The Not So Mystical Tarot (NSMT) by Jenn Congilaro came into my life when I was feeling bone tired, and weary of the reality of the Covid-19 world we live in. Honestly, I worried that I’d lost my focus, my ability to see anything remotely fun or positive in a deck. So, when I found myself grinning at this deck, I made time each day to interact with it.
First, I used it for simple, straighforward questions. I read with it for single card messages and full 15 card spreads examining the week ahead. Then, I created two spreads especially for this deck, I wanted to bring some lightness and levity back into my world.
The NSMT feels like those self-care afternoons, you know the ones. The rainy day, cup of tea, music in the background, pull some cards and have a conversation kinds of days. They fully inspired me to make these spreads. It’s such an inviting deck, the kind that tells the story straight out of the packaging. I needed that yesterday. It’s got regular cardstock, thin and bendy. I will tell you that if people had to be gifted a deck, I’d be throwing these at folx like candy off a parade float. The majors take you on the Fools Journey and at the end reward you with a bonus card, the Rubber Chicken.
I have been using this deck to help me build some spreads. It’s got the fluidity that I need to visualize what I’m wanting to create. I’m especially enjoying the not-so-secret astrology symbols in the major arcana. I’ve made two for this review:
A Tiny Ritual and Alien Brain.
A Tiny Ritual
This spread is for those moments that you can take to recenter yourself, to find your light when things seem like they’re too much.
Where is your focus right now? Breathe it out.
I pulled the Emperess. I’m fully focused on my own mom stuff. I just had to tell my Capricorn kid that she can’t have her first dream job in the mall, at Christmas, during a pandemic. My focus is on my failures and inability to fix the whole world right this second.
What can you give yourself in this moment? Breathe it in.
In this moment, I can give myself the sweetness and warmth we do have. She understood and is handling her disappointment with so much maturity and grace. In this moment I can give myself the knowledge that we can be home, and that we can be together, and this can be enough.
How will you move forward right now? Be still with it.
I can move forward right now by letting that Queen of Wands lead me to new skills, new projects, and that whole ‘living in the moment’ things this archetype is so good at. I can move forward knowing this is enough.
This spread is about those moments when we get so focused on one thing that we just can’t move forward with anything else, and we’re constantly bringing it with us like some weird extra-terrestrial brain junk.
What am I projecting?
I’m projecting the distress I’m feeling with all the changes, and the lack of changes where we need them, that are going on in my life. Sometimes it’s all I can think about. If I’m not doomscrolling all night on social media, I’m fretting about imagined doom-scenarios. Then, the next day, I’m jumpy, anxious, sad, emotional, and can’t seem to find my way. Seeing my official Death-Projector status made me laugh out loud. A lovely, not-elegant, much needed snort laugh.
What am I just reflecting?
The 9 of wands tells me I’m just reflecting all of the actual things happening in the world, and I’ll tell you that despite all the hard stuff going on, knowing that I am having a reasonable response to the worldwide trauma that we’re experiencing was extremely helpful.
What are the orbits I’m trapped in?
- 9 of pentacles – that weird space where I’m ok, my family is ok, and I feel guilty about it. I’m a chronic over-volunteerer and I just want to help.
- 2 of wands – I am constantly looking at Zillow, searching for a home somewhere in a state that is actually trying to stop the spread of Covid. I’m always trying to make plans for emergency or necessary quarantine situations. I could probably take a break. Maybe just give myself a single day every week to search and dream move, or plan apocalypse scenarios.
- Devil – Ah, yes, the Me card. I am a Capricorn, and this card is mine. I’ve grown to appreciate some of the finer points of this card. Like my ability to go from fine to OMFGWHATDOWEDO?? in under 3 seconds. This particular orbit tells me that I’m just doing me stuff, and I can make room for my brain to be the brain it is. I can answer my own questions and I can recognize the difference between real and anxiety. I’m only going to be as trapped as I allow myself to be.
I also did a spread from the NSMT deck for working on specific issues. The issue was a personal project of mine that I needed help with.
Instructions: Find the 7 of wands in the deck and pull out the card before and after it.
- Prior to the 7/wands: This card is the issue
Mine was the Hierophant, and I was totally stuck in the way I felt it SHOULD be done, even though I wasn’t 100% married to the ways it had been done.
- 7/wands: the struggle – Good grief, I was having a hard time.
- After the 7/wands: where you want to stay firm
I do want to stay committed to the choices I make, so this means I need to take the time I actually need to make the choices I’m committing to. It’s important to really know in my heart that I’m doing what is right for me.
I have so enjoyed getting to know this sweet RWS inspired tarot deck. You can find the Not So Mystical Tarot in all of these spaces: