I’m a Hello Kitty junkie, so this mini review of the Hello Kitty major arcana tarot deck is going to be biased by my undying love of all things HK. Last year I was on an intense divination deck buying kick: tarot, oracle cards, indie, well known, I needed them all! Happily I’ve chilled out a tiny bit since, but I have some pretty neat decks in my little collection, including two Sanrio major arcana decks: Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars.
I think the Hello Kitty tarot might make a perfect starter deck for a witchling who you don’t want to overwhelm with a full deck. It’s cute, kid-friendly, and even the ‘scary’ cards have been made somehow adorable.
There are multiple Sanrio and Hello Kitty Tarot Decks, but this one – to the best of my knowledge – is the only official deck. It was made in 2009 and it comes in a slipcase that includes a full color book on one side and the cards on the other. The cards are a slightly different size than standard tarot cards, just a touch shorter, but the same width. The deck also comes with two blank cards, which I thought was a neat touch. A gallery of the cards can be found at the bottom of the post.
I recently stumbled across a set of major arcana tarot cards by Japanese artist Aya Takano and immediately added them to my collection. Part of the Superflat movement, Takano’s work is done in an intentionally juvenile style, while still addressing the prevalence of sexuality and consumerism in post-war Japan. Takano has been on my radar for a long time, but I had no idea she had released a set of tarot cards until recently. Below are some images of the cards and my thoughts on the deck; a gallery can be found at the bottom of the post.
Above, clockwise from left is The Fool, the card back, Fortune, The Hanged Man, and The Magician. Takano uses reddened joints that appear as sunburns to indicate that the figure is still growing. Her subjects are usually nude or only partially clothed, which creates an intentional juxtaposition of innocence and sexuality. The back of the cards are bright pink and feature flowers, peacocks, rabbits, planets, and what appear to be eggs. All of these make me think of Hera, but I am sure I’m just reading way too much into the card back.
A few mornings ago I woke up and felt inspired to pick up my Llewellyn 2016 Witches’ Spell-a-Day Almanac, and that’s when I realized that July 7th is the holiday Tanabata. It is a traditional Japanese holiday also known as the Star Festival and was inspired by a Chinese folk story. This festival has magickal elements easily adapted to pagan practice, which you know is a pet project of mine. Below is the history of Tanabata and suggestions for how you can adapt this festival to your own pagan practice.
If we were in Japan, the July 7th this year Google doodle would look like this:
Tanabata occurs every year on the seventh day of the seventh month (July 7th) and commemorates the day that two long-separated lovers – the stars Vega and Altair – are briefly reunited. If it sounds like a familiar the story, it was referenced on Big Bang Theory in the form of Raj’s “romantic Astronomy” discussion (Season 7 Episode 19 specifically). The Chinese myth that inspired the festival is called “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl,” which you can read in full right here (it also has a Japanese equivalent, but with different names). This festival (or matsuri) day is also called the Qixi Festival in China or The Festival to Plead for Skills.