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Bernice  Bernice is offline
Denizen of the Coalsack Nebula
Join Date: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Central England
Posts: 3,901

A very insightful post which also highlights the measure of responsibility which is given to the creation of a tarot deck. A very revealing peep into 'how to' create a balanced Dark deck.
.......we can see two different terms of “darkness” in Tarot..........language and substance..............
What we must consider is that, if we use a dark language deck (card meanings that evoke emotions), we attune ourselves to that language.
So, here we're talking about 'psychological' or 'emotionally' themed deck meanings, as given in the LWB?
A dark substance (art-work, appearance) deck is different. It wants darkness… and there is no one among us that has nothing to offer on that side. But to use such a deck honestly, you will end up looking at the darkness and maybe, for just an instance, think the darkness is your true self (I don’t believe that. We don’t look at darkness often. When we do, and recognize it to be part of us, we just assume/fear that is the whole).
I don’t think this is what we really want to do every day.
And here, the art-work conveys the 'psychological/emotional' message of the cards. And when the two terms come together under a fantasy theme, we have a Dark Deck.

This rings faint alarm bells. Not ringing for the Deck, ringing for the users. Some people are just that way inclined and have no problem handling the darkness. But others, who are attracted (like sirens calling....) without any real perception or recognition that Darkness is just the other side of Light, a cause & effect balance, may find themselves drawn into a dark world-view. Seeing everything and everyone in terms of darkness.

This reminds me of the early days of computers. Some kids became so immersed in a programming language that they saw and responded to everything in binary terms. Others identified with game characters so strongly that they were unable to relate to everyday situations in the mundane world. So yes, alarm bells do ring. Tarot is mostly used and explored by adults, and we are not necessarily immune to the fantasies of themed decks.
There was one last concept I wanted to address about darkness and that was quite important when thinking about this deck: the concept of “empowering”.
One of the ways to use Tarot we consider important evolves around the “empowering” concept. Future should not be fate, and a querient (if you read to others or if you read to yourself) should be encouraged by Tarot to find solution, think strategies, act… and ultimately accept responsibility for himself.............
Very valid point which cannot be over-stressed IMHO. What is the use of identifying a hitch/problem, and then not looking for some solution or method of dealing with it? Whether a deck is Dark or Light (fluffy fairy), a reading (ideally) aught to balance out the content and 'ground' the querent by outlining the possibilites what they can & can't do about it. Some measure of control, which may only turn out to be another way of looking at their issue.

And here, Ric speaks of 'lack of control' re. dark decks. I.E. The bottomless pit of 'helplessness', unable to find any suitable response to conditions.
......The feeling of dread we receive from true horror is definitely linked to “lack of control”. Doing a horror Tarot deck means asking people using it to synthasize with lack of control, and that’s not really good for empowering.
Again the stress on 'empowerment', especially with a dark deck. The initial intentions of the reader when doing a reading = find a balance and look for solutions.
Some may think these considerations a form of 'dark deck' censorship, to them I would say "not so" because nothing is with-held from the decks. They are assembled with insight and responsibility. I think it would be a good idea to include portions of Rics post with the LWB of such decks.

Bee (all done - gone for coffee, ciggy, and a look at my newly arrived deck )
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