I gave this deck
You need not have an encyclopedic knowledge of Vertigo Comics to appreciate this deck but it will lend a degree of depth that would be lost on the uninitiated. My hubby is the my Comic World adviser.
The introduction by Neil Gaiman was a delight to read. To be honest, I would read anything thing he wrote with rapt attention and would be overjoyed to listen to him read the telephone book. So as you can see I am predisposed to love this deck based on his collaboration.
I adore Rachel Pollack and have for years recommended her book Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom to my tarot students. Her introduction is a great primmer on the history of the tarot and its modern usage. I had no idea that she had written for Doom Patrol.
She describes this deck well when she says, “The qualities involved include dark fantasy, sophisticated characterization, a sense of irony, and self aware wit.” The imagery is stunning, as if it were plucked straight from the Collective Unconscious. Artist, Dave Mckean’s images are a combination of painting and photo collage. They capture the etheric quality a dream that you can just barely fathom.
Pollack’s insights into the interpretations of several of the cards were mind expanding, even for someone steeped in the study. Other changes were made to the traditional associations of cards where no explanation was given. Instead of having these associations presented as cannon it would have been more advantageous to highlight the differences and explain the changes she chose to make.
It is the nature of the tarot that as you work with it you will naturally begin to make your own associations. We could have learned so much more had this been explained in detail. Maybe this deck is intended for the seasoned reader who could follow Pollack down her path with ease. But I am inclined to think that it could cause confusion for a new reader. However, her thoughts later in the book may shed some light on her chosen approach. “We see that dark fantasy, the sense of mystery and strangeness. Instead of neatly explaining the secrets of the universe, as some occult decks have tried to do, they open us to the fear and wonder of our lives.”
In her I have found a philosophical sister. She states “No matter how uncannily a tarot reading reflects our lives, it does not take away our freewill. A reading may show the way things are heading, but it does not determine what happens. The real purpose of a reading should be to increase our choices by increasing our knowledge and understanding.” Yeah verily. My experience leads me to believe that the most powerful use for the Tarot is one of self reflection. When I was reading professionally I had a disclaimer posted.
” Querents are recognized as Co Creatrix(tor) of their reality. Readings are meant to illuminate options and empower personal choice.”