The Guided Hand Tarot
by Irene Mudd
Created in the summer of 2017
Published in February 2018
The Guided Hand Tarot came to me by surprise. Part of a review package sent to our team, I didn’t expect to have a deck of my own. As nice as that was, the real surprise came when I took the deck out of the box and held it in my hands. The glittered and gilded edges left specks all over my hands, leaving me charmed and smiling. It was like I’d reached into something fae and carried a bit with me for days. I’m a huge fan of the backs of cards, and these were soft, relaxed hands holding the alchemical symbols for the elements. Subtle and sweet, but no less powerful in its imagery for the sweetness. Irene’s clever magic made me love the pastels in a way I never have (I’m a bold color girl). The entire deck is full of soft color, and it would be easy to assume that the deck is soft, too. Well, you’d be sort of accurate.
The deck reminds me of friendship. The kind that is honest, and direct, but also kind. The images are the softer sides of friendship (two of cups), and what it means to be lost together. This is the sweetest five of pentacles I’ve seen. The Lovers shows the unyielding joy in those huge relationships that makes it so easy to look past all of the difficult. We can see by their hair that this kiss happened at a time when the entire world was opposed to this shared joy, and they chose it anyway. This card makes my heart happy, and sometimes I remove it from the deck and carry it with me to remember that my choices may not always be popular, but they will always be mine. The fierce determination in this Page of Pentacles eyes instills faith in me. We need our young to be this fierce, and this determined, so they may handle this world better than the previous generations.
While I love how the Page looks as though they can change the world between Lego sessions, it’s the dishes in Temperance that speak to my old soul. These dishes are from a time when so many consider America to have once been great, a time when today’s folks have forgotten the cruelty, the racism, the undiagnosed PTSD in our vets and first responders, the rampant abuse in homes, the starvation that happened right in their own neighborhoods (all of that is still happening, fyi). These dishes remind me of my grandparents, and their friends, and the way they’d talk about wars, charity, and politics. I can almost hear the water moving back and forth as I remember the way they’d disagree and hope for a better future while they put on clown makeup to perform at the Shriner’s circus. When I immerse myself in this card, look at those bowls, and remember, I hear my papa saying that “As long as we are good to each other, we’ll know we’ve done our best.” Temperance is what made us great. And it’s the Queen of Cups that leads us to see that what we want is compassion, even when we struggle to see it in the world. The Queen of Cups looks for it anyway, and when she finds none, she offers it up herself.
I’ve said before how much I love the Queen of Wands. You can find my blurby thing in the 8 card review I did on Instagram. Marsha P. Johnson was a brave, vivacious, flawed human. She lived the best way she knew how and pushed boundaries every chance she got. I adore for her fight and for her flaws, and she is perfect for this card. The Queen of pentacles is calm, and relaxed. A perfect complement to the Wands card. I sometimes wonder if this Queen doesn’t just expect things to line up the way they should simply because she expects them. She reminds me of the all of the T.V. moms that I had growing up. They never, ever, lost their shit.
This lovely little deck is one of my favorites, and I frequently find it in my go-to bag. It reads well, shuffles well, and I still have sparkle hands when I use it. I love the little bit of fae magic, as it appeals to my magpie tendencies. This deck is a joy to look at, a joy to use, and a joy to share. You can find its second edition at Irene’s Etsy store. It is being reprinted without its shiny edges but will include an accordion style guidebook.