Deck: The Oddments Tarot
Creators: Rachel Evans, Motion Sickness of Time Travel
The Oddments Tarot was created in the space between dreams and reality. The collages that make up this deck are primarily composed of low resolution images. The hodgepodge blurriness feels like those moments immediately after awakening, with fragments of dreams still fresh in your mind. Even as you are quickly forgetting why those scenes made sense, the feelings they evoked are still real and meaningful.
Just like dreams, the images on these cards are vague, seemingly random at first, but powerful.
Looking at these cards, I am reminded that every tarot deck that we connect with is a portal to our souls. This deck is definitely a portal for me. As I worked more with this deck, those dreamlike emotions gradually evolved into nostalgia. Those roughly cut pictures and its lack of effort to be precise reminds me of how I used to cut out pictures from magazines when I was young. I collected pictures of celebrities I had crushes on, places I wanted to visit, and things I wanted to obtain. It was a collection of my personality, vanity, hopes and dreams. Flipping through these cards, those childish dreams and fantasies come rushing back to me.
Yet, this isn’t the type of nostalgia that children’s novels are made of. Although it brings back some fond memories of childhood, it stirs up some shadows as well. Many of these images remind me of the loneliness I used to feel.
Instead of causing fear and pain, however, it is gentle and understanding. It encourages me to examine this part of myself to promote understanding and healing.
The guidebook is printed on half pages that are roughly cut. While the quality is low and the descriptions are brief, it is a perfect companion to the deck. With a few simple words, the creator aptly sums up the equally simple images. And simplicity is truly the essence of this deck.
It doesn’t overload with symbolisms. It doesn’t captivate with high production value. It also isn’t for everybody. But for me, who can connect with this deck, I value this deck for its ability to act as a mirror to my subconscious. I see myself reflected in these cut outs. This collage feels like a child’s journal and that child could have been me.
I also empathize with its seeming lack of attempt to impress. Rather, Oddments is a genuine expression of the creator’s journey. It invites us to join this journey through its frankness but it also couldn’t care less if you don’t care. In this way, it reminds me of the lyrics to the song, Breathe, by Anna Nalick:
If I get it all down on paper
It’s no longer inside of me
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd
‘Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to
I’ve seen tarot decks that take my breath away with its art and decks that impress me with its quality. This deck is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. At first glance, it looks like it was made in a day. Once I worked with it, however, it feels like it contains a lifetime of emotions, carefully summed up in a way that is honest and incredibly vulnerable.
The card backs are a depiction of space. It’s black with a few dots of white to represent distant stars and just a dash of white and blue to show light rising over a dark planet. This is a perfect summary of what this deck feels to me. Although it looks like nothing is going on, each white dot may be a sun with life revolving around it. And the planet in the forefront that is shrouded in darkness – who knows what we will see when the sun rises upon it?
This deck is accompanied by four musical tracks inspired by the creator’s readings during the deck’s creation. Listening to these tracks while I work with these cards, I can picture myself sitting in a meditation pose inside a glass pod floating in space, surrounded by emptiness but not truly alone because I’m in the company of stars.
The music sounds like alien transmissions, like someone out there is trying to reach out to us. It sounds like confusion and profusion. It sounds like fear but also adventure. In other words, it sounds like the Oddments Tarot.