Deck Review: The Radiant Wisdom Tarot

The Radiant Wisdom Tarot
Laughing Womyn Ashonosheni
Sophronia Press, 2012
ISBN #: 978-0-9854206-0-4
$65.00 USD

 If you appreciate smaller tarot decks due to having small hands, bright colors, easily comprehended symbolism, and nice extras like an extra suit and an included velvet bag, then The Radiant Wisdom Tarot is for you.

 At 3” X 4”, The Radian Wisdom Tarot fits comfortably in my hands despite being thicker than most decks due to a fifth suit.  The cards are printed on a supple card stock that was immediately easy to shuffle right out of the box.  The laminate is light weight yet thoroughly protective of the cards.

 The extra suit of Bridges represents the process of manifestation and the cards of this suit represent the energies that create a bridge from initial inspiration or idea to the final physical results (manifestation).  The deck is housed in a 9 X 5” blue velvet drawstring pouch that has plenty of room if you’d like to add your favorite crystals, stones, and/or a packet of herbs.  The velvet bag is a very nice added touch to The Radiant Wisdom Tarot.

 The Radiant Wisdom Tarot consists of 92 cards:  22 major arcana and 70 minor arcana of five suits with 14 cards each.  Suits are:  Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and the extra suit is Bridges.  Court cards are:  Mystic (Page), Achiever (Knight), Nurturer (Queen), and Keeper (King).  All minor arcana cards are titled.  For example, the 2 of Air is entitled, “Indecision,” the 1 of Fire is entitled “Enthusiasm,” the 6 of Water is entitled, “History,” and so on.

 The cards of the major arcana, with the exception of Strength, have all been renamed and are as follows:

 Fool = Simplicity, Magician = Manifestation, High Priestess = Spiritual Guide, Empress = Generosity, Emperor = Strategy, Hierophant = Conformity, Lovers = Love, Chariot = Success, Justice = Balance, Hermit = Solitude, Wheel of Fortune = Opportunity, Hanged Man = Perspective, Death = Transformation, Temperance = Flexibility, Devil = Breakthrough, Tower = Awakening, Star = Gratitude, Moon = Intuition, Sun = Expansion, Judgment = Consciousness, and the World = Wholeness.

Various cards from The Radiant Wisdom Tarot.
Various cards from The Radiant Wisdom Tarot.

As you can see, a main keyword for the meaning of each major arcana card was used as the new title of that card for The Radiant Wisdom Tarot.

 The paperback guidebook measures 5 ½ x 8 ½”  and has 213 pages.  It begins with an “about the Author” section and a brief introduction.  A summary of the chakras and brief advice on working with crystals and stones is also included along with a brief discussion of grounding.  The cards are discussed in terms of a general meaning and then what they specifically mean when they appear in a reading.  Furthermore, each card is discussed in terms of its “Ease” and “Effort,” which is an interesting concept to include for any deck and is one of the things that makes this deck unique when compared to others.  Advice on how to go with the flow of the energy of each card regarding how that card’s energy is experienced through the situation in question is what is discussed for the “Ease” of the card.  The “Effort” of the card represents flowing with the energy outside of the experience embodies by the card.   The foundation of each card’s energy Is included as a Key Phrase.  Every card interpretation also includes a simple phrase explaining how that card’s energy lends itself to a creative pursuit or project.  Correspondences to other cards, astrology, chakras, colors, and runes are also included.  The guidebook concludes with six spreads unique to this deck.  I have tried them all out and they all work well for me and have offered up some useful insights.

 Usually, when a deck creator decides to include a fifth suit it will correspond to the Element of Spirit, or Ether, recognized as a fifth Element in addition to Air, Fire, Water and Earth. However, The Radiant Spirit Tarot is unique in that the deck creator chose to focus on the process of creation and manifestation of ideas into physical end results, thus her suit of Bridges embodies the energies of the process of creation and manifestation.   In The Radiant Wisdom Tarot the suit of Bridges represents the process of creativity from initial idea or desire to the final physical product.  Thus, The Radiant Wisdom Tarot is a useful deck for artists and writers who wish to consult the tarot about their projects.  I have done so with this deck; and again, I was given some very clear and helpful insights to my creative process.

 As a result, my sample reading is going to focus on a creative project of mine that has stalled, The Magickal Musings Tarot.  My question is:

“What is the reason for the long stall?  Do I need to drop the project for now to start on something else?”

 For this reading I used the “Personal Alignment” spread from the guidebook. This spread is very useful because the card positions tell you what things in your life you should keep the same and which you should change in order to manifest the changes or end result you desire.  This spread tells you what is necessary in order to remain committed to a project.  My cards are as follows:

The Radiant Wisdom Tarot, sample reading using the Personal Alignment spread.
The Radiant Wisdom Tarot, sample reading using the Personal Alignment spread.

 1:  Unknown.  The guidebook says to keep this card face down for the length of the reading.   Although it’s very hard for me not to look, I am following the rules, hence the card back in the picture here represents the first card of the “Personal Alignment” spread.

 2:  3 of Water:  Loyalty.  The card position is defined as what I need to maintain in my life in order to remain committed to my project.  Using traditional Rider-Waite interpretations, the 3 of Water (corresponding to the 3 of Cups) is happiness, joy, social gatherings with friends, and a reason to celebrate.  So right there this card is telling me that I need to be in a happy mood in order to create, which is very true.  The guidebook says that I need to ask myself is I truly do intend to remain committed to this project to the very end or should I perhaps try something new.  The phrase about creativity for this card says:  “Creativity is supported through devotion.”  The card is telling me I need to maintain a support network (I do have a group for The Magickal Musings Tarot on Facebook).

 3:  4 of Water:  Serenity.  The card position is described as what I need to change or adjust in order to maintain my commitment to my deck project.  The 4 of Water is all the importance of maintaining peace and harmony in our lives so that we remain in balance.  The phrase about creativity for this card is, “creativity is supported through inner peace.”  I can’t speak for others, but as far as I am concerned, I cannot create artistic works when I am under stress.  This card is telling me I need to focus on eliminating or somehow decreasing the amount of stress in my life.  Easier said than done for most people, but I am taking this under advisement.

 4:  Simplicity (The Fool).  The card position here represents the type of external support system I need in order to help me to complete my deck.  According to the guidebook, Simplicity focuses on the combination of innocence and trust with the wisdom we gain through our life experiences.  In other words, I need to trust the higher powers that I will be guided in the direction that is right for me at this time of my life.  Regarding external support specifically, this card is telling me to rely upon past experience and how it made me feel.  I did just finish creating a Lenormand deck, The Egyptian Lenormand, so I am well aware of all the work that went into creating each original work of art for each card of that deck; and, for a tarot deck I would need to multiply that by 2 since my Lenormand deck has 39 cards.  It was a LOT of work, but I feel I could do it again, and yes, probably times two, so a tarot deck is not completely out of my reach, especially since I have around 20 images already completed.  The creativity phrase for this card is, “Creativity is supported through play and adventure.”  Something tells me I need to lighten up regarding my approach.

 5: 5 of Water: Disguise.  The card position here represents that internal spark within upon which I can rely and repeatedly activate.  According to the guidebook, some truth is being hidden by me or someone else and that I need to focus on discovering this truth.  The phrase regarding creativity is:  “Creativity is supported through disguising reality.”  I’m not sure what that means right now and need to think about it.  I think this hidden truth is that I am fully capable of creating a 78-card tarot deck and that I just need to buckle down and do it.  We often do not know what we are capable of until we actually try to accomplish it, then we often surprise ourselves.

 6: Achiever of Earth:  Effectiveness.  This card position represents the most gentle manner in which I can motivate myself to get moving on my deck.  According to the guidebook, the Achiever of Earth (equivalent to the Knight of Pentacles) represents “our ability to have an impact on the world.”  He represents a new endeavor and that along the journey my skills will increase. I have already seen this occur during the creation of my Egyptian Lenormand deck.  Artistic abilities is like a muscle.  The more you use them the finer tuned they become.  This card states that creativity is supported through “successful action.”  In other words, I’m being told to just get off my butt and DO it.

 All in all, a very helpful reading and it has helped me to decide to go for it and focus on creating my tarot deck.  Overall, in order to remain focused on the completion of my deck, The Radiant Wisdom Tarot is telling me that I need to focus on my interest in and loyalty to the concept of my deck (3 of Water).  In order to achieve that I need to introduce more peace and harmony into my life and eliminate as much stress as I can (4 of Water).  The external support to maintain my interest in this deck is my previous deck creating experience and the support group environment of Facebook (Simplicity: The Fool).  I need to focus on the sense of accomplishment that completing my Egyptian Lenormand has given me and allow it to serve as motivation to complete The Magickal Musings Tarot.  The 5 of Water suggests I focus on finding the truth. I take this to mean my own truth as an artist.  Finally, the Achiever of Earth is telling me to focus on increasing my skills as the project continues.  Perhaps I need to try some new artistic approaches in order to expand my boundaries and skill set.

2 of Bridges, from The Radiant Wisdom Tarot.
2 of Bridges, from The Radiant Wisdom Tarot.

As for the hidden card in position # 1, that turned out to be the 2 of Bridges, entitled, “Ground” which represents the need to be willing to follow through to the end and to focus on the end goal.  Very appropriate, I thought.

 As you can see, although the imagery of The Radiant Wisdom Tarot appears very simple at first glance, this deck provides very deep and thought provoking readings. It’s given me a lot to think about and I’ve decided to continue working on my own tarot deck.  Who knows what truths I may discover along the way?

If you’d like to see more cards from the deck in action, please check out this YouTube video.

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

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