Review by Christiana Gaudet
There are a number of reasons I might not have loved the new Sirian Starseed Tarot by Patricia Cori and Alysa Bartha, published by North Atlantic Books.
The Sirian Starseed Tarot is a "channeled deck," and clearly born of and marketed to the community of people whom many would describe as "waiting for the spaceship to land."
It is a photography deck. I don't always connect with photography decks.
Many of the card and suit names have been changed. I'm a bit of a traditionalist, so that doesn't always resonate with me.
The list could go on, but you get my point.
Now here's the punch line. I absolutely love The Sirian Starseed Tarot.
Patricia Cori, well-known voice of the Sirian High Council and designer of The Sirian Starseed Tarot, agreed to spend some time with me over Skype from her home in Italy.
Patricia has been visited by the sixth-dimensional beings from the Sirian star system since she was young. She is a world renowned author and teacher. She leads trips to sacred sites around the world. And, she is amazingly down-to-earth, compassionate and intelligent.
In our conversation I discovered that Patricia Cori has been a tarot reader for many years. Unlike many recent deck creators, tarot is not a band-wagon on which she is jumping to find a new audience. Tarot is a life-long passion for Patricia, and that passion is evident in The Sirian Starseed Tarot.
Sirian Starseed Tarot is oversized. Patricia knows this makes it a little harder to handle, but she wanted us to be able to really enter each card and experience it in meditation, as well as in divination.
Patricia worked side-by-side with the artist, Alysa Bartha, to create the deck, but she also worked with the Sirian High Council. She channeled information from them, related it to Alysa, and together they birthed the deck.
Patricia described to me times that unintentional images simply appeared in the cards; images that were appropriate and meaningful.
The cards themselves include photos from sacred sites around the world. As I said earlier, I usually don't like photography decks, but in this deck the photos work so well that all my brain registers is beautiful spiritual art.
The coloring is vibrant, with a lot of starlight in the purple-hued night skies.
To really understand this deck one must understand the concept of "Starseed." Starseed are souls who have been planted here on Earth by those who exist in higher dimensions and other star systems. Starseed have been placed here to serve Earth in our process of spiritual evolution. To me, the concept seems similar to that of the bodhisattva in Buddhism.
Those who are Starseed may not have an inherent knowledge of being Starseed. They may be psychic and spiritual. As Patricia says, they may feel not quite at home on Earth, and may have an inner longing to return to their home in the stars. They may remember past lives in Atlantis, the Mayalands or Egypt.
Many of the Major Arcana cards are renamed, as are the Minor Arcana suits. The renaming reflects the Starseed theme of the deck. The Fool is "Starseed," and the Magician is "Indigo", for instance.
The changes also reflect Patricia's desire that the deck be less hierarchical and less patriarchal. The Empress is "Abundance" and the Emperor is "Reason," describing the female/male energy without the gender references.
As a product of medieval Italy, tarot is admittedly sexist and classist. Many decks have been created over the years to reflect more inclusive values. I happily count the Sirian Starseed Tarot as one of those more balanced decks.
The Minor Arcana suit names are Crystals, Chalices, Orbs and Flames. The only one I didn't immediately resonate with was Orbs for the Air suit. I asked Patricia about this, and was completely satisfied with her answer.
First, Patricia said, she wanted to get away from the aggressive masculine concept of Air and Fire. So, instead of Swords and Wands she called them Orbs and Flames. The Air element is about thought and communication; Patricia used Orbs since that is a way Spirit communicates with us, especially in photography. And, Patricia specifically receives her messages from the Sirian High Council in orb-like "thought bubbles."
Patricia Cori is a Rider-Waite-Smith tarot reader, and her deck reflects Waite tradition quite nicely. The card backs are not reversible as they bear the triangular symbol of the Sirian High Council. Reversed meanings are not given in the accompanying booklet, but I am sure the reader could chose to honor reversals if desired.
The booklet itself is well-written, but does not fully explain each card in the detail I would have appreciated. Patricia told me she is considering writing a full-sized book for the deck. I think this would be a very worth-while project.
One of the things I like about the images of Starseed Tarot is that they are evocative without ever being gruesome. Even the most timid client would not find any words or images frightening.
That Patricia Cori understands tarot as an archetypal journey and a tool of tarot and meditation, as well as a tool of divination, gives the deck and booklet a lot of depth. Some of the images are deceptively simple, but if you spend some time with each image you will find the images evoke meaning and feeling quite easily.
The Sirian Starseed Tarot is not a deck to be taken lightly. It is more visually understandable than Tarot of Transformation, and more traditional in its images than the Doreen Virtue Angel Tarot. For me, its vibe is somewhat similar to both those decks.
The Sirian Starseed Tarot will be a good fit for a great number of readers, both beginner and advanced. I particularly recommend it to those who want a more spiritual deck and to those who want a more inclusive deck. Of course, I recommend the Sirian Starseed Tarot to those who look to the stars in the night sky and long to return home, and to those who hear a calling to bring the message of the star people to the planet Earth.
Christiana is a professional tarot grandmaster based in
West Palm Beach Florida. She is the author of "Fortune
Stellar" and the organizer of several tarot meetup groups.
She also teaches tarot webinars to a world-wide audience.