What do you do with additional cards?

Discussions On How We Use Cards For Divination
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Nemia
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What do you do with additional cards?

Post by Nemia » 17 Dec 2017, 03:48

Lately, a number of tarot decks comes with additional cards. Robert Place's Alchemical comes with two Lovers cards (one explicit, the other cuddly),....

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... the Orbifold has two cards before the Fool (the Void and Manifestation - reminding me a bit of the kabbalistic Ein and Ein Sof Or),....

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... and the Thoth famously comes sometimes with two additional versions of the Magician ... and I didn't even mention the Happy Squirrel (for which I should probably open a topic all of its own!).

The Daniloff has an additional card with a blank curtain that could be used as secret or be read as hiding the card behind it - I usually take it out when I read with the deck. If I remember correctly, Daniloff and Hermetic Kabbalah let me pick how to number Justice and Strength - I chose the RWS numbered cards for the Daniloff and the Thoth numbered ones for Hermetic Kabbalah. Obviously I can change that whenever I wish.

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I use only one Alchemical Lovers card (the explicit one), and I use both additional Orbifold majors since I feel they add something to the deck. They didn't turn up in readings yet - I don't know how I'll get along with a void or manifestation but I guess I'll know how to read them in context when they appear.

If there are different Lovers (hetero- and homosexual), I'll pick the card that fits. I won't let three Lovers cards sit in the deck for a reading.

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I use the Happy Squirrel card (Touchstone, Maria Celia) as funny, happy, lucky card. Depending on the facial expression of the squirrel, of course. An unexpected little stroke of luck, a surprise - but you don't know yet how it will turn out, that's usually my interpretation for this card. (I love squirrels, really love them).

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There's a Magic card in the Idiosyncradeck that I love and use.

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The decan cards of the wonderful Tabula Mundi - hm, unfortunately I don't read with that deck because fortunately I had the idea of turning the Tabula Mundi into my own personal calendar. Tabula Tempores!

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But when I read with the deck again (or when I buy an additional reading deck), I will use the decan cards as timers - and they do have a strong flair and expression, each of them. They characterize the zodiac sign they stand for. For me, they're an integral part of the deck although you can of course use it without them.

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Sooo.... how do you use additional cards in tarot decks? (Lenormand is another matter again - let's not start that topic here!).

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Barleywine
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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by Barleywine » 17 Dec 2017, 05:51

I first encountered this back in 1983 with the "three-Magus" Thoth deck. It was clearly stated that they weren't intended to be used all together in a reading, but were more a perk to show off other examples of the Crowley-Harris creative prowess. In truth, a printed sheet of tarot cards had (and maybe still has) 40 cards; there were always two that had no purpose in the deck, so U.S. Games decided to re-purpose them than to just boringly put advertising on them. The Haindl deck came with two blank cards, which I put my own artwork on as a way to create personalized "extra" cards for my deck (a 23rd trump card and a personal significator). Mostly, I don't use the extra cards at all, although I've toyed with the idea of pressing one of them into service as a generic significator if it lends itself to that purpose. I'm more apt to use the extra Man and Woman cards in a Lenormand deck, but even there it's a rare occurrence.

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Joan Marie

Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by Joan Marie » 17 Dec 2017, 07:47

This is a really interesting topic because I think a lot of deck artists are kind of itchy to contribute their own sensibilities to their project and to break away, at least a bit, from the constraints of the traditional tarot iconography. Since creation, art, is essentially an expression of inner life and what might be considered spirituality, so-called "extra cards" are really as much a part of the deck they were created for as any other card in that deck.

If we did not so highly value the artist's contributions to our experiences of reading tarot, we'd all have stopped buying decks after just one or two.

The tarot iconography we are accustomed to was at one time, all created by artists. It did not come into existence on it's own, but over time has come to seem so. That is a testament to the completeness and depth of those images and ideas.

Over the years, a number of cards that were considered traditional and cherished parts of the Majors have gone by the wayside, or in some cases combined and morphed. The Faith, Hope, and Charity cards, and The Pope and The Popess cards of the Visconti-Sforza, one of the earliest complete Tarot decks, typically no longer appear in modern decks. That deck also included a male and a female Knight and Page, adding 2 additional cards to each Minor Arcana suit.

I suspect the Popess became The High Priestess, and The Pope is our modern Hierophant. (The Hierophant being a version of the Mithraic Mystagogue which I wrote a bit about here)

So, I think "extra cards" when they are well thought out as they usually are, deserve to be considered seriously as a part of the full deck not seen as an "add-on". I certainly think including them in a spread with the other cards of the deck is intended. However it would be interesting if the deck creators would also include some instruction in the form of specific spreads just for the extra cards or spreads where an extra card is added strategically.

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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by 2dogs » 17 Dec 2017, 07:53

I wouldn't keep alternative versions of the same card in the deck but the extras in the Orbifold and Quantum seem worth trying out.
If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler. Alfonso X (the Wise)

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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by Charlie Brown » 17 Dec 2017, 12:49

Joan Marie wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 07:47
If we did not so highly value the artist's contributions to our experiences of reading tarot, we'd all have stopped buying decks after just one or two.
Considering all the people who own like 20 different Marseilles decks, there's probably more to the reason than that :icon_lol:
Charlie Brown
—“I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”

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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by 2dogs » 17 Dec 2017, 13:59

Charlie Brown wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 12:49
Joan Marie wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 07:47
If we did not so highly value the artist's contributions to our experiences of reading tarot, we'd all have stopped buying decks after just one or two.
Considering all the people who own like 20 different Marseilles decks, there's probably more to the reason than that :icon_lol:
Having just watched a science programme about the Multiverse I am reminded of Roger Zelazny's wonderful series of Amber fantasy novels which featured one master magical pattern but infinite numbers of diverging versions in multiple universes, the closer ones being still quite useful, the further ones having more errors and the really distorted ones being downright dangerous for anyone attempting to use them. The question being, where is the original :icon_question: .
If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler. Alfonso X (the Wise)

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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by Charlie Brown » 17 Dec 2017, 14:29

I like what Ben-Dov had to say about how, rather then there ever being an 'original' tarot, that its magic was perfected in the Conver, which is why most TdM's post-Conver are recreating it in one form or another.
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—“I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”

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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by theFeeLion » 17 Dec 2017, 18:43

Hmm interesting conversation...

I have Brian Williams' Renaissance tarot which comes with an extra card, and because it has a description of the symbols etc in the LWB I choose to keep it in the deck while doing readings. (I'll add a pic and the description later after I've done a bit more cleaning.)
Not sure if this counts but my Froud Faeries Oracle also has an extra. This one is numbered 0 and is blank with the title Faery Guide. It's supposed to be your personal faery guide and is blank so you can draw whatever you feel needs to go on the card. It just so happens that with my particular deck I am missing The Sage (who is also my current guide) so I use the blank in place of the Sage :)

The way I see it is if the artist took the time to create extra cards then those cards should be used. Otherwise it feels to me like you're ignoring an insight that the artist felt was maybe lacking from the traditional cards.
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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by katrinka » 17 Dec 2017, 19:25

It depends on the deck.

I have a whole box full of extra Man and Woman Lenormand cards, Happy Squirrels, etc. I never use those.

The only extras I use are Baba's and Rana's. The Baba decks are RWS based, which is kind of a loosey-goosey GD system, so I figure an extra Lovers card is OK in one of those. The flamingo Lovers is quite different from the Walrus and the Carpenter Lovers. The vampire Lovers cards in the BG also have quite different inflections.

Rana's extra cards were added because she saw an actual need. And she's been reading for a long time. I'm not saying Lenormand isn't complete with just the 36 cards - you can pick out the Bed, Market, etc. concepts from combinations, but it's tricky. Rana's extras can make for a clearer, easier read.

I think that what makes the difference in these decks is that the extra cards were added by seasoned readers with a lot of thought going into them.

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Re: What do you do with additional cards?

Post by 2dogs » 18 Dec 2017, 00:28

I use every last card in my fact decks - for example a massive list of image credits might mean a large number of people working togethet to create something - but not the heptagram or OTO card in the Thoth Tarot. They might possibly be interpretable but I feel they're really not part of the intended system.
If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler. Alfonso X (the Wise)

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