I recently ordered the Black Cats Tarot after falling in love with it on Pinterest. Now that I have spent some time analyzing and testing it, I wanted to share my impressions of this deck with you.
I immediately loved it when I unpacked it. I sat with the deck and went through it card by card and immediately had a sense of storytelling and consistency. Tarot is a story, the story of the Fool and its journey through life and the world. The Black Cats Tarot tells this story brilliantly with simple symbolism, a respect of the original cards while following the Rider Waite Symbolism.
You’d be tempted to say Black Cats. And by surfing on a huge pop culture success, the author was very well inspired. But is it really just black cats? Or is it simply regular cats on an introspective journey? The Fool is a white cat, going under the surface and through her subconscious. In this “other world”, the cat turns black and evolves in a universe that the eye can’t see. Once the journey is complete she can take off his “coat” of black and rejoice as the light of Sun warms up her immaculate white fur. A simple, but effective and pleasant metaphor.
The very light approach of this deck makes it very accessible. You could teach young kids the basics of Tarot with it while its darker, deeper side – on cards like Death or the Moon – makes it great for grown-ups readings.
Some Cards in Details
The White Cat goes on an introspective journey. His shadow is a black cat on the run, like an echo to the dog on the original Marseille/RW card. It’s time to follow her heart at the cross roads. Her eyes are closed. Because she will now be seeing with her heart and mind. Her inner eye. A great way to represent the Fool, card of new beginnings, of risk taking and leaps of faith…and danger.
Between two gigantic cliffs, the face of the white cat shines in the night like a moon. The black cat on her journey does not forget her “other” life. Who she was and who she is. Who she will go back too. More than ever, this card speaks of waters that run deep below the surface but also of facing one’s emotions without fear, without any kind of shield.
By the river of hell that also runs on the Devil’s card, the Black cat is taming the lion, gently, with just one paw. This is exactly what Strength is about in Tarot language. Reason and calm are stronger than physical brutality or muscles. This is pure confidence and serenity. Peace can be found in the darkest place and in the face of the most dangerous enemy: if one is strong inside.
In this card, the white cat that was the Fool takes off his black coat in a liberating move and is born anew by a waterfall. The symbolism is very simple, but it really works and gives crispy clear readings. The journey has come to an end, lessons have been learned and the soul has been healed. Time to go back to the real world with a new balance found and a new knowledge of yourself. It’s one of the nicest “World” cards I have had in my hands.
The Minor Arcana
The Black Cats Tarot is based on the Rider Waite system, therefore the minor suits also belong to this tradition. The symbols are very close and of course, the card meanings are the same.
The minor suit cards are very easy to read as they tell a story on their own. You could well start learning with this deck, especially if you find the minor arcana impressive or discouraging. The stories of the black cats will help you find your way.
Readings and Spreads
Like all U.S Games decks this one comes with a tiny booklet (not sufficient to learn, but handy when you need a reminder or quick inspiration) in which you’ll find one spread called the Cat’s Tail. I tested this spread and it worked pretty well for me!
This 6 card spread works like this: the first 3 cards are spread in a row, it will basically be the cat’s bum. Then, vertically place card #4 above card #2, then card #5 above it and at the very top card #6.
The 3 first cards show your present situation:
card 1 emphasizes on your desires
card 2 your dark sides
card 3 the reality around you
card 4 show your convictions
card 5 the influence of people around you
card 6 is the outcome of your current situation
You can also use it to ask a specific question or apply it to a topic (love, work or else).