moments when all has dissolved and has yet to re-gel and possibilities whip in the wind around you. In the version included in this second edition, we see deck creator Theresa Pridemore being led by an elephant, wearing a garland of roses (Portland is, after all, the City of Roses!), up the incline of the St. John’s Bridge. They are headed towards a mysterious door, through which exist all of the possibilities that Theresa can imagine … and more importantly, those that she cannot! (From the LWB.) The symbol of messages is represented by the two birds that we see flying through the sky.
The three bridge cards that are included show the bridges on one side of the card, with focus words on the reverse side. The Fremont Bridge focuses on “Your Daily Commute”, the Vista Bridge on “Difficult Journeys”, and the St. John’s Bridge on “An Inspiring View”.
There is an extra card with this deck that is basically informational … talking about the intent of the deck (to act as a bridge between the old and the new), to reimagine ancient themes with modern whimsy, and that the Seeker will find the deck especially suited to three card readings. Card 1 is defined as “You Are Here”, Card 2 is defined as “View Across the River”, and Card 3 is defined as “The Bridge”.
I was very blessed to be asked to write the introduction to the LWB for this deck. I hope that I have shared what is unique and special to me about this deck.
The LWB for the first edition is a fold out that puts a great deal of information on the deck, how to use it, and basic card meanings in a short space. It covers the basis, and does that well! The expanded LWB for the second edition is a 64 page effort that goes more deeply into how to use the cards, how to apply the three card bridge readings, and doing one card draws. I loved the “Tarot Glove Box”, where we find “It Takes Two To Tango: Relationship Spreads”, “A Dash Of Inspiration” (as a writer, I adore this one!), and “Look Both Ways Before You Cross”.
In “Archetypes In Tarot” we see a short discussion on what arhcetypes are, and how the Seeker can explore them through the MajorArcana.
Each card is presented with a black and white scan, the card number and title, a few words on the energy of the card, Keys (upright meanings), Locks (reversed meanings), an affirmation, a short write-up in the basic energy of the card, and a few words on the individual(s) that posed as the subject for the card. There is also a paragraph on how the card functions in a reading.
My favorite card in the entire deck is Mount St. Helen’s (The Tower). Here we see a very calm looking gentleman, dressed in a white shirt, black vest, and black bow tie, wearing a black bowler (hat) that has been blown off his head. All kinds of symbols come exploding out of his head! Profound, insightful … and incredibly funny! (To me, anyway.)
The following words are used for Mount St. Helen’s: “Eureka!” A blast erupted inside; alas, I had no place to hide. The affirmation for this card is: “Seeking the opportunity in chaos, I remain open to inspiration.”
IN A READING, when Mount St. Helen’s rumbles, you or someone near you may be repressing impulses that, smothered, could erupt. There’s a monumental shift on the horizon. Note where you place your (blind) trust. Are the foundations you’ve built upon based on egoic strategies? Do you suspect destabilization occurring behind a solid-seeming front? In any event, take your cue from Jefferson: Prepare yourself. (Note: Jefferson Lee is the individual that posed for this card.)
The cards are the same size as the first edition (4” by 6”), but are sturdier, and the coloring more intense. Some of the cards have been refined, or totally redone (The Weird). The backs are a turquoise color, with a large white merkaba in the center, and a smaller merkaba on either side. Over and under the merkaba is a bridge, with a small merkaba under it. The backs are reversible.
The card faces show a ¼” turquoise border, with a thin black border on the inside. Centered on the top of each card is a white half-moon. Across the bottom of the card, in black lettering against a white background, is the card number and title. The cards carry traditional titles, with the following exceptions: House of the Seeker (Hierophant), the Hanged Woman (The Hanged Man), Mount St. Helens (The Tower), and the City (The World). The extra card is The Weird.
The Magician shows a male figure standing at the bottom of an imposing stairway, an upright wand in his left hand, a sword pointed down in his right hand. On the table we see a golden cup and a large pentacle, with a unique touch in the center – Tarot cards laid out that show themselves to be from the Portland Tarot!
The House of the Seeker shows a male, dressed in a white turtleneck and a suit, against a sci-fi looking background. Centered where his heart is we see what appears to be a globe of the world. He is standing in front of a lectern with crossed keys on the front of it. Seated in front of him are a male and a female figure. The background was edited from the first edition, and the lectern and figures added.
The Chariot will bring a smile to everyone’s face! We see a female figure seated in a blue convertible, with both doors open. Behind her appear to be curtains, with the word “Hollywood” appearing on one side, and “Portland” on the other side. Seated in front of the car on the left hand side is a white dog, on the right hand side a black dog. By the way – the car wheels are not touching the ground, and she is holding a phone in her right hand!
I love the card of Justice – it is definitely not what one might expect! We see a female figure seated, knitting, with a cat on her lap. At the end of either knitting needle we see one side of a scale. Justice is knitting dark and light together, promoting resolution through integration (where possible). We knit the lives that we experience … and call it karma. (From the LWB.) Note that the smaller ball of wool weight more than the larger ball. The jay on the knitters shoulder represents a messenger. I like the change in coloring in the second edition, showing more of a rose tone.
Theresa and Jamie have come together to create a tapestry that is spellbinding, unique, and a true joy to work with! I am keeping a close eye on this duo, as a full 78 card deck is slated for the future!
© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission of the author.