This deck came to me in a dream. Well, to be fair, I didn’t know it was this deck…I had a dream one night about being in a bookstore, and I was looking at the oracle decks and Tarot decks (big surprise) and there on the bottom shelf (in my dream, mind you) was this beautiful green box with my name on it – it was an oracle deck that I had written myself.

Well, I don’t have a green oracle deck with my name on it (yet, unless you count my Adirondack Oracle deck), but I put that thought in the back of my mind while I went about my business. Then, during a Google search for something completely unrelated, a couple of images of this deck popped up in my search results, and I just felt compelled to research the deck. I wound up buying it for myself, and then putting it on a shelf next to my desk for a while…

…until I hit a major life event last week and was diagnosed with a trauma disorder. The relief that came with that diagnosis came with some very complex emotions, and as I sat down and worked through this shit one piece at a time, I started to feel like maybe it was time to switch up my regular daily deck and work with something new. My intuition guided me to pick up this deck, give it a good smudging and blow some good energy into it, and do a deck interview.

And, wow. Just wow. So now I want to tell you a little more about this deck, the Psychic Tarot For the Heart by John Holland.

First off, let me just begin by saying that this is not a traditional Tarot deck. Holland has used some of the traditional elements of the Tarot (the major arcana) but has translated the suits (pentacles, cups, wands, and swords) into something softer, but just as powerful as the traditional Tarot suits found in the minor arcana. In addition, he’s included seven chakra cards, one for each of the primary energy centers located in the trunk, neck, and head of the physical body as a reminder that when they are drawn, we should be more attentive to what’s happening in that particular energy center.

So, is it a Tarot deck? An oracle deck? Yes. It’s both. Holland has skillfully combined the best of both worlds into a truly useful and beautiful deck. The images are gentle but powerful, reminding us that we all have the innate capacity to heal ourselves and our relationships through the power of love. The words in the guide book are comforting, supportive, and empowering – everything I look for in a Tarot deck.

Each card description asks questions for us to ponder, or maybe to journal. There are also affirmations that can be used as mantras throughout the process as you work with these cards. The guide book states that the cards aren’t meant to be read reversed, but that doesn’t have to stop you from reading reversals in this deck. (And actually, as of this writing, no matter how hard I shuffle this deck, I have yet to actually draw a reversed card. Hmmmm…)

While Holland has left out the traditional symbols of the Tarot, he has included numbers on each of the cards, allowing for an additional layer of interpretation during readings.

The cards themselves are large-ish and easy to handle. They shuffle easily, and the artwork on the back of the cards is a soothing mandala. The laminate on the cards makes them feel durable in my hands, and they are a joy to handle.

A couple of things to remember if you want to use this deck: because it’s not a traditional Tarot deck, it’s going to take a little getting used to if you’re not used to working with oracle decks. The suits are not as easily recognized because instead of the traditional pentacles, cups, wands, and swords on each card, they are designed with color-coded borders.

You can read my deck interview with the Psychic Tarot For the Heart in yesterday’s blog post, and if you want to buy your own deck, you can find it on Amazon or at your favorite metaphysical book store.