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Gilded Tarot -- Suits and Correspondences

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Gilded Tarot -- Suits and Correspondences


Souljourney suggested this as a thread topic.

In the Gilded, the traditional correspondences of Wand - Fire; Cups-Water; Swords - Air; Pentacles - Earth; are honored, but he also indicates the most common alternates, which would be to switch Air and Fire. So he seems to have made this deck, trying to make it accessible to people using either of these systems.

One of my "getting to know you" rituals with decks is to order the deck by suits, put all the Majors in order, then arrange the four suits around the Majors according to their correspondences. For me, living on the East Coast of North America, this means Water to the East (Cups) also the place of morning and spring; Fire to the South (Wands) - the place of summer, bright day; Air to the West - the place of prairies, tornadoes, endless sky, the time of autumn on the wheel of the year; Earth is in the North (Pentacles) - the place of winter and darkness, of mystery and mountains.

I like doing this because it creates a sacred geography for the cards. It also helps me to remember them. I look through each suit one card at a time, and see how they are related through their element.

I sometimes do this with a deck I'm getting reacquainted with, or just to order the deck after a lot of use.

I like the strong use of color in this deck, and the jewels that tell you immediately what suit you are in.
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The Gilded to means seems a bit different in some respects.

I prefer that Air=Swords and this deck does that.
I use Swords = Air, Wands = Fire, Cups = Water and Pentacles = Earth.
The seasons seem different than "normal" to me here.
The "usual" correspondences seem to be
Air/Swords = Spring and East
Fire/Wands = Summer and South
Water/Cups = Autumn and West
Earth/Pentacles = Winter and North.

With this deck, Air is very much Swords in the mental aspect, etc. But looking at the cards, the colors (very cool...blues, purples) and the scenery (the trees mainly have no leaves, the sky is grayish) leads me to really identify this suit with Winter and North in a big way. Thinking, reflecting, the ends of things seem winter.

I agree with Fire/Wands being Summer and South...red, some of the landscapes almost look parched and dry. Action and activity happen a lot in summer.

I am tending to look at Cups/Water in this suit to be Spring...the color yellow/orange like the rising sun. Also there are a lot of children in the scenes, the landscapes are green and lush. Emotions come out in the spring...new love, etc.

And I'm tending to go with Pentacles/Earth as Autumn. There are scenes that seem to be more about harvest, the land is green again mainly. I just get a "mature" feel about this suit. Material/possesions can be a harvest of a type...it took work to get there (so a season or so to grow) seems Autumnish.

Well...those are my thoughts. For me this system seems to be working out pretty well even though it doesn't conform to the "norm"...at least RWS. It's based in that system, but he's taken it a bit of a different direction to me.

Edited to add: I have other decks where the seasons/correspondences are different. I think it depends somewhat on the deck and this one said so much to me in the art...I just had to alter the standard way of looking at it.
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Souljourney, I like your interretation and it follows the way I view the suits and seasons of the Gilded. It is a lovely deck.

Catpaw
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Catpaw, do you find that these correspondences change with different decks? They really seem to for me. I stick with the usual stuff for my Sacred Circle deck. I haven't really gotten into any other decks I have enough to really analyze this. Fey and Gothic Vampire are the others I really want to look at soon.
I wonder what Ciro was thinking for the correspondences when he did the suits?
Red Maple, It looks like you've switched Cups and Swords around from the "norm" which totally makes sense based on your geography. I'm wondering, do you stick with that method for all of your decks or do some differ? I love the idea of the geography, but can't manage to fit it with this deck...
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With the gem-like design for the minors, I fell a bit mixed, especially between the cups (orange) and the wands (red). Probably that with time and using it, I will get used to it...
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Usually I've tried to stay with the correspondences I know because I feel it makes for a strong, internal geography that I can draw on no matter which deck I'm using. It is a bit confusing for decks that use a different system, but I use the Nigel Jackson successfully, so I guess if I work with a deck for awhile, my subconscious just learns another language, so to speak.

I think the gems are lovely. The entire suit of pentacles glows with the green. I found it a little odd that he made them pentagons (five-sided ) instead of pentacles (the circle with the star inside). This is his first deck, and I'm not sure he understands the pentacle and star thing completely. Pentagons are not my favorite symbol, what with the War Department and all, but they do form a star when you connect the inside corners.

At first I had a hard time with the orange gems on the Cups -- I think Water with the cups, and gold just didn't make it. But then I thought, this is about the Cup itself, the container for the water. That is kind of interesting, particularly if you think of the person as the golden container for the emotion. This is why I love different decks, they really make me rethink things.

The blue of sky for Swords, Air, makes sense. I don't feel the cards are particularly wintry. I will just think Big Sky and keep them in the West.

And the red for the Wands is of course, perfect.

The seasonal attribution is actually the least important to me with the cards. It's more the energy of the direction, and the elemental correspondence that I really work with. Does anyone use the seasons for timing in readings? I don't do that -- if I want to place a time-frame on a reading, I do it within the spread positions (near future, next three months, etc.) rather than by the suits of the cards.
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I use the Robin Wood deck a lot and she follows the same principle as Souljourney describes:

Pentacles = earth and so reflect quietness, rest, peace and also richness, wisdom (not the seaarch for knowledge, which is the purview of Swords). Winter and midnight (the life's full bounty realized and the path toward renewal ahead).

Swords = air and the search for knowledge and new beginnings. East and morning and spring -- the beginning light (childhood).

Wands = fire and growth. South and summer (noon time when the heat is most intense), which correlates to young adulthood -- growing pains, desires, passion for adventure.

Cups = water and emotions (love, friendship, contentment, etc.) There isn't any violence, but there may be some discontentment and sulking. Also dreams, imagination, and healing. Westerly direction, evening, autumn, and maturity through wisdom and compassion.

I think the Gilded Tarot has many of the same qualities.
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Well...since we all seem to have so many different ideas, and also wondered about the torc on the end of the wand... I PM'd the artist and asked him to drop by.

I know a lot of people have this deck...so please join in our group.
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It looks exactly like body jewelry...my boyfriend has a type of curved barbell on his nipples! LOL

As for the end of the wands...it looks both futuristic and primative to me. Not weapon like...almost as if it's used for healing.

I would also love to hear from Mr. Marchetti about the wands.

Lisa

souljourney wrote; Well...since we all seem to have so many different ideas, and also wondered about the torc on the end of the wand... I PM'd the artist and asked him to drop by.
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Hi everybody,

To be honest I had decided to no longer participate or respond in any forums, other than to make future announcements regarding the Tarot of Dreams. The reason being that I feel that being too public here at Aeclectic would make some members uncomfortable about critisism or voicing any negative opinion towards my decks, or in some other cases to actually encourage them to do so as with comments from members like Kissa The Gilded is another clone and "contribuites nothing new to the Tarot." Something that is hurtfull and difficult to defend. Nevertheless since I was asked to join and offer comments to this particular thread I will try and clarify some of the issues.

Suite colors. Why the switch from the traditional Cups Blue, Swords Yellow is probably the most frequently asked question.

Defining the main suite icons was very early in the design process. I gave priority to the look, shape and form of the Swords, Cups etc in the Aces for the obvious reason they they are the visual flagships of their suits. From the onset I always evisioned a golden cup, flamboyantly decorated. Now of course I could have placed this in a watery "blue" environment, but it just felt right to extend the visual warmth of the gold instead with a golden sky. Now, water isn't necessarily blue, its a tonal variation of what its reflecting....blue sky....blue water, golden sunset golden water. Was this logic worth going against tradition for. Maybe not, but it depends on the underlying merit for that tradition. With all due respect as I certainly may be wrong, but I feel the use of blue was more a result of a pragmatic limitation of how many colors could be used by those early tarot artists, rather than symbolism. They could only use a limited number of solid colors, either for technical and possibly budget restrictions. So just as a child would do the obvious choice would be blue for water. Fortunately I didn't have those same limitations, and didn't feel obligated to follow suite (excuse the pun). So a golden cup was the key element, bathed in a golden glow from the sky, and "reflected" in the water. The same logic worked equally well for swords. polished steel "reflecting" the blue of the sky.

As I mentioned in my notes in the companion book. Many of my illustrations contain variations of the balance between science and magic, real world and spiritual. This yin and yan if you will finds its way into the Gilded (and the ToD) in the various mechanical devices depicted there. Obviously they are not natural, they are made, but by whom? Man? The ancients? I don't know. But they are mechanical nevertheless, with wheels cogs pulleys, lenses. But what is their source of energy, what literally makes them tick. Hmmmm....room for thought conjecture, and of course anything that comes to YOUR mind.
These ideas follow through albeit in a simpler way to the design of the wands. Unlike many others decks where the wand is depicted as an all natural staff of wood with leaved buds. In mine, once again is a balance, the natural medium of wood, carved and symbolically decorated with leaves. Yet balanced once again with the man made elements of threaded metal that extend beyond decoration and hint at some function. The torc shaped head is a common item, an amulet from Celtic art, and is in fact used to this day as a bracelet with claims to some energy force with healing properties.

Regarding the Pentacles. Here in my lack of experience I may have been guilty of misinterpreting the importance of the star in the circle, But I felt it wasn't the star that was the key issue, but that it was a five sided one. If not why was it call pentacle, and not star, or coin. So assuming that it was the "five" that was issue. I felt comfortable with applying it from PENTAcle to PENTAgram.

This and other decisions were an attempt to reach a balance between adhereing enough to tradition for the deck to be comfortably recognizable, and yet adding enough variations so as not to be accused of being a RWS clone. A balancing act that is doomed to failure of course because of the diversity of opinion, but hey diversity adds to the richness of the tarot world

I hope these comments have helped.

By the way I will be sending out an update in the next few day to everyone on the ToD mailing list, many new cards to see.
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