I’ve had some additional funds lately to indulge in my tarot deck interests, and my first acquisition in this series is Toney Brooks’ and Holly Sierra’s Chrysalis Tarot.
I had been intrigued by the development of this deck on a Facebook deck creators’ group I belong to. I really liked both Holly’s art and Toney’s philosophy. I’ve been focused on decks with practical daily reading symbolism vs. psychological or spiritually themed decks lately, but I’m ready to add to my inner journey-themed collection, and the Chrysalis Tarot is a worthy addition.
Holly’s artwork is mellow and quite enchanting, with soft colors and a balanced focus on the human (or other mythological) figure and its frame or surroundings. I just found the whole ambiance very cozy.
The full companion book for this deck is not available quite yet as far as I can tell, but I am definitely looking forward to it, because I can see that Toney can go much deeper into his mythological choices for the cards than he was able to do in his Little White Book (LWB). That said, I still found the LWB quite useful; I particularly liked how he would relate each card to its use in a reading rather than giving just the symbolic story in abstract.
The only thing about the deck that keeps me guessing a bit is identifying the suits. Toney has changed up the traditional suits in Tarot to scrolls = swords, spirals = wands, stones = disks, and mirrors = cups. For the last two I have no trouble “getting” the relationship, but the first two are so close together in shape that I often have to look twice or three times to make sure I’m seeing the correct suit. Not a show-stopper, and I see how Toney’s style would lend itself to getting rid of the swords as a suit, but it will take a bit of time to get used to scrolls vs. spirals.
Others have noted the variety of mythological characters in the Troupe (corresponding to the Court cards), which don’t follow the normal progression of related ranks (page, knight, queen, king), although he gives the traditional counterpart in the card label. They seem disconnected to their suits, too, and one needs to refer to the LWB to find the message from each one.
After seeing how the Troupe was used and noting the use of specific mythological figures in most of the other cards, I settled into this sense of having 78 companions on my inner journey, lending me their unique perspectives to support me in my day or in pondering the question I may ask. A personal deck, this is. Almost an independent oracle deck, but not quite. I feel like I’ve got input from all over the world as well, with many different cultural mythologies represented along the way (my fav is Papa Legba, who sits with the Strength card).
I plan to use this deck primarily for inner journey and personal transformation types of questions. It’s also useful as a daily draw, particularly in conjunction with another deck to see “who” is working with you and what message they may have to apply to the question.
I’d love to know what you think of this deck in the comments. Go! 🙂