Divination December: #009

Tarot deck and tin

The Ritual Abuse Tarot by Ryan Sheffield is a dark and terrifying Smith-Waite deck inspired by Stephen Gammell’s illustrations for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The deck is currently available in a Print on Demand edition, which I can’t comment on the quality of. The deck that I have is from the first printing and came in a very nice tin. The deck handles well, with a faint linen finish and glossy coating on decent stock.

The accompanying booklet contains keywords for each card (with a significantly negative slant to the meanings) and an unnamed variant of the Celtic Cross spread.

Celtic Cross tarot spread

The Celtic Cross is one of the most famous tarot spreads and is widely taught as a foundational spread (I blame A. E. Waite for this.) I find it ugly and uninspiring and I don’t use it, though that might just be my hipster tendencies showing through.

The spread starts with the three past/present/future cards that we’ve been using, but adds a column that crosses it representing a conscious goal, current or imminent challenge, and subconscious influences. Which is fine even though I don’t love the idea of stacking the middle cards, but then we get this bullshit column of four cards off to the right and I just can’t even.