By Helen Audrey Meinicke
The Far Sight Tarot is one I have seldom used for readings. Not because I don’t love its artistry, interpretive work, adherence to nature symbolism, maturity and impressive quality, but rather because of the frustration I experience deciding which cards to choose.
What Fool Card to Use?
Helen generously provided options with four of the majors: She provided two Oddballs (the Fool), Machismos (the Emperor), Lovers, and Temperance and recommended you use only one of each in a reading. Making that choice stymies me every time. Up until now I’ve just given up and thrown them all in but that never feels right either.
A tarot deck should have 78 cards! I don’t want to double the possibility of one of these four cards showing up more often than they should. So sadly I wrap the deck back up in its lovely accompanying bag and put it back in my cabinet until the next time I want to tackle it.
In the Oddball you must decide if you want the character and dog walking towards you or walking away; in the Lovers you must decide if you want to see the top part of their entwined bodies or just the lower half of their faceless bodies; in Temperance, do you want to see the front or back of the Minotaur? For the Machismo (Emperor), do you want to see a close up of the sword or a close up of the goat?
As I ponder the perspective I want, I put them aside for greater contemplation later. They drive me crazy with pondering, rumination and struggle! That alone is an extraordinary accomplishment for an author to achieve in a tarotist of almost 40 years!
By nudging you to make a choice she is challenging you to decide what the card means to you and how you want to interpret it. Do you imagine the Fool approaching you or walking away from you? That’s a tough one. That alone has kept me in suspended animation for over an hour.
Two Temperance Cards Even More Mind Boggling
Temperance is even more mind boggling as you consider the minotaur is in one card coming towards you and in the other facing away; additionally in the card where he’s facing you, he is pouring water from a jug that he’s muscling over his right shoulder while in the other Temperance card, he holds a jug upright that appears to be emitting a rainbow.
In the second card, it would appear the minotaur has already poured the water out of the jug and is now returning to his cave. There is that before and after theme again. I have never considered whether I’m viewing a character in the card before or after the main event or coming towards you or walking away. It changes how you will read that card significantly.
Wonderful, Evocative Accompanying Tarot Text…but tiny
If you’re hoping for some help in deciding which card to use, you won’t find it in her accompanying booklet. Although well written and innovative just like her deck, it fails to help you decide which emphasis you would like to utilize.
There are aspects of the book however, that are also evocative and unique. Her descriptions of the meaning of the cards are very well written; succinct yet fulfilling. She bolds a few key words to aid you in grasping the central meaning in a glance. I liked her book overall but I would have killed for a larger font.
The print is so tiny I have to sit it on the end of my nose to read it. I wish authors would consider us aging Tarotists in the design of their little accompanying books!
The cards are rather large (6” X 3.5”) and of a much heftier stock than most decks in the market. Helen has included a keyword at the bottom of the card which I favour. I know some people find descriptive words distracting and even annoying, but I like them. For example she refers to the Air King (King of Wands) as a “mentor” and the 3 Wands is a “flying start”. Not interpretations I would typically use to describe these cards, yet perfect in combination with the symbols she’s used. Once again she succeeds in her desire to be thought provoking and original.
For an author who describes herself as not an “authority” on the Tarot, she has done a thorough job in her interpretative work. She draws inspiration for her symbolism from inspiration, personal relationships and belongings, statues from antiquity, nature, mythology and astrology.
No stone is left un-turned! The result is a body of work that is beautiful to behold and one to contemplate.
Helen decided to use what she describes as the classic fire element for swords, but in my classic training Swords have always been air. Regardless of these challenges, I’ve decided to use Helen’s deck more regularly and get over my hesitation about making a decision regarding these four majors.
I’ll make my choice and stick with it and see where this deck takes me and my clients. The truth is that I love this deck for all its originality and haunting beauty.