I’m a Tarot reader, but a collector too. I’m always on the lookout for a new deck to add to the collection (which I’m saying is holding at 100, but I’m sure there’s more than that).
My latest acquisition is The Sherlock Holmes Tarot.
I saw scans of it online, and it was love at first sight. I just knew that I had to have it, based on the scans of the few cards I’d seen. After searching for it at my local bookstores and coming up empty, I came back to the ‘net and ordered it online.
When it arrived a couple days later, I immediately sat down with it to get to know it better.
One of the ways I get to know a new deck better is by conducting what is known as “The New Deck Interview Spread.” Now, I can’t take credit for coming up with this layout; I found it online in the Tarot community forum over at Aeclectic Tarot. It was the brainchild of FireRaven, and one that has been a part of my book of spreads ever since.
The spread consists of six card position meanings that allow you to have a dialogue with the new deck about its presence in your life. The card positions consist of having the deck tell you a little bit about itself; what are its strengths and weaknesses; what it wants to teach you; how it wants to be used; and what the nature of your “relationship” will be like.
After shuffling the cards to break them in, I began shuffling the deck to conduct this interview. While shuffling, a card “jumped out.”
Picking up the card, I saw that it was the Peeler of Analysis. This card is more commonly known as the Knight of Cups. The card is significant because it is what is known as my verification card. The Knight of Cups is Pisces, which is my astrological sun-sign, making it one of my personal cards.
I look at the image and see a woman who has fainted and the Peeler (policeman) tending to her. It made me think of how the deck first had me “swooning” over it when I first saw it online.
This is a wonderfully synchronistic moment. The deck is making an impression and establishing a connection.
And speaking of connection, the card in the position of “What do you want to teach me?” was the 2 of Analysis (2 of Cups). In the image on the card, Watson is leaving Holmes, and the place they’ve lived together (221B Baker Street), to begin his new life with his wife, Mary.
This is the deck’s response, as I recorded it in my journal:
“I want us to get to know each other better! I want us to connect (the number 2). There’s already an attraction: I “threw out” your verification card—and it’s a card that suggests a new lover on the scene.
“You could say that you’ve had your eye on me—and I’ve got mine on you (note the pair of magnifying lens at the top corners of the card).
“We’re hitting it off and showing we’re very compatible—let’s see where this goes!”
The next card, in the position of “What would you have me do with you? How would you like to be used?” is The London Times (known as The World).
The image on the card is of Holmes reading the well-known paper The London Times, with Watson in the background.
The deck’s response: “Obviously, I want you to ‘read’ with me.”
I noted that the current events in the paper are a nod to the daily events in my life. It could also suggest doing readings about news in the world that makes “headlines.”
I also noted that reading the paper could be symbolic of my daily routine, the everyday; a reference to my daily spiritual practice (The World card is a card of looking at the big picture, of reaching a higher level of awareness/consciousness). With this, I deduced the deck wants to become a part of my everyday living.
The final card, in the position of “What will our relationship be like?” was Professor Moriarty, who was Holmes’ archenemy.
I immediately noticed this was another of my personal cards, as the 15 reduces to 6, and makes it one of my Tarot Birth Cards (my Life Path Number, using numerology, is 6).
Traditionally, it is the “shadow aspect” of its counterpart, The Lovers (the 6th card in the Major Arcana, which is my other Birth Card).
Being a “shadow” card, it can get a bum rap, so I first looked to its more positive aspects to describe our relationship: A bond being formed, that we’re going to have a long-term commitment. We’re going to be in it for the “long haul.” This deck is going to become quite “addictive,” and one of my “guilty pleasures.”
Even with that, because of the diabolical machinations Professor Moriarty was known for perpetrating, I drew another card for clarification: Dr. John H. Watson (more commonly known as the Strength card).
This is a card of confidence. So, the deck was stating its “confidence” about the nature of our relationship asserted by the Professor Moriarty card.
Further, the deck “reminded” me that Watson is Holmes’ associate, his buddy, his sidekick, his confidant. Then the deck whispered, “Watson’s the one who knows—and keeps—Holmes’ deepest, darkest secrets,” which is a wonderful nod to the Professor Moriarty card I hadn’t considered.
Well, this secret is out, anyway: I love this deck, and have been using it every day since it arrived on my doorstep.
And, just as Watson journaled his exploits with Holmes, I will occasionally share my exploits with The Sherlock Holmes Tarot in this space.
And, until that time, A Case of Mutual Attraction has been solved.
And it was elementary, my dear. Elementary.
If you’d like to know more about my consulting work with the Tarot–and how we investigate and solve life’s great mysteries together–please visit my Tarot Consultations page.