I grew up in Southern California. My family ranged from Masons to Theater Techs to mechanics and race car drivers. We had so many people coming and going from our lives. When I saw the Numinous Tarot for the first time, I could clearly see the people I’d grown up with. I saw my childhood and adolescence in those cards.
My married aunts, my stepmothers coworkers, mechanics that worked with my stepfather, friends of my mother, my own friends. I had no idea, until I was well into my thirties and living in the Midwest, what ‘alternative’ living was. I thought it had to do with rogue grocery shopping, or making your own clothes, or weird music. I didn’t know that same sex marriage was not legal, I did not realize that not everyone had a transgendered ‘uncle’ that was the world’s best actor and makeup artist. I had no idea that people who weren’t comfortable with the gender stereotype they were born into couldn’t dress as they felt like dressing and that they had to fight to be called, ‘they’. It was just how I’d always lived, and I was so guilty of assuming the whole world worked the same way. It wasn’t magic, or special, it was normal life and I had taken it for granted.
My world contained people of all kinds and all abilities. I found myself teaching my kids that this was normal, and it took quite a while to see that the world we lived in was teaching them that I was a liar. I finally understood the word ‘naive’ and I wasn’t excited about it. The world I spoke about existed for my children in books, and occasionally a movie. It was disappointing, and sad. I can’t imagine what it feels like for the people struggling to be seen, to be accepted, to be normal.
I found the Numinous during a time that everyone seemed to be touting a diverse tarot/oracle deck. Some were, some had token cards, some failed. In the Numinous, I saw my life. I looked at the work as it was released and saw the normalcy in it. I backed it immediately, and for the first time ever, backed two decks.
When it arrived my daughters and I looked at each card, and the ones that reminded me of people I knew growing up were set aside. I ‘knew’ more than half the deck. The people in the deck were just people. Their specialness came from existing, and that’s the way things should be. Finally, I held in my hands a piece of art that represented something normal. Beautiful, and magical, but normal.
For me, this deck is so much more than a tarot deck. It is more than a divination tool. It is the world I grew up in, in 79 cards. It is representation of people I know and love. It is the world I want to show my daughters, and the world we are building together. When I look at this deck, I see things as they should be. And, when I sit down to work with this deck, I find a rich and meaningful depiction of the cards I love so much. Most importantly, this deck has layer after layer of kindness and that’s really what we need more of in this world.
My hands down, most favorite card is The Lovers. Not because it is a traditional Lovers card, it is not. I love it because it is another option, another path, and something we might not logically understand. It definitely pushes the choices part of this card, but it also opens us up to the possibility that love is love is love is love. The Justice card. Omg. Did you see it? Justice isn’t blind. Justice sees you and doesn’t flinch. This Justice is going get things done, I mean, look at their eyes.
Rather than the same devil card we always see, Noel makes us look at the things that really bind us. I always suspected it was me and not some mystical demon. The things that make our heart ache bind us in ways we can’t prepare for, and if we aren’t prepared we don’t have the tools, and then we are stuck. Hands bound, eyes elsewhere, unwilling to look or change. And, I love a bonus card. Always. The Numinous is the destination I’ve always imagined would carry the answers I sought. I want to know why that fire burns so close to the sky and what secrets are being shared.
There are a few minors cards that I really like and have learned from. The Five of Tomes made me think about what we may have done to contribute to the situation. Burning books is rarely a good thing, and burning a spiritual book makes me wonder what happened. Nine of Tomes is clearly what I want to be when I grow up. In a room full of books and plants that my cat didn’t eat. Yes, please. In the Three of Vials, I just know what they’re doing, and I want to join in.
The Six of Vials hits home right now. It’s the time of year to do the ancestor work. The Nine of Vials reminds me of my friend. Not just the physical resemblance but the kindness and abundance of care I often find with them. In the Two of Candles I am pleasantly surprised to find two people making plans together. I like this. My logical brain knows that plans to create the whole world alone rarely go well. And, the Nine of Candles. Oh, the nine. Sometimes, the shadows are worse for the lights you try to shine on them.
There are so many things to learn, to see, to spend time with while working with this deck. I know that the first edition has sold out, but there will be a second edition through Kickstarter this winter. It’s not traditional. Don’t buy this if you want traditional. Support this deck if you want modern, inclusivity, diversity, joy, and kindness. You can find more information about Noel and their assorted works at http://www.noelheimpel.com