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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. May's Theme: "Humour"
Volume 3 Issue 4 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Fractal Firebird Tarot
By R.M. Kruse

Amazing! If there could be a tarot whose cards captured the essence of each card's meaning, the Fractal Firebird would be it. There are minimalist tarot which attempt to do this, but this one does it abstractly, without imagery to bias interpretation.

What a perfect marriage, fractals and tarot! Fractals are a place where science and spirituality can merge. If the tarot could be said to be a snapshot of the universe, then what better model to use of the universe than fractals? Both show order within randomness or chaos.

The first time I went up in an airplane, I noticed it didn't matter how high we were, how far from the earth, the basic patterns I saw remained the same. The scale changed dramatically, but the patterns remained.

From close up, a trickle of water running down a parking lot looked just like a creek as the plane ascended into the air. Higher still, a river looked exactly the same as that trickle of water. The edges on a rock looked just like the edges on a cliff, which from further away looked like the edges of the shoreline.

And these patterns are not just found in like places. Meandering and branching rivers and streams are like the veins in a leaf, and the branches on a tree, and the vessels in our bodies.

I was struck with the feeling I had discovered something profound. The "big picture" and the "little picture" are essentially the same in design. If you look into a microscope, you'll see that molecules and atoms, have the same form as planets and stars. Sounds an awful lot like 'as above, so below' doesn't it?

What I was experiencing were fractals. Fractals are shapes that show similar features at different sizes. Each fractal contains a universe, a microcosm of a macrocosm. What seems random, just like the pulling of tarot cards, actually fits within an order.

The Fractal Firebird Tarot touches me in such an intuitive way. I cannot completely explain how the essence of a card can be captured with fractals, but I feel it deeply.

The beauty of the Fractal Firebird Tarot is that the meanings aren't boxed into specific definitions by using clearly defined pictures. Each digitally created card fits its meaning perfectly, without the brain having to recognize an image, translate it into words, then into symbols and or archetypes, and then into meanings. Here the fractals trigger a deep, understanding upon first glance. This makes it a perfect deck for meditation; it leaves the reader open for psychic impressions and/or for intuition to kick in.

Maria Kruse's fractals have captured the essence and energy of the cards. The Fool gives a feeling of effervescence, of possibilities bubbling over. The Ace of Air practically vibrates, while the 9 of Air feels as if something uncomfortable is hanging overhead.

Some verge on the edge of being recognizable images, like The Empress, which appears pregnant and with full breasts. Even her colours are the greens and browns of the earth.

I like that each suit has its own colour scheme. This makes it easy to see if any suit(s) predominate in a spread. The suits are named Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, rather than Wands, Cups, Pentacles, and Swords.

The Water suit is done in blues, purples and bluish-greens. Browns, greens, and yellowish-greens, characterize the Earth cards. The Fire cards are brightly colored orange and red. Air, uses the blues, yellows and golds of the sky and sunlight, and browns, which remind me of smoke.

The colours used in the majors vary to fit the card. The High Priestess is purple, with a light bluish-green. Death, predominantly brown, appears comparatively colourless, while still feeling heavy and clearly of the earth.

Each card's title and number is printed near the bottom. The cards have a thin goldish-orange border. In this deck, the Fool is numbered 0, Strength is 8, and Justice is 11. The Court Cards are titled, King, Queen, Prince, and Princess.

The backs of the deck are black and white, with a marbled effect. The marbling is different on each card. The backs are not reversible.

The Fractal Firebird Tarot is a self-published deck. It is well made, and has been hand laminated and cut. It comes in a handmade cloth bag, and with a stapled little white book.

The little white book is disappointing. I would enjoy reading more about Maria Kruse's vision. The book gives limited standard meanings. It includes a spread created by the author.

The deck is available in three sizes. I have the smallest size, which is perfect to tuck into a purse. Unfortunately, I have to remember to put on my reading glasses to read the tiny print. I guess this would make the small deck best only for the under 40 crowd.

I am very excited about this unique tarot! I highly recommend it for the experienced reader, especially the intuitive or psychic reader. It is beautiful and deeply spiritual. It leaves me feeling one with the universe, and with an infinity of universes within.

Reviewed by
Toria Betson

If you wish to purchase this (or another) deck, please visit the Tarot Garden. They have many decks from which to choose. If they are not currently stocking a specific deck, please note special orders are welcome at: sales@tarotgarden.com.

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