I began my tarot journey with the now out of print Mythic Tarot, which was my only deck for several years. Then I bought a Thoth deck, which, at the time as a casual reader, was incredibly intriguing but also very intimidating with its layer upon layer of symbolism. My next deck was the Wild Unknown, and what a game-changer that was! Its imagery was so bold, yet simple, unlike anything I had seen before, the moment I laid eyes on it I knew I had to have it. After a couple more years I discovered the Paulina Tarot by Paulina Cassidy. I consider this one my ‘gateway deck’, after a decade of pretty minimal deck ownership, there was something about buying this one that gave me the collector’s bug, and now I seem to have a wish list my wallet just cannot keep up with.
Receiving a load of decks from a Christmas shopping spree was exiting and overwhelming, where do I start and how do I get to know all of these unfamiliar decks? How do I give them equal time and a fair chance to see if we connect? After googling around a bit, I discovered the idea of deck interview spreads from Little Red Tarot, and since then it has become an integral part of my getting to know new decks. So, without further ado, introducing the Paulina Tarot:
Tell me about yourself, what is your most important characteristic?
Page of Cups – In this card we see all the joy, wonder and innocence the Page of Cups offers. This is a whimsical deck filled with magic; its messages are gentle and delivered with kindness and love.
What are your strengths as a deck?
Ten of Pentacles – I see this card as representing the deck’s stability and reliability; it will always be there, calm, contented and patient. As the card of completion in the Pentacles suit, this deck has settled and laid down its roots in my collection, it isn’t one I will ever part with. This is a ‘you’re safe, you’re home’ deck.
What are your limits as a deck?
The Lovers – In some older tarot decks this card was titled L’Amoureux, the amorous one, and showed a young man faced with a choice between a dark haired and a fair haired woman, representing vice and virtue. This also makes me think of how when we are in the throws of new love we tend to extoll all of our lover’s virtues and ignore their vices, looking at them through rose tinted glasses. With its Page of Cups nature, I can see the cards telling me that because of its gentleness this deck will be great at showing me all of my positives and potentials, but will shy away from confronting me with my vices, so probably not a good one to use for shadow work!
[One thing I do have to add in regards to limitations is that all of those beautiful details that give this deck that wonderful sense of whimsy makes it very challenging to photograph well].
What are you here to teach me?
The Star – This deck will teach me how to see the light of hope and truth even in the darkest times. While it is my habit to face challenges and obstacles with a fair amount of cynicism, this deck will soften those hard edges of mine and show me a path of tranquillity and grace.
How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
Seven of Pentacles – It would seem this deck requires some patience from me in return. As a gentle deliverer of messages, the path may not always be crystal clear, and it may take time and careful consideration to see the way forward.
What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Sun – Everything is illuminated! The Sun is one of those dream cards in an outcome position. It brings with it warmth, clarity and a childlike joie de vivre. This deck promises much healing and joy if I can work with it with an open heart and mind.
I recently discovered that Paulina Cassidy will be releasing a new deck this year, The Spiritsong Tarot, which looks absolutely stunning. Each card is represented by an animal and her choices are fantastic and very much in-line with how I understand the nature and energy of these wonderful creatures. Another one for the wish list then!