Deck Review: Karma Cards by Monte Farber

Today I want to do a quick review of an oracle deck I recently acquired called Karma Cards. These cards are heavily based on astrological correspondences.

It is highly unique to other decks, and not in a way that makes it difficult to use.

This deck is actually three decks of cards. One consists of planets, one of astrological signs and one of astrological houses. Each of these mini-decks are meant to be shuffled and dealt separately. They are also intended to be read in spreads of three cards, one from each deck. Together, the words on each card actually form six different sentences, three in red and three in blue.

The way Farber describes it in the guidebook is this:

“If you want to know the outcome of a situation, read the BLUE panels. If you want to know what you should do about a situation, read the RED panels … for the answers to ‘What should I keep in mind when I…”, read the RED (action) panels, and for the answers to ‘What kind of situation/mood/atmosphere can I expect to encounter or prepare for…’ read the BLUE (action) panels.

As a sample reading for this post, I drew Pluto in Virgo in the 12th house. It gave me the following advice:

Red:

  • Resurrect the serving of others seeking oneness with all there is.
  • Get to the heart of the details of philanthropy.
  • Do or die! You must do what you must do and keep your involvement hidden.

Blue:

  • The need for control of methods for the healing power of your faith.
  • An obsession with the analyzing of hidden tendencies.
  • A power struggle resulting from the perfectionism of large institutions or overwhelming events.

Okay, so it can be a little wordy and obtuse but they can be fun to deconstruct, kind of like poetry.

The guidebook offers in-depth and astrologically accurate interpretations on the specific planets, signs or houses you draw. I love how a single reading gives you so much to read and think about. In that way I think this deck is most useful for shadow work or other in-depth readings.

If you’re at all interested in astrology, I highly recommend this deck!

My witchy origin story

Like most others, I discovered witchcraft in junior high school. I think it was sixth or seventh grade. A girl in my class had told me about Wicca, and showed me spells on very 90s-esque websites. I didn’t get into it then, but to say it piqued my interest is an understatement.

I first approached witchcraft seriously in 9th/10th grade. I started taking witch books out of the library as well as books on divination and anything else I could get my hands on. I had a friend in real life I could practice and share knowledge with. We bought all of our supplies from the Dollar Store. Sometimes we would walk into the woods, sit down in a clearing, burn some incense and just listen to nature. I really, really liked this. I didn’t really consider it as a religion or spirituality, though. It was more of something I liked to read about, but I didn’t have the freedom or the resources to practice often.

When I was 18 years old, I really got into tarot reading. I loved everything about it and I finally had the resources to buy my own decks. I became email “pen pals” with a girl I met online who offered to trade readings with me. We wrote each other long e-mails, sharing the different nuances of our paths. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have some sort of companionship on your path, even if you’re a solitary witch. It makes a world of difference.

This was really my first true, wholehearted experience with witchcraft, spellwork and deity work. I believe at the time I labeled myself a Dianic Wiccan. I don’t subscribe to this title any longer, however I still feel more comfortable working with female deities over male ones.

I’m only 27 now, so I’ve been on and off with witchiness and reading cards for about 10 years. It’s hard to keep something in your life permanently, when everything else is fighting for a space. I work full-time now but I’m not going to school anymore which affords me more free-time and I feel like I’ve truly found my place among witches at last.

Part of the problem for me was overcoming my own anxieties and insecurities about being a witch. I felt like I would get made fun of or laughed at by my friends. My friends have changed a lot in the past ten years. Luckily, everyone currently in my life accepts me for who I am. I can only deny who I am for so long, and it feels like I am finally coming clean.

Why tarot “works”

I’ve been reading tarot for over ten years on and off. I’ve gotten a handful of readings from professional readers both online & in person and I’ve gotten even more for free from friends in the tarot community.

The cards can be eerily accurate, or cryptic (and usually eventually accurate) but what makes the cards ‘know’ things about us?

There are generally a few theories ranging from psychological archetypes to communing with/via spirits and deities.

Personally, I believe that since tarot is such a visual tool, it allows our brains to process the information the cards give us in a different way than we might if we were just giving advice. Since we are using the right-side of our brain in this interpretation, it allows readers to meld their own intuition with the interpretation of the card.

I used to hear the word ‘intuition’ and thought it meant nothing, or something irrelevant. I know now from copious personal experiences what intuition is, and what it feels like. Intuition is like imagining or dreaming about a situation happening in a particular way, and then it does. Or thinking about someone you haven’t spoken with in forever and then they reach out to you, seemingly out of the blue.

Whenever I start really ‘tuning in’ with my intuition, I can notice a difference right away. I become more sensitive in a way I can’t quite explain and it allows me to sense things I might not otherwise sense.

I believe using tarot with a heightened sense of intuition allows you to perform readings not just for yourself, but for other people, even – and especially in some cases – complete strangers.

Tarot cards have interpretations but there are multiple different meanings for every card. This is where intuition comes into play – having a particular feeling that one meaning is standing out bolder than the others.

This is the interpretation I subscribe to, but that doesn’t mean it’s “right”! There are loads of different tarot readers who approach their tools differently.

I’m a “witch”?

I suppose sooner or later, a witch needs to come out of her broom closet.

I’m a witch. But what does that mean?

Witchcraft is a practice, and witches practice magic. When I say that I practice magic, I mean that I perform little rituals and spells, with a goal of making something change. Sometimes the changes are small: I might cast a spell to give me enough energy to do the dishes, or I might draw a sigil to make me feel more creative and motivated.

Witchcraft is a practice, and witches practice magic. When I say that I practice magic, I mean that I perform little rituals and spells, with a goal of making something change. Sometimes the changes are small: I might cast a spell to give me enough energy to do the dishes, or I might draw a sigil to make me feel more creative and motivated.

I’m not a wiccan, but my beliefs align with the wiccan rede: ‘An ye harm none, do what ye will.’ I don’t aim to hurt or change anyone.

The spiritual aspect of being a witch is a little difficult to explain, however. I don’t ascribe to one particular religion, yet I’m not completely secular. The deity I feel closest to at the moment is Bast, the Egyptian goddess of protection (and cats).

The basis of my belief in magic, and even deity work, is energy. I can’t really explain what energy is, and if I could I’m sure someone else on the internet has worded it 100 times better than I could.

I’ve always considered myself a skeptic – I’m a Capricorn rising, if that means anything to you. Taking into account the sheer size of the universe, the existence of Earth, it’s hard not to believe that there’s something else at play, linking us together, influencing our lives.

I also have a tendency to be a little pessimistic. I have a nihilistic streak in my past and nothing makes me sadder or angrier than thinking that Everything is for Nothing.

Despite what’s real and what isn’t, my belief and work with magic helps to restore an imbalance inside of myself. It makes me feel a little bit more in control. It helps me see the bigger picture.

So, even if in the end, Everything really is for Nothing, at least I’m in a mentally better spot than my usual default.