Inner Whispers

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Inner Whispers

Heroes and Villains Abound, But Is It A Tarot?

BF-JusticeLeague-OverviewThe Justice League Tarot (2015) is published by DC Collectibles.  This focus on genre fans  doesn’t stop it being a readable tarot, though it may explain how come there isn’t even a LWB in the box, never mind a companion book.  It does include a (slightly too tight) thin velvet, black drawstring bag embroidered with the deck’ name in white.

The artwork has a nice, consistent feel, though it’s unclear from the packaging whether it is all from one artist.  The card stock is good, with a durable feel, not flimsy and not over laminated.  The backs are fully reversible, with a design reminiscent of the Two of Pentacles – two slightly overlapping, glowing blue spheres.

As for the Majors, they maintain fairly traditional names, though with some surprising images.  Given the constant uncertainty portrayed in films over whether they can make the relationship work long term, I wouldn’t have chosen Superman and Lois Lane for the World card, for instance.  On the other hand, I rather like what I assume is the Green Lantern for the Chariot.  There is certainly a feeling of movement, determination, and making your way against difficult circumstances here.  There are even a red and a green scary face down the bottom amongst the “flames”.

The Court cards also work well in terms of distinguishing the ranks.  The Pages are all child-like or playful in some other way (such as the Page of Swords showing a mask held in a hand – someone young experimenting with how they express themselves).  However, the elemental associations of the suits seem to be totally absent, and while some characters seem to fit traditional meanings well, others do so far less.

Take the King of Swords.  He hardly looks like someone who uses his mind to affect the world!  He does look forceful and decisive, it’s true, and with a piercing gaze that could indicate perspective, I guess…

BF-JusticeLeague-Overview2Several Aces give me a bit of trouble.  The Ace of Swords, for instance, has a figure with a huge circular background that looks extremely Pentacle-y.  His gleaming sword is there, but could equally be a wand, and is far less apparent at first glance than the big, yellow circle.

Equally, this Ace of Wands is very dark for such a dynamic card.  At least his wand stands out reasonably well, though the gold pendant he wears could also be taken for a golden Disk/Pentacle…  He seems somewhat disembodied, floating in the sky surrounded by a slightly egg-like swirl.  I guess that could suggest energy, and he is quite dapper 😉

The Six of Cups, on the other hand, has a lovely, playful feel to it.  Some super heroes race amongst floods of water, with people cheering them on from a bridge behind.  One of them is child-size, though I don’t know which characters they represent.  The little one is winning, or being allowed to win: perhaps representing the “gift” that is being given, or the fact the other characters are feeling indulgent as they remember their own childhoods.  While not all the Minors do link clearly with traditional meanings, for the most part links can be made.

So, to answer the question in the title, I definitely consider this a “proper” tarot.  It is fun, often bright (though I’m not a fan of the black borders), and also has a more masculine feel than many decks, which makes quite a nice change.  It isn’t at all esoteric, yet maintains enough symbolism for interpretation.  While it won’t become a favourite of mine, it is certainly deserving of a place in my collection 😀

2 Responses to “Heroes and Villains Abound, But Is It A Tarot?”

  • As a lover of the Fradella Tarot and having grown up reading DC Comics, this looks tempting. Too bad there isn’t a companion book, as one of the things I like about the Fradella is that the book explains the characters and their lives–makes a difference, really makes that deck special, gives it more meaning.

    Reply
    • Yes, I agree a book would make a big difference. And it doesn’t even have to be a big book. When I think about how good the LWB with the Joie de Vivre is, it’s a reminder you don’t need a novel to complement a deck! Ah well…

      Reply

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