By Sarah Taylor
Of all the tarot decks that I have written about and worked with on these pages, the Voyager Tarot is almost certainly one that stands out as being particularly different in terms of its symbolism.
It shares something with the Mary-El Tarot in that it deviates considerably from more traditional, Golden Dawn-based interpretations of the cards (think Rider-Waite Smith and its variants, on which many tarot decks are based), but the similarity ends there as far as I see it.
Some of you have been introduced to the Voyager Tarot through Eric’s work with the deck, which has formed part of some of the astrology readings that he has released over the years. In fact, Eric’s own work with the Voyager is far more in-depth than mine; I am a relative newcomer to the deck, and have only worked with it occasionally.
To this end, I want to emphasise up-front that this is my own initial take on it, and no-one else’s. And it is only initial: I have a feeling that my work with, and understanding of, the Voyager Tarot will deepen over the ensuing weeks. Which is something I am looking forward to, given that it feels rather like my tarot equivalent of China: somewhere that feels both unfamiliar and which also holds a certain alien attraction.
Voyager Tarot creator James Wanless is a symbologist, and this is immediately apparent in the cards. Assisted by artist Ken Knutson, he has birthed a tarot deck that is constructed with layer upon layer of images. Each card is a ‘cosmic collage’ that can at first seem quite overwhelming in the number and diversity of components in any given card.
However, what I have found consistently is that my eye will be drawn to a particular detail that seems to want to make itself known to me. Once I have investigated that, I will start to make links between it and other elements in the card, and from there, my own story will meet with the story it is presenting to me. It starts to reflect my experience. I begin to see what feels familiar to me; I begin to be aware of what feels like ‘China’ — which I see to be a more sub- or unconscious element of my psyche requesting my attention.
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