Circle Network Card Review: Cat's Eye Tarot by Debra M Givin DVM Published by US Games Systems, Inc Price: £16.99
The 78 cards of the major and minor arcana are represented in this novelty deck which has a white booklet within the pack that offers card titles and concept keywords, an explanation of the upright card symbolism and an interpretation for each card. Each of the cards is painted by Debra M Givin, the deck’s creator, who is a qualified veterinarian and cat specialist practising in Portland, Maine since 1982.The card sizes are traditional and the meanings have a traditional flavour. The major arcana cards are emphasised by their purple colours, the minor arcana’s colours and symbols are: Wands, represented by orange (creative energy), reptiles and flashy reddish gingers; Cups by red (emotional energy), fish and sweet, black and white cats; Swords by blue (intellectual energy), birds and the talkative Siamese and Pentacles by brown (earth energy), mice and solid, practical tabbies. The art-work tells a story and is without mystifying esoteric symbolism. The card backs depict a long-haired tabby cat’s face with green eyes.
For Debra Givin, the tarot is a tool of reflection and a way to think through situations. She uses the tarot for herself and for others to balance emotion, intellect, creativity and practicality. She believes cats can teach us many things about how to make the most of (almost) any situation and she presents the real world of cats, from the starving alley cat to the most pampered. The deck is enjoyable and charming to work with. From the introduction “cats are pleasing to the eye, complex in their behaviours, and mysterious in their motivation; an ideal model for a visually evocative medium like the tarot”.
A spread of nine cards is suggested, based on an old proverb that cats have nine lives and the spread follows the stages of life, beginning with vision, a journey and a destination as we learn new skills and follow new paths to reach new places throughout youth, middle age and maturity.
I have chosen some cards as examples. The keywords for the 8 of Pentacles are: Diligence, Knowledge and Detail. The reading is: Are you working to live or living to work? Are you using your talents to the fullest? Have you found meaningful work that satisfies you? Life is not always about achieving goals. Satisfaction comes from skilful execution of a task or learning something new. Here in the image we see Mother cat with her brood of kittens as she teaches them how to be a strong and healthy cat when they grow up.
‘Temperance’ offeres keywords of Balance, Health and Combination. The painting’s explanation is of a black male car and a white female cat which are sleeping together, balances on a balustrade high above a rugged coastline. Their curled forms bring to mind the harmonious symbol of yin and yang. Even the sea looks peaceful for the moment. When this card is revealed in a reading, the explanation provided is: You may feel you’ve gone too far out on a limb. It is time to make your way back to the centre. Extreme views leave no room for compromise. Health requires a balanced system. Excessive behaviour will not support a body for very long.
For 'The Moon', the keywords are: fear; illusion; imagination and bewilderment. Only heightened awareness and constant vigilance can keep this cat from harm. The full moon is a highly imaginative time but also the best time to complete business matters. Separate truth from illusion. Use imagination to spark creativity. Don’t let fear create confusion.
For the 'King of Wands', the keywords are: Charming, superficial, self-confident - cocky, daring - fool-hardy, adventurous - restless, passionate - hot-tempered! The card depicts a young tom who has climbed high in a tall tree. His mischievous expression and flick of his tail show he is in his element and does not need to be rescued. he is happy to be admired by all but never gives his heart to anyone. A knight may bring excitement into your life, but beware of his volatile energy. If you are seeking a serious relationship, maturity will be needed to tame this temperament! Reviewer: Wendy Stokes www.wendystokes.co.uk