Deck Review: The Son Tarot

The Son Tarot                                                                                                                                                 

The Moon, from The Son Tarot, by Christopher Butler.
The Moon, from The Son Tarot, by Christopher Butler.


Christopher Butler

$45.00 USD 78 cards + guidebook

ISBN # 978-0-7643-4227-1

Housed in Schiffer’s wonderfully sturdy and attractive magnetic closure box with a hinged lid, The Son Tarot may appear at first glance to be pricey for a tarot deck.  However, this serves as an excellent example of the age-old axiom, “you get what you pay for.”  Schiffer’s packaging and card quality is going to hopefully soon raise the industry’s standard.  Cards are printed in bright colors on a sturdy card stock with a glossy laminate with real staying power.  The box is attractive, sturdy, and with the magnetic closure, it can be stored on its end like a book and the lid will not flip open spilling the cards everywhere.  Lastly, for The Son Tarot, the publisher went all out.  The guidebook consists of 207 pages of glossy paper in which all the cards are depicted in black and white in nearly full size.  Sure, this deck is $45 and many may balk at that price, but in the case of The Son Tarot you definitely get what you pay for and this deck is worth every penny.

The Tower of Destruction, from The Son Tarot by Christopher Butler.
The Tower of Destruction, from The Son Tarot by Christopher Butler.

Christopher Butler is also the artist behind The Quantum Tarot: Version 2.0, published by Lo Scarabeo (2011) so I was already familiar with his photo collage technique, which he carries over into The Son Tarot.  Like his earlier deck, the card images of The Son Tarot consist of photographic collage. For The Son Tarot the overall color scheme is bright and vibrant.  This deck’s subtitle is, Mysticism, Meditation, & Divination for Gay Men.”  I am not gay, nor am I a man.  However, as a reader and an artist I very much enjoy using The Son Tarot.  I feel that this deck will appeal to many people regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.  A beautiful deck that works well in readings is useful to everyone regardless of the specific intended audience.

There are men depicted on almost every single card with only the 9 and

The Hermit, from The Son Tarot by Christopher Butler.
The Hermit, from The Son Tarot by Christopher Butler.

10 of Swords as the exceptions.  If anyone finds a man in either of these cards, let me know.  Court cards have been partially renamed and for this deck consist of the Herald (Page), Knight, Prince (Queen), and King.  The minor arcana are denoted only by Roman numerals within a color coded box.  The major arcana follows Waite-Smith numbering with Strength as 8 and Justice as 11.  Some major arcana titles have been changed in keeping with the theme and intended audience for The Son Tarot.  The High priestess is now The Mystic.  The Empress is The Bountiful.  The Tower becomes The Tower of Destruction while Judgment becomes The Last Judgment.  Use of the Roman numerals for the minor arcana cards may cause some confusion if someone is coming to The Son Tarot as a relative newcomer to tarot, but I feel they will quickly catch on.

For my sample reading I focused on the question:  “how will the earth be affected by the energies coming to a climax on December 21, 2012?”

The earth received the following cards:

Body:  Herald of Pentacles

Mind: 10 of Cups

Spirit: 6 of Cups

Herald of Pentacles

10 of Cups
10 of Cups

From the guidebook, the Herald of Pentacles as an Elemental Force is “the essence of Earth itself” and represents the potential for life and growth.   As a Role Model, the Heralds are the bringers of messages. The Herald of Pentacles can bring news of a birth.  My interpretation sees the Herald of Pentacles as representing the earth concluding her birthing pains as the higher vibrational energies settle in onto the physical plane.

The 10 of Cups represents the earth’s Mind.  On this card you can see the sun’s expansive rays extending over the water and this represents healing.  Improvement that eventually leads to perfection comes through hard work.  Such transformations are never easy, but they rewards far outweigh any difficulties encountered along the way.   Here, the rays of the sun represent all the new energy that has come to the earth. The water represents the earth itself being slowly warmed, or having its vibration raised, by the sun’s rays, or all that new energy coming into the earth plane at this time.  As a result, the mind of the earth is expanding and is now able to grasp a greater reality.  This expansion will soon begin to affect the planet’s inhabitants as well.

6 of Cups
6 of Cups

The 6 of Cups represents the earth’s spirit.  The 6 of Cups denotes nostalgia for the past, yearning for what once was, idealization of the past and/or past relationships, and wearing rose-colored glasses.  There is a need to establish more realistic expectations.  I interpret the 6 of Cups to represent humans as the spirit of the earth and of most of us being unwilling to move forward, clinging needlessly to the past in an effort to keep things as they are instead of embarking upon a new and higher path into the unknown.  Many find newness or change to be very frightening so they do whatever they can to fight against it.  Humankind can only battle these new energies for so long before they will be eventually swept up by them and shall then embark upon a new and higher path leaving the past behind where it belongs.

Physically, our planet is experiencing a birth into a new phase.  The 6 and 10 of Cups have a sun in the center with the rays radiating outward while rays radiate from a pentacle on the Herald of Pentacles, much like they would from a sun.  I see this as a huge burst of energy that will push the earth to its next level of evolution and all the inhabitants along with her.  The sense of nostalgia the 6 of Cups represents is going to be felt by those who do not feel ready to evolve and change.  It’s their choice to remain stuck if they so desire while the rest of us are free to move forward.

Overall, I enjoy using The Son Tarot.  The deck worked great right out of the box and gives clear and insightful readings that are very easy to interpret.

Please comment so I know you're out there. Thank you :)

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