Zolar’s Astrological Tarot

So I got lucky a couple weeks ago and scored this weird little thing off Ebay. US Games published it from 1982 until fairly recently–I want to say 2014?–but before then, it was published by Zolar’s publishing company.

 

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The box has wear. I’ll probably tape it as I don’t buy stuff like this for an investment. I buy it because I like it. Getting it for what I did with the box and the LWB was definitely a score. The cards are in near mint condition and were probably never used. The colour change around the edges is likely due to age.

 

It’s an odd little deck. It’s 56 double sided cards. The Minor Arcana are on one side, and this includes the Knights of each suit. The Major Arcana are on the other side along with astrological cards to fill in the gaps. I’m not sure how to use the astrological cards as such. The Tarot part I can do in my sleep.

 

The colour scheme leaves a lot to be desired. It’s bold, it’s clean, but orange and mint green? Really? I think it was originally salmon pink, and it does appear pinkish orange when not in pictures, but 50+ years have changed things. Colour plates can change as they age and this may be the case here. I don’t know. I’d like to get my hands on a USG copy but they’ll cost me about $50 a pop. I could also do without the keywords printed on each card, but at the same time, it’s part of the deck’s charm. The side of the box says ‘Nothing to learn!’ Hell, where’s the fun in that?!?

 

The cardstock is on the thin side. I wouldn’t trust it. Then again, I’ve had really thin decks that I thought would crease or fall apart and they still hold up. Yes, Lo Scarabeo, I’m looking at you. Still, though, I wouldn’t subject these to a lot of use just because of their age.

 

The main thing that gets me, though, is the fact the cards are double-sided. The flip side of the Moon is the 8 of Pentacles/Diamonds. So the two can never appear in the same reading in this deck. That’s ridiculous. Any readings with this deck will lose a lot of nuance just because of this. Also, how is the user to tell which side is the front and which side is the back of each card? Usually decks will have uniform backs. Maybe this was an attempt to save cardstock, but it doesn’t work. Maybe the sitter is supposed to close their eyes when they shuffle? Uhh…sure, whatever.

 

I’m still glad I scored a copy for my collection, though. This is a deck that probably should not be revived. I can’t see where experienced readers could really use this well. It’d also just confuse the hell out of beginners. If people want keywords, they can try to scare up a copy of the Starter Tarot, which does have keywords on each card, or take a marker and write keywords on each card in their deck. It’s up to the user, basically. As for ME reading with this deck, it’s not going to happen unless someone specifically requests this. It’s an interesting novelty, though.

 

 

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This works?

So I get asked frequently, ‘Does Tarot work, and if so, how?’ I’ll be the first to say it *does* work, but I have no idea how or why. Hell, I’m not sure if I’m not abusing the hell out of the Forer/Barnum effect or not. Basically, the Forer effect states that people will assume generalizations apply to them specifically, when in reality, they apply to a wide swath of the population. It’s a good example of a cognitive bias, and knowing it’s there goes a long way to boosting critical thinking skills. Then again, I’ve pulled details out of the ether that I figured were BS, only to find later I was spot on in a big way. Like a friend of mine said, ‘Does it really matter if you’re abusing a bias or not? If people feel empowered to deal with whatever situation they’re facing, you’ve done a good job.’ He has a point. The argument could also be made that if the bias is abused, vague generalities are of no use. I have a feeling this debate will rage on endlessly, much like the charge or not to charge debate.

Another thing I get a lot is that the cards tell my client what they already know. Well, duh, that’s actually the point. And sometimes, we need a visit from this guy to get us back on track:

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Sometimes something that seems obvious isn’t, and something that shouldn’t be is. A lot of times it’s because the client is too close to the situation to SEE the obvious until it’s pointed out–and then they just lean forward and do the double facepalm. Other times, Cap’n Obvious needs to smack someone upside the head repeatedly with a baseball bat to get the message through. Situations vary.

Here’s the thing, though–yeah, often times the cards will tell the client what they already know. They’ll also advise the best course of action for a given situation. A reading is a snapshot, nothing more. It’s like a weather report in a lot of ways. Change the circumstances, change the outcome. Most of the time, the sitter can do a lot more to shift things in their favour than they realize. Whether or not they choose to take responsibility is up to them, not me. All I can do is show a way. Getting mad at me for not telling them what they want to hear is like getting mad at the GPS because the guy in front of them got T-boned by a red light runner and now they’re stuck in a traffic jam. Shit happens and we can rise to the occasion or not. Our call.

I’m not going to tell you when the love of your life is going to come into your life because I simply don’t know. I’m not going to give you the winning lotto numbers because I don’t know. Hell, if I did, I certainly wouldn’t be sharing them! I can’t tell you how long will you live because, you guessed it, I don’t know. Does life have a higher purpose? I have no idea. And I’m not a medium, so don’t ask me what your dead grandparents think because I can’t know. I make no claims to be psychic, and people may assume that, but then that’s on them. How does the Tarot give guidance? I have no fucking clue. All I know is that it does, and if I can help people, then my job is done.