Deck Interview: Tarot of the 78 Doors

Getting a new Tarot deck is thrilling.

I talked about getting to know my Tarot of the 78 Doors deck in a past blog post. I’m the type who takes a while to take in the imagery of a new deck before I begin reading with it. And the best first reading to do is a Deck Interview Spread.

Once I learned about deck interview spreads, I went a little…. overboard. I interviewed my Rider-Waite deck like 6 or 7 times in a row, going through tons of interview spreads and questions I found on the Internet. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t be) with how often the cards gave me nearly identical answers to questions–that deck LOVES The Chariot card, let me tell you.

Anyway, there are like a bajillion interview spreads all over the Internet. Tons of questions you can ask your deck to get to know the best way to use it, the types of spreads it will help with, how to learn and grow with your deck.

In my journey with my 78 Doors deck, I chose a pretty simple spread. I don’t know where I got this originally, but it is one I have found to work well since it hits the major things you need or want to know about your deck.

interviewspread2

I knew pretty early in the getting-to-know you phase what this deck’s strengths were likely to be. The imagery in this deck is so literal sometimes, that I had a feeling this deck would be best at tell-it-like-it-is sorts of readings.

FYI: I’ve been doing readings with one of my selenite towers and my zeolite crystal lately. Zeolite is great for removing negative energy from your space, and selenite of course brings peace and help you expand your higher awareness thanks to its connection to the Crown chakra.

Here is how my spread went:

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  1. Who are you? Ten of Cups

    The Ten of Cups is a beautiful card signifying the completion of an emotional journey. Everything is harmonious. Love is abundant. Everyone is content. Everything is good and whole.

    My deck saying it is complete and whole and full of abundant positivity is a wonderful thing! I was actually pleasantly surprised by this answer since it is such an emotionally charged card and I was expecting this deck to be more logical and analytical and in-your-face blunt.

    As a reminder, this deck uses door symbolism throughout to tell stories. An open door means open opportunity and a closed door signifies something is blocked. In the Ten of Cups, the door is wide open. So many opportunities for happiness and joy and love and a journey to emotional completion!

    Of course, being emotionally complete doesn’t mean that my deck can’t be blunt. So let’s continue.

  2. What are your strengths? Four of Wands Reversed

    The Four of Wands is another card of celebration and harmony. I love the way it is depicted in this card, though being reversed adds a different tone to the card.

    First, let’s note that the door is closed. That could signify a blockage along with the reversal of the card.

    When this card is reversed, it could read that something is stopping you from achieving this harmony, this togetherness, this celebration. This deck’s card also shows family, which is lovely.

    When considering the card as a strength of this deck, I believe my deck is saying that its strengths are overcoming those blockages or showing them to me (or those I read for), and helping us to overcome them.

    So my deck says it is full of joy and it is good at helping people find that joy. Can I just say 😍😍😍😍

  3. What are your weaknesses? Seven of Wands

    The Seven of Wands is a card about challenge and perseverance. It is about overcoming obstacles.

    In this deck, the main character is opening a door–which is deeply symbolic. The door seems heavy and hard to move, but the person is doing it. Perhaps it is a struggle, but there the door is opening.

    I read this as my deck’s weakness is with those who are unwilling to do that work, put forth that effort to open the doors to opportunities. The person in this card is working hard, but the door is not yet open. Will they succeed in opening the door, or will they fail?

    The Seven of Wands in the RWS deck shows a lot more conflict, and I can sense that my deck does not want to work with those who are going to fight what it has to say.

  4. What type of readings do you prefer? Four of Cups Reversed

    I love this card in this deck. The imagery is so modern and tells an obvious story of apathy.

    The Four of Cups is definitely about apathy. And about contemplation. However, in this deck, there is an open door–so there are opportunities present for addressing an apathetic nature.

    Reversed, this card could be about someone withdrawing further into themselves. Or someone who is particularly reluctant or struggling to overcome an emotional hardship.

    This deck wants to work with people on those things that are bothering them, and help them to look within themselves for the opportunities that are present to overcome emotional blockages.

    This is why it doesn’t want to work with people who aren’t going to put in some hard work, like the Seven of Wands suggests. It wants to bring you deep and force you to dig in.

  5. What will our partnership bring? Six of Cups Reversed

    So many cups in this reading. Cups and wands, cups and wands. I’ll touch on that in a bit.

    The Six of Cups is another card of family, sometimes. It is also about the past, and looking to the past for answers. I love that this card features an older woman reading to children, as if she is passing on her wisdom.

    This card can also be about children! I like to think about these kids loving the story they are being told, and paying rapt attention to it with that sort of thirst for knowledge that many of us forget as we age.

    Reversed, this card can be again about something blocking that transfer of wisdom. It can be about being obsessed with the past, or being overly nostalgic to the point where you lose sight of the present and future. It can also be about needing to channel that inner child a little bit more.

    I believe that my deck is here to help overcome past issues, or help with introspection surrounding memories that have a strong emotional connection. Maybe it is also here to help me connect with my inner child, and help me connect with my joy of learning.

In summation, my deck is actually here to help people on emotional journeys. I wasn’t quite expecting that, but I’m definitely pleased and excited to keep learning from this deck!

Cups and Wands, Cups and Wands

I told you I would touch on this.

The four suits of the Minor Arcana are connected to each of the four elements. Cups are water, Wands are fire, Swords are air, and Pentacles are earth.

If you are familiar with the natures of these elements, that should tell you a lot about what these suits embody. As a water sign in every possible way (Cancer Sun, Cancer Moon, Pisces Rising!), I have always been drawn to the suit of Cups. I find Wands to be the most in conflict with myself, which is probably because fire and water are often diametrically opposed.

That said, this reading was all fire and water, with more water. That makes me feel as though this deck and I will do well together. We are probably fairly compatible.

The introduction of Wands as fire provides an interesting counter to that–too much water can douse fire, and too much fire can dry up water. These elements must be well balanced.

This deck told me its strengths and weaknesses in the context of fire, and these are things that will help me use the deck to uncover the emotional truths that are needing to be explored. Perhaps I need to channel some fire when working with this deck?

Minor Arcana

Another quick note: This reading included only cards from the Minor Arcana, which are cards that are focused on the minutiae of our daily lives, rather than those overarching themes the Major Arcana cards tackle. This deck might be best served for daily work, rather than big life-altering questions and answers (that said, my Hanson Roberts deck seems to like those questions a lot…).

Conclusion

In general, I was pleasantly surprised with this interview. I can’t wait to do more work with this deck! Now that it has been interviewed, it is officially in my cycle for readings. I have one other deck and one on the way that will be added as soon as I feel comfortable with them–and of course I’ll be sharing my journey with those decks here.

How Do You Get to Know a New Deck?

I recently joined a Tarot circle, and one member had a deck that I found so intriguing that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I found myself googling it several times in the days that followed until I finally decided to purchase it.

Deciding to purchase a new deck can be a big decision. Or it can be a gut move. This was maybe a little bit of both, since I felt in my gut that I wanted it right away but then I labored over the decision to purchase it for a bit.

Anyway.

This deck is Tarot of the 78 Doors. And it’s…. unconventional.

It is based on Rider-Waite-Smith imagery, so it’s not like it’s Thoth or Tarot De Marseille. But the artist behind 78 Doors took some of the card interpretations to a new place, making it a totally new experience in some ways.

Getting to know a new deck can be an emotional journey on its own, but it’s complicated when the deck has new and different imagery and symbolism.

Let’s Backtrack

Getting a new deck has this really cool honeymoon period that goes with it. You open the box, maybe you flip through the little book that comes with it, and then you hold the cards. Fell their weight, see how glossy they are, maybe fan them out a little.

There are a few commonly used methods for connecting with a new deck. Some people will sleep with a deck under their pillow (y’all must be really still sleepers!). Some cleanse or charge them with crystals. Some go through card by card and journal their thoughts. Some meditate with their decks, or perform rituals. And then there are about a bajillion interview spreads across the Googles for getting to know your deck (more on that later).

While I can’t sleep with my deck under my pillow, I do sleep with a deck or two on my nightstand. I like to flip through the cards before bed and think about each one for a few minutes before I fall asleep. I find this to be meditative, personally.

All of these things are great ways to become acquainted with a new deck, but what about a new… nontraditional deck, like 78 Doors?

My Own Fool’s Journey

My first deck was the super old school Rider-Waite. I have used it the most. I find the symbolism super accessible. When given the choice, most people I read for tend to choose this deck (though I really ought to start directing them to the deck I think best aligns with their inquiry or energy, but that is not the point).

I know my Rider-Waite deck inside and out. Every card, every symbol–I know the meanings without thinking about them.

In order to become better acquainted with Tarot of the 78 Doors, I’ve been comparing each card with its counterpart in my Rider-Waite deck. Where the 78 Doors symbolism differs, it has been fun to look at the comparable card that matches it to think about the meanings I have been associating with cards forever vs the ones that spring to mind when viewing the new symbolism of 78 Doors.

This has led to a lot of revelations about both decks, actually.

How about an example?

Justice

 

justice comparison

Traditionally, Justice has been a card of truth, fairness, law. You are being held accountable for your actions. There is a fruitful search for answers.

The 78 Doors deck features a more…. contentious view of the search for truth. There are people arguing on the steps of a courthouse. The door to the courthouse is closed, and this may come as a shock but doors are a theme in the Tarot of the 78 Doors–open doors symbolize a positive opportunity, and closed doors indicate a block. The big closed door of the courthouse shines a light on the combativeness of the Justice card that I don’t usually think about when interpreting the card.

The search for truth is rarely easy or straight-forward. The Tarot of the 78 Doors makes this a focus of the Justice card, where it is not an overt symbol in Rider-Waite or some other decks. When doing reads with 78 Doors, I might be inclined to read Justice as a fight for truth, but now I’ll also be thinking about this aspect with Rider-Waite reads more often.

Want another example? Of course you do!

The World

the world comparison

The World is definitely about completion, fulfillment, achievement, the end of a journey, goals brought to fruition. I suppose there are fewer more powerful symbols for this concept than the birth of a newborn.

The birth symbolism makes me think of so much else, though: Family, new ideas, emotions, responsibilities. There is so much to this cycle of life depicted here, and it brings a lot of depth to a reading. I can also see it meaning, literally, that the querent is expecting or should plan to grow their family. I’m not sure I would have put that meaning on The World before. The Empress? For sure. But maybe not The World.

Also, look behind that baby at the closed door. What potential barriers are there to this cycle of completion? The World usually symbolises fulfillment and achievement, and sometimes it is easy to forget that it could mean that someone needs to look toward what needs to be accomplished to reach their goals. 78 Doors makes it much easier to consider this aspect of the card.

What’s Next?

Studying Tarot of the 78 Doors alongside my Rider-Waite deck has been very rewarding. I’m not only engaging a lot with the meanings of my 78 Doors cards, but beginning to add depth to the associations I have with each of the original cards in my Rider-Waite (and therefore, other decks more closely based on RWS imagery).

I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to begin reading with my 78 Doors deck, but for now I’m finding this nightly ritual of flipping through the cards and viewing them along side my Rider-Waite cards to be a fascinating and extremely rewarding way to deepen my relationship with Tarot in general.