FEATURE (with reading) OF THE PORTMEIRION TAROT, by Craig Conley
I won’t give you too many details as I really want to encourage you to visit the link at the bottom of this post for an intriguing journey. I will say all of the photos in this deck are of architecture, statues, paintings, etc., found in the welsh village of Portmeirion. For those who have seen the wonderful classic surreal T.V. show “The Prisoner,” Portmeirion is where it was filmed. I love that a village can be so saturated with archetypal symbolism that Tarot images (as the author and photographer says) “pop up” as one wanders through it. It is not unusual for me to see Tarot images as I go about my daily life, but all 78 and all clustered in one place? Delightful, delicious, delovely! :-D
As to how these Portmeirion images work as a Tarot deck? Quite well, I believe, though some knowledge of Tarot might be helpful. Unless one reads very intuitively, then this deck would work absolutely fine. I’ve looked at those cards Conley displays on his site and see why he chose each aspect of Portmeirion. Each seems clearly suitable as a Tarot image, yet at the same time offers something unique. I have also done one three card reading at the site – see the link below to try a free reading for yourself – and found it’s particular images brought something additional to the experience.
I asked if it’s finally a good time for me to switch to that better way of eating I’ve developed over the years (in order not only to lose another good chunk of weight, but improve my health in general). I got the Eight of Pentacles, Strength, and The World. (By the way, I read three card layouts right to left.) The World in this deck is Hercules holding the world on his shoulders. Big wry laugh! All this weight -- and worry about it -- IS like carrying the world around. I don’t think I’d have gotten such an “in my face” response from a more traditional World card who’s figure is usually dancing and certainly not burdened looking. Strength spoke fairly traditionally: it will take a lot of strength and application, but in a gentle way, no forcing; more the sort of strength that permits things to happen. The outcome card, the Eight of Pentacles is one I have the image for:
A couple days before I did the above reading I’d thought how this photo calls up for me that aspect of “making pentacles” that is sometimes attributed to the Eight of Pentacles of developing one’s spiritual life, as opposed (or in addition) to the more usual attribution of physical work and skills. In this Portmeirion version I saw the possibility of moving from the archway on the left or the more material world, toward the archway on the right or the more spiritual. And then to have this same card come up later as the outcome in the above reading was quite encouraging. That is, to recognize that this material struggle to create better health and well-being for myself, is also very much a part of my spiritual work. When I typed that I thought how obvious that comment seems, but it’s easy to lose that awareness beneath each day’s more concrete demands, at least for me. I am not sure I’d have recalled that spiritual aspect to the Eight of Pentacles if I’d read with a more traditional deck.
Here’s a few more cards from the Portmeirion Tarot I’d requested images for some time ago, so you can get a little taste of the deck, before visiting the site:
I highly recommend that you visit Conley’s site (and check out the link to information about the village in general, as well): Trump L'Oeil: The Portmeirion Tarot. You’ll be intrigued.
‘til next time, keep enjoying the universe of The Tarot,
[aka: Patricia Kelly]
****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for Tarot poetry and Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka).****