Baseball Tarotbball1.jpg (20251 bytes) - Review by Michele Jackson

If you would like to purchase this deck/book set, click here.

The Baseball Tarot (not to be confused with the Tarot of Baseball) is a deck/book set. The art (which is quite good, by the way) is by Dan Gardiner and the book is by Mark Lerner of the Inner Child Tarot Deck and Laura Phillips. Both authors love baseball. The cards are larger than average at 3 1/2" X 5 1/2". There is no white border around the art - it extends to the edge of the card. There is a thin gold line about 1/4" in from the edge that acts as a border, only it does not obscure the art. The art work is detailed and colors are wonderful. My only complaint is that it has a grainy look. I don't know whether this is a result of the medium used (it looks like colored pencil or pastels) or the printing process.

The Major Arcana have been changed to fit the Baseball theme:

0 - The Rookie VII - Control XIV - The Hero
1 - The All Star VIII - Power XV - The Goat
II - The Coach IX - Reflection XVI - Whole New Ball Game
III - The Natural X - The Breaks XVII - Batting a Thousand
IV - The Legend XI - The Umpire XVIII - The Catcher
V - The Manager XII - Slump XIX - The Pitcher
VI - The Team XIII - Retirement XX - The Rule Book
XXI - World Series

The suits have been changed as well. Mitts replace Cups, Balls correspond to Swords, Bats are the equivalent of Wands and Bases represent Pentacles. The Court has been replaced with two additional suit cards numbered 11 and 12, and two people cards - the Coach and the MVP. So there is a coach in both the Major and Minor Arcana. Each numbered card and court card have the card name and a brief description of what the scene is illustrating written in the bottom of the scene. The scenes are Baseball related. For example,the Six of Balls is "Fastball," and Eight of Bases is "Eye on the Ball." The Coaches of each suit are about learning and the MVPs are about achieving. Some of the card's meanings will be easy to decipher, even for those who are unfamiliar with baseball. Terms like "Batting a Thousand" are familiar to most people in the U.S.A. Other meanings are not so obvious. I didn't know what "The Goat" meant until I looked it up. I still don't know if it is a baseball term or if it was chosen for some other reason, i.e. representing Capricorn. The scenes are not very evocative of the card's meaning. They illustrate the play or situation given. It is up to the reader to either look the card up in the book, rely on meanings memorized from more traditional decks, or come up with something based on their knowledge of the play illustrated. There are several cards that show women as players, coaches and officials. The backs show baseballs and a diamond on a starry sky background.

Fortunately, the 300+ page book that comes with this deck is quite thorough. It begins with a little background information on the author's love of the game, and on Tarot. This is followed by 11 spreads for one person - most of which have a baseball theme. There are also two spreads designed for more than one person, and a section that describes how to create your own spreads. A sample reading is also provided. The section on the Major Arcana provides a few key words, the corresponding card from the "traditional" Tarot and the associated planet. Some information about the card is provided, followed by a section that gives the meaning in a reading. This deck is meant to be read without reversals, so no reversed meanings are provided. The Minor Arcana section provides a description of the card followed by what the authors call "...a description of themes represented by the card." These themes are:

The authors state that, "...the card's meanings are consistent with traditional decks." I disagree. The meanings are not traditional on the face of it, except that cards that are generally thought of as "positive" in traditional decks, like the Two of Cups, are generally "positive" in this deck as well. And likewise, cards thought of as "negative," like the fives and the Nine and Ten of Swords are "negative" in this deck. I hate to use words like "positive" and "negative," in terms of card meanings, but I think you get my point. If you go to the book to look each card up as you do readings, you will see that there has been an attempt to make the meanings as traditional as possible given the theme, but I don't associate a double-play with the Two of Cups or the Seven of Wands with a line drive. This could be due to my lack of in-depth baseball knowledge, but I don't think so. The plethora of "themes" associated with each card will probably take some time to learn, but one would think that those who were interested in this theme deck would already be familiar with baseball, and would thus have a shorter learning curve. Both the Major and Minor Arcana section have a baseball related quote for each card.

I recommend this deck for baseball fans and collectors. Even if you own the Tarot of baseball, this deck seems quite different. I don't know enough about baseball to judge which deck does the best job of combining baseball and Tarot. It would be interesting to those who already have an interest in both subjects, but probably not very interesting to those who are not already baseball fans. The deck is packaged with a box bottom with a well for the cards, and a book-like spine and cover that leaves space to hold the book. Once you remove the shrink wrap, you will have to get something else to hold the deck and book or else you will have to bind it all together with a rubber-band or something similar. It looks nice in the bookstore, but is useless for storage once you open it. In its favor, it is reasonably-priced for a set at $20.00

Baseball Tarot
ISBN: 0-7611-0347-3
Publisher: Workman Publishing
 

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Excerpt

Seven of Bases

Waiting for results

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines" - Satchel Paige

Once you're On Deck, the safety and camaraderie of the dugout quickly fade. Here in the On-Deck circle, waiting for your turn at bat, you prepare to take action. It is a place of hopes an fears, self encouragement, of last minute rituals, shutting out worries and distractions, intensifying focus. Soon, you will see the results of all your practice and payers.

Ahead of the Count: Almost there. Preparation for final action. Waiting to see the fruits of labor. Work, or a period of growth, that is nearing completion.

Behind the Count: Fear of making the next move. Giving up just before finishing. Pessimism about pending projects. Or, impatience: going forward before the time is right.

The Player: Centered. Self Assured. Patient. Withholds judgment until all of the facts are known. May be keeping an eye on a possible promotion.

The Signal: Focus on your final preparations. You will soon reap the harvest of your efforts. Don't amble aimlessly into the future: clarify the goals against which you'll evaluate results. The time to prove yourself is coming. Do not hesitate, but do not rush. Step up wisely and well.

The Play: Anticipating your turn. An examination or evaluation. A project or process nears its ends. Waiting for a letter of acceptance or rejection, for the conclusion of an ongoing story, for the consequences of an action. Almost ready to take a long awaited step.

The Stuff: Calm determination. Acceptance that you've done all you can. Or, stage fright and other pre-event jitters.

In the Ballpark: In what area of my life am I about to take my turn or be tested? Do I feel ready? How can I best prepare myself? What results do I hope for? What results do I fear? What outcomes am I waiting for? How do I cope with waiting? What have I been investing in? Do I tend to be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Am I more likely to hesitate or to rush?

If you would like to purchase this deck/book set, click here.

Text Copyright 1999 Mark Lerner and Laura Philips

Images Copyright 1999 Dan Gardiner

 



Review Copyright 1999 Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes