Talkin’ ’bout The Cultural Revolution Tarot…

Admittedly… I’m a little surprised that I bought this deck…

I’ve had half an eye on James Battersby’s timeline for a while as I’m waiting to see when Twisted Tarot Tales comes out… So I’ve seen several images of The Cultural Tarot, created by himself alongside the main visual designer Christine Aguiar, float by…

And they’ve pleased my eye but I’ve questioned – Would I actually use this deck? Also… I kind of got very turned off to History at school by the drearily drab Ms Lions whose every lesson consisted of turn to page x of your text book and copy out the first 3 paragraphs… Yeah… those lessons were dusty on so many levels… But as more images floated by, they felt less like Ms Lions and more akin to Mr Fox… Now Mr Fox…. he was as dapper as the old Lion was dull… An animated storyteller, not a book in sight as he breathed life into long dead names and ushered them in technicolour into our imaginations… But… I digress… Yes… I’m well aware that I often do that! But still remained the question – Would I use this deck?

So while pondering and pausing over whether or not to hit PayPal… I got a bit of a nudge…

I caught site of a post and I thought… No? Really? Have I read that wrong?

So for want of a better word… Let’s call it a Review Forum… I’ll not name it, as it’s inhabitants appear to like to remain faceless and nameless as they tap away at their keyboards… But there was a whole clickety click going on calling for this deck to be banned from the site…

Now… I’m not a fan of censorship at the best of times as I don’t feel that it is anybody else’s business to determine on my behalf what I may or may not find offensive… actually don’t even get me started on that… In fact… I’ll gloss over rapidly to the part which made me double with laughter and hell yeah!!! which was Mr Battersby’s response… 😀

So… it seems to me, that the best way to support the work of Independent Artists, is to put your money where your mouth is and go buy their work…

And so The Cultural Tarot arrived shortly on ,my doorstep…

Cultural RevolutionI opened my package and was delighted!

There is so much I could say about this deck and I barely know where to start, so I’ll try not to repeat what is contained in the Brochure and whizz through a few things that I found interesting…

Ok… so first off… With all new decks, I check out the Ruin! Death! Destruction! factor…

This is not because I personally have any problems, with Death, The Tower and 10 of Swords, but rather due to the nature of some of the gigs I work, I’m frequently asked to keep things light and not bring anything that will freak people out… (Though hilariously… the last time I had someone freak over a card, it was the 10 of Cups… yeah… I kid ye not… whodda thunk it?!)

IMG_4643Now this Death card… I really rather love… It does most distinctly smell as though all four horsemen of the Apocalypse have rocked up and I find that quite refreshing against trends of Death biting the bullet in favour of Transformation type images… As for The Tower and the 10 of Swords… well the only thing I find upsetting about them really, is that they are images that have become all too familiar on our TV screens…

I think about Propaganda images… I think about how History is written by Historians… I wander off for a while to imagine how Lion vs Fox would retell the tales… I wonder how fine the lie is between education and propaganda…

Certainly several of the images feel very familiar to my Western mind…

IMG_4644

The thing I find most delightful and delicious is the depiction of females…

IMG_4649

The 6 of Swords stops me in my tracks…

It feels intensely poignant when you know how the Comorants are handled and you consider that against the darker aspects of History…

IMG_4647Would I use this deck?

Yeah…

How?

Well… it occurs to me that it naturally lends itself to questions on marketing and here is a spread I used to examine a question put to me recently…

cultural revolution tarot spread

And speaking of marketing…

I asked the deck to describe it’s brand image in 3 words…

IMG_4648Ha! My deck has a sense of humour…

We Three Queens of Orient are…

You know what… fill your own blanks in… decide for yourself…

See… I kind of believe that the role of an artist or a writer or come to that an Historian…

Is to make you think

Make YOU think…

Not to tell you WHAT to think…

😉

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2 thoughts on “Talkin’ ’bout The Cultural Revolution Tarot…

  1. It just occured to me Karen that the answer to the deck’s brand image could be “women, women, women” lol. Christine and i started looking at the amount of female characters in the deck and i think they far outweigh the men. it was actually unintentional but i think, as Christine points out to me as i write this, with Mao being a bit of a femininist and a lot of the actual Chinese propaganda images being based on the strength of women etc, that may have had a role in it 🙂

    Like

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