Today I am interviewing the Shadowscapes Tarot – a lovely work of art by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law. The beautiful, intricate designs of this deck captivated me, and I wanted to get to know this deck a little better since it’s one of my more recent Tarot deck acquisitions. A Tarot Deck Interview is a great way to connect with a new deck, or even to strengthen a connection with a deck you haven’t used for a while . . . or just one that you want to establish a better working relationship with.
You can do this sort of interview with your own decks, and it can be especially insightful for a brand new deck that you’ve not used yet. Or, as mentioned, you can interview a deck that you’ve been using to get to know that deck more intimately – to bring it closer to you on a level that is personal to you and the deck. When you do a Tarot deck interview, the responses of the cards may speak to you differently than they do for myself or others. This is because of the personal connection that you can make with a deck on a unique and individual basis – or that you can potentially make with a particular deck.
I use a variety of interview questions for decks. I ask what seems especially relevant to help me get better acquainted with a deck. So from one deck interview to another, I switch things up a bit with some different questions.
The Shadowscapes Tarot is at my desk and eager to begin the interview. In fact, it’s been making subtle hints to me for days now, so I came up with some interesting questions to explore with the Shadowscapes. Without further ado, we’ll begin.
Velvet Angel: Please give me 3 keywords or phrases that describe your most important characteristics and elaborate on those.
Hmmm . . . the Nine of Swords has turned itself over. I wonder if that is a good thing? Can’t wait to hear what Shadowscapes has to say about this choice of card to represent the deck’s most important characteristics!
Shadowscapes Tarot: (Nine of Swords)
I have chosen descriptive keywords around the issues that are frequently brought to the Tarot – issues which I am here to assist with: anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and feeling powerless. And if you think about it, Velvet, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these key themes are often the reason and the basis for a seeker to come to the Tarot.
So let me explain. I am not an anxious, powerless, or depressed deck by any means. But seekers tend to get anxious about issues in life. This anxiety leads to those obsessive thoughts I mentioned. And those obsessions ultimately can leave one feeling powerless. Our goal, as a Tarot deck, is to provide a seeker with a more empowered way to perceive and handle their difficult life issues. We are very familiar with the sorrows and regrets that people endure, and we are here to help one find her or his wings to face the turmoil and rise above the dark night of their storms. We do prompt one to face their issues, because we believe that looking those issues in the eye is the only way to solve them and move forward.
While it would be more ideal for seekers not to wait until their seemingly worst nightmare happens before consulting us, that’s often the typical behavior of many individuals who need answers. And so we are there to show seekers their true power that will enable them to climb up out of their shadows and into the light once again.
“Shadowscapes, I’m quite impressed with your answer. I have to admit that I didn’t know at first why you would choose the 9 of Swords to represent you and your characteristics . . . but it all makes sense with your explanation. Thank you! And let’s move on to our next question now.”
Velvet Angel: What level of experience in Tarot reading do you recommend for using the Shadowscapes Tarot deck?
Shadowscapes Tarot: (Five of Wands)
We can be a somewhat challenging deck, although not extremely complicated either. And thus, our response gives rise to a number 5 – the midway point between beginner and advanced. We feel that an intermediate level of experience works nicely for us. One with some experience with traditional Tarot can handle what might seem more challenging to a Tarot newbie.
We do want seekers who work with us to be confident enough to understand us . . . and to use us as a prompt to their own intuition. One who isn’t quite ready for us may feel a bit too scattered with our presentation. But with a bit of experience, one can pull together our energies in a more constructive and effective manner.
However, there can certainly be divided opinions about this, and some may argue that a newcomer to the Tarot can effectively make use of us as a first Tarot deck. We aren’t going to quibble with anyone about this. Experience will show one the truth for each individual reader of the Tarot. As always, we can make a recommendation and render our opinions and advice, but each individual is free to choose for himself.
Velvet Angel: Tell me how you can be an asset to my deck collection.
Shadowscapes Tarot: (Three of Pentacles)
We hold the qualities of beauty, creativity, groundedness, and practicality – all the things we know you love to see in a deck! We are not merely something pretty and creative to exist on a dusty shelf; we are meant to be used, loved, and appreciated for the wisdom we are more than willing to offer when asked.
If you choose to work with us regularly and really get to know us, you’ll find that we can be a “work horse” deck if you like. But getting to that point will, of course, require us having the opportunity to really get to know one another better. We are a deck that loves to collaborate and combine our efforts with our reader.
You’ll find that our artist, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law put a tremendous attention to detail in our creation. So you won’t grow bored in working with us! In fact, each time you pick us up to explore with us, you’re bound to find new things that catch your eye – even things that appear hidden at first glance. But you can draw out all of our beauty for your own work and wisdom. We are a deck that aims for productive energy, accomplishment, success . . . and professional growth as well. And because you work with Tarot on a daily basis, we certainly feel more than competent to be a part of what you are creating. We offer a combination of beauty and practical application. We’re all about creating practical results, while enjoying the process of that creation.
Velvet Angel: Do you feel that some of the smaller details in your beautiful cards will present a limitation for readers?
Shadowscapes Tarot: (The Hermit)
That’s a great question, Velvet, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to answer it. We’ve consulted the dear Hermit of our deck to answer this one. The Hermit is all about one’s own truth and wisdom, so really it all comes down to a matter of personal preference and belief. The Hermit gains wisdom through his experiences, so one cannot truly know if the smaller details in the cards will pose a problem for the long-term . . . unless they actually work with us on a regular basis and find out for themselves whether this is true for them or not.
Overall, we don’t think that it’s going to pose a problem for most readers, since a great deal of wisdom and insight is brought out from the Hermit. The best response we can give here relates to your own soul searching and your own truth and knowledge based on your personal experience in working with us.
We’re a deck that can and should be studied and explored in order to make that connection and see the light you seek. And if you make the connection, we don’t really foresee that connection to have any limitations imposed on it.
Velvet Angel: How would you describe a good reading? What makes a reading successful in your view?
Shadowscapes Tarot: (The Hierophant)
When the seeker learns something of value and is empowered to do what is necessary in his or her life, then we feel a reading has been successful. When the seeker is open to learning something new – and not just sitting for a reading expecting to hear only what they want to hear . . . then a reading is successful.
When deep understanding has been gained, a seeker will know what to do. He or she can make confident choices. A seeker who gains empowerment means that a reading is successful.
Everyone is both teacher and student in life at the same time, and if one can approach the Tarot in that way, then they are on the way to having a good reading experience.
Velvet Angel: What do you bring to the table – what are you here to teach me?
Shadowscapes Tarot: (Queen of Swords)
We are here to teach you to rely more upon yourself and your opinions than to rely so much on others around you. We are here to teach you to see things for what they are and to tell it like it is. Sometimes you have to be blunt. But above all, you need to be objective about things. So we bring your own personal experiences to the table to help you discern your current circumstances and gain a clear understanding about where you’re heading. In order to rely on yourself, you need to have a clear view of who you are and what you want in life for yourself.
We are also here to encourage you to cut through adversity and get right to the heart of a matter when needed. We bring truth and clarity into the light for your consideration, and our hope is that you will use that to exhibit the highest of standards in your decisions and conduct.
And when you feel that you can count on no one else, we want you to see that you always have yourself to count on . . . and us, too, of course! We teach you how to turn the pain of the past into success for your present and future. And while we cannot do the work for you, we can show you what you need to do with regard to a given set of circumstances that come up. In all cases, we also lead you toward being calm, cool, and collected in your evaluations.
Velvet Angel: What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Shadowscapes Tarot: (The Lovers)
Together, Velvet, we can be a passionate and inspiring team! We feel that you and Shadowscapes are a perfect fit! In working together, we can arrive at making good choices. We can be better in our togetherness than we could be on our own.
Our working relationship will include harmony, respect, and love for and with others in our association. We complement one another well and can create something beautiful in our working union.
Through balanced emotions and intellect, appropriate choices can be made. One should not choose solely with her heart, but neither should she choose only from a place of intellectual thought. We can find a healthy balance together.
If you commit to working with us (and not just setting us on the shelf), we will also commit to you, and together we’ll find answers, solutions, and advice as needed.
Velvet Angel: I noticed that the suit of Cups was the only card not making an appearance for this interview. It was a card I had fully anticipated coming up. Can you comment on that?
Shadowscapes Tarot: (Five of Cups)
Here you go . . . a card from the suit of Cups. But it’s probably not the one you wanted to see. Am I right?
“Well, yes, you do have a point there. The Five of Cups energy can be so sad and sorrowful.”
Every deck has its special secrets, and the suit of Cups is ours. But what I can tell you is that we don’t want people to think only with their emotions. People need to think with their minds, too. If we return to the first question you asked me — with the 9 of Swords – that is an Air card, but there are obviously significant emotions attached to that anxiety we discussed. You don’t have to tangibly see the emotional aspects to know that they’re present . . . because emotions are not so much a tangible kind of thing.
Emotions are often the most obvious and yet, at the same time, the most subtle experiences that one can have. So you can learn the secrets of emotional management through us . . . if you so desire to do so. We invite you to work with us and learn those secrets. They are, after all, YOUR secrets
I sincerely thank you, Shadowscapes, and I extend my deepest gratitude for such informative answers. I honestly feel that I do know you much better now, and it’s been a genuine delight to talk with you today!
You’re welcome any time, Velvet – and we trust that we’ll be talking again very soon?
Absolutely, Shadowscapes! In fact, I have planned for us to work together this very week in delivering the daily tarot card draws for my readers . . . er rather, for “our” readers this week!
Happy Tarot Journeys!
The Shadowscapes Tarot
By Stephanie Pui-Mun Law & Barbara Moore
© 2010 Llewellyn