WRITTEN BY: PYRONIK
Pyronik is relatively new in her tarot journey (read about her tarot beginnings here). She is currently undergoing endorsement to become a TABI free reader and studying to become a crystal healer
For well over a year I had a single tarot deck, Lo Scarabeo’s Panda Tarot. For a long time that was sufficient. Finally I was ready for a second deck. It was agonising. My second deck combines my love of crystals with tarot – review coming soon! Could it get any better? Turns out – yes!! I can combine crystals and tarot with another favourite – colouring in. Hence I treated myself to the above book.
Oh this is a magical book – a genius idea. It’s so much more than a tarot colouring book, it’s a tarot workbook too. There’s an introduction to tarot at the start and even a couple of spreads at the back. It’s advertised as a companion to Pamela Chen’s Crystal Unicorn Tarot (a deck based on the traditional RWS). I don’t have the deck and I am still finding this book a really useful resource. It’s a strong standalone quick reference guide. And yes, I am working through it, colouring it in. I recommend pencil rather than pen for the colouring in, the paper is reasonable quality but still… If you do go for pen, I suggest going straight to p179 and colouring the writing – the other side is blank so you’ll be able to see if the pen bleeds through without ruining a page in the book.
The pages are not quite A4 size and each card has a double page spread. On the left page is the picture reproduced from the relevant card; the right page contains the information and activities to go with it. The pictures are fun and I don’t find them childish at all. They convey the expected information of a RWS based deck. There is a brief summary of what the card means including keywords, and reversal keywords. These are better than some of the explanations in the little white books that accompany some decks.
The Major Arcana cards also have those all important (for me) crystal names and properties. Each Major Arcana card has a different crystal associated with it. The Minor Arcana have one crystal per suit. The Sun is paired with Sunstone (this one is a must for me, afterall Sunstone harnesses the power of the Sun) and the affirmation “I am a bright beautiful light that attracts positive abundance into my life”. The The Moon is paired with Selenite (another approving nod, named after the Greek moon goddess Selene). Moonstone is paired with “The High Priestess”.
Rose quartz with Cups, totally makes sense. Amethyst with Swords, I like the thinking there! Good old manifestation crystal Citrine is paired with Pentacles which I can cope with. As for wands being associated with the ground and earth energies and thus being paired with smokey quartz, surely that’s more the territory of the pentacles? In this interpretation pentacles are aligned with the element of metal rather than earth and wands with earth rather than fire. I haven’t got my head around that yet. I’ll let you discover the rest of the crystal-to-card combinations for yourself, if you’re interested.
As much fun as colouring in is, I love colouring words the best. This book has plenty; the card names and some of the actions. I just wish there were actual cards to colour; I think that would be such a special deck. Having never encountered reversals (my decks have directional backs) I’ve been using the reversal keyword as a gentle introduction into a world that I’ve been avoiding. Take the 4 of swords as an example, keywords “Replenish, revive, rejuvenation”, and reversal, “sick, stressed, frustrated”. I can definitely cope with that.
There are a couple of inconsistencies; for example in the description for the 2 of swords it is stated, “his left hand holds a staff of smokey quartz.” Clearly not the case, although I’m prepared to overlook these little quirks. There’s also the placement of the neck and horn on the High Priestess and the ends of the wands in the 10 of wands – although I can’t draw for toffee so I remain in awe of the talent.
In summary, for each Major Arcana card there is a picture, keywords (including for reversals), a brief description of the card meaning, the associated crystal and it’s properties, an affirmation, journal prompts, and a Unicorn action.
For each suit there is a brief description of the suit and crystal, followed by a ritual (eg for swords the ritual is “connect with your intuition“). For each Minor Arcana card there is a picture, keywords (including for reversals), a brief description of the card meaning (so far exactly the same as for the Major Arcana), and then several Unicorn actions.
In case it’s not clear, I’m excited to be working through this book and think it’s a great introduction to tarot. As one of my friends stated on seeing the 10 of wands, “why is that Unicorn trying to carry so many lances?” The meaning of the card is being over-burdened and the keywords are “burden, delegate, overload”. I congratulated him on his first (to my knowledge) interpretation of a tarot card! This book is a fabulous resource to be added to any beginner’s toolkit. I wonder if the journaling and actions would appeal to more experienced readers.
What do you think?