You sit down with your deck of cards, maybe a cup of tea ready, perhaps a reading cloth laid out or a notebook by your side. Most of the time, I practice in silence so that I can focus on the cards in front of me. But music can add extra dimension to a reading, and I recommend trying it at least once. If you’d like to give it a go, here are three of my recommendations for artists you should listen to when reading tarot cards.
She sets a tarot card A fool lies on his face Lost despite his own Compass yielding pocket
Described as ‘psych-soul’ by Pitchfork, Kadhja Bonet has a honey-rich voice, and the timbre of the instrumentation is comforting and yet at the same time seems to transport you into a different world. From her Bandcamp page:
(sounds like) Kad-ya was born in 1784 in the backseat of a sea-foam green space pinto. After spending an extraordinarily long time in her mothers plasma, she discovered the joys and gratifications of making noise with her hands and face while traveling at maximum velocity through intergalactic jungle quadrants.
If you’ve listened to Root Lock Radio, you might recognise this song from the opening of each episode. Sparkling notes from a toy piano or glockenspiel make you feel like you’re in an old house listening to a music box. I also love the artwork from the album cover of Souvenirs by Shenandoah Davis. This album is definitely worth listening to in its entirety.
Using traditional, polyphonic singing they perform songs from all over the world, mainly: Ukraine, Balkans, Poland, Belarus, Georgia, Scandinavia and many other places. They sing a capella as well as with shaman drums and other ethnic instruments (shruti box, kalimba, flute, gong, zaphir and koshi chimes, singing bowls, rattles etc.), creating a new space in a traditional song, adding voice improvisations, inspired by sounds of nature, often intuitive, wild and feminine.
The rhythmic drumming of this song is great for getting yourself in a good mindset for tarot: forgetting about anything you need to do for the rest of the day, just relaxing and taking time to connect to your unconscious self.
Do you listen to music when practicing tarot? What helps you to relax and focus when taking time for yourself?
Considerate Cat Tarot is a crowd funded tarot deck featuring the stories of rescue cats. The deck contains over 150 illustrations of cats, most of them real life cats with stories to tell. Each deck contains 78 cards that stay true to classic Tarot imagery but with a light-hearted, feline twist.
This deck supports the rescue efforts in Vancouver B.C. Of every deck sold 5% of proceeds go directly to the entirely no kill and volunteer run V.O.K.R.A. This deck is full of life, love, challenges, hard work and most of all: a love and respect for cats. Cats are magical, mysterious creatures with strong intuitions. This makes them the perfect subject for Tarot.
As a cat owner, I was instantly attracted to this whimsical deck featuring real rescue cats and dainty images of nature and the home. This is a standard 78 card deck, using the usual naming convention of wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. However the Court cards have been renamed as follows:
Page => Daughter
Knight => Son
Queen => Mother
King => Father
Rather than include a Little White Book, which would usually fit into the box with the cards, the creator of this deck, Madeleine Belanger has chosen to include a slightly larger Pocket Guidebook. This booklet is in full colour and features photos of the cats that inspired this deck. There is an option to order a hardback copy of this book, however I have the standard paperback edition. Here’s everything I got in my order:
There was a slight hitch receiving my order, the package going missing somewhere between Canada and Scotland, but Madeleine was extremely helpful and posted me a replacement, which arrived a few weeks later.
This is a peaceful and positive tarot deck, and I think it would be great for gratitude and compassion practices. In the introduction, Madeleine describes tarot (for her) as similar to journaling or meditative yoga, a quiet time for reflection. Here’s a flip-through of the Major Arcana:
The Minor Arcana is also fully illustrated. That, and the descriptions of the cards in the booklet suggests that this deck is probably more inspired by the Rider-Waite-Smith than other types of tarot such as the Marseilles. However the illustrations are not very similar to any other deck that I have seen, so it is really quite unique.
As mentioned earlier, the booklet is in full colour, and the addition of rescue cat photos was one of the factors that made me decide to buy this deck. It’s so impactful to use an art project like this to bring attention to rescue cats, often forgotten and ignored in shelters. But here they take centre stage as Empresses, Lovers, and Magicians.
In terms of the quality of the cards, overall I think they feel nice to touch. Slightly glossy, but not shiny, they’re fairly thin which makes them easier to shuffle. The image quality is nice– not pixellated– but on close inspection appears to be made up of tiny dots. The cards have borders and the edges are not gilded. The paperback guidebook is a little difficult to keep open at first, and some of the images and text is obscured by the binding, but it seems to get easier with use.
If you would like to order this deck, you can order it at the official website based in Canada, or UK buyers may prefer to order it from Little Red Tarot. Either way, I recommend Considerate Cat for anyone who enjoys human-free or nature based decks, or if you love animals and support rescuing pets rather than buying them.
I’ll finish with a little reading I did for my cat Mac using this deck. I went for a simple Stop Start Continue spread:
The guidebook describes those three cards as follows:
Daughter of Wands: Enthusiasm, confidence. You’ve recently discovered a new passion or have been inspired recently to work hard on a current project. You’re excited and inspired to be creative and work hard.
Mother of Wands: Attraction, fertility, confidence. Mother of Wands is a good and loyal friend and is always there for you when you most need her. This card can tell you that you’ll need the support of someone with these qualities and that you should be open to it.
Three of Pentacles: Expression, hard work, creativity. You are ready to take on a new creative challenge in your life. You have new skills at the ready and you’re eager to put them to the test and get to work!
The way I would interpret this spread is that Mac has been like The Fool- ready for adventure and wide-eyed. Maybe because he has been zooming around and knocking things over, he should listen to his owner (me) saying ‘calm down!’, but he should continue to be creative and fun loving.
I hope you have enjoyed this review; please comment or contact me with any feedback or requests, and feel free to follow this blog from the sidebar.