Monthly Archives: September 2012

Announcing: The Chrysalis Tarot

Originally posted on Toney Brooks blog August 25, 2012. 

Destiny's Child

As Holly Sierra and I near the completion of Chrysalis Tarot, a project we've been hard at work on for more than 2-years, we will utilize this blog from time to time to feature glimpses into the deck and the Chrysalis philosophy.

Originally posted on Toney Brooks blog August 25, 2012. 

Destiny's Child

As Holly Sierra and I near the completion of Chrysalis Tarot, a project we've been hard at work on for more than 2-years, we will utilize this blog from time to time to feature glimpses into the deck and the Chrysalis philosophy.

Holly's art on the left is titled, Divine Child (click image for greater detail). He or she (the child is androgynous) symbolizes the rich yet unfulfilled potential of Self, i.e. a person's destiny. Psychologist C.G. Jung termed the fulfillment process individuation. He taught that every individual soul is, at birth, analogous to a pencil sketch on a painter's canvass.  

The journey of transformation from birth to destiny, and to destiny's full-color, wall-sized portrait, is the storied Hero's Journey of mythology. Examples of the Hero's Journey are the Quest for the Holy Grail, The Odyssey and, as I was delighted to discover online this morning, Shrek.  The journey itself supplies the artistry needed to fulfill the canvass' potential.

All tarot decks, in one form or fashion, portray the Hero's Journey and are tools for the artistry of self-discovery.

Our Divine Child, then, is a symbol of the transformational process of Self becoming fully individuated Hero.  This process progresses from black and white to brilliant color as we ascend to higher consciousness and greater spiritual awareness.  During the black and white, pre-destiny, fumbling around state of ego-dominated being, a person will project an incomplete, imperfect image of Self onto gods and saviors, or others they deem worthy of hero worship.

Chrysalis Tarot, which we call "transformational technology for everyone," is designed to increase awareness of the adventurous Hero's Journey and make it compelling.  Many stuck in the black and white stage think they've already arrived when, in fact, they've never left the station.  And that's okay.  Religion, it's said, is often the entropy of spirituality.

Other souls are restless, questioning, and intuitively sense a higher calling and purpose in life.  Even so, destiny presents a zigzagging, co-creative, moving target, never a fixed absolute.

This is where the journey gets intriguing.  "Co-creative with whom," you might ask?  Well, first let's dismiss saccharine platitudes like, "The Lord has a plan," or even worse, "If it's God's will."  A grief-stricken mother, for example, striving to prevent her starving infant from dying in her arms has little need for such sanctimonious eloquence.

Glib sayings like those presuppose a fatalistic universe, a universe in which people are mere puppets dependent upon an officious puppetmaster in the sky pulling billions of strings simultaneously.

Or even more unlikely, the random universe of a detached cosmic clockmaker who wound up creation 14-billion years ago and then scurried off to attend to other cosmic duties, thus dooming the world to the mechanistic fortunes and misfortunes of ticking gears and classical physics.

In the middle ground, we find reason, free will, moral responsibility, personal accountability, quantum physics and a cerebrum under the hood we're expected to use. Still, we realize we do not travel alone; that there's a guiding light we perceive to be both transcendent (exterior) and immanent (interior).  And then we move beyond the fantasy of dualism and realize we are One with the guiding light and that everything is connected.

A person's soul sketch is inherited from the collective unconscious of all humanity, thought Jung.  He defined the collective unconscious as a memory bank serving the human species: "a collective, universal and impersonal nature that is identical in all human beings."  Our conscious mind isn't aware of Jung's collective unconscious, but our unconscious mind decidedly is not only aware of it, but in continuous interplay with it — if consciousness is a flower, the collective unconscious are the roots.

Since the discovery of quantum physics, there are other hypotheses, in addition to inheritance, providing plausible explanations for interconnectedness with the collective unconscious.  One is termed quantum entanglement.  Another is Gaia Theory.

Chrysalis Tarot is a tool, like many other tools used for personal growth, whose primary goal is to integrate the personal, conscious mind with the unconscious mind, thereby lifting it into consciousness.

Chrysalis accomplishes this through the inspiration of art and archetypes (psychological instincts) to help our users explore the depths of the collective unconscious. This leads to a fuller understanding of our own Self and more useful discernment of the myriad choices and crossroads leading to personal destiny.

Discernment is aided by synchronicity, the topic of our next blog featuring The Pilgrim (pictured left).

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Deviant Moon Tarot Companion Book: Sample Page King of Coins

Here is the King of Pentacles sample page from the Deviant Moon Tarot companion book.


King of Pentacles


The stout King of Pentacles proudly displays the silvery emblem of his industrial dynasty. He is a powerful individual, who has worked diligently through the years to attain his status. Unlike other kings, he does not rest on his riches. He involves himself in every aspect of his kingdom, from major to menial tasks. Being a perfectionist, he often toils inside the factories alongside common laborers, making sure each product meets his strict specifications.

The king's impressive crown of smokestacks shows that business is always foremost on his mind. Unfortunately, this preoccupation leaves little room for spirituality. The pressure gauge fixed in the crown’s center signifies mental stress, which is inherent to his position as an executive. When the meter gets too high, the king releases steam and converts his tension into useful energy.

The king’s mighty suit of armor conveys his steely determination to succeed. He has fought hard to build his empire, and he will do anything necessary to maintain it. However, underneath that worn exterior, there may be a woman dying to break free! Such femininities include a studded kilt, high-heeled shoes, earrings, polished fingernails, and the dainty way in which his pinky sticks up. These attributes subtly express his soft caring nature, which he often has to hide when dealing with ruthless business competitors. One might also interpret the king as a female who has assumed masculine qualities in order to compete in a male dominated world.


Upright meanings:


The King of Pentacles signifies an enterprising figure that will likely become wealthy through his business ventures. This captain of industry is not only a strong administrator, but he is also an authority in his field. He is a wise investor and is proficient in all types of financial matters. Learn all you can from this shrewd character! Always look for ways to capitalize on unique opportunities. Be sure to set high standards and demand nothing short of excellence from yourself and others. By practicing self-discipline and control, you will be successful in everything you do.

The card may also represent an organization that prospers because of skilled management. In a well-ordered establishment such as this, supervisors lead with integrity and strive to bring out the best in their workers.



Reversed meanings:

When reversed, the King of Pentacles often represents a materialistic person fueled by greed. Beware! This crook may try to swindle you out of your hard-earned money. He might disguise himself as an honest financial consultant or a sincere investor. In this position, the card could also signify a supervisor who exploits his underlings for profit.

Perhaps you are the corrupt one! If so, you must realize that you are only cheating yourself! It is time to turn your dishonest values around, for your lust for gain will only cause you to lose your soul in the end!

In this position, the king might also symbolize business mismanagement. A once promising venture will fail because of inefficiency, fraud, or unethical practices.



I originally intended to use coins for this suit rather than pentacles. The borders of the cards were to be royal purple, and the images would have pictured wealthy citizens dressed in 18th century fashions. However, by the time I began working on them, I realized that the opulent theme I had planned, as well as the color palette, would have been similar to what I already created in the Suit of Cups. At that point, a dark, gritty, industrialized premise seized my imagination. Decaying factories replaced Arabic style palaces, and a blackened color theme absorbed the jeweled colors in darkness.