The Transparent Tarot by Emily Carding

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Transparent Tarot by Emily Carding

Transparent Tarot by Emily Carding

The talented and delightful Emily Carding has outdone herself with her latest deck, The Transparent Tarot, published by Schiffer Books. “Amazing” does not even begin to describe this unique deck. I strongly encourage you to visit Emily’s website, which has a slideshow of card images in various combinations that only begin to show the potential of this deck.

The cards feature simple, clean images based on the RWS progression.  The difference is that the cards are printed on clear plastic, so you can layer them to create more complex images and enhance the reading.  You can create a stack of all the cards in one of the minor suits – cups, for example, and create compelling narratives based on the interactions and transformations of the images.  The cards are meant to be read in layers, and the three layer Celtic Cross spread Emily includes in the book will give you a new appreciation for this classic spread.

The majors are striking in combination (again, if you haven’t seen the cards, check out the examples on Emily’s website).  The court cards in particular are fabulous – the Queen and Page combined appear as the child and adult of the figure, as do the combined King and Knight.  Except for the court cards, the figures in the cards are gender neutral, so that the reader and client have more space to see the cards representing a person in the client’s life without it having a predilection to say that it represents a woman or a man.  As we discuss with Emily in our podcast, this gender neutrality also makes it an excellent deck to work with clients who are dealing with issues of gender identity and/or gender transition.

The majors, courts, and minors also mix incredibly well. Emily took great care with the geometry of the drawings so that the combinations work visually, regardless of whether the stack includes majors, courts, or minors, and creates a multilayered narrative of incredible richness and depth.

The idea of reversals goes one step further, in that a card may not only be reversed from top to bottom in shuffling, but may end up reversed from right to left.

The cards are easy to shuffle and lay out.  The kit comes with a white reading cloth, which makes it easier to see the images.  Emily also suggests reading with them on a light box, which makes the cards even more dramatic – the colors are more intense, and the light makes it possible to notice details not otherwise apparent, and adds luminosity and depth to the card images.  Using the light box is like viewing slides – only instead of a series of out-of-focus shots of your Aunt Edna’s last trip to The Hebrides, you’re working with archetypes.

You can also layer the cards over another deck printed on cardstock.  Choosing the second deck can be challenging. I tried Alexandra Genetti‘s Wheel of Change Tarot, but it’s so colorful, the Transparent images disappeared into the printed card.  Same for the RWS.  I found it works well with more pastel decks, such as Brian Williams’ Minchiate Tarot.

Being clear, the cards will show fingerprints with use.  One reader I know said she washed hers gently in the sink, with no apparent damage to the cards.  I find that simply giving them a gentle wipe with a soft cloth does the trick (and no dishpan hands!).

The set comes beautifully packaged, and includes a book written by Emily, which discusses the card meanings and gives ideas for spreads and for working with them in a variety of ways.

We recently recorded a podcast with Emily to talk about the deck in depth, which will be posted here on Tarot Pathways very soon!

The deck is available in the US directly from Schiffer Books, and in the UK through Bushwood Books.  You can also find it at your local independent bookseller, or (if you receive a gift certificate from family or a friend), through and Amazon UK.  As always, we encourage ordering directly from the publisher or one of the independent distributors.

If you acquire only one new Tarot this month (or quarter, or year), make it the Transparent Tarot!

3 Responses to “The Transparent Tarot by Emily Carding”

  1. […] Insgesamt wird das Transparent tarot nicht die Leser überzeugen können, die ihre Decks lieber triefend in okkulter Symbolik haben und ihre Decks dunkel und schwer bevorzugen – das Deck hat sehr viel Sonne und Sterne, Einfachheit und Schönheit. Aber es ist ein intelligentes, innovatives und schönes Deck, dass mehr als nur ein Novum ist. Es ist ein Spiel würde das für Anfänger geeignet ist und ein Deck, dass fortgeschrittene Leser zu neuen Höhen und Techniken inspirieren wird. Es ist ein neues Konzept für Tarot, das dem Leser das Panorama der zur Verfügung stehenden Möglichkeiten bewusst macht. Weiter lesen könnt ihr hier […]

  2. I got them as a gift but im still confused. its very complicated to read them. for when i got my deck it dint have all the cards. even though they were shipped from the site. one of the major arcana had the same number as another. i wonder if it was a mised print.

  3. Hi, Lydia – If you think there’s a misprint, you can contact Schiffer (the publisher) about getting the correct cards.