David Bowie wasn’t my favourite pop singer back in the 80’s I must admit. I wasn’t a fan of pop singers wearing makeup and dying their hair…not that I held any prejudices one way or another, it’s just that it wasn’t a genre of music that appealed to me. I did love many of his hit songs and still do, I just didn’t appreciate his genius at the time.
David Bowie wasn’t just a talented performer, he was also a poetic and artistic visionary and his modus operandi was pushing the boundaries of societal norms through artistic expression. His album covers (like his music videos) were considered works of art by fans and by Bowie himself, everything he did for his art and music was an outpouring of the creativity and vitality within.
He was also deeply passionate about world issues and collaborated on many fundraising projects for HIV/AIDS, Leukemia and child poverty. He was also a devoted and loving father and husband. Looking back, I’d wished I’d followed his music more devoutly, I would have effortlessly expanded my mind in ways I am working too hard to do in my middle age.
I have been studying Tarot intensely for the past four years now and was intrigued when I heard a David Bowie themed deck was in the works. I am a bit of a collector of decks I use and decks I keep wrapped in silk cloth and safely tucked in hand carved boxes. I like different decks for different reasons, and mostly if a deck appeals visually it’s usually a keeper. I wasn’t sure what a Bowie-themed Tarot deck would look like and whether it would even appeal to me and although I’m always on the lookout for a new and interesting deck, I wasn’t keeping track of it’s development. After, all, I’d just bought a few new Tarot and Oracle decks that had shamanism as their theme and was happy and fine using these for my own personal readings. Still, every time I venture to the mall, I stop and see what they have in store. To my dismay, time and time again, I see an abundance of Angel and Fairy Decks and wonder why the general public isn’t being offered anything more original and thought provoking than that. But on my last trip, I spied a hot pink lightning bolt:
It was like a red-hot poker to both my brain and eyeballs! I had to take a picture of the deck I thought I should own…and soon! I imagined this StarMan was actually pushing his way into this reality with his infinite psychedelic awesomeness. I stood before this wondrous sight and smiled to myself as I drank in the beauty of the “StarMan’s” stark vibrancy against the usual offerings. It was as if the aliens had finally landed and they looked like David Bowie.
It was at this moment that I knew I had to have this deck. It was as if I was staring into the face of the StarMan and David Bowie was whispering in my ear “Ground Control to Major Tom”………
So, I eagerly purchased the deck at Coles Indigo for $50.95 Canadian plus Tax. Opening the box (yes, I waited until I got home…), I found the guidebook nestled inside and overtop the cards which are recessed into the box insert. The cards are arranged according to the Major Arcana, then Aces, Twos, Threes etc.. and the card shape is quite long which normally would make shuffling difficult for me but I found a way to corner shuffle that doesn’t bend the cards too much or risk damaging them. The card stock is a bit lighter than I am used to with other decks but each card lays flat, has a good finish front and back and an interesting card back design that looks a little like something you’d see on an episode of Ancient Aliens.
Now, let’s get down to brass tacks….
The card imagery itself is nothing short of stunning. Each card has something to love about it and is so full of elements that it is a little hard at first to take everything in all at once. I must admit I felt overwhelmed when I went through the deck the first time. The colours are vivid, vibrant, bright, intense and all those other adjectives you can think of. Gold is used in every card as either some visual element or in the graffiti and each card has an intensity even if it is only in the way the figure seems to be looking at you.
Take the Princess of Pentacles card, for example. She is the guardian of the earth, the planetary keeper who is the green woman and daughter of the underworld. She is pregnant with all life and potential and is the Mother Goddess of the Moon and the queen of the Eclipse, she is potential energy in the resting seed and her message is to care for the future generations by caring for nature itself. Her intense gaze warns of desolation and a barren womb (poverty) should we fail to heed her call. At least that’s how I see her…
Going through the entire deck, one card at a time was a little overwhelming. I felt like I was in a fever dream and so I put the deck down for a while and then came back to it and shuffled the cards and did the above reading. Then I went to the guide book (complete with colour illustrations to accompany the card description) and found myself being led down an incredible path of understanding about each card and the meaning that Davide De Angelis is trying to convey. The cards (even in their reversed meaning) are gentle in how they send their message. And the symbolism is implied, suggested, and written as a potentiality in the realm of possibility so that your mind is left to meditate on the card and absorb what meaning seems right for you and for the reading. It is entirely an intuitive deck, tapping into the emotional, psychological and cumulative experiences of the reader to formulate each cards meaning. There is so much going on in each part of each card that there is plenty that gets overlooked. But Davide guides you to see what is unseen as if you were reading a poem or listening to a song, so that you’re left going…”yeah, I get it man…dig it!…groovy”….(or something to that effect). It’s as if Davide channeled every song that Bowie wrote or ever thought about writing and turned it into a thematic archetypal journey for the eyes rather than the ears.
For single card readings there is plenty to absorb and digest and De Angelis also suggests a couple of unique (lightning bolt and star shaped) five card spreads that are enough to give a thorough and thought provoking interpretation. I’ve had to leave the cards out and refer to the book to make notes so that I get the most out of my reading. The complexity of this deck is challenging me to use my intuitive process and still have a cohesive meaning between the cards. I can see this deck being perfect for Magickal work (manifesting, meditation, spellwork, etc..) and I look forward to seeing what happens as I continue to use this deck.
As a tribute to one of the most Iconic musicians of our time, Davide De Angelis could not have produced a more beautiful and unique collection of artwork that not only stands up as a true working Tarot deck but also honours the vision of David Bowie.
I am now a true STARMAN FAN!!!
For more about Davide De Angelis see his website HERE.