BY SOPHIE E. MOSS
Dearest darklings, you can read the first installment in the Luna Luna roundup of aesthetically divine tarot decks here.
PAGAN OTHERWORLDS TAROT
Without question, the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot is one of the most viscerally marvelous decks there is. With a particular emphasis on quality and craftsmanship, each card is hand-painted using traditional oils and calligraphy and is gilded with gold foil, making this deck a unique fusion of art and esotericism.
What is most striking about this deck, for me, is how each card symbolizes a deeply rooted connection to the ancient movement, cycles, and algorithms of Nature. From the wild and abundant to the barren and cruel, each card casts our archetypal arcana as intertwined with the rhythm and pulse of nature’s ebb and flow. The deck’s creative team, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham, touch upon the cards’ roots in the Kickstarter campaign they launched in 2015, noting that “Nature is our Fate Star—our future. We are deeply connected to it’s patterns and movements, nourishment and energy. To appreciate and respect it’s transitory, wild and life-giving powers is to better understand and appreciate our own.”
Let us consider the Death card, for instance. The card’s illustration is not ameliorating in its depiction of ‘Death’, for it shows a skeletal figure wielding a scythe as He travels over earth littered with bodies ingrown. The surrounding landscape is largely barren and our skeletal antagonist appears unperturbed in his search of bodies for his collection. To feel a sense of foreboding upon drawing this card would be forgiven; the faint knock of Death is certainly less metaphorical here than in other tarot decks, but it would be missing the point.
Indeed, it is a truism that this card rarely (if ever) signifies physical death. The crux of the Death card in tarot is less a cry of impending doom and more indicative of Rebirth and new beginnings; symbolic of the closing of a significant chapter in our lives in order to make room for opportunity and valuable change. Note the small, lone flower between the fingers of a hand growing out from the earth—consider it a delicate reminder that death brings life as winter spring; that not everything must end in dirt.
Sophie E. Moss is a writer, lover, human, mess. When she isn't searching for the perfect leather jacket, she writes essays for Luna Luna Magazine and poetry for all the people she used to be. Her work appears in Dirty Chai Magazine, Ty Celf, Quail Bell Magazine, among others. You can find her on Twitter @Sophiedelays.