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Constellation Tarot


Nemia

Author - Iryna Semenova
Artist - Iryna Semenova
ISBN -
Weight -
Card Size - 12x7 cm
Box Size - 12x7x3 cm
Language - English

Purchase here - Art is My Magic

From the album:

Cosmic Decks

· 6 images
  • 6 images

Photo Information

  • Taken with samsung SM-A725F
  • Focal Length 5.2 mm
  • Exposure Time 1/25
  • f Aperture f/1.8
  • ISO Speed 996

Nemia

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The Constellations Tarot is created and published by Iryna Semenova, sold in her Etsy shop.

The Constellation Tarot is an independent deck by the Canadian artist Iryna Semenova. For the majors, the artist chose celestial bodies, planets and constellations that evoke the meanings of the tarot archetypes; for the minors, the suit symbols are shown against a night sky, i.e., this is a pip deck but not in the Tarot de Marseilles tradition.

The card backs are whirly and colorful, and they’re fully reversible.

 

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The cardstock is smooth, matte, and flexible; the print quality very good, sharp and consistent. The lwb has 42 pages, presents each card with a short explanation and interpretations (upright and reversed), and offers three spreads (generic one card and three card spreads, and a deck-specific constellations spread).

The minor suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. The suit symbols resemble Spanish playing card symbols but are arranged freely and expressively.

The Pentacles are coins with a five-petal flower, the cups round, open chalices decorated with what looks like round gems or knobs. The Swords are straight and don’t interlock, and the Wands are wooden clubs with leaves.

 

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I use Yoav Ben Dov’s “open reading” method to read them which works well. The expressive compositions really help.

In addition, the minors present the suit symbols hovering in the sky above a suit-specific landscape and emphasize their differences subtly.

The Cups shimmer in a blueish light and hover above soft hills or a coastline, and the background in the sky looks like ocean waves.

The Wands are reddish, in a flame-like sky above an open landscape with trees. The white Swords sky is windy and the trees below are moved and shaken by the wind. The Pentacles have a greenish tinge, and their landscape is a mountain range.

So you really have quite a lot to work on when reading these cards.

The court cards are Pages (young boys), Knights (standing young men with capes), Queens (seated women) and Kings (seated older bearded men). They’re all holding the suit symbols, and they’re probably the weak point of this deck. The color scheme of night sky and celestial light is beautiful but it robs the artist of the opportunity to “color” the court cards and characterize them. They’re a bit static, and in readings, I simply interpret them the way I always interpret court cards.

For the majors, there is no landscape – we look into space, disconnected from mundane matters. That’s a very subtle and intelligent way of making the difference clear.

 

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The majors depict the constellation, star or planet in question recognizably and precise, but artistically. For the constellations, the artist uses the convention of connecting the stars with a white line, and adding the outline that inspired the constellation’s name – for example, a dove for Columba, the Fool.

All the cards are painted beautifully in watercolors and oil pastels, and as far as I can tell, they use the resist technique. The oily pastels cannot be covered with the dark night sky watercolors, and they shine through strongly. For the suit symbols and other elements, the artist probably used a resist liquid like rubber cement – the white paper shines through very strongly, or she added them afterwards (perhaps digitally – they’re identical). The effect is beautiful and effective: the suit symbols shine like apparitions against the sky.

The cards have quite thick borders, all decorated with an identical night sky motif that is set against the card image with a thin gold-colored line; the same color is used for a nicely shaded scroll at the bottom of the cards. The color contrast is lovely, and the thin line evokes the image of a window into the sky.

The golden scroll gives us the Roman numeral and the name of the constellation, for example: 0 – The Fool or XI – Libra. If you don’t know the numbers of each trump, you should learn them before working with the deck – although you might say that the associative bond between trump and constellation is not always strong enough.

The choices for the major arcana are interesting and since I guess that this tarot will attract mainly stargazers and hobby astronomers, I’ll give you my impression.

Most cards don’t use traditional associations. For the Hierophant, you might expect Taurus – but you get Centaurus. Seen through mythological eyes, this makes a lot of sense, and the lwb explains it if you don’t remember the wise centaur Chiron’s role as teacher and mentor.

The Moon (XVIII), the Sun (XIX) and Earth (XXI) are the only cards with traditional associations. The lwb is very interesting to read, and I understand her reasoning for every choice.

It can’t have been easy. There are after all 88 modern constellations and a whole lot of famous stars, comets and planets. She picked 22 that seemed most suitable for the majors – so we have Northern constellations (Pegasus, Auriga, Corona Borealis, Cassiopeia), Southern constellations (Pavo, Horologium, Phoenix), zodiac constellations (Libra, Capricorn), planets (Jupiter, Venus), stars (Sirius, Polaris) and the Halley comet. These are eclectic choices but consistent in the search for the best individual fit, not the most convincing system.

These 22 cards indeed open new angles of interpretation.

The minors are, compared with the innovative and idiosyncratic majors, more simple but as explained above, characterized in a manner that makes reading them easy.

This is a beautiful and unique deck with a dreamy atmosphere that relies on mythological lore and visual clues to interpret the cards, not on astrological associations or esoteric systems. It’s completely independent and original. I find that it’s a good intuitive reading deck, but probably not a beginner deck. You need some experience in “making the cards talk”. Knowledge of RWS meanings helps, too, because the Constellations Tarot follows it quite closely. If you know to read with a RWS or TdM deck, you can read with this deck out of the box.

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