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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Review: The Tarot of Light and Shadow

Author: Andrea Aste, John Matthews

Artist: Andrea Aste

Watkins

2020

ISBN #978-1-78678-411-7

“The Tarot of Light and Shadow” is an amazing project co-produced by New York Times best-selling author John Matthews and multimedia artist/writer/animator/film make Andrea Aste. It consists of two 79 card decks and a 157-page companion book. The decks and book come in a sturdy, lift-top box.

The card stock is sturdy, and easy to shuffle. The cards are 2 3/4 inches by 4 ½ inches. The “Light” deck is a mauve color, while the “Dark” deck is a blueish color. Both decks have a ¼ inch plain border, with the card title/suit across the bottom. Aste has an amazing ability to take just a few simple lines and create a whole “other” world. The illustrations are an exciting gateway into another world!

The theme for these decks is the ability to explore both sides of a question at once. The Shadow deck representing our inner, instinctive world and the unknown, and the Light deck representing our rational outer world and that which is known.

The Major Arcana retain their traditional titles, with Justice at VIII and Strength at XI. The Minor Arcana suits are Swords, Cups, Serpents (Pentacles) and Wands. The Court cards are entitled Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

There is one addition card with each deck entitled “The Cosmic Mirror”, considered to be the equivalent of “wild cards”. Each card is depicted as a mirror, a blank speculum on which anything can be reflected. Some of the ways suggested in using this card are: (1) if you are using one deck, as opposed to using both decks shuffled together, this card can indicate that you need to switch decks, (2) look at the card before or after this card, or (3) use this card as a significator for the individual/situation being read for.

The card backs represent the mistress of Tarot as she presides over the mysterious city of Sapientia, where all knowledge is kept, and which lies between the realms of Light and Shadow. The card back is reversible.

In his introduction, Matthews emphasizes that it is important to understand that when we choose to work with a double deck we ae seeing truths from two different angles, mirroring each other.

Matthews also addresses how to work with this deck. He notes that many readers already draw a card from another deck to expand their understanding/perception of a reading already done. The concept of these two decks is to understand that they are two ways of viewing the same thing. What we do not want to do is look at Light as being positive, and Shadow as being negative. Three distinct methods of using the deck are listed, as well as ways to use the Cosmic Mirror cards.

In presenting the Mirror Spread, Matthews suggests that “The Tarot of Light and Shadow” is a parallel universe, similar to our own but subtly different. For me, the spread acts as the gateway between the two universes.

All cards (Major Arcana and Minor Arcana) are presented with an overview of the card’s energy, along with a paragraph each on how the card would be read in a Light Reading and a Shadow Reading. Color illustrations for both decks accompany the descriptions. The Cosmic Mirror card discusses how to use the cards (Light and Shadow), with color illustrations.

The section on new spreads and sample readings includes The Divine Fool Spread, The Eternal Truth Spread, The Cosmic Spread, and The Directional Reading. At the end of the book are links to the artist and author’s sites, and suggestions for further reading.

I highly recommend this deck to anyone wishing to experience reading with unlimited possibilities and greater depth.

© January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.


 
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Posted by on January 11, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Reading For 2021 From The Tarot Of Light And Shadow

I decided to use “The Tarot of Light and Shadow” (John Matthews and Andrea Aste) as the deck for my New Year’s reading. I used a three-card spread defined as follows:

  • What do I need to leave behind from 2020?
  • What do I want to take into 2021?
  • What is my focus for 2021?

I drew the following cards: VII of Swords, Justice, and The Chariot

My first thought on drawing the Seven of Swords for what I need to leave behind from 2020 is that this is a very appropriate card. While my 2020 was not as bad as it was for other people, it did have its up and downs. From the “Light” reading of what I need to leave behind, I am looking at the fact that I allow myself to become frustrated, which limits my perception of both people and situations. I need to learn to accept that I am going through change, and not fight it. From the “Shadow” reading of what I need to leave behind, is the thought of becoming entangled with people and situations. While I need to move forward slowly, I need to keep moving forward. I need to believe in myself.

I definitely want to take a sense of justice/balance into 2021! IMHO, the balance is always there, if we choose to see it. From the “Light” reading I see that I need to take with me into 2021 my ability to see myself and my situation honestly and clearly. I need to continue to see my truth and act on it. We draw to us that which we hold in our minds, so I need to hold in my mind that I want to deal only with truth. The “Shadow” reading tells me that I need to be fair and impartial, and not look to play the blame game. My actions need to reflect my words.

My focus for 2021 is taking my life in the direction that I want it to go in. The “Light” reading asks me to take responsibility for the life that I create. I can move through uncertainty, I can move forward in my life. Balance of mind and heart is necessary here. The “Shadow” reading asks me to get up when I fall down, dust myself off, and keep going. I should use my best qualities to nuture myself. Keeping my goals in mind is paramont – but I need to stay in the present and see at what cost I am accomplishing these goals.

These are just a few thoughts, and I will come back over time and add to them. Many thanks to John Matthews and Andrea Aste for gifting us with such an in-depth deck!

January 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written authorization from the author.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2021 in Uncategorized