The Cosmic Tarot

I sell vintage and used Tarot Decks on Etsy (About) and the great thing about this, is that I get to see a lot of decks. Recently I have had in my possession an early edition of The Cosmic Tarot. The Cosmic Tarot is a popular mystical deck based on the Golden Dawn system. I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the deck on a few of the cards that for me work really well in this deck.

Major Arcana: 22
Minor Arcana: 56
Deck Tradition: Crowley Thoth
Minor Arcana Style: Thoth-Based
Suits: Cups, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards: Princess, Prince, Queen, King
The Fool is 0
Strength is 11
Justice is 8

Overall; Firstly my overall impression of this deck, is although it has a distinctly 1980s feel, it also leans heavily on 1940s Hollywood, but not just the surface glamour – this is more of a deep and brooding deck, in fact I was quite surprised at the power of drama, the whole thing has a feeling of dark clouds gathering in the distance, it is ominous but also intuitive.

The deck was much, much darker then I anticipated, but not in a bad way. I actually liked its drama and its shadows. I felt after a few trial readings that this would be a good deck for readings that deal with matters of the heart. I also like the way it shifts easily between eras….one minute t-shirts and jeans, the next full on Hollywood matinee stars. It can also have a very ‘dreamy’ feel that I think would work well with intuitive readers.

A few cards I think work really well....full disclosure before you read this section – I very rarely read the guide books for decks, and tend to work my own interpretation on the image, the colour and my feelings about the card…

The Hermit – oh how I love this card! For me this card is The Hermit as guru…a shining star in the night sky, Buddha under his tree, connected with the earth and the sky, he is the teacher we would all like to find in the dark. Withdrawal but of the most necessary kind. A ‘withdrawal’ to connect – with the earth, with the sky, and with yourself.

Justice – possibly my favorite of The Justice cards I have ever seen! Those laser eyes! Anyone else thinking of The Neverending Story and Atreyu at The Oracle? She see’s everything but is wise. Just at the top of her head though you can see The Tower – is it about to come down? This is typical of the slightly foreboding imagery throughout this deck.

The Two of Cups – this is full on Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara ‘you want so desperately to be kissed!’ For me it is a more passionate rendition of the Two of Cups, that can sometimes mean more the established, day to day partnerships of love – but not with this deck, always preferring drama over the mundane, this is 1940s matinee love.


Eight of Cups – you feel his pain, don’t you? You can just tell that this situation has ended and this person needs to move on. He looks lost, bereft, tinged with grief. It is the morning after the night before. The whole card has a slightly green, sick feel to it. This situation is now poison – get up and move!

The Star – when I was in school we went on a school trip to an Arts Center, we each had to pick to do Drama, Music or Art, for some reason I picked drama. The theme for the drama group was ‘clowning’ – I was so self conscious as a teenager, and this was like a kind of torture for me. We had to pick an animal to be our influence for our Clown character, I picked a monkey, because I thought it would be easy to jump around and just hide my general discomfort, but the teacher said no! you must pick an animal reminiscent of you. She told me to perform a series of tasks – with everyone watching and then she had the group decide. They decided my animal was a Flamingo. I was mortified, this was not the creature I wanted to be seen as, pink and awkward and slightly stuck up….but here I was…..a Flamingo. I rather unfairly hated the site of Flamingos for years (I was a terrible Flamingo inspired Clown)…but have now reconciled myself to them, and whenever I see one it reminds me to ‘go with the flow’ ‘accept the world around’ ‘be kind myself and don’t try to be something I am not’.

I like the Flamingo in this Star card – as it truly is ‘inner peace’. Embrace your inner flamingo!

The Moon – not all Moon cards get it right for me – they are too soft, too airy fairy, but this one I think gets it right. This Moon has power, it has madness in its calling of the sea creatures from the dark depths of the ocean. It is water and air, emotion and mind, pure animal instinct.

Final Thoughts....I am going to continue working with this deck. It has resonated with me, I like its dark skies, its grey clouds and the muted greens and blues, although I suspect it would not be for everyone.

Haile x o


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