Emotional Flashcards: Using Your Deck

The Emotional Flashcards deck is an alternative major arcana deck – the images and symbols used are different from the traditional major arcana of the Smith-Waite deck, which is generally accepted as the the established standard representation. To understand more about how I came up with this approach to the tarot majors, you can read the Emotional Flashcards Creation Story.

Here is some additional information to get you started with using your Emotional Flashcards deck:

Number Glyphs and Runes

One of the most noticeable differences when you first handle the cards is the use of glyphs and runes instead of numbers and titles. Each card is inscribed with a word written in and invented runic alphabet. I created this alphabet for use in my creative works, to add the texture of language while concealing the meaning. In the Emotional Flashcards, these words are like talismans, created with hidden meanings to add deeper significance to the message of the cards. Their hidden meanings are not revealed because there is no one true meaning. The cryptic words are yours to interpret – what does your intuition tell you of their messages?

The number glyphs were created to correspond with the traditional numbering system from the major arcana of the tarot. Their vales are hidden, but easy to learn:

  • Verticle bars = 10
  • Horizontal bars = 5
  • Diamonds = 1

Add them up and you get the number of the tarot major arcana card that it represents. This gives you the opportunity to either do the math or not – make the connection with the traditional major arcana card and number symbolism, or view the number as its own symbol separate from the traditional tarot numbers.

Interpreting the Emotional Flashcards

Each deck comes with a brief description of the meanings I have assigned to the Emotional Flashcards. These brief descriptions are also available online by clicking HERE. These are the interpretations that came about as an extension of the creative process – the thoughts and ideas that came to me while I was creating the original artwork for the cards. You can use these meanings in your readings as a starting point for understanding the symbolism in the cards, or you can create your own interpretations. You can also use the numbers on the Emotional Flashcards to partner with your established interpretation of the traditional major arcana representations – or some combination of both. Whatever feels right to you is the right way to approach these cards.

Using Your Emotional Flashcards

As you work with the Emotional Flashcards deck you will find your own best way to utilize them. To get started, and to build your familiarity with the cards, here are some suggestions that you may find helpful:

  • Use the deck to pull a daily card and then have that serve as a journaling prompt to explore the feelings you find in the imagery.
  • Use the deck to pull qualifying cards in combination with your favorite deck by using them to expand on your reading. Pull a qualifier from the Emotional Flashcards deck for a card that seems unclear to you in a position in your spread – ask “what are my feelings about this?” in relationship to the card, or whatever question comes to mind.
  • Combine a reading using your favorite oracle deck and the Emotional Flahscards to add and expand to the experience of that deck. Pull them in side-by-side to see how the two reading compliment and expand on each other.
  • Use the Emotional Flashcards deck to pull a simple three card spread to understand how you are feeling. This is my favorite way to use the cards, as a way to stop the anxious thoughts and focus on the images and symbols to see what is at the heart of what I am feeling in that moment.

Further Resources

I am working now to write a detailed Emotional Flashcards guide book. Rather than offering a printed guidebook, or one of the standard tiny black and white guidebooks that often come with a printed deck, I am creating an online version that I hope to make available for purchase in the coming months. This will include expanded descriptions of each card, tarot spreads, tarot learning resources and suggested reading to further your tarot journey. Sign up now for the Tail of the Bear newsletter to get all the updates on this expanded project. You will receive a maximum of one email per month, and I will never, ever, ever share your email address with anyone!

The Emotion of Gratitude

Thank you so much for supporting my creative work through purchasing the Emotional Flashcards deck! If you enjoy the deck please consider sharing your photos on social media. It is a wonderful way to let others know about it, and small independently produced tarot decks like the Emotional Flashcards rely on this kind of exposure.  If you do share, please tag me @tailofthebear and/or use the hashtag #emotionalflashcardsdeck – I am so looking forward to seeing where these cards travel out in the world!

You can purchase the Emotional Flashcards tarot majors deck on the Ninth Wave Designs Etsy shop by clicking HERE. Thank you!