Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Tag: Tarot

The Bottanical Deck

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Tarot Deck Reviews
Bottanical Deck Box
Bottanical Deck Box

WHERE PURCHASED: I backed this particular deck on Kickstarter a few months ago, and received it this past Friday, on the 23rd of August.

CONTRIBUTER(S): Jessica Bott

PUBLISHED BY: Jessica Bott

AVAILABILITY: It will shortly become available on Jessica Bott’s site. She also has an Instagram.

ABOUT THE DECK: This deck is a plant-themed tarot and oracle deck consisting of 22 Major Arcana cards represented by Trees; 4 suits of Minor Arcana cards represented by, variously, Flowers (Cups), Crops (Pentacles), Spices (Wands), and Cacti (Swords); 60 Oracle Cards divided into five suits represented by, variously, Poisons, Herbs, Medicines, Mushrooms, and Carnivorous; and 2 single cards, The Unknown – Seedpod, and the Ace of Tea. And, yes, Bottanical was spelled that way deliberately by the deck’s creator, using her last name of Bott.

GUIDEBOOK: This deck comes with a guidebook particular to the deck. The cards are listed by their names or nicknames (also on their cards), along with their scientific names, keywords, and factoids about the plants depicted.

CARDSTOCK: It feels thick enough that I continually check the cards to make sure two aren’t sticking together. A little stiff, but flexible enough for me to use my preferred shuffling method without too much difficulty. Picking these cards up from a flat surface is a little easier than with other decks I have, and I don’t feel like I’m abusing the edges if I have to employ my fingernails to do so.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS DECK: I find the deck absolutely beautiful; even organisms which I wouldn’t normally find attractive have been depicted in such a way that I can see the beauty they possess. The colors are vibrant and varied—this is not a monochrome or black & white deck by any means (see images below). The cards have a matte finish which isn’t coarse at all, and the finish actually aids me in my preferred method of shuffling.

Sharp Contrast Bottanical Deck Cards
Three Random Cards from the Bottanical Deck

WHAT I DISLIKED ABOUT THIS DECK: The design of the labels at the bottoms of the cards means they don’t always lend themselves to easy reading. My first experience with this deck, in going through the guide book to match the cards to their listings therein, was complicated by it being night time and my living room, where I viewed the cards, being lit by a fluorescent light. This poor lighting and the poor contrast (see images below), made some of the plants’ names and other designations somewhat difficult to read. Personally, I would not use this deck in a dimly-lit room or a place where the ambient light isn’t bright enough to make all the colors in the cards pop.

Poor Contrast Bottanical Deck Cards
Three Cards from the Bottanical Deck

CLOSING REMARKS: While I feel the white background of the cards’ labels could be made more opaque for easier reading, I love this deck. The Bottanical Deck is unique and colorful, and I’m sure will be fun to read with, whether or not I use the extra oracle cards that came with it.

10Nov18: A Very Late Start

In-progress afghan with Cat.

Afghan I’ve been working on, with Cat.

On Saturday, I didn’t get out of bed ’til noon, though I woke up a couple times before then. Just wanted to sleep more. After I got up, I didn’t do much. Greg had texted me sometime after 09:00 asking if I was awake, and replied. I performed my usual kitty care routine, then laid down on the sofa hoping for some more sleep. I really didn’t want to be up. Sleep didn’t really come, so I got up and had breakfast, then got on the computer for a short time before trying to nap again. This time worked better, and Hendrix came to join me and curled up behind my bent knees.

After that, I got up and puttered around a bit. Greg got back with me and told me he’d tell me when he started on his way over. I think I tried lying down again, but that didn’t work, so I got up to fritter around on the computer, and Greg texted to say he was on his way. So I waited about 10-15 minutes then went downstairs to let him in.

My Thursday gaming group will be starting a new version of an old game we’ve played for a while. Previously, we played Vampire: The Masquerade. Phil decided to try something new, and we’re now getting into Vampire: The Requiem. He’s mentioned combining the two versions, but I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen with that. In the interest of familiarizing the two of us who don’t live with him with the new version of Vampire, Phil gave the book for it to Greg to read through, then told Greg to pass it on to me when he finished. That’s why Greg wanted to come over yesterday. And of course I invited him up to my place to hang out, and he had two cups of tea while we chatted about various things. He left after maybe an hour or so.

I tried lying down again, then gave up quickly and decided to crochet with Forensic Files on from Netflix. Did that for about two hours, then put everything away and returned to my computer. By now, it was nearly 21:00, but I did manage to get a number of things done. I called Anita first, and we had an hour-long chat. After that, I did my languages, a tarot card, and wrote up an update for my Fool’s Errand site. Also kept up with my journal.

No, I didn’t get 250 words. I’d already met my goal of five days of writing, so I decided to take the day off from writing. Didn’t edit any chapters of DH03, either, but I got the week’s three done by Friday, so that was really moot. I did do a bit of reading though—online. Posts on MeWe and an online comic I follow.

7Nov18: Productive Wednesday

I’ve had an upset stomach since Tuesday, with a slight headache. Not sure what it is, but it didn’t affect me too much Wednesday. I did my tarot card for the day, set up the last 18 cards for tarot lesson #1 from The Complete Tarot Reader by Teresa C. Michelson, and called my Mom. Also got my 250 words and did my languages, as well as spent a few hours crocheting to the “tune” of Forensic Files.

23Oct18: Busy Busy Exhaustion Day

I didn’t get any sleep Monday night, but I managed to make Tuesday really productive. Sent out Wednesday gaming emails, did 2 tarot cards, practiced my languages, set up 14 more tarot cards for lessons, did my volunteer shift, helped a friend work up a budget for November, crocheted for maybe an hour or two, did a survey for the clinic where I had my mammogram, finalized names for a couple characters for a project I’ve been taking notes on, and did my 250 words. So, a great day!

Read or Decide?

(This post was moved to this site on 17 November 2018.)

I’ve spent a couple days trying to read through another of my incomplete WIPs without success. I’ve managed a little, but not much. Part of my mind insists on reading through everything, but the rest just wants to figuratively throw everything in eh air and make a decision right now. Can’t figure out what I should do.

Would kind of like a tarot reading on the issue, but I’m unwilling to ask my helpful tarot-reading friend for another, and I don’t feel confident enough of my own skills with the tarot (I’m just barely starting to learn) to do it. Probably going to have to bite the bullet and do so, though. My new early birthday gift tarot deck came in today. Bought it for myself for a variety of reasons, and I’m eager to do more than just shuffle the cards. There are way too many WIPs for me to choose from, so I’ll probably have to narrow the question down to “make a decision or not?” for the reading. Not sure what spread to use, as I want a good look at what’s going into my issues with reading the projects, but I don’t want to have to do a full Celtic Cross spread for it.

As things stand right now, I’m somewhat decided on what I’d like to work on beginning October: 1) Unwritten Letters — Actually decided on this, and I’m feeling impatient to get to it, which is probably part of what’s driving my desire to make a decision right now; 2) JID1 — I’m also fairly decided on this one. It’s languished for too long and holds enough fascination for me that it shouldn’t have been abandoned for so long, it’s just that it’s so much work and part of that work causes anxiety that I think keeps me stalled on it even with as enthusiastic about it as I am; 3) Brother Exile and Brother King — I have a very firm idea of the ultimate ending of this WIP, which is usually what I need, and the story is fun to work on (I really like the POVMC), but this is another I just haven’t been able to move on at all.

To be honest, I’ve been pretty much decided on these WIPs since I made the list in my previous post. So I think part of my psyche is balking at reading through the entire list of stories because of that. It’s thinking in my little hindbrain back there, If I’ve already decided what to work on, why do I need to read through the rest of these stories? And, I think it also wants to use this month to prepare for the writing to begin next month. Which would I guess include working on outlines for UL and JID1, making a decision on whether I want to reverse outline BEBK, and creating a nominal schedule for my life to be initiated on October First.

So, I guess I’ll stop trying to force myself to read for a day or two—say until Monday—and then make a decision on just what I want to do. I’ll examine my thoughts on it and try to draw the subconscious stuff to the surface. Maybe get or struggle through readings on one, a few, or (gasp!) all of the listed WIPs. We’ll see.

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