Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. TarotPugs is a participant in the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.ca.
Yes, here’s another cat tarot deck. Who can’t get enough of cats on tarot decks? (Although, I’ve always fancied the idea there should be a “pug tarot” deck.All pugs. All the time.)
It’s quite a unique deck, that has a darker colour to the cards in contrast to Lo Scarabeo’s Tarot of the White Cats deck (possibly another deck on my future wishlist.) Some of the imagery on the decks speak to the unconsciousness and intuitive abilities.
A feature of the deck is that it doesn’t have words written on any of the major arcana cards, only Roman numerals are depicted, as is also for the minor arcana cards uses only Roman numerals in addition to an image of cups, wands, swords and coins (instead of pentacles). The feature of only having Roman numerals can, for example, be confusing when reading for someone who isn’t familiar with all of the major arcana.
When I first got this deck, it did confuse me to distinguish the Kings from the Queens in any of the suits.
I tried to use the booklet provided with the deck, but the booklet doesn’t provide a lot of information other than descriptions of the cards, which sort of helps with determining the Kings from the Queens, but not much else. (As with my experience with all decks, I personally don’t bother with the insert booklets, even though I keep the booklets in pristine condition along with my cards.)
The indications of the Page, Knight, Queen and King are comparable to chess pieces and their representation images as seen in the above image.
Since it can be difficult to distinguish the Kings from the Queens, but Pages and Knights are easier to tell, my determining factor was the Queen of Cups and King of Cups which seemed easier to tell apart who was who.
Since this deck is not as vibrant as my other decks (Radiant Rider-Waite and Tarot of the Cat People, not including my Russian Tarot deck which also has a dark background theme), I choose to use Black Cats Tarot for myself only, as opposed to readings for others. Except for my husband – he seems to like it too, possibly because it’s not *as* feminine as some other decks?
I’ve found that some people that I know can’t identify with this deck, but since I have worked with it by myself for several months, I know it quite well for my own purposes and understand the imagery.
This may be on account that the deck is darker in colours than bright like some other decks, namely the Radiant Rider Waite which is, well, “radiant”.
Some of the images in the Black Cats Tarot are brighter than other cards in the deck, such as the Ace of Cups, or The World, for instance which are brighter in colour, while others are very dark in colour scheme such as Queen of Cups (depicting a watery scene, to depict the imagery of the subconscious), the Moon (but still mysteriously enchating) or Death (depicting a graveyard and a grim reaper).
Journey of the White Cat (The Fool)?
The deck starts off with a white cat (possibly from the Tarot of the White Cats?), as the cat continues on The Fools’ Journey, which next becomes the Magician (as a black cat). The final major arcana card is the World, where the black cat sheds his black fur and becomes a white cat again symbolizing the end of the cycle, renewal, and beginning of a new cycle.
When I’ve used this deck, I haven’t had any difficulty with interpretation, since some of the images are reflections of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, while others are aspects of those images drawn in a different context – with of course, black cats.
Some cards are completely overhauled from the comparison between RWS and other decks that are closely resembling the Rider-Waite-Smith.
For example, the Lovers card shows two cats dancing up a heavenly staircase, and the 10 of Swords shows a cat leaving through a door that states “Exit” above it (much different than the Adam and Eve on RWS Lovers and the 10 swords in the back in the 10 of Swords.)
If you enjoy the symbolism that comes with a deck like this, which I would say is key to working with this deck, you may enjoy trying Black Cats Tarot.
I find that the cards aren’t as “airy” as the Tarot of the Cat People (which conveys a very gentle message, such as Judgement was renamed as “Rejuvenation”) or as “straight-forward” as the Radiant Rider-Waite, but if you’re in the mood for a little sense of “mysticism”, this deck would be great for such readings – perfect for October readings to get into the Samhain/Halloween spirit of the season.
Until someone comes out with a pug tarot deck (anyone?), I will without a doubt continue to collect cat tarot decks whenever I get the chance to spend more money on decks.
Which by the way, I think I found something called Mystic Pug Tarot (Aeclectic Tarot Link), but it had other animals/creatures on it, so I don’t think it was 100% pug. I anyone finds a pug tarot, I’ll be the first to line up to buy it.
Card images from Black Cats Tarot by Lo Scarabeo.