US Games, Inc. Publishing
ISBN-13 #: 978-1-57281-661-9
Lisa Hunt, creatrix of the Shapeshifter Tarot, Celtic Dragon Tarot, Animals Divine Tarot, and the Fairy Tale Tarot has gone off in a new direction with her latest offering to the tarot community, Ghost and Spirits Tarot. Each card is a depiction of a different spirit or ghost from a different culture and/or time period in the world’s history. Rendered in etheric watercolor paintings, the ghosts and spirits seem to come alive and have some otherworldly life of their own. These aren’t just pictures on card stock. These cards contain real energies. Some are benevolent, a few aren’t so nice, but all in all, this deck has helped me to embark upon some very interesting voyages of self-discovery, and isn’t that truly what tarot is all about? Discovering more about ourselves helps us to figure out how our lives are evolving and guides us toward making decisions that are for our highest good. Excellent decks help us to accomplish just that and the Ghost and Spirits Tarot is one such deck.
Every time I acquire a new deck I always ask it the same question: “what sort of a relationship will you and I have together?” “You” in this instance is the deck itself and the energies contained within it. In short, I’m asking the new deck how will we get along.
I must say that upon my initial examination of the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot I felt a little trepidation. The Ghosts and Spirits Tarot is quite a departure from Lisa’s earlier work. Ghosts and spirits from cultures that span time and the globe populate this deck. Yes, quite a few of these ghosts are a bit scary. However, the tarot, when used correctly and proper intent, is a valuable tool for exploring the human psyche so you need a well-rounded deck that isn’t only just goodness and light, but contains a bit of the murky shadows as well that are a part of each and every one of us. This is what makes the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot such a valuable tool of inner exploration.
However, this isn’t a dark or goth deck. Lisa Hunt obviously undertook a great deal of research during the creation of this deck. She took great care to depict the types of ghosts and spirits whose stories and lore clearly illustrate the traditional Rider-Waite interpretations of the cards. The LWB that comes with the deck (i. e., Little White Book) is also written by Lisa and details just what type of ghost or spirit is depicted on the card and presents the reader with a bit of lore connected to that entity before concluding with the interpretation of the card. The meaning of particular symbols depicted on the cards is also included. This makes the LWB a learning experience in and of itself, and I do recommend that everyone who buys this deck take the time to read the LWB through. There are a lot of very short, but highly interesting stories contained within and these stories lend themselves nicely to the overall meaning of the cards. The LWB has 59 pages, one spread original to this deck (but you can use these cards in any type of spread, of course), and concludes with two additional lined pages for notes.
The cards themselves measure 2 ¾” X 4 ¾” and are flexible, which makes for easy shuffling. They are covered by a very fine, thin laminate that should withstand years of shuffling. Colors range from whites (this is a deck about ghosts, after all) and grays to vivid yellows, greens, and blues. Each card image is surrounded by an ecru board with the name of each card rendered in script along the bottom. The ecru boards have a slightly mottled look to them that gives the deck a very nice aged appearance. Lisa Hunt had two versions of the 4 of Swords card and includes the second version as an extra card for those who seek a deeper reading.
The deck is organized in the typical manner. There are 22 major arcana cards with the Fool as zero. The High Priest is the Hierophant. Chains is the devil card. The Strength card is eight and the Justice card is numbered eleven. Suits consist of Wands, Swords, Cups, and Pentacles.
Through my own personal use of this deck I have found it to be clear, concise, and it tells it to you like it is. Be prepared to face the truth and if you have any skeletons in your closet or ghosts under your bed, you can be sure they will see the light of day in your use of this deck.
Returning to my “lets-get-to-know-each-other” question I pose to every deck in my vast collection, as I asked how we will get along and work together, I drew the following three cards: The Emperor, Page of Pentacles and 6 of Cups. My traditional interpretation of these cards is as follows:
The Emperor represents power and authority, so the deck is telling me it has
many powerful images to which the ghosts and spirits have leant some aspect of their energy. This is going to be a take-charge sort of deck.
The Page of Pentacles is the card of a young scholar, someone who is eager to learn and also loves the process of learning new things. The Page of Pentacles is telling me that I’m going to learn a lot from this deck.
The 6 of Cups represents nostalgia for the past, wishing things would return to what they once were, and old friends. The Ghost and Spirits Tarot, as it’s jam packed full of ghosts, is saying it can help me come to terms with the ghosts from my own past. We all have ghosts: old hurts and emotional wounds, bad memories, and unresolved issues.
NOTE: for the card images my scanner cut off the top of the ecru border. The border does go completely around each card.
According to Lisa’s LWB, the Emperor card depicts a no-o, a Hawaiian dragon ghost. This struck a major chord with me because I have been to Maui, Hawaii twice and would dearly love to go back. My dream is to live there one day. Based on this information alone, my reading took on a whole new twist. Laid side by side, reading left to right, the Page of Pentacles in the center is myself. I am the eternal student. I have a doctorate because I simply love to learn and did not wish to leave the university. I even seriously considered going for a second doctorate once I was done with the first. That’s how much I love to learn. So, looking the cards as a trio that forms a cohesive image, a mural of sorts, there I am in the center.
The Page of Pentacles, or me – if you will, is outside on a cold snowy day looking inside tapping on the window. The Emperor, the no-o dragon, is off to the left in a lush green environment teeming with life. This is what the Page of Pentacles (me) desires. Off to the far right is the ghost of the 6 of Cups who is walking away from the entire scene holding a pair of red roses. My dream is that when Stuart retires we can both relocate to Maui to live out our lives. So for me, the ghost in the 6 of Cups who is carrying the two red roses away represents us in the future relocating to Maui. So these three cards having given me a dual message. This deck will work well for me and help me to deal with some past issues, plus the cards have given me great hope that one day my dream will come true.
The Ghosts and Spirits Tarot proved to me from my very first use of it that it can be read on a number of levels. I appreciate decks whose cards convey layers of meaning because they contribute to readings that are not only interesting but are also very helpful. The Ghosts and Spirits Tarot will work on numerous levels for you if you are brave enough to walk down the steps into the basement of your psyche. Take it from me, you will overcome your fear of the dark corners of your mind and you may be surprised at the light you find hidden within.
All images copyright Lisa Hunt & US Games, Inc. 2012.