Inner Whispers

Guiding You To A More Magical Life

Inner Whispers

The Frideborg Tarot: Just A Bunch of Photos?

Frideborg Tarot Overview1The Frideborg Tarot is a photographic deck, with images selected by Lisa (Frideborg) Eddy (2016 – email her if you’re interested in getting a copy, or you can download the digital version for free!)  I was somewhat surprised to hear someone say that choosing a bunch of images and calling them a deck isn’t really creating a tarot.  From illustrating blog posts and presentations, I know just how much time and effort goes into finding images that illustrate the point you want to express in the best possible way.  The choices you make in life are creative: they create your identity, as well as the physical manifestations that others also perceive.  On top of that, there’s the effort that goes into editing things up to get a consistent feel, adjusting the colour balance and so on.  Suffice it to say, I consider this a proper tarot, and a very interesting one at that.

The Frideborg Tarot

There is a rich vibrancy to many of the cards in this deck, and an everyday-ness that belies the depth of their meanings.  The Magician is a perfect case in point.  On the one hand, the shimmering jewel tones of this emerald leaf and neon dragonfly are incredibly exotic-looking.  On the other hand, it’s an insect.  Yet, the connection of the dragonfly to water and air, and to dragons, have led this creature to be considered a psychopomp: a guide able to travel between dimensions.  Not a traditional Magician, then, but one who can choose between different elements and states, finding the most appropriate to achieve his purpose.

The Court cards in this deck are equally mundane and yet expressive.  The Page of Pentacles shows a little boy exploring the world through books.  While this could be more the realm of the Page of Swords, I notice the way he balances on the too-big bench, and is bathed in the warm sunlight streaming in through a window to his side.  His exploration includes a sensory immersion in the world, as well as more traditional “study”.

Frideborg Tarot Overview 2

I drew the Ace of Cups to illustrate this aspect of the deck.  And isn’t this a wonderful card?  The heart is an opening in a barred, wooden door.  In the same way, our body separates us from the rest of the world, yet we are not totally closed off if our heart is open.  Open to others, open to the divine in the form of the light streaming across it.

The Four of Cups is a very unusual card.  I have to admit I needed to hear from Lisa what this was before I could make sense of it.  She said it is the base of a vase.  I don’t know what her reasons for choosing it were.  What that idea brings up for me is the fact that we are looking at the boring base, when a vase is designed to hold beautiful flowers higher up.  As in the traditional Four of Cups, we are missing the beauty that life offers us if we focus only on the vase’s base, not seeing the gift of the blooms above.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the images sometimes take a little thought, a little understanding.  This is just one of the factors that make this deck more than just a bunch of random images.  Lisa’s experience as a reader, as well as her wide-ranging knowledge of astrological correspondences, have gone into her choices.  And if you don’t immediately ‘get’ a card, you can always ask Lisa, or other fans of the deck, on the Facebook page she has set up for it 🙂  All told, it’s a fascinating, insightful, playful and attractive deck, rather like its creator!

8 Responses to “The Frideborg Tarot: Just A Bunch of Photos?”

  • They’re hardly ‘random’ if they have been individually selected, so that’s a poor choice of words. I do tend to be left cold by this sort of project (though I’m not the one that made that remark.) For many of this deck’s images, I can see how the photo reflects the energy of the original card. Others seem either a bit narrowly interpreted or perhaps personal to the creator. But as with anything, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I don’t believe there’s any reason not to say what you think about a deck (or anything else for that matter). An opinion isn’t right or wrong — it’s just an opinion, and you can respect that opinion or not. (‘People who don’t read reversals are imbeciles’ — remember that one? LOL So ‘Tarot decks that don’t have all the pips in the minors – or aren’t handpainted – or don’t make me think of PCS – or feature contemporary life – etc – are not tarot decks.’ Same league.) Once a creation has been released to the public, it’s fair game for lovers, hater, and neuters, and you’re going to get all three. 🙂

    • It’s true, any creator has to release their creation and face the comments, good and bad. I just thought I’d add my two cents to the debate 🙂 And yes, people can come up with the strangest ideas! 😀

  • I don’t like decks like this either but Lisa has a fresh enthusiasm for life and tarot. It’s good when people can do what they want and pass their enthusiasm to others.

    People who would say “It’s just a bunch of images” probably think they can sit down for an hour and write a book or become a tarot reader after a week of owning a deck. Meh. Takes all kinds.

    • Totally agree, JJ. It’s lovely to see people with enthusiasm, and it does take effort to do so many things that people often don’t appreciate until they actually try it for themselves!

  • I don’t have a copy of this deck sadly, missed the boat. I find the approach interesting and refreshing and the images do provoke contemplation on the meaning in some instances but I do find that they capture the energy and the feeling of the message well in each card. Well done Lisa I say.

  • Jenny

    My nut to pick with Frideborg’s tarot is the pegging of the Court Cards — Queen of Wands is much more than a lipstick sex pot, for example 🙂 — Fire is about a *lot* more than sex! For me, the Queen of Wands is the ambitious power woman of the Tarot; even if she strips on the side she’s easily a grad student by day. Narrow interpretations of court cards can lead to skewed readings, which is my biggest peeve here

    • Court cards are so multi-faceted that they can be tricky to represent, especially simply. However, I see in that Queen of Wands no just a lipstick sex pot. The lipstick can also represent a willingness to be seen, and the bright colour suggests her fiery nature – she’s certainly not shy and retiring, whatever she does 😀


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