My friend was definitely right when he told me I got “stuck in the Matrix” when I cancelled my Tree of Life Journey after losing my job. The last months have been like a haze, and to add insult to injury, I discovered in June that the 5 of Swords from my beloved Sacred Rose Tarot had eerily gone missing. Eerily since it is not only the Five of Swords (defeat, loss and everything Geburah), but it is a Sacred Rose Five of Swords, and there are some accounts giving it the Most Gruesome Tarot card award. Just to be sure – I agree. This is how the card looks like:
Gruesome covers it, I think.
Obviously I was heart-broken, especially because I thought it illustrates my situation so well. Now having started my Tiphareth journey and finding balance and beauty in the world, I tried to find the card again. Me and my helpful partner scoured the entire apartment, flipped through books untouched for years, I even emptied the entire waste paper crate, filled with dozens of old newspapers, designated destination: fireplace, and can you believe I flipped through all of them…
I have been looking for that missing card for almost five months, so I decided to give something a go and took out my pendulum. That’s not actually entirely correct, because I have my super-old silver pendulum as well, but I decided to use a new green one that I got this summer, which has never been used.
I drew a map of my apartment (read: failed miserably and had my amazing German engineer-brained partner draw a map of my apartment) and rose my pendulum above it. I moved through the rooms (just on the map, not literally) and it started to frantically circle around a tiny space in the office. Weird, I thought, since that spot doesn’t have any furniture.
It did, however, have my old boxes from June that I took from my office (yes I am aware that within five months one should be able to let go and have the courage to go through the boxes, but I guess I am still in denial), so I thought there is no way my card could be there. But it was.
I nearly got a heart attack when I found my card stuck on a pamphlet from a business trip to Barcelona. I literally fell over and S had to come and pick me up. I literally could not believe it. Reunion!
So now as I am reunited with this magnificent deck, let me tell you – you are going to see a lo-oot of readings with this deck. Not only because it is gorgeous, but also because I think it is tad unfair that people tend to blog and share and instagram a lot of the more modern decks, while the older ones get less attention. Especially this one!
This deck is the first “real” deck I got as a teenager. I did buy a majors-only Marseille style deck from a tiny kiosk at a bus station in Lasnamäe a million zillion years ago (I must have been around 9 years old), and while it counts as my first kiss with Tarot, Sacred Rose plucked my cherry.
This deck was first published in 1980 (Majors only edition), so this year it’s celebrating its 35th anniversary! It is created by Johanna Sherman (on my 1982 edition), I think later she became Johanna Sherman-Gargiulo. The artwork is magical and very strong, reliant mainly on the symbolism of the hermetic rose (comparing it to the lotus in the Orient) and drawing a lot from nature itself. The symbolism revolves around five roses – the Cosmic Rose for time and space; Red Rose for sacrifice; White Rose for purity; Blue Rose for the impossible; Gold Rose for absolute achievement.
The artwork is “inspired by Byzantine icons and medieval stained glass windows”, but I would never have guessed that just by looking at the cards. To me they are primal and cosmic at the same time, a little bit cartoonish, but not in a bad way but just because of the line art. This is the stuff dreams are made of, those really strong, lucid, ever-remembered dreams.
I am more than lucky to have this deck (thank you, Laura, all those years ago) and I am really looking forward to get reunited.