The cards are sturdy, and remind me of the finish of the Mary-El Tarot - a tiny bit sticky in their shiny gloss, but fine to work with, all the same. The backs are not technically reversible as they feature a sepia-ish photo of a palm tree, but it was subtle enough not to be an issue for me (which is important to mention, as I use reversals and tend to prefer reversible backs!). In fact I love the backs - they are a cream-and-brown that reminds me of cocoa butter and is rather soothing!
The artwork is very much what I would consider "naïve art," aka folk art, in style. This is not "fine art", it's not a feat of advanced technical skills. It's the product of true love, and the beauty lies in its rough edges and imperfections. It feels like a love-letter to the Hawaiian islands. The Minors are mostly pips in that the 8 of Cups shows eight cups in a row in font of a lush landscape, but the colors are rich. I thought at first that the relatively small paintings and the pips might make for a challenging intuitive read, but that proved to be an erroneous assumption. I did a reading last night for myself using this deck and fell in love! You really never know how much you like a deck until you read with it, and this was just another example of that…..
I made up a spur-of-the-moment spread: My Strength - My Lesson - My Advice
I decided to do this because I feel like I have a lot of positive things happening in my life right now, but along with it there are always challenges, and I wanted some insights into all this lovely chaos.
I pulled the Boy of Lava Stones, the Moon, and the King of Lava Stones:
|HazelMoon's Hawaiian Tarot|
I was really stunned by how beautifully the imagery flowed, the symmetry, the symbolism, and it really was a very intuitive read after all. Let me discuss a bit of what struck me:
Boy of Lava Stones (My Strength): This is about opportunity that remains vibrant even in the dark of night when the moon of mystery and uncertainty shines above. It's interesting that my Lesson is also the Moon, and look how the palm branches shield me from it - it's there, it's present, it's an important part of the environment, but it's not overwhelming or overpowering the scene. This card represents opportunity that can be harnessed and developed and nurtured and grown. The bird reminds me of the heron (thought I am pretty sure it's not supposed to be one), bridging water and earth, intuition and practicality, which is interesting because in this reading water (the Moon) bridges two earth cards. The heron automatically connects me to the King of Vessels in the Wildwood Tarot
, which simultaneously brings aspects of the Mirror - reflection, self-analysis, sacrifice, and connection to purpose and past lives. I know, it's a lot, but that's what happens… images create layers of meaning that make for a deeply rich reading, and that's what this deck has sparked for me.
Moon (My Lesson): This card is about not letting worry and fear own me; instead using it to fuel my creative energy. It's about mastering my intuition and opening myself up to the depths of my soul and my spirit connection to the universe. I think it's interesting that there are lava stones on the sand by this water, which reminds me that I can "put feet" under my intuition. Fear and illusion are often associated with the Moon, but I also see that fear can stem from misunderstanding our own intuitive power, and that's interesting because I've been in the process lately of learning not to shy away from my inner voice, but to trust in it, and embrace it, and dive deeply into it, to bathe myself in it. The Lava Stones are a way for me to then ground my intuition in the world (and I think a good example of how that is done is through card readings, incidentally!).
King of Lava Stones (My Advice): I appreciate the earthiness of this card, and I myself am an earth sign, so it feels fitting. And yet the image brings so clearly to me the image, once again, of the King of Vessels/Heron (perhaps because both images show a figure poised upright in water). This King stands like the Heron in water, the ocean, and the brightness of the daylight brings the idea that the moon (my Lesson) reflects the light of sun, and that difficulties and challenges are only temporary. This is a King of earth and water- he can harness the fluid energy and give it shape. This reminds me of the need to acknowledge that power in myself and tap into that ability to manifest what is needed in my life. It's an optimistic card - it's about being ready and prepared to do what needs to be done, that through practicality, steadfastness, patience, and commitment to my Strength, I can be master of my material environment.
Whew! It was a beautiful and really intense reading, and endeared the Hawaiian Tarot to my heart due to how strongly it engaged my intuition and how profoundly it spoke to me. I look forward to using it more!
by First Earth Tarot