Deck Name: AstroCrown Tarot
Creator: Sergio Mena
Where to buy: www.chiquitodivino.com
While tarot is a great divinatory tool for accessing our intuition, it is also a treasure box of wisdom.
The modern tarot structure, established by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, is embedded with a wealth of esoteric knowledge. Teachings from alchemy, Kabbalah and astrology are carefully woven into the cards’ core meaning.
The AstroCrown Tarot brings the astrological aspect of these meanings to light in the most beautiful and elegant way. It takes a vast amount of information, which can be overwhelming, and turns it into a deck that is simple and intuitive.
Looking at this deck reminds me of something that a ballet dancer once told me regarding her form of dance: What people love about ballet is the grace, which is the art of taking something difficult and making it seem easy. No one goes to the ballet to watch a strenuous workout!
Just as a talented ballet dancer makes standing on one’s toes seem like effortless floating, this deck takes the hard work of understanding tarot astrology and presents it in a way that is fun and easy!
To begin with, these cards use a minimalistic colour palette of blue, grey and white to generate silhouette images. The results are pictures that allow for quick and easy interpretation while still allowing much room for intuition.
The major arcana are a set of simple yet detailed images that focus on incorporating the cards’ astrological assignment into it. Each of the major arcana is associated with either a zodiac sign or a planet. It is worth noting that earlier associations uses only the 7 traditional planets (with the remaining three cards dedicated to the elements of Fire, Water and Air) but this deck takes the commonly accepted modern approach and replaces the elements with Neptune, Uranus and Pluto.
What I really like about these cards is how much character they possess. Even though they are silhouettes with minimal facial expressions, most of the faces that we are able to see are either smiling or seems to be wearing a subtle smile (even the skeleton on the Death card has this serene expression!). In the cards where we see full bodies, their postures appear energetic, posed as though they are ready to dance. The effect is a positive and uplifting vibe.
Like many tarot decks, the Aces of each suit are a simple image of their suit symbols. The AstroCrown Tarot Aces, however, also include the three zodiac signs associated with their suit elements.
The court cards further develop the connection between astrology and tarot. Like the Aces, Pages of each suit represent all three zodiac signs of their elements. The Knights, Queens and Kings represent the Mutable, Cardinal and Fixed signs of their elements. Furthermore, these court members are depicted by a gender neutral chess piece.
The 2-10s in the minor arcana is where the party really gets going. Each card is split up into 4 boxes. The top two boxes show the number and suit of the card. The bottom left box shows the planet assigned to that card with a symbol and a name. As this is the most difficult and seemingly random aspect of tarot’s astrological association, I really appreciate how prominently it is displayed.
Lastly, the bottom right box shows the zodiac associated with that card. What I love about it is how, instead of simply using a zodiac symbol, it uses the image of the major arcana associated with that sign. Because the images are simple in nature, they are easy to see even though they’re reduced to a quarter of the size.
Showing the major arcana in the minors allow readers to not only contemplate on the planets and zodiacs, but also the relationships between the major and minor arcana created by these astrological associations. Meditating on the minor arcana in this way is like discovering a hidden pathway towards understanding.
In my introductory reading with this deck, I asked what it is here to teach me and what attitude I must adopt in order to learn its lessons. The 10 of Swords appeared as the answer to the second part of my question. This card has always been a difficult lesson for me. While I know it’s about the release of negative thoughts, I never truly understood how. Seeing the Lovers as the major arcana reminded me of the obvious truth I constantly forget when I feel down and defeated – Love.
As cheesy as that may sound, that really was an incredibly powerful reading. The simple act of visually associating The Lovers with the 10 of Swords enabled me to turn a cliché into a deep and genuine message that moved me quite a bit.
Ever since I started learning about tarot astrology, I’ve wanted a deck that specializes in that purpose. While there are other decks out there that includes astrological associations, AstroCrown Tarot is best suited for my needs. Decks with Waite-Smith imageries always lead me back to my own pictorial understanding of the cards and pip decks are simply too foreign to me. The minors in this deck, by providing an image of the major arcana, gives me something familiar to work with while encouraging me move away from my comfort zone and utilize the astrological assignments. As such, I highly recommend this deck to anyone who wants to better understand tarot astrology.