Things have been piling up this past month and I am so behind on this challenge! In the interim though I have stolen a few odd moments of peace and quiet to explore this deck more doing personal readings and I must say that my initial trepidation of not really knowing how to use this deck has vanished. The readings I have done so far have been insightful and, a bit to my surprise, very straightforward and to the point, I thought I might have to contend with the wily riddles much loved by the Fair Folk.
Day 13 – The name your deck wants: Elan – This kinda feels like cheating as the challenge is intended for tarot decks, which unlike this deck don’t already come with names! Elan of the Ways is an elusive and mysterious goddess with a broad spectrum of influence, including but not limited to kingship and sovereignty, the Sacred Marriage, pathways, and forests. One particularly distinguishing characteristic is that she is the only horned goddess known in the Celtic pantheon.
Day 14 – Bluest card: This deck is very sepia toned and lacks any vibrant colours (other than a very clever use of white) and the most visually blue card I could find was in the cloak of Gwydion, who presents as a powerful leader, sorcerer and arch-druid standing over a steaming cauldron with glowing red eyes. The image just radiates the feeling of a timeless cosmic power, with the god seemingly manipulating the position of the stars between his firm-held spears.
Day 15 – Card with most red: Kerridwen – an odd choice I’m sure, but for me the intense redness of this card derives not from a visible depiction of the colour, but lies in the red we don’t see but is strongly implied in the scene. The woman here has fangs and I wonder if this image was originally intended for Daniels’ Tarot of Vampyres or was created especially for this deck. With lips stained and canines delicately bared, I can only imagine how full her chalice is with the rich red of blood.
Day 16 – Darkest Card: Habondia – This card has a very shadowy feel to me with the twisting vines, a tomb like monument and a female figure with hollowed cheeks and a death-like pallor that reminds me of the Goddess Hel in her realm of the dead. The view is through an archway, overlooked by the bust of a horned head. In the distance bright light is peaking through the overgrown trees and a pathway paved with tree roots draws our eyes down a tunnel like passage. At first glance, I assumed this card would correspond to Death in tarot, so I was quite to surprised to discover Daniels chose the Wheel of Fortune as its correspondence. Of course, the forces of life outside of our control throw both good times and bad at us, nonetheless this card still gives me the feeling of some sort of finality rather than the cyclical ups and downs of life, particularly with the implication of multiple thresholds contained in the image.