If you’ve been looking for the Majestic Earth Tarot or have been wanting to try out This Might Hurt Tarot, I’m doing a giveaway for each deck on Instagram. See below for each respective post and for details on how to enter. Both giveaways end Friday, May 27th at 5 pm PST!

Giveaway entries must be posted on Instagram. This post is just an inform!


Happy Mother’s Day

Today is my first Mother’s Day as a mother and my second one without my own mother.

Yesterday, we visited my mom at the memorial park. It was a bittersweet moment: I was happy to finally be able to take my child to visit her and introduce him to her and her memory, but sad that my mother was not, and will never be, physically present to meet or see her grandchild. I truly believe though that she is watching over us with all of her blessings.

As I always do when I go see her, I brought her a small Kuan Yin statue and some tarot cards that felt befitting of the occasion: The Star card from the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot because it is of Kuan Yin (and the larger print with the Great Compassion Mantra is displayed in my home altar to her); the Strength card from Sakura Spring Tarot (because it is symbolic of my mom meeting her grandchild, born this year, in the year of the Tiger); and the Queen of Pentacles from the Pastel Kitty Tarot (because my mom loved Hello Kitty and the Queen of Pentacles card is a card that always reminds me of her).

These always go atop of a beautiful leafy green tray by Sparkle Divine Creations because my mom loved plants and greenery. Those succulents in the vase are plant cuttings from her garden that my dad has placed there. Those roses are placed there fresh when we visit.

Below is a picture of my card draws for today: The World, Three of Cups, and Mountain (Presence). I’m reading this to mean that, today, I am feeling complete on my first Mother’s Day with our newfound family of three and that I am grateful to be in this present moment.

I’m using Shadowscapes, Botan Tarot, and Mother’s Wisdom Deck because all three of these decks remind me of my mom. Shadowscapes, because it was my first deck, the one that found me two days before my mom’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis, and the one who comforted me during those first really difficult weeks. Botan Tarot, because it was the first deck that I got after my mom’s passing, the one that reinvigorated my love for tarot, and the one that felt like my mom’s final birthday gift to me with peaches, blossoms, and stories interwoven throughout. And finally, the Mother’s Wisdom Deck, because it was the deck that I sought out after my mom’s passing to dispense the wisdom I so craved from missing my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day.

AAPI Heritage Month

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, during which we celebrate and commemorate Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. As an Asian American and a middle-school teacher, I usually spend this month sharing with students my own identity, culture, and heritage. However, I’m currently on maternity leave, being a recent first-time mother.

I still wanted to do something to celebrate this month, even if it was by myself. My kid is currently too young (he’s 2 months old today!), and while I’ve gotten some books by Asian authors for him, he’s too young to understand any of it right now.

So I’ll be doing a few other things.

First, I recently learned about the Asian Readathon on YouTube from Laura @aquamarine18 during a monthly recap video, so I, too, will be reading books by Asian authors per the prompts created by Cindy from withcindy.

I’ll also celebrate by reading tarot daily with decks by Asian deck creators. So… kinda like an Asian Tarot Readathon or an Asian Tarot Edit. Currently, of the 15 decks in my collection that I regularly use (13 tarot and two oracle), eight are by Asian deck creators, so I do have quite a few to choose from.

I’ve got the Eastern Ink Tarot by Karen Zhong and Sebastian Fu, the Botan Tarot by A Miyako M, Shadowscapes by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, Spirit Keeper’s Tarot: Revelation Edition by Benebell Wen, Future Ancestor Tarot by Alexa Villanueva, Luna Lapin Tarot by Kanitsart Semanopparat, Way of the Panda Tarot by Kimberly Tsan, and Sakura Spring Tarot by Mate Horonumber.

I’ve also been doing a lot of retail therapy and online shopping late in the night (aka my mornings), so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for decks, bags, books, accessories, prints, etc. to purchase from Asian artists and creators! I’ve already got a few things that I’ve been eyeing!

Tarot Journal

In the last several weeks, I’ve gotten into a nice routine with my tarot journal. Some of this practice carried over from last year or previous years, and some of it developed more recently.

But first, some context.

Last year, I used a Hobonichi Weeks, which is actually a planner, as my tarot “journal” to record my daily draws. It was the first time that I’d stuck to the same journal for an entire year, which is a feat that I had never accomplished before (I always want to switch after a few months). Some of the reasons I enjoy the Weeks are: each day is one box in the weekly spread (much less daunting to fill than an entire page in a daily planner/journal, or even part of a page in a blank journal), how the week is arranged (Monday through Sunday), each day has its own box (Saturday and Sunday don’t share a box, as is common in a lot of weekly planners), its size and slim profile (portable and not bulky), the Tomoe River paper (thin, smooth, and takes inks well), and the grid paper in all the note sections (I prefer grids over dots or lines).

So, late last year, I purchased another Weeks to continue the practice for 2022. However, last year, I didn’t actually do much “journaling.” I would usually decorate the right note page of the weekly spread, record my daily draws as they happened, and then would maybe write, at best, a small snippet for each week. It was a lot of arts-and-crafts decoration and not much writing. See Exhibit A.

When I began my Weeks this year, I started off doing the same thing as I had done last year — decorate each weekly spread with various stickers, washi tape, and pretty papers, while recording my daily draws as they happened. I had posted some of my finished spreads on Reddit and on a separate secret Instagram account, just so I could share them somewhere semi-anonymously to truly random strangers. Eventually, the decorating fell to the wayside; I just couldn’t keep up with it. Since I was in the third trimester of my pregnancy, I was always fatigued and didn’t have the energy. I even stopped doing my daily tarot draws.

After I gave birth in March this year, I literally had no time to do anything. The first weeks of my baby’s life were devoted solely to caring for him, which consisted of an unending cycle of constant feeding and pumping. I was lucky if I could grab something to eat or catch a few minutes of sleep in between feedings. I definitely did not do any tarot. I didn’t even think about tarot. Once my husband and I were able to develop some semblance of a routine, and I felt as if I had some breathing room for myself, I started drawing cards again, and with the drawing of cards, I resumed recording in my tarot journal.

This time around though, I intentionally focused on journaling. I still don’t currently have the time or energy to decorate my spreads as I had before. But the journaling has been very therapeutic and helpful as I pick tarot back up and use it to help me navigate my new life of motherhood.

Weekly Practice

I open each week with a card draw from my Mother’s Wisdom Deck. It’s interesting how this deck’s purpose has evolved for me. Originally, I had purchased this deck as a way to remember and honor my own mother, who passed away from cancer in the summer of 2020. After her passing, I came across this deck, which had long been out of print, intent on finding a reasonably priced copy for myself. I did find such a copy, and when I first got the deck, used it as a way to connect with my mother and the wisdom she would have bestowed upon me had she still been here.

Now, when I use the deck, I use its wisdom to help guide me through my own journey as a mother. On Monday mornings, I draw a card from this deck and read the two-page entry in the accompanying — and very excellent — guidebook. The guidebook does an amazing job connecting each card’s figure and message to motherhood. Then, in my journal, on the notes page for the new weekly spread, I write “Mother’s Wisdom of the Week,” record the card draw and its keyword, write down any quotes from the guidebook that particularly resonated with me, and journal how I feel, how I interpret the card, or why I resonate with those quotes. Here is a sample entry:

(Note: The Mother’s Wisdom Deck is the only oracle deck I have in my collection, but I imagine any oracle could do. In fact, I’m always on the lookout for another oracle deck that can serve a similar function. The only thing is that I’m super particular about oracles. I find that the only oracles I like are ones with a very intentional and clear structure; hence, why I prefer tarot.)

Throughout the week, in the remaining space on the notes side, I write down any random musings or thoughts I have that I feel like jotting down. Sometimes, I will do a spread, or respond to a hashtag I saw somewhere, or write about a new deck that just joined my collection. Or, I might write about how I’m feeling about something in the moment or even literally about the pen that I am using that very instant. If I have more thoughts to add and no more room in the notes page for that week, I continue my musings in the note pages that I’ve saved for journaling in the back of the Weeks.

Daily Practice

Each “morning,” which now begins at midnight for me, I pick a tarot deck to use (sometimes, two), and I draw two cards. On the left side of the weekly spread, I record the two cards for that day and write a quick interpretation. For me personally, I’ve found the Weeks to be a sustainable journal to use because I don’t need to write much for my daily draws. (Having to write an entire page worth of thoughts and reflections for each draw in a daily journal made the daily routine not sustainable for me in the long run and became more of a chore or something to check off the list.) Most importantly, if I skip a day or two (or more), I don’t feel guilty about it because it’s just one small block of space, rather than an entire page. Sometimes, I will go back and fill in that empty block with a spread that I’ve done that week — usually the Ace Pulse Tarot Check-in, a very well-loved spread, by my friend Carolyn from @dufftarot.

When-I-Feel-Like-It Practice

In the last month, since I’ve been craving more journaling, I wanted to add in a practice that I could opt into if I wanted, but didn’t have to if I didn’t feel like it or didn’t have time. I very recently purchased Journaling the Tarot by Andy Matzner (the smaller first edition, because I like its portable size). I pick a deck to use, and then I ask the deck to give me a card with which to journal. I draw one card, find that card’s entry in Journaling the Tarot, glance through the prompts, and pick the prompt that speaks to me most in that moment. In the notes section in the back of the Weeks, I will record the date, the prompt, and then journal in response to the prompt.

Monthly Practice

When I do my daily draws, I also mark off these draws in a monthly tracker that I also keep in the back note pages of the Weeks. I also record which decks I used. At the end of the month, I like to review the month by looking at these two trackers. Which decks did I favor? Which decks did I not use? Which cards kept showing up? Which suit or numbers kept recurring? What trends do I notice? Sometimes, if I feel like it, I will also journal about these recurring cards/suits/numbers or any trends I’ve noticed.

Concluding Thoughts

I’m finding that with this combined approach, I have a practice that I can, am able, and actually desire to engage in daily, weekly, and monthly, and is one that also adds in enough journaling to give me that bit of journaling therapy that I need.

Through this process, I’ve also tried many a pen on Tomoe River paper and have discovered different fountain pens and lovely inks, as well as revisited milky pastel gelly rolls, which I loved as a teen, all of which could probably take me down another rabbit hole. But I’ve been keeping pen-and-ink buying to a minimum as I continue to explore, develop, and understand what type of journaling works for me. If I end up doing very extensive journaling, I may invest in more pens and inks, a necessary consequence of more writing, of course.

Finally, writing in this blog very occasionally also provides me with more of the type of writing that I crave and is something I can also share with others. So…thanks for reading! Feel free to let me know your thoughts or tell me about your own practices. (And, by the way, journaling about journaling is very meta indeed!)


Sooo…it’s been a minute since I’ve updated this blog, or on any social media. I’ve been busy! I had a baby last month and caring for a newborn has been incredibly time-consuming, to say the least. (In fact, this post took me several days to write, cobbled together in the dead of the night, on successive days, when everyone, including the baby, was finally asleep.)

I finally started drawing cards again a few weeks ago when I had snippets of time here and there, and I have found it to be quite meditative and therapeutic, which is what tarot has always been for me. I’ve also noticed that in the last few months, I’ve been particularly drawn to cute decks. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have a child now? Perhaps I myself am more in tune with my own inner child? Perhaps it’s me waxing nostalgic for my own childhood days?

Anyway, Lisa Papez recently did a video and hashtag #MyAdorableDecks where she covered all of the cute and adorable tarot and oracle decks that she had in her collection. What a perfect time to go over some of my own adorable decks, a few of which are very new to my collection!

Way of the Panda Tarot

This is the first adorable deck that stayed in my collection. In the past, I was not drawn to adorable decks, or I had a hard time connecting with adorable decks, which is why I did not get this deck for the longest time, even though I loved the art and the concept of a panda-themed deck. I eventually sprung for it as part of a mini deck haul in late 2020 during the holidays. (The holidays is when I seem to buy myself decks I don’t necessarily need.) Of all of the decks that I bought in that mini haul, I had initially thought that this one was the one most likely to be rehomed, which did not bode well for it, before it had even arrived in my collection. This deck has truly been a surprise sleeper hit though. I fell in love with its voice and its personality, and it really opened my eyes to the utility and usability of an adorable deck. It has quite a fun, playful, and sassy personality that I’ve come to really cherish and enjoy. And the larger accompanying guidebook is amazing, delving into the world and personalities of each of these pandas.

Luna Lapin Tarot

There are certain animals that I have a sweet spot for, and one of those animals is the bunny rabbit. One of my favorite stuffed animals growing up was a bunny and a lot of children’s storybooks feature bunnies, and so bunnies make me feel nostalgic. When I first saw this deck on YouTube, it was like love at first sight. The sweet and earnest bunnies depicted in this RWS clone were simply too adorable to pass up. I hunted down a copy of the first edition (before any later editions were announced) and willingly paid some hefty shipping fees for this to arrive to me from Asia. I do not regret it at all. This has been a deck that has read very clearly for me, and the card stock is matte and buttery AND flexible, which makes it a dream to shuffle.

Tarot Renard

One of the other animals that I have a sweet spot for? Foxes. The illustrations in this deck are just so adorably sweet! They remind me of illustrations that can be found in a cozy children’s book. This was another deck that I put off getting for a long time. I remember coming across this on Kickstarter in the fall of 2020 and thinking that the art was really similar to the Way of the Panda and how if I hadn’t even gotten the Way of the Panda, why should I get this deck? Then, when the creator listed extras on her website after the successful Kickstarter campaign, the thought of paying for a high-priced indie deck that I wasn’t sure of (which might compete with what was now a beloved Way of the Panda), plus shipping costs from France, was enough to deter me for another little while. My desire for this deck waxed and waned until finally I got it as a holiday gift for myself in December 2021 (did I mention I love gifting myself decks during the holidays??). As soon as I opened up this deck, I knew it was a keeper. It has a gentle, sweet, and loving energy that is quite different from the Way of the Panda. This deck has always given me the kindest readings in times when I needed gentleness and kindness.

Sakura Spring Tarot

This adorable deck is still very new to my collection (I’ve had it for less than two weeks) and is another deck that I randomly saw on YouTube that I knew I had to get as soon as I saw it. I am not usually drawn to cartoon-y decks or decks that look like manga or anime, but there was something about this deck that I just couldn’t resist. It was like the most adorable Japanese version of my Eastern Ink Tarot. It just seemed so cute and sweet with beautiful pink sakura blossoms sprinkled throughout it — truly perfect for the spring! The card stock is a wonderful linen, and it has been giving me incredibly clear and direct readings. In fact, it is a lot more forthright and much cheekier than I expected it to be, given its sweet-natured look, but I’m loving it so far!

Pastel Kitty Tarot

This is the newest addition to my collection and another adorable deck that I got for nostalgic reasons since I grew up collecting all things Sanrio and Hello Kitty. Years ago, when I first started tarot and came across this Hello Kitty Tarot that had long since been out of print, I remember thinking how I would never get my hands on a Hello Kitty deck like that. Lo and behold, last week, I was watching another YouTube video, which referenced the Little Wizards Tarot, which I found interesting enough to check out, clicked on the link to Push Kitty’s website, and came across the Hello Kitty deck I had been wanting — and in PASTEL colors! Literally, it could not be more perfect if I dreamed it up myself. I ordered a copy immediately. The original line art is by Joe Morales (from the Hello Tarot), but this copy has been re-imagined by Push Kitty and re-worked by Lucy G. I’m really loving the soothing rainbow pastels and the sea foam green edges.

In my quest for adorable decks, I’ve also had a few that didn’t end up working for me, including the Tarot of the Magical Forest (which I’ve owned twice), the Whispering Spirits Tarot, and the more recently released mass-market Kawaii Tarot. So yes, I am still quite discerning with my cute and adorable decks!

The Four Tarot Reading Styles

I came across this excellent video by Carrie Mallon from earlier this year, discussing in detail the four different tarot reading styles: analytic, therapeutic, psychic, and magical. These reading styles were first identified by Mary Greer in her book, Tarot Mirrors, published in 1988, and which is sadly out-of-print but can still be purchased used in some places. It is also apparently in one of the appendices to one of Mary Greer’s other books, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card, which is still in-print.

Carrie’s video is insightful because it covers each reading style in detail, including: what it is, what are the benefits and pitfalls of each style, suggested books and resources to each style, and how to improve your skills with each style. I highly recommend watching the video, which was a live workshop that she gave on Instagram Live and is now on her YouTube channel.

Upon doing some further internet research, I came across this snippet from the book, The Tarot: History, Mystery, and Lore, by Cynthia Giles, which sums up succinctly these four reading styles as identified by Mary Greer (p. 139):

Cynthia Giles also further explains that:

I found all of this incredibly enlightening because it provides the framework and structure that allows me to finally understand why different tarot readers read so differently (and why I read the way I do)!

Based on these resources, I definitely identify as primarily a “therapeutic” reader and secondarily as a “magical” reader. The only person I read for is myself; thus, the querent is always me. I use tarot as a self-care, meditation, and reflection tool: per the above, I use it primarily “to discover personal meaning, options, and goals,” and also use it to help me identify and affirm ways “to create what [I] find worthwhile and valuable.” I use it mainly as an intuitive tool (therapeutic) based on what I’m sensing in the moment (magical). I want to note that I agree with what Cynthia Giles associates with the term “magical” as the “encouragement of the will.” I, too, am reading the term “magical” as akin to manifestation — sort of what The Magician symbolizes — in that you are creating and manifesting ways and willing to make things happen.

In my daily life and in my day job as a teacher and a former lawyer, I am a very analytical person. It also comes with me being a Virgo sun, a Gemini rising, an INTJ, and an Enneagram type 5. Interestingly enough, I am NOT an analytic reader when it comes to tarot. I’m sure there are hints of it — because that’s who I am naturally and because my personal meanings are derived from the RWS, so there’s no way for me to be completely devoid of being analytical — but I think that since tarot is a meditation and self-care tool for me, it is the one avenue in my life where I can check-out and not have to “think” in the same way that I do for work or other aspects of my life. This framework explains why I don’t prefer esoteric decks with all the symbolism; why I don’t have the patience to study Marseilles decks, pip-style decks or any other systems; and why I have little interest in studying tarot correspondences for each card.

This framework also helps to shed light on my deck collection and why it is composed the way it is. Since I am primarily a therapeautic reader for myself, it now makes so much sense why my tarot collection is made up of decks that I personally find gentle, healing, soothing, comforting, and grounding!

As I write this, however, I’m thinking that some part of me is still a little bit analytic, even in tarot. I think if I were truly just a therapeutic and magical reader, I would be more into oracle cards, since oracle cards are often therapeutic and affirming. But I’m really not into oracles, because they are devoid of structure, which I then attribute to me being analytical in that I require some semblance of structure when reading. (Also, this entire blog post serves to demonstrate why I’m generally an analytical person. I’m basically analyzing my reading style!)

Lastly, this framework now makes me understand why I often see myself as a “secular” reader. I think now, based on what I’ve learned here, that it’s less than I’m secular and more that I’m not a “psychic” reader. I don’t think I can use my intuition to see into the future or divine what will happen. But I do believe sometimes in things happening for a reason or synchronicities or things unfolding in a certain way or choices we choose to make based on gut feelings we have, that I can’t say I’m completely secular.

Deck Culling Questions (Boho Tarot)

I noticed that I get an urge to purge when I get near ten tarot decks. Why ten? I don’t know. It seems silly because ten doesn’t even seem to be that many. At one point in time, I comfortably had way more than ten decks. But in the last few years, it appears to be the numerical limit that I have subconsciously set for myself — because it certainly was not made intentionally. I somehow get an itch to cull when I’m near ten decks, like I am right now (I currently have 9 tarot decks).

That’s why I really love the questions that Dawn Michelle at Boho Tarot came up with when you are in the mood to deck cull. Check out her video here that goes through this process. Here are the questions she poses for reflection:

  1. What is this deck’s place in my collection?
  2. How often do I use it?
  3. Do I have anything else that serves the same purpose?
  4. Would I buy it again?
  5. Can I replace it if I need to?

I thought I would go through these questions with each of my decks. (You may have noticed that when I talk about the decks in my collection, I only talk about decks that I did not create. Obviously, my created decks always stay with me.)


  1. This is my first deck, so it is definitely special. I got it two days before my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and it helped me through those first few difficult months. It has stayed with me this entire time, almost four years now, even after my mom passed away. I was finally able to get the larger Czech edition earlier this year.
  2. I don’t use it much anymore, but I will never get rid of this deck as long as I tarot.
  3. It will always be known as my first deck, so no, there’s no other deck that serves the same purpose.
  4. Yes, I would buy it again if somehow I didn’t have it anymore.
  5. Yes, I am able to replace both the mass-market Llewellyn edition and the Czech edition currently.

This Might Hurt

  1. This deck is my most straightforward deck and the deck I have that is closest to being a RWS clone. I don’t have an RWS, even though that is my preferred system, so this is the closest thing to it. It’s prescient, and it’s eerie how accurate it is.
  2. I don’t use it much anymore, but I do pull it out when I want some straight answers or if I’m craving some modern energy.
  3. While I did recently get another RWS clone, this is the deck I think of when I think of RWS clone. It’s also my only modern and real-world deck. Most importantly, it was the last deck I received before my mom passed away. I had it with me when I would visit my mom at the hospital during her last few weeks. I could never part with it.
  4. I don’t know if I would buy this one again because it’s THIS specific copy that is important to me.
  5. Yes, I can. It won’t be the same printing, but it’ll be the same edition.

Botan Tarot

  1. I almost quit tarot after my mom’s passing because I just didn’t feel like it anymore. I thought tarot was brought into my life to help me cope with her cancer, and there was no point to it after she passed. That is, until I saw this deck a few days before my first birthday without her. This deck reminds me of her, and it feels like her last birthday gift to me.
  2. I use this fairly regularly, at least a few times a month. This is also the deck I usually bring with me when I visit my mom at the memorial park. I like to pick out certain cards that I set up in a mini altar for her.
  3. No, I don’t quite have any other deck like this. The card stock is the best I’ve ever felt, and I love, love, love the stories woven through this deck. It’s my storytelling deck, and it feels incredibly evocative.
  4. Yes, I would absolutely buy this again.
  5. Currently, no. It is out of print at the moment, but that seems to be temporary.

Future Ancestor Tarot

  1. This is my nurturing deck. It’s my most gentle deck in my collection full of gentle decks. It was created from a place of grief and healing, so it feels like the most soothing, warm hug you could get in deck form. It’s my ultimate hug deck.
  2. I use it somewhat regularly, at least a few times a month.
  3. I have other gentle decks, but this one is THE gentle deck. I also love that it’s made with sumi ink and found natural items and is mostly monochromatic with very slight hints of muted colors. I don’t have any other deck quite like it.
  4. Yes, I would definitely buy this again.
  5. Yes, I can. It would be the second edition, which was slightly changed, but I would be okay with that.

Way of the Panda Tarot

  1. This deck was the first “cute” deck I’ve gotten in a very, very long time. I honestly didn’t think this would stick around, but it’s always such a happy, joyful experience working with it. I bought this deck for my inner child because so many people had referenced it as their hug deck. I always just feel so happy when I use it.
  2. I use this one pretty regularly, several times a month. I also like to use this one for random birthday readings for my non-tarot friends because it feels so friendly and approachable.
  3. No, I don’t have any other deck that has quite the same joy and exuberance that this one has. My inner child squeals with delight whenever I use it.
  4. Yes, I would buy this again for sure.
  5. Yes, but it would be a different edition. I have the “Dream” edition, and the one that is coming out soon is the “Imagine” edition. I don’t know if there are any changes beyond the extra card that is different with each edition and the box that holds the deck.

Tarot of the Magical Forest

  1. This was my first cute deck and actually one of the first decks I bought when I first started tarot. It’s sweet and also a little sassy. I eventually rehomed it because it was bowing and I wasn’t using it much with so many new decks constantly coming in at the beginning of my journey. This is the only deck I’ve ever repurchased, and it’s the only one I currently have that I’ve modified. It’s also my only readily available mass-market deck (I don’t count the Czech Shadowscapes.)
  2. l used it a lot in the beginning, but I haven’t used it much since I got several other animal decks, so THIS ONE IS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK. Basically, it’s the same story as the first time.
  3. Yes, and I think that’s why it’s on the chopping block. I have two other anthropomorphic animals decks that I prefer over this one: Way of the Panda Tarot, which is happy and fun, and Luna Lapin, which is honest and sweet. This one is more sassy than the other two though, although Way of the Panda has gotten more sassy with me.
  4. I would not, which is why it’s on the chopping block.
  5. Yes, this one is published by Lo Scarabeo and readily available on Amazon and doesn’t seem like it will go out of print anytime soon.

Luna Lapin Tarot

  1. This is my other RWS clone, but with bunnies! It is soooo cute, but in a different way than Way of the Panda. This one is just so sweet, honest, and earnest. I have a soft spot for bunnies because all of my favorite stuffed animals growing up were bunnies. They make me feel nostalgic.
  2. I just got this last month, but I’ve used it a lot. I am still very much in the honeymoon phase with this one.
  3. No, I don’t have another incredibly cute animal RWS clone. This one is it!
  4. Yes, I would buy this again.
  5. This one is hard to get because it’s from Thailand. They are currently taking pre-orders for the second edition, but I don’t know if this is one that would stay in print.

Oak, Ash & Thorn

  1. This is my most realistic animal deck, in the sense that it doesn’t contain anthropomorphic animals, just animals in their natural habitat. I love that it features one animal in each suit — I love consistencies like that in a deck.
  2. I just got this this week, so obviously I’ve been using it a lot this week.
  3. No, I don’t have any other animal deck like this one. All of my other animal decks are anthropomorphic animals. Also, my other animal decks seem to have louder personalities. This one right now seems gentle and soothing, like a lullaby. It hasn’t quite developed a voice yet.
  4. EDIT: This is why I love these questions, because it really makes me think and reflect. No, on second thought, I wouldn’t buy this again. It only been a week, but I just don’t feel the love that I usually feel at the initial stages 😦 I think it’s the realistic animals that I can’t relate to. I think animal decks have to be anthropomorphic for me to be drawn to use them. So I think this one is on the chopping block as well.
  5. Yes, Volume 1.1 is currently still available at Three Trees Tarot.

Eastern Ink Tarot

  1. This is the Chinese RWS tarot deck that I’ve been wanting. This deck honors and celebrates my heritage and ancestry.
  2. I just got this a few days ago, so I’ve been using it a lot in the last few days, but it obviously hasn’t been in my collection long enough to establish any sort of pattern yet.
  3. No, I do not have another Chinese deck. This one is very special.
  4. Yes, I would buy this again, even though I have to get it with a bunch of other stuff and pay an astronomical amount for international shipping!
  5. Yes, this is technically available, but this one is difficult to get outside of Asia at an affordable price. There is supposedly a bilingual edition coming out later this year geared towards the international audience.

So, final verdict:

  • I’m never getting rid of Shadowscapes, This Might Hurt, and Botan for very clear, sentimental reasons relating to my mom.
  • I love Future Ancestor and Way of the Panda and am definitely keeping those.
  • Tarot of the Magical Forest is going in my purgatory box. Yes, I have one, even if they don’t stay there long!
  • Luna Lapin, which has been with me a month, is looking like a keeper.
  • EDIT: It’s only been a week, but I think I already know Oak, Ash & Thorn isn’t for me.
  • I’m definitely keeping Eastern Ink because it celebrates my heritage and ancestry, even if I don’t end up using it much.

I also thought it would be nice to draw a card from each deck asking how it felt about our relationship, something I haven’t done in a while. Maybe that’s why I like to maintain a small collection, so I could use all of my decks at once if I wanted to. Here’s what they told me:

See, there’s that bit of sass from Way of the Panda. And look at Oak, Ash & Thorn already throwing me some shade!!

EDIT: I’ve listed Oak, Ash & Thorn for sale, as well as some other decks!

First Impressions: Eastern Ink Tarot

I’m American, but I’m ethnically Chinese (my parents are from Taiwan), and I’ve always wanted a Chinese tarot. But none of the major Chinese tarot on the market appealed to me: The Chinese Tarot had many depictions that strayed too far from my favored RWS; and The China Tarot was a pip deck. I wanted a Chinese tarot akin to the Beautiful Korea Tarot — one that depicted traditional Chinese scenes following the RWS tradition.

Last month, I came across the most beautiful Chinese deck I had ever seen: the Eastern Ink Tarot. I saw this gorgeous deck on Nanna Tarot’s channel (click here for Nanna’s unboxing). I was enamored by the stunningly beautiful art, and when I saw that it followed RWS interpretations, I knew I had to have it. I reached out to Nanna, who at this point is my tarot fairy godmother, and she told me she didn’t have any in stock, but that she’d be able to procure one for me by June. And procure, she did! Nanna mailed me the tarot deck on June 3, and it arrived to California ONE WEEK LATER. From TAIWAN.

This deck ended up being very pricey because (1) it came in a kit with a whole host of items, and (2) international shipping for such a large item is always astronomical. But it was worth it. And even though I would have rather paid less and not have gotten the extra goodies, in a very, very small way, I’m kind of glad I did. Why? Because in general, I never purchase extras or add-ons, and this kind of forced me to, and unboxing it felt like an actual unboxing, like unveiling the most beautiful gift.

Everything is packaged in the kit, except a tiny bottle of iridescent crystals.

The kit opens like a book and is numbered out of 2000.

There is a 3D pop-up of the Hermit card.

There are drawers on either side that pull out. On the left is a pin, the deck, and a folding fan. On the right is a large tuckbox that contains a spread cloth and a tarot pouch. Below the large tuck box is the guidebook (it is entirely in Chinese).

All the various items in the kit. The spread cloth is actually much larger than pictured. The bottom section cannot be seen in the photo.

Okay, now onto the most important part: the cards! The art is simply breathtaking. The artist, Sebastian Fu, did such a phenomenal job. It feels so watery, ethereal, and fluid. I love that each suit has its own color — I love when suits are consistent like that. The choices of color are interesting. Other than the typical red for Wands, all the other suits have color choices different from what we normally see: purple for Cups, teal for Swords, and blue for Pentacles.

The Major Arcana
The Suit of Wands
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Swords
The Suit of Pentacles

The card stock is lightly textured. I say this because it’s not quite like the linen texture that we are used to, but there definitely is some sort of subtle texture. The deck is gilded with a metallic blue, which I don’t love. I don’t like metallic gilding (regardless of the color). I find it makes the cards stiff on the edges and difficult to shuffle. I wish the gilding had been matte.

The gilding doesn’t look metallic here, but it is.

I still love the deck though because it is just so beautiful, and I’m hoping to brush up on a little Chinese while using it. My goal is to try to read the guidebook, which is entirely in Chinese (with the help of Google Translate, of course).

[Quick tangent:

For those unfamiliar with Chinese, “Chinese” refers to the written language, whereas Mandarin and Cantonese are just two of the dialects that share the Chinese written language. I can speak and understand Mandarin quite well, but my Chinese reading and writing skills are not great. I can’t, for example, read a Chinese newspaper, but if you read the paper out loud to me in Mandarin, I would understand it. Chinese does not contain an alphabet; it is made up of “characters” which you must learn individually. Basically, I’m fluent in the spoken language, but illiterate in the written language. To complicate things further, China currently uses Simplified Chinese text, whereas Taiwan still uses Traditional Chinese text. The little Chinese that I do know is all Traditional, and this guidebook is in Simplified Chinese.]

Guidebook entry for Death
The Minors in the guidebook are organized by number, and before each number, there is an image of all four cards with that number.
Guidebook entry for Nine of Swords

This deck is currently difficult to purchase outside of Asia. If you are willing to pay for international shipping (and mind you, the kit itself is about 9.5 in x 6.5 in x 5 in and is about 3.5 pounds without any packing material or outer box), you can look up Nanna Tarot here.

Otherwise, according to the publisher, Chengdu Arcana Culture Communication, this is their Chinese edition, and they are planning on releasing a bilingual English-Chinese edition later this year. I’m assuming that that means they are releasing a guidebook that’s English and Chinese because the cards are already in both languages. Also, the bilingual edition won’t have the blue metallic gilding (so that may be a good or bad thing, depending on your feelings on gilding).

You can check out more information about the deck here at Chengdu Arcana, but the website is mostly in Chinese. Random thing I did notice was that Sasha Graham is listed as an author — perhaps, she will be writing the guidebook for the English-Chinese edition?


If you’re interested in Modern Witch Tarot, Tarot of the Divine, or A Jane Austen Tarot Deck, hop on over to my Instagram and enter into the giveaways.

All three giveaways end on September 30th at 5pm PDT. US only!

How Times (and Tastes) Have Changed

It’s been two months since I last wrote about my tarot reflections and, my, how times have changed. We have since witnessed the birth of a civil rights movement that brings awareness and fights against the systemic racism and injustices perpetuated daily in our country, sparked by George Floyd’s murder by the police in late-May.

During this time, I found myself initially taking a break from tarot and then infusing tarot as I work through Rachel Cargle’s 30-day #DoTheWork anti-racism course. If you’re interested, you can follow along with me on my IG. I have also compiled all the resources and my tarot prompts here:

While doing this work, I realized I was no longer drawn to the tarot decks that I had been drawn to for so long. I started to crave decks with people in them — especially decks that were representative of our people AND our times. I have since purchased the Next World Tarot (diverse and incredibly relevant for our times) and the Modern Witch Tarot (one of the most diverse decks I’ve seen). I’ve also auctioned off Tyldwick Tarot, donated the proceeds, and let go of Augenblick. I am also in the process of swapping Majestic Earth Tarot (a deck I thought would stay with me forever, but even this has lost its appeal) for the This Might Hurt Tarot, which I’m super excited about. Vintage-style decks are not calling to me any longer, and I’m now wanting modern decks of our times. As a result, I have also canceled my pre-order of Fantastic Menagerie, as that too is a vintage-style deck.

The Next World Tarot by Cristy C. Road
The Modern Witch Tarot by Lisa Sterle

I’m also finding it incredibly important to have decks that prominently feature BIPOC. I just can’t use any decks that have only white people or a few token BIPOC anymore, especially as a POC myself.

I love that there are so many different tarot decks, such that I can always find one that fits my current needs, and if there isn’t one to fit my needs, I can always create one myself through Make Playing Cards! In fact, I have a work-in-progress deck that is very aligned with our times. I haven’t yet gotten a draft of it in hand yet, as I’ve only completed it recently, but I’m planning on listing it in the near future with all proceeds going to The Loveland Foundation therapy fund.