A jumbo sized deck revealing the mysteries of the night sky. Have you ever looked up into the stars and wondered, wished or dreamed? I have and this is where my inspiration started. I have been fascinated by Myths and legends from around the world since I was a wee girl. Tarot of Asterisms is a wonderful blend of both. Let’s talk Asterisms.
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When I first began researching information it was one of the first discoveries I made, already I felt like a great explorer of the skies, but seriously you could have blown me down with a feather created from the ‘did you know’ department of factoids.
Asterisms are the grouping of stars within a constellation, not the constellation themselves. Did I hear a WOW! Constellations are the grid pattern used to map the sky and all are numbered so astronomers can find a place by entering the constellation number and coordinates into their super scopes.
Once they find the right constellation they can zoom in and inspect the stars and asterisms within. If you have seen a gridded map of the earth, it is the same but in the sky.
Why did I go large? I have been a taroist for well over 20 years. When I was seeking anything and all tarot, classes were necessary to understand the symbology of the Rider Waite (they still are really), and all the cards you could buy were HUGE. My teeny tiny hands learned to shuffle them because there was no real choice, but as we headed into the millennium, there was a mushroom effect in oracle cards which were not too common earlier on.
They served well for those wanting to ask a single question and didn’t want to go to a reader, as the professional status of the reader wasn’t part of the game, cards got smaller and easier to handle, they were cheaply printed to ensure mass sales and guide books became as important as the cards themselves. Yes you just discovered I am a rambler, I can talk the ear off a patient cow.
Since 2000, working at many spiritual fairs I noticed that tarot cards were less evident and oracle cards had become the readers preference. It opened the door to a different type of reader, but I felt (and still do) something had been lost. The mystique and atmosphere which had been generated by the cards themselves, that left the querent buzzing with excitement. Oohing and ahhing over the cards with a slight nervousness in the tummy, reminiscent of waiting in line for a ride at the fair and loving the excited discussions with friends. This is the entertainment side of a wonderful
The decks that get the biggest response when I take them out in public are my jumbo size . Lining them up and asking folks to choose the deck they want usually gets them pointing to the big bright ones. There are a few factors in play when choosing cards even for yourself, being able to see details in the artwork and providing atmosphere in every single card adds to the fun of reading. First and foremost you need really like the look and feel of your cards. I have many friends with decks of cards languishing in the back of the cupboard.
Card Back: The back of the cards were created with the unfathomable in mind. When we look at the sky it is easy to forget that the same stars shining down now have been visible for millennia. The position they hold will have changed from our perspective with the earth’s polar shifts, but they were still there. In ancient times star charts were created with the oldest known that contains star information, being found carved into a ceiling in Japan. In the Kitora Tomb this chart shows 68 asterisms. Even more curious the sky depicted isn’t over Japan but the sky over China at the time.
Astronomers and archaeologists alike argue over the age and location of the view making this a perfect element for the side hiding the details on the front. Intrigue! Staying with the theme a complex star chart on paper was created by the Chinese in 1772, it includes maps of China and the world, and astronomical map of the Polar Regions. As well as a progressive table of Chinese dynasties, it also contains charts of the 8 phenomena (Bagua), maps of the planets and their orbits. These two beautiful historical artefacts are as mysterious as the skies themselves, but wait there’s more. A western antique star map including Perseus and Andromeda offers its grid to the whole before being overlaid with a modern colourized photo of a supernova.
The Guide Book 192 pages chock full of information in large print. This is an exciting set of cards exploring myth, personality, time frames, key words and circumstances. Each card has 5 aspects giving you an opportunity to structure layouts according to what is most important, or a combination of factors to build a story. No other deck provides time frames so clearly while also engaging that curiosity for the more mysterious aspects to satisfy readers of all types. For those who want to read for themselves, there is very little left to interpretation giving you satisfying answers and a number of ways to get the information you need. For professional readers there is plenty of scope to interpret the cards as you desire, learning from the guide book or simply going with what you intuit.
Features for each card interpretation/meaning in the book
The idea is to choose the part of the descriptions in the book that match your query. Are you asking about a person (yourself or others), situation, when something will happen, or the best time to do something? The myths alone are interesting in that they describe a circumstance and type of behaviour that has consequences. Let’s face it, no one messes with Medusa right?
Card Descriptions: The first block of information describes circumstances, or if the reading is future based, where you will find yourself at some point in the future. There are two aspects with a slightly different emphasis, take on board the one that fits your situation
Archetype: We all behave differently depending on the situation and how we feel about it. We aren’t always at our best, but sometimes we shine. This part of an interpretation can indicate a group dynamic, the boss, co-workers or partners, family and friends. It can be representative of a personality type or a persons attitude/behaviour in a specific situation.
Key words: These are the basis of interpretation. Often the challenge in a keyword can reveal solutions in its opposite while the opposite to a positive can reveal a problem. Those who read for others will use the keywords to provide foundational understanding of each card, the same way one would in older style tarot decks.
Time Defined: Unlike like any other deck in the world, Tarot of Asterisms provides clear time indicators. Every card has a month or months based on when the Asterism is closest, and therefore more visible or influential, to the earth. The 13 sun signs offer another layer for timing of events, in particular when asking about a personality type, celebrations or birthdays. The dates on each card are usually read alone for that purpose.
Myths: Every card also has a description of how the asterism was named or an ancient Greek myth. These can be used as part of a reading and are definitely a point of interest. You may even identify with the myth if it describes a struggle or feeling you have.
Ophiuchus: The 13th missing, not missing, sun sign. It is there roving around as it always has, it is not a new discovery and was described in early astronomical scripts. The Babylonians did not have a set month to asterism system, their zodiac had nothing to do with personalities at all. They had more of a glide time where they tried to match seasons with the rising of sun signs, which would be nice now if we wanted an early holiday.
The reason the Ram is number one but doesn’t shine until March? The year started in spring, crops were planted, baby animals were born heralding a new season of planting and growth a period of high activity after a winter hiatus. March was considered the first month of the year for a very long time, as the spring equinox is March 22 in 2022 numerologists will have fun with that one. The slightly befuddled king of Babylon only had 8 calendar months of the year much of the time, no one really knows how long those months were. When the Sun signs didn’t show up at the right time to match a season, he simply added another month. Sigh, would that we could have such freedoms.