I was drawn to this deck for many reasons. Csikos did not create a deck from a history book background, she created one from living history ... from living on the land of Hawaii, and with the people of Hawaii. Out of her interest in and respect for Hawaiian culture and mythology "HazelMoon's Hawaiian Tarot" was born.
This deck has the same draw for me that the Gaian Tarot (by Joanna Powell Colbert) does - it is based n the land and the people where the respective decks were created. The Gaian Tarot is based on the lands of the Pacific Northwest, where I grew up as a teenager, and where I have been living for the past fourteen years. HazelMoon's Hawaiian Tarot represents the five years that I lived in Hawaii when I was in my twenties.
This deck is a celebration of life and the "Aloha Spirit". This is an all-pervasive spirit that I am reminded of every time I open my college newsletter (I graduated from the University of Hawaii). Csikos defines this spirit as the coordination of the True Self's mind, heart and soul manifested by thinking good thoughts, emoting good feelings and sharing goodness with others. She goes on to say that Aloha must be experienced, that it brings each person to the Self.
Csikos goes on to talk about Hawaiian wisdom, and what Hawaii taught her. She moved to Hawaii to heal, and heal she did ... on all levels. The ability to be healed is expressed clearly in this deck. This is a self-published deck and 108-page companion book. The deck is traditional in structure, with traditional titles for the Major Arcana. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI. The suits are Sticks (Wands), Cups, Swords, and Lava Stones (Pentacles). The Court Cards are King, Queen, Warrior, and Boy.
The companion book includes a short history of the Tarot, along with how to take care of the cards, and how to do a reading. The cards themselves are presented in text only, with no images. There is a description of the cards energy, a description of the scene portrayed, and upright and reversed divinatory meanings. The traditional Celtic Cross spread is presented at the end of the book.
For the King of Lava Stones, Csikos writes: "This card is the representation of the final fulfillment of a creative task, business venture, or an investment. A loyal and trustworthy man may be too methodical to gain complete success. In other cases it is the symbol of wealth. Wealth may come in the form of associates, money or knowledge. As a talisman, it is a symbol of luck. It also means wanting to make money, to be more successful, and/or to unite or reunite with someone."
For the Star, Csikos writes: "The Star is the light of hope. Shining in the night in the darkness, the stars provide direction to sailors and present a field of dreams. People are used to looking up at the sky and having a desire to be there. Besides hope, there is mystery, filled with excitement of the knowledge yet to b discovered."
This is a nature based deck. The box itself, and the cover for the companion book, are done in warm earth tones. The cards are 3" by 4 ½". The backs have a dark brown border, with a cream colored center. In the middle of the back, and fanning out on three sides, is a leafy palm tree. The backs are not reversible.
The card faces have dark brown borders on the top and bottom. For the Major Arcana, the card number in Roman numerals is at the top, with the card title at the bottom. For the Minor Arcana Pips (numbered cards), the card number is in Roman numerals on the top (except for the Ace), the card number and suit along the bottom in text. The Court cards show the card title and suit along the bottom of the card. Along the right and left hand sides of the card we see primitive drawing in dark brown against a cream background. Depicted are a turtle, what appears to be a gecko, and several images of humans in different poses. It gives a warm and "ancient" feel to the deck.
I dearly love the focus of the art in this deck - the land and the water carry much more import than the figures in the scenes, making use of intense color and nature itself to convey the necessary energy. It is hard to define which are my favorite cards - they all draw me in! Let's start with the Wheel of Fortune - against a background of the Islands we see a circle of life - stick figures, plumeria flowers, an adorable gecko and more!
In the Boy of Sticks we see a lone figure strongly paddling his canoe over the blue waters. The Queen of Swords shows a lone female figure seated, head on her knees, sword at her side, volcano in the background. The Four of Sticks shows lush greenery and beautiful red flowers surrounding a rushing waterfall.
The Two of Swords features a beautiful rainbow, while the Empress stand regally in her royal purple gown. The Emperor stands, wearing a gold cape and crown, staff in his left hand, surveying his lands. Death shows a quarter moon over blue water, upon which floats a plumeria lei. The Five of Sticks shows a barren, broken highway, while the Six of Sticks shows a lush landscape with beautiful blue water in the background.
This deck is very much a coming home for me. The time that I spent in Hawaii filled me with good memories ... memories that I will always have to fall back on. This deck is a great addition to any collection - a valuable tool for self-exploration, as well as a gentle deck to offer clients. Enjoy!