Inner Whispers

Guiding You To A More Magical Life

Inner Whispers

Dance of Life Tarot Review

DoLT-BackAs promised last week, I had time this week to spend with this lovely deck, the Dance of Life Tarot (OOP).  In terms of the basics, the cards are fairly large, and a little thicker than I like, but overall still quite shuffleable.  The backs are theoretically reversible, showing the four suit symbols first upright, then reversed – in two lines.  However, the copyright mark is a line at the bottom in black text on a white border, so quite visible.

Moving to the card images, from the Majors I drew the Spiritual Teacher (Hierophant).  At first glance this old geezer seems quite traditional, sitting on a throne with a sceptre of power and ceremonial robes and hat, as well as a cross around his neck.  Looking deeper, though, his sceptre holds a crystal, and another is held in his other hand.  He is also winking at us, and behind and beneath him the stone throne and pillars are crumbling, as all dogma must.  In the space between the pillars are symbols of other spiritual traditions – a snake, a kabbalistic tree, a buddha figure and a sanskrit text.
BF-DoLT-OverviewThe companion book for this deck is lovely.  It explores the symbolism of each card, as well as giving divinatory and shadow meanings.  It also offers a section titled “Meditation, Contemplation and Conversation” and then a “Deepening Your Understanding” section.  In this last, there are journal prompts in the form of beginnings of sentences.  It suggests you draw a card for each to complete the sentence and then interpret it.  For example, with the Spiritual Teacher these include:”1) My tradition…

2) God…
3) I obey…
4) I am polarized…
5) My contradictions…
6) The symbols of my spirit…”

As I mentioned in the reading last week, the suits have been changed, some more dramatically than others.  These become the Suits of Self, Relationships, Health, and fourthly Money and the Material World.

While it would be tempting to equate Self to Wands, Relationships to Cups, and Money and the Material World to Pentacles, the Suit of Health doesn’t fit with the tradition of Swords.  We cannot take it as referring to mental health, given card two is titled Body Systems.  Overall, it’s best to take at least the minor cards at face value, almost more like an oracle, and not try to equate them to traditional tarot notions.

BeFunky Collage DoLT EmblemsOne of the only things that bothers me a bit is the suit emblems.  Each one is a little different, each being hand-painted on its card.  Nor are the differences minor.  Here is a collage of some of the different versions of the symbol for the suit of Money and the Material World.

As well as renaming the Suits, the Courts have been renamed, too.  Here, we meet the Muse, the Dancer, the Lover and the Sage.  While they approximate to standard Courts in terms of age/experience, they are not gender-specific.  Some Sages are male, some female.  The Sage of Money and the Material World is a wise-eyed, grey-haired gentleman in a blue turban.  The book speaks of having seen money made and money lost, of having suffered theft and bouncing back from it all.  The Sage understands money without being wedded to it, and is successful at a material level, however he or she chooses to define that.

The image itself doesn’t give all that many clues to this, I find.  The author does suggest, though, that you spend five minutes gazing into the Sage’s left eye, to perceive this wisdom…

BF-DoLT-Overview 1The Aces are quite powerful and beautiful.  In this Ace of Self we see an eye surrounded by swirling energy, that of the cosmos, the elements and of our self.  The eye allows us to look both inward and outward.  There is also a little devil character, found on some of the Majors, as well.  When we look inward we can perceive and come to accept our shadow, our inner demons.

Finally, from the Minors we have the Nine of Relationships.  It seems almost strange in a suit of relationship that she stands alone.  Yet, our first relationship is to ourselves.  This lovely woman with her white curly hair enjoys the sensation of rain on her face and body.  She is willing to indulge her senses, to touch herself, just as she is willing to touch and be touched by others.  The book suggests exploring your senses with a lover or friends, be it a walk in nature or enjoying a meal together.  While the emphasis is rather different to the traditional Nine of Cups, I see traces here of what is so often called the ‘wish’ card…

Altogether, these cards are lovely and the book is profound and inspiring.  It’s a great deck for exploring your relationships, including to yourself.  What it is not, is simple or plug’n’play.  It takes time to work with, and will give back generously for time spent with it.

4 Responses to “Dance of Life Tarot Review”

  • I do enjoy the artwork but it would require to much energy to really get to know this deck and I don’t like the artwork that much. Lately I’ve been studying the Mary El tarot . For me this is a deck I do think it is worth while to dive in to.

    • The Mary El is one of those decks on my to-do list. Some of the images are amazing, and some are terrifying, and many require quite a bit of exploring to understand. I’ve not yet found the time, energy and inclination to get into it, though I’ve had it since it first came out! Whereas I find this deck playful and quite easy to approach… horses for courses, as the saying goes 🙂

  • This appears to be an interesting deck! The Hierophant reminds me a bit of Santa Claus – all goodness there, really, and rich tradition to boot 😉

    • Ha ha, yes, I can see that. I like that he’s winking playfully, to detract from his very traditional clothes and setting 😉


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