Shadowscapes Tarot Symbols & Archetypes | Mushrooms, Dragons, Mermaids & Liminality [CC]


Hey everyone, welcome to my video about the Shadowscapes Tarot. A lot of you will know this deck. It is not new. I think it has been out for quite a few years. The cards are actually signed with 2008 so it might have come out in 2008. So once again, I’m a little late to the party! But I hope that I can add some new perspectives to it and some new analysis of the symbolism, just like in my video with the Wild Unknown Tarot deck. Because if we’re honest, this deck has very lush and very detailed imagery and sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed by that and then, you know, you get lost in the details, not quite being able to pin down the meaning of the card because there are so many symbols in each card. And that’s sort of what I want to tackle with this video: To give you some new inspiration if you have this deck or to inspire you to get it if you don’t have it yet because honestly it is an amazing, amazing deck. I love the artwork. The world that the artist constructs is amazing and incredible, and I would recommend it to anyone basically. The only catch is that the cards are quite tiny! They are standard size, but for pictures that are so detailed, it is a little problematic, which is why a lot of people try to get the Czech version, which has slightly (but only slightly) bigger cards. Either way, if you know me, or if you’ve seen my Wild Unknown Tarot video, then you know that my approach is very based on symbolism and intuition. And this is actually going to help us a lot with this deck because focusing on one particular symbol that you feel called to is really, really helpful if the imagery is as lush and overwhelming as in this deck! So I guess my first tip is: If you draw a card, just focus on the first symbol that you see and interpret that. And that is sort of what I’m going to do in this video: I want to talk about the symbols that go all the way through the tarot deck and sort of see the connections between them, and also kind of show you my favorite cards, which I’m going to do right here next to me. I’ll show some of them in really nice close-ups. So… enjoy this video! I hope it inspires you. The first sort of “not quite” symbol, but setting that I want to talk about in this deck is that a lot of the cards display a human or something human-like: An elf, a fairy, a humanoid on a cliff or on a very steep mountain. On a place where you have to wonder: “How did they even get there?” Because they are all alone at the top. There’s often wind blowing around them. They have this variety of symbols that they are hung with or that surround them and very, very often they are on the peak of something. And I find this very interesting and very telling about this deck: Because it does construct a world, but this world is very much about the connection between the human and nature. You know, you as a singular entity in this world, experiencing it by having numinous moments and feeling the divinity of nature in solitude. So I think especially if you look at the card of the Hermit, you have this amazing solitude that is almost an act of balance that the person has to go through. Of course, there are cards like the two of cups or the lovers that involve more than one person. Or the three of disks, obviously, but all of them sort of have this quality of isolatedness of feeling the energy of the place on your own with animals, with fairies, with sylphs. And that very nicely leads us to the next symbol that I want to talk about because nature spirits are basically everywhere in this deck! You have dryads. You have sylphs. You have fairies and you have mermaids and all of these kind of come together to represent the experience of divinity in nature. So these elementals surround the figures as they stand on the pedestals and on the peaks that they have reached. So I feel like it is definitely a very spiritual deck. It’s a deck that focuses on your connection to divinity, which I can really appreciate, because lately, I have also experienced myself that as much merit as there is to knowledge and to learning and studying, there is something to be said (something very GREAT to be said) about experiencing. About just going into nature or wherever you want to go, and experiencing what is happening around you through meditation, you know, connecting with divinity on that level. This is also reflected in the use of natural or sacred geometry. You know how the spirals that are on shells or the patterns that are on a turtle’s back are sometimes referred to as sacred geometry? They sort of repeat throughout nature and this deck is really chuck full of it. And I feel that this once again stresses the fact that this is about nature. its divinity, and you experiencing it on a very private level and a very singular level in solitude. Okay, enough about the general symbols for now! I want to dive in a few cards that I really saw something beautiful in and that I really appreciate. First of all the Empress. What I found so beautiful about her is that in observing the patterns of nature – which in this card are truly magical because there are literally butterflies making a pattern in the sky – by observing these patterns, she creates and she finds her creative power within. So she starts almost becoming in tune with those patterns and creating with them. By seeing the patterns without, you see the patterns within and can create, and thus you almost perpetuate the patterns outside, if that makes sense. I know I’m going on kind of a rant right here. But yes, I really appreciated that. About the Emperor: I found it very interesting that his left hand, which is often seen as the receptive hand, if you are right-handed, is armored. So I think that gives some more meaning to him being the creator of worlds and the governor of worlds. Not so much the person receiving, like the Empress received and observed the patterns, but rather he has a very active active role that isn’t so much about receiving. So in the Hierophant. Oh, yes I’m really excited about the Hierophant because if you look closely, there is Holly in that picture. And holly is a very powerful symbol. I don’t know if you know the Middle English romance Gawain and the Green Knight. Holly actually plays a very important role there because it is a symbol of liminality. A symbol of the liminal space between Christmas and New Year’s. You know, We sometimes call “between the years” which isn’t quite an accurate term but it sort of describes the floatiness and the potential that is in this short period of time. And I like that this symbol of liminality is in the Hierophant. Because he is sort of displayed as the mediator – the wise old tree between nature and humans or the conscious humanoid inhabitants of nature and the deeper wisdom of the earth. The Chariot is actually one of my favorite depiction of the Chariot! The chariot is my birth card but unfortunately I do sometimes struggle to find an image that I actually like of the Chariot. Luckily, I really love this one because it has unicorns. So it’s an obvious choice, right? No, I really love this card. It has so much power, so much energy, so much drive, you know? The Strength card, oh, I could say so much about this one But I will just single out the element of bamboo. Because it is a perfect image that describes the meaning of the card Strength. What I’m saying here is actually in the book in this case! Because bamboo, you know, it bends with the wind. It stands upright and very strongly, but if you want to break it, it starts bending rather than breaking. So it is this immense symbol of adaptability and Strength and I really like that it represents the Strength card in this instance because strength isn’t always about, you know, pushing your will onto others. But it is also about Seeing your own weaknesses and using them as strengths, and that is sort of what I see in bamboo! I already talked about the Hermit a little bit in the beginning and I absolutely love this image because he is balancing on this Zen pile of stones and He has reached a height, again, where you have to wonder “How did he get there?” How did he get there without flying on top of it, you know, and I love this representation of finding a new way of being in solitude. Let’s jump to the star because I want to talk about the carps that are here they kind of reminded me of koi fish and I love kois as a symbol because It is said in Japanese mythology that the koi swims upstream up a waterfall, and it just keeps trying and trying and trying and laboring up the waterfall, and if it makes it to the top, it turns into a dragon. And I don’t know if any of you play Pokémon, but basically if you look at Magikarp and Gyarados: This is why Magikarp becomes Gyarados – because the strongest koi and the koi that rises to the top of the waterfall, becomes a dragon. And I love this imagery, especially for the Star, because even though the star is a period of connecting to everything and a period of rest, it can also be seen as a trying period for some people who have issues with relaxing, maybe, and issues with acknowledging that healing takes time. And I love this idea that this dancer is just (this is what it says in the book) she embodies humanity without being quite human. So you have again this numinous element to her that makes her removed from humanity. But at the same time, she embodies the human experience and the human strength. And I’m sorry my hair is still wet btw. I’m shooting this because I’m really hurrying, because I’m giving this deck away today to my mother for her birthday! So I really have to shoot this video right now. Otherwise, I will not have the deck anymore. πŸ˜‰ Now let’s take a quick look at the Moon card. The Moon card, of course, is always awesome, always cool in every deck! And what I love here is that it has mushrooms. And when I first saw these mushrooms, I was like, “Yeah, it really makes sense!” because mushrooms, as you know, have this web of interconnectedness under the earth so that, you know, every mushroom that you have in a forest is very likely Connected with this underground net. And that net is the actual body of the mushroom, and the mushrooms that you have at the top are just sort of what comes out naturally. And that is only the visible part, kind of the tip of the iceberg. And I love this in the moon card because it has this mystery, this shroudedness, you know, digging into those little strange visible parts of everything that is buried in your psyche and making these experiences of seeing small elements crop up that reflect something way, way deeper within you. I also saw a connection to water lilies there, because water lilies have a very similar meaning for me, except in the element of water. Because, you know, in the element of Earth, you have mushrooms, and in the element of water you have water lilies! And they have their roots going very very deep, their leaves as well. Everything is also underwater. And then they have this very small, but beautiful part that is visible above the surface of the water. So once again, like a representation of the visible parts of our psyche. And diving into the depths of it is a very beautiful exercise and a very beautiful meaning that I attribute to water lilies! And now also to mushrooms. I just want to mention card 21 because it gives me World of Warcraft vibes. I’m going to put the picture that it reminds me of side by side with a picture of the card and… yes, that’s why I have to love it! And I’m actually thinking about making it my phone background on my screen so that I can always look at it and kind of be reminded of my World of Warcraft days. In my Life Story video I talked about that a little more. So if you’re interested in that you can give that a watch. I’ll put a link below. This is going to be a long video. So let’s get to the Minor Arcana. Since this is a very nature focused-deck, the wands have a much more giving and more universally connected meaning. You know in traditional Rider-Waite-Smith the Wands are often read as this journey from having an idea and developing it in a way that kind of alienates others, so that in the end, by having always pushed through your own will, you are all alone. And I find that to be very interesting because in this deck, the imagery is a lot more about giving, you know? Take a look at the 10 of Wands. It is all about carrying the weight of others because you choose to. And thinking about whether you will have to bear that weight and have to nourish others or whether it’s time to maybe lighten the load in some ways. So it’s definitely a different perspective on the Rider-Waite-Smith system. So it’s more about building your own Kingdom, having the responsibility of it – or Queendom – and giving to others rather than alienating them. Providing for others. Take a look at the 7 of Wands for example. The person defending their position here is not on their own (as would be usual for the Wands). They have their family with them. Let’s talk about the Cups. So, here we have the very traditional imagery of the mermaid as sort of a messenger from the depths of your psyche and from the depths of being. It’s sort of representing the communication between the realm of emotion and the realm of thinking, because, you know, you have the fishes who just represent the realm of water and you have humans, and then you have mermaids, which are a mix. And they can communicate with both worlds and are sort of a mediator. I especially loved the 4 of Cups because so often – SO often! – the 4 of Cups is perceived as a negative card. As a card of “Oh man, you just got to look around, you know! And if you look around you’ll see that there’s a full cup of energy!” And I sort of feel like you have to give the 4 of Cups more credit than that because it is a card of self-reflection, self-experience. And that is exactly what this card shows. And I love that, because it’s not focused on, you know, the cups that you COULD be drinking. It is focused on your perception of yourself, of your psyche, of your emotion and of the sadness that you feel. And sometimes sadness needs to be felt, as you know. And I feel that this card very effectively represents that concept in this mermaid, gazing at the water and at her own reflection. Even though she is out of her element. I just have to mention the 6 of Cups because it has an Alice in Wonderland tea party and that is super adorable. This openness to everything that lives, seeing the soul and the life in everything that surrounds us, even if it is an inanimate object or in nature… I really love that, and that is what this card reminds me of. In general what I find extremely interesting about the suit of Cups is that a lot of the cards take place in water. There are only a few that actually take place on land, basically. So that you have the separation of the water element. And those cards on land are usually the more difficult ones. The cards where you have to, you know, consume a certain sadness. They don’t take place in the water. You have the 4 of Cups and the 5 of Cups. For example, both do not take place in the element of water. It’s sort of like taking yourself out of an emotional state to reflect on it. That’s how I see it: Coming out of the deep waters in order to see the bigger picture, feel the emotions, but also see what surrounds you and see what there is other than the emotions that you are emerged in right now. I could talk about the suit of Swords forever because it is my absolute favorite, favorite, favorite. I love that the artist put so much effort in drawing the swords So many of them would make awesome tattoos, I have to say. So maybe something like that is coming. But what I found a little disappointing: The 2 of Swords is an extremely important card for me in any deck, and unfortunately in this one, it is very much about being too protective of the self. You have this figure which looks badass, by the way. You have this figure with two swords kind of protecting themselves, and in the little story that it has for every card, it says that this person is, you know, protecting their realm and questioning anyone who dares approach it. And The fact that this is displayed as sort of a negative thing makes me… not “sad”, but, I like to see the two of swords as a very positive card because it is precisely about focusing on yourself, not on the opinions of others and being willing to defend the ideas, the creativity that you have cultivated within yourself to other people or ignoring others. And not even defending your ideas, but rather just ignoring the people around you, you know? And that is why the two of swords is usually a very positive card for me. Even though obviously it can be a reminder not to cut yourself off from other people. Then, another card I really want to mention is the 7 of Swords because here you have a person who pulled a sword out of a stone. And we all know that in mythology, that is an extremely potent image about acquiring a power and being you know, the Chosen One. And at the same time acquiring a great responsibility because you are the Chosen One. And I love that this card shows him acquiring this power but trying to sneak away with it. You know, the ego takes over – you just want to use that power for yourself, rather than to use it in the way It was meant to be used, and why you were granted it in the first place. So I find that to be very, very interesting. In the 8 of Swords, I found it very interesting that you have the swan struggling to get out of thorns. And only when it stops struggling will it stop hurting and is able to actually get out of the predicament that it is in. And I found that very, very cool. it makes you think. Because the 8 of Swords is usually about recognizing that you can do a lot in order to free yourself. But in this case, it is much more about stopping to struggle and surveying what you can do logically, and not getting so panicked by everything that is pressuring you. Another card that I really liked was the 10 of Swords. Because I have never seen a 10 of Swords that has taken the imagery of “falling” and used that in the card. Because there is a great sense of fear and a great sense of fear of death, falling from a very large height. But at the same time, you land in a new place. You might be a little bruised, you might be broken, but at the same time, you are surrounded by new things. And there is new potential, and that’s why I really like this image of falling in the 10 of Swords and I think it is a beautiful card. Honorable mention to the Queen of Swords because her Sword is the best, the best, the best, the best. I mean look at it! It’s basically a moon, but it’s also a sword and I just had to mention it. That’s basically all I have to say about her. The King of Swords, to me, is always someone who knows when to draw his sword and when not to draw it, and that’s what I love about this card. Because he has the owl on top of his Sword. So Wisdom is guiding him in deciding whether it is time to draw the sword or let it still, leave it be, let the situation evolve – or whether it is wiser to cut something down and to cut something out and to be judging of something. So I found that extremely cool. So let’s wrap it up with the Discs or the Pentacles. Whatever you want to call them! So, what I found super interesting is that she’s actually using Dragons and chameleons, even though they are usually tied to the Wands, you know, because you have the fire energy. Salamanders are the classical symbol of the Wand suit! So I find it interesting that she chose them for the Discs, but it does make sense. Because – I love this one! – look at the 4 of discs! You have a dragon guarding a treasure, and that is exactly how dragons are often displayed: They are the guardians of treasure. They amass a fortune, they live through the gold that they have in many, many stories in mythology, which is why heroes try to, you know, kill them, because then they would get the hoard of the Dragon. And I find this very interesting because the discs have always been about all sorts of treasures for me. Not just monetary treasure, but also spiritual treasure or emotional treasure, anything that gives your life meaning and is very precious to you, that is valuable to you. And I feel that Dragons represent this very well because they are sometimes in mythology known as the wise messengers from old times because they live for a very very long time. Or they are seen as the hoarders of treasure, and that kind of ties into the discs very well in my opinion. And the 10 of discs I also want to mention because it is just such a beautiful card. She is entwined with a dragon. It’s absolutely stunning. Yes, and there’s so many more cards in the in the discs that I absolutely love! I’m just looking through the book and all of them are very colorful. They are like green and purple which are colors that you usually wouldn’t associate with the disks, maybe. And I really appreciate that she chose colors into the direction that she was just drawn into and that makes sense in her world. And this fragile, amazing world that she creates with this tarot deck is incredibly captivating for me because it is exactly the sort of world that I would have felt drawn to as a child. It has drama, it has heroes, it has, you know, these myths tied into it. It has strong symbols, and it’s just a wealth of opportunity. And I feel like path working with these cards is probably one of the best things that you can do to bond with this deck. So I hope the perspectives that I shared here were inspiring to you! If you liked it, then I would much appreciate it if you subscribe to me or visited me on Instagram @anya.esma – Like this video, you know, the whole good jazz. Because I really love making these videos even though they always turn out very long! I feel like I can really delve deeply into the symbolism of these decks and that’s why I really like making these long, long videos, and I really hope you enjoy them! I love making them. So, yes, thank you so much for watching. πŸ™‚ I hope you have a great day. Enjoy! And I’ll see you all next time

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21 thoughts on “Shadowscapes Tarot Symbols & Archetypes | Mushrooms, Dragons, Mermaids & Liminality [CC]

  1. So, what are your experiences with the deck? I only had it for a few days before gifting it to my mother and couldn't dive in deeper, so lay your Shadowscapes inspirations on me, everyone! πŸ™‚

  2. Another wonderful video, I love the way you edit your videos and how you added the super clear photos of the cards in th video. I love your attention to detail and the index you created is very helpful as well πŸ™‚ I was interested in this deck and then it fell off my list for some reason. But you've changed that, it's back on my list again πŸ˜‚

  3. I am getting this deck in the mail tomorrow it will be my 2nd deck ever my first is the classic rider. I cant wait to connect with it and gain some insight. I am new to tarot and i feel like this us a good intuitive deck i cant wait for it to come! Thanks for the video!

  4. I really want to get a deck to explore myself and everything. Will you recommend this for starters like me? Thank you πŸ’•

  5. Im new to tarot. I have a question: do we have to understand the basic meaning before we use this deck (or any other deck) or we can interprete it in our own way, based on what we saw?

  6. I saw the title of this video in my recommendations and immediately thought to myself "That's definitely something I should watch because I have that deck." and you didn't disappoint!

  7. thanks for coming out as a Witch …Anya you radiate alot of positive energies one of the biggest reason why I watch your channel.

  8. This was incredible! I would love to see more videos like this. I am going to get this deck which will be one of my firsts! I subbed to you also. Blessed Be!

  9. I lost my comment on a video. I've always been interested in wicca. or witchcraft after an old friend introduced me to her lifestyle. is this something only women do? and if a guy were to do it is he considered a witch?… excuse my lack of knowledge but I ask because I am far from religious and nature has always been what I considered god. I just never called myself anything.

  10. I just found your channel thorough this video and I love it! Shadowscapes Tarot is amazing and so profound, your comments are really useful. I just subscribed to your channel <3

  11. I love those cards! Good video. About the tale of Koi, it actually comes from China. What we call is ι²€ι±Όθ·ƒιΎ™ι—¨.

  12. It was beautiful to listen and watch, please do not stop makinh long videos, those are the best!! πŸ’š I just go my Shadowscapes Deck and it has been on my wishlist for so long, I can't wait to pathwork in this magical world!

  13. Thank you thank you thank youuu. Seriously this was so awesome I appreciate this so much πŸ’œ I love this deck I’ve had it for a few years and this heightened my knowledge, I was able to use the book which has a blown up picture of each card which also helped. THANKYOU

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