The Cook's Tarot
Author/Artist: Judith Mackay Stirt
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd, 2015
Description: 78 cards and a 159 page guidebook in a sturdy cardboard box, with magnetic closure.
Card size: 3.75 inches by 5.5 inches
If you love cooking, love food, and/or find the kitchen the most important room in your home, you will love this deck.
To be honest, at first, I wasn't going to review this deck. But after reading the introductory and flipping through the cards, I realized that there would be quite a few people out there who would enjoy this deck. It's a combination of the author's two loves - kitchen and tarot. It deserves to be mentioned and celebrated.
The cards are slightly large, but manageable. The cards are based on paintings, which took the artist six years to complete the entire deck. The colors are incredibly vibrant. The experience of touching these cards and studying the images was like stepping into the artist's creative mind. I found it truly nourishing to my soul.
"During those six years strange things started to happen. I found that I was living the experiences of the cards." ~ Judith Mackay Stirt
As the deck's theme is the kitchen, food preparations, gathering and family, it is not made up of the traditional images. But, anyone familiar with the Rider-Waite style decks will have no difficulties recognizing the references. I'm not sure I would recommended the deck to completely new readers, but it really wouldn't take much of a transitional period to move from the beginning stages of understanding the tarot to this deck.
The Guidebook begins with an introduction to the Tarot and how the author found herself creating the Cook's Tarot. There are five spreads offered with instructions. The rest of the guide book deals with each card: black and white images, description of the card, key elements (symbols featured in the card), card meaning, and a short piece entitled 'Kitchen Wisdom'. The guidebook was as enjoyable as the deck itself.
The Five of Cups - What's the first thing that comes to your mind? For me, it was 'crying over spilled milk'.
A bit of Kitchen Wisdom for the author - "Don't cry over spilled milk. You might have been lactose intolerant, anyway."
Excerpt from the Card Meaning - "This card is addressing the somewhat exaggerated response to an event, because we cannot see any positive outcome. The milk has been spilled, but because we have our heads down, we cannot see that the cat is happy."
The Eight of Swords - There is so much to say about this one card. Notice everything if you can. The woman holds a tray of fast food. She sees her own image in the mirror, but there she is tied up and blindfolded. There's a dead bird beside her. In the cage, with an open door, is a live bird. (Now as I study this card, I notice the bird in the cage - it looks like the wings of the bird are tied to the cage, but the author makes no mention of this.)
Excerpt from the Key Element section - "Fast Food: In dream symbolism, eating take-out implies that we are not taking the necessary care of our emotions."
Excerpt from the Card Meaning - "When you draw this card in a reading, there might be an initial moment of recognition as you identify with the feeling of being stuck with no way out." "Ah yes, the mirror! It is important to see that it is not reflecting the reality of the situation, but rather the observer's perception of it."
I'll leave you with a bit of Kitchen Wisdom from the Ten of Wands - "If you have a monkey on your back, stop buying it carrots."
Grab your deck from Schiffer Publishing.