What’s Bad Ass? Us. And This Tarot Deck.

Once again I’m trying to distract myself, since I can’t go out and do much on this vacation (I did sit by the pool for quite a while until screeching children drove me away). But you know what? You can’t escape reality by reviewing a tarot deck. I’ll explain.

Some great images are even on the cover.

I think we all want to be at least a little badass. I think of it as having the courage to be ourselves, even when it defies convention, and sometimes when it defies logic. Being a badass comes with a little attitude, too, which may or may not make it challenging to do all those socially appropriate things like go to our jobs, engage in polite conversation, etc.

They may be sideways, but you get the idea. They’re true to tradition, just with an attitude.

While I’m not particularly badass, most of the time (I leave that to Mandi), I was drawn to a review I read of the Badass Tarot, over on the Papa Squirrel blog, one of the tarot blogs I read from time to time. Here’s what Papa says:

This deck is based in the RWS system but for sure is a stand alone piece of pop art reference! No guidebook included, but honestly that is part of the reason I love it! You don’t need it! The images are amazing and sometimes shocking and mostly hilarious but is not only open to the reader’s interpretation but also is SUPPOSED to challenge the status quo of tarot itself.

Papa Squirrel

He summed the deck up really well. It’s got some pretty hilarious images, and some that are a little disturbing (there are naked people, so it’s probably not for the littlest tarot readers). Both Anita and I laughed aloud many times when we went through the deck after I first got it. There are many “aha” moments when you realize how well a card manages to make a social commentary AND follow tarot tradition.

Harley Spencer did a great job on the very badass collages on the cards. From what I can tell the obviously handmade and beautifully crafted version of the cards that I got will soon be replaced by mass market versions. That will get more people a chance to experience this deck, which is fantastic.

To keep up, I’d suggest following @harleyspencertarotdeck on Instagram to learn what’s going on. And here’s where you can buy your own copy of the original deck.

How Do They Read?

So, I went ahead and did a reading with the deck, in which I asked about the past, present, and future in today’s health crisis situation. It came out pretty unpleasant, especially the “future” card.

Well, if this doesn’t tell me something or what.

The past is one nasty ole 8 of Swords, where a man seems to be trapped by his issues. All that food is keeping him from having fun with the upside-down children. For me, I think this “past” covers both the immediate past and the present. So many of us feel trapped in our homes as we try to keep ourselves safe from the coronavirus. I’m out of town, but have been so careful!

The present is the Page of Swords. She’s looking out for something in the air. I’ll choose to interpret the zeppelins as badass viruses. Eek. We’re all on the lookout for sick people and germs, me included.

And the future is the Devil. Hmm, this one usually means you’re being so greedy that you don’t see what you really need. For me, today, it feels like I’ve been wandering around in my privilege just doing what I usually do and not paying enough attention to the needs of others. I’m taking the card as a warning not to be so complacent and smug that I think I’m immune to germs or that all the other consequences of the restrictions that come out more and more will affect me.

Nope. I’m very healthy, but in the risky segment of society. Lee isn’t as super healthy, so I need to watch over him, too.

So, how off was I? I plan to be prudent but stay badass. How about you?

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

7 thoughts on “What’s Bad Ass? Us. And This Tarot Deck.”

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