I’ve been reading the tarot on and off for a few years, more “off” than “on” until fairly recently. When I was in my early twenties, the second or third deck I bought was Lo Scarabeo’s Dark Angels Tarot. From the images I saw online it seemed like a beautiful deck, just the thing to add to my “light” collection. But the deck’s “in hand” experience left something to be desired, and I only used it a handful of times before I gave up the practice for the better part of five years.
Around the start of this year, I dug out my old tarot cards again. I’ve mostly been working with the Universal Waite, inconstantly picking at the Dark Angels deck with scepticism. Sometimes readings will “sing” to you, but either the Dark Angels deck wasn’t singing or I was tone deaf to its melody. Then I ran across this spread from Little Red Tarot that specifically mentioned decks that had been neglected and I thought, Eh, why not? My readings couldn’t actually suck any more with the Dark Angels than they have in the past.
What a surprise it turned out to be!
1. Tell me about yourself – what is your most important characteristic?
Seven of Swords
My first impression was that this deck isn’t messing around. The LWB describes the Seven of Swords as, “The angel has prepared her plan, she believes she is ready for anything.” The card shows an angel surrounded by swords and wielding one, looking supremely confident about it. This deck doesn’t take prisoners.
2. What are your strengths as a deck?
The Lovers in the Dark Angels features four people; I suppose you can make up your own mind about how they’re configured (it seems soap opera-ish to me, but I’m a prude, so). The deck is attuned to deciphering relationships and deals well with unusual situations. It’s also protective of those it deems worthy – who appears to be anyone who’s in for the ride.
3. What are your limits as a deck?
King of Swords
The LWB describes him rather ominously as, “The angel of authority will wield the sword of the law when necessary.” The Dark Angels tarot isn’t a merciful or forgiving deck – to soft soap you would be insulting, no?
4. What are you here to teach me?
Five of Swords
The Dark Angels Tarot is here to get. Stuff. Done. Creative energy comes to nothing unless a start is made, and the DAT means to make that start.
5. How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
Five of Swords
This read as a bit of challenge to me. The artwork shows an angel collecting swords, his efforts unobstructed though he is technically outnumbered. “Be in it to win it”, the deck seems to be saying. The best collaboration would be to take the same “no nonsense” attitude.
6. What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Knight of Wands
“The angel of action moves ever onward, never resting,” LWB advises. The Knight tramps around in a graveyard, his action unhindered even by death. A working relationship here would have the emphasis on “working”; together with the deck, I could create and effect movement.
The suits – wands and swords – combine to form a very active and proactive energy. Altogether it feels like a very “masculine”* deck and not one to fiddle around with when indecisive. I’ve since done another reading with the deck** that clicked for me. It’s like I’ve been plodding through a very thick book that makes much more sense now that I’ve bothered to read the blurb on the back!
I probably won’t use this deck very often – my “taste” for noir/Goth has worn off as I edge closer to thirty – but I’m happy that I’ve finally broken the ice with it all these years later.
*By which I mean traditionally masculine.
**Another one of Little Red Tarot’s.