Jane Austen and Divining the Future

Jane Austen and Divining the FutureI was looking through my Google Reader one morning when one of the titles stood out. I clicked on it and could not believe it. There was a Jane Austen tarot deck!

Why might this excite me, you may wonder?

Well, here is where I share one of those things that tends to get me all kinds of mixed reactions. I have been reading tarot cards for over 18 years, and I have researched them from a metaphysical and psychological perspective. I enjoy reading them, and will keep doing so for the rest of my life.

Like many readers–there might be a more mystical title, but I shall stick with this one–I have a preferred deck. It is the one that speaks to me most. That either makes sense to you or it does not, but trust me, that is the best way for me to explain it. However, in addition to my preferred deck, I also collect and experiment with other decks, so when I saw the Tarot of Jane Austen by Diane Wilkes and Lola Airaghi I could not resist.

One of the things that I like about tarot is the story that each card tells, the overall relationship of the cards to a particular mythology or story, and how they can relate to our lives. In this case, it is a collection of seven of Austen’s works: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Northanger Abby, and Lady Susan. Each card depicts a character or scene from one of Jane Austen’s novels from major arcana (archetypes) to minor arcana (suits). 

It is a charming deck, beautifully designed. Part of my initial fun was to guess which characters would be represented in the major arcana–Lady Susan as the devil should come as no surprise. The four minor arcana (candlesticks, teacups, quills, and coins) are equally well rendered. I particularly enjoy the play on the proverb “the pen is mightier than the sword” as the suit of swords has been replaced with the quills. 

Of course, I have laid a few spreads with them, and I have to say, I have found them to be intuitively appropriate. It does add a bit of fun to the reading to imagine that Jane Austen could be offering her guidance. I cannot say that it will replace my preferred deck, but on the whole, the Tarot of Jane Austen is quickly becoming a close second as it blends two things I never thought I could enjoy together.  

*Photo: A random spread of my deck just for this post.

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