Author Archives: USGS Staff

Spooky #Tarot

What are your favorite decks to read with in the Halloween season? Do you switch to another deck or stick with the one you always read with?


Here's one fun deck you might want to check out if you haven't already. It's a perennial favorite.



The Halloween Tarot by Kipling West is available in a tin or without.

Here's a review from N. Levine who says, "The set exceeded my expectations of it, despite my quirky requirements."

And a note from Chavra who calls this deck "a fun portrayal of the secular side of Hallows."

Velvet reviews this deck as well, commenting, "helps to add an element of fun."

PSSST! Want a new deck? You can get 20% off the Vampire Tarot, the Halloween Tarot (deck/book set) and Ghosts & Spirits Tarot.
Individuals only. Click on the ADD TO CART on the decks you want. The
discount price will show at top right next to Cart Icon. Have fun and
get yourself some treats this Halloween season! Offer ends October 31st
so don't miss out!

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).

Follow Holly on Facebook.

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.

Deviant Moon #Tarot Companion Book: Sample Page 3 of Wands

We are pleased to share with you some sample pages from Patrick Valenza's upcoming Deviant Moon Tarot companion book. A long awaited treat, this book expands upon Valenza's vision of his celebrated deck. We know you will enjoy seeing some of the early sketches of this terrific deck.


Three of Wands


Upon a grassy hill, an expectant mother anxiously awaits
the blooming of three wands. A chunk of orange amber glows hot on her belt,
signaling that birth is eminent. Having committed massive energy into the
growth of this new life, she reflects on the journey that has brought her to
this moment. Although she is hopeful for success, the number three represents
unpredictability and the chance that things may not develop as imagined.

A vine-like umbilical cord connects the young mother’s
swollen belly to the wands. Her warm blood streams through this vital link,
which nourishes the blooms and keeps them alive. Her exposed breast shows her
readiness to foster the plants after they flower; however, she keeps her other
breast tucked under her arm in a guarded fashion. This might imply that she has
mixed feelings about the perpetual responsibilities that lie ahead.

In the days before raising these wands from seed, the
young mother was immature and wild. Nurturing something greater than herself
taught her to focus on creation instead of destruction. She has flipped her
fierce warrior mask around to the back like a cloak, revealing the caring side
of her personality.

From afar, the deviant moon imparts its spirit upon the
buds with its silver breath. The young mother has done her part, and now the
universe will complete this unique creation.


Upright meanings:


The Three of
Wands represents the circulation of creativity from one form to another. Like a
mother with child, your life force flows into your creations and sustains them
until they can survive on their own. You have given so much to bring your ideas
into existence, and they are flourishing brilliantly. Although this should be
an exciting time for you, vicious thoughts of self-doubt run in the back of
your mind. As you contemplate your efforts, you may be wondering if you planned
well enough to ensure favorable results. Stop worrying and let your remarkable conceptions
unfold naturally.



Upside down, the Three of Wands says that a creative endeavor will go wrong
despite your best attempts. While you meant well and tried to think of
everything, the little mistakes you made along the way will compound into a
tremendous failure. Regardless of any setback, you must remember that you did
not waste your time. Learn from your errors, conceive a better plan, and try

Perhaps the negative aspects of your character are getting the best of you,
making it hard to concentrate on projects or see them to fruition. Realize that
neglect or a lack of dedication may also lead to your creations demise.

Unfortunately, this reversed card might predict a miscarriage or premature



of Wands” -Rough Sketch-2007

In this early variation, three
impaled skulls mark the boundary between a pristine environment and a polluted
industrial zone. Deadly toxins leached from the factories contaminate the water
and encroach upon the countryside.



Lammas Blog Hop: Pentacles : The Fruits of Harvest

‘’Pentacles : The Fruits of Harvest’’

That's our theme for this blog hop. You probably got here from Gary's page. See the master list here. The next hop will be at the bottom.

We thought we would share some of the fruits of our harvest in Tarot cards in 2011 and so far in 2012. Meet the King and Queen of the Earth suit from those decks.



The brown tabbies rule this suit in the Cat's Eye Tarot.

Meet Paulina Cassidy's whimsical twosome from the Joie de Vivre Tarot.

The Art of Life features quotes matched with famous paintings.


An unusual pairing for the Hobbit Tarot's Queen and King of Coins.


The royal duo from the Stevie Nicks inspired Crystal Visions Tarot.

And finally the spectral rulers from Lisa Hunt's Ghosts & Spirits Tarot.

We hope you've enjoyed these fruits from our harvest. Which ones are on your wish list? Which ones do you already have?

Leave a comment to be in a drawing for one of our Tarot books. Winner will get their choice from a list we provide. Winner will be announced Friday and all comments count up to Friday 6on EDT.

And don't forget to join us on our Facebook page. We post Questions of the Day to help each other learn more about Tarot.

Now hop along to the next blog which is the Tarot Association of the British Isle's blog.

Multiple #Tarot Decks?

There are many great blogs on the web. A favorite of ours is the Tarot-ically Speaking by Madhavi Ghare. Last week she shared an experience about reading with two (or more) Tarot decks.

Madhavi shared, "Doing a Tarot reading with two or more Tarot decks was one of the most fascinating experiences I have had in my entire career as a professional Tarot card reader. Not only was it more illuminating, but it was also challenging and interesting for the client. Normally, most Tarot card readers end up using a…Click here to see the full blog.

Enjoy! Share some of your favorite blogs in the comments here. Let's make it about others so share someone else's blog instead of yours!

#Tarot Blog Hop: Ghosts & Spirits & Sun Rise?

Hopefully you hopped here from Jaymi Elford’s site. If you didn’t, or a link is broken, check out the master list here. This Tarot Blog Hop’s theme is “Celebrate The Sunrise” which we are doing by sharing the Ghosts & Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt (2012). Even ghosts like the new day.

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot
explores the fascinating subject of ghosts, surveying supernatural lore and legend from around the world. This luminous presents 79 ethereal beings, some frightening, and some friendly. Through the symbolism of tarot, they deliver their messages from beyond, shedding light on human experiences.

  • Includes:
  • Special Bonus card
  • Booklet with divinatory meanings
  • Five-card Realm of the Spirit spread

This is a very special deck, that could easily be used by anyone, from any background. Bonnie Cehovet

GS_SwordsKnightaThe amount of research and work it took to put together this deck, not to mention all of the illustrations, boggles the mind. Within these 78 works of art you are introduced to a myriad of ghosts and spirits from all around the world, down through time from many different cultures and traditions. Koneta Bailey

I am stunned by the possibilities. Christiana Gaudet

This deck is simply too amazing and powerful that just descriptions alone do not come close to the wonder of holding this treasure in your hands and letting the Ghosts and Spirits speak to you in there own unique voice. Lizzie of Lizzie’s Logic

Lisa has gone above and beyond by including the individual spirit/ghost that is depicted in each card and has given brief background for each one. Misha

Lisa has made it thought provoking instead of dark and scary. Mary Nale


Perhaps you too will hear the siren’s song of spirit and come not to investigate, but to learn what moves, motivates and perhaps what manifests itself to you, the reader. Barbara Oliver Tarot’s Voice

“[T]his will be a “go to” deck for special readings that require something different.” Michael on

“[I]t can easily be considered a portable illustrated encyclopedia of ghost and spirits.” W Neko-san on

Now hop on over to Chloe’s Inner Whispers blog.