Corporate Tarot: Minding Your Business with the Cards
Corporate Tarot is a unique self-published deck created by my Tampa Bay neighbor, Melanie McCarthy.
The deck is of average size, and come in a box with a lift-off lid. The cardstock is of good quality, flexible to shuffle, with a glossy finish. The deck does not come with a little white book (LWB). However, a lengthy, fully-illustrated companion e-book, also by McCarthy, is available for free download from the very helpful Corporate Tarot website. It was a very easy process to get the e-book downloaded into my iPhone.
Corporate Tarot deck is more than a theme deck about the business world. Corporate Tarot is specifically designed for use in the boardroom, in career development, and business strategy.
Truly, this deck is a good tool for anyone who has a job, a business or a career – and that’s just about everyone!
There are many unusual and creative elements to this deck, not the least of which are the card backs. The backs of the card are non-reversible, and they are also not all the same!
The card backs depict an urban business district. Each card back shows a distinct view and perspective. Some feature bridges, or billboards. Others show tall towers, or an urban skyline. These backs are meant to add to the interpretive value of the reading. In the e-book, the backs are described as a bonus, to be interpreted in whatever fashion the reader sees fit. To me, this is one of the most exciting aspects of this deck.
The deck’s structure is based on tarot, but designed to fit within the workplace theme. The Major Arcana is presented as “Strategy Cards”. The four suits Ace-Ten are “Tactical Cards”. The Court cards are “Myers-Briggs Personality Cards”.
This is not the first time a tarotist has drawn a connection between the sixteen Meyers-Briggs Personality Types and the sixteen Court Cards of tarot. In the Corporate Tarot “court”, the ranks are Manager, Mentor, Partner and Strategist. These do not seem to reflect age and gender as with traditional tarot, but rather personality and professional energy.
The Major Arcana card names are changed to fit the business theme. I can certainly see how these cards could be used, in divination, to decide on a particular strategy, or predict what another’s strategy might be.
For example, the Fool is exuberance, the Magician is Proficiency, the Hierophant is Training, the Devil is Negativity, Death is Promotion (that one is brilliant, I think).
The one Major Arcana association that didn’t make me smile is Card 11, Justice, as “Karma”. When every other Strategy card is named with a word chosen from business vocabulary, the word “Karma” sticks out like that one New-Agey crystal-adorned paralegal in the otherwise stuffy firm. Legality and ethics are such important aspects of the corporate world; I might have preferred a different label for this particular card.
I also didn’t love that the Star has become “Inspiration”, only because the suit of Wands has been renamed the Phase of Inspiration, and that seems confusing and redundant.
The Minor Arcana Ace through Ten cards are called phases rather than suits, but retain elemental associations. Phase I is Inspiration, or Fire, therefore the suit of Wands in a standard deck. Phase II is Research, associated with Air, and Swords in a standard deck. Phase III is collaboration, Water, and Cups. Phase IV is Expression, Earth, Pentacles.
I love that the Air suit is Research, and that Water is collaboration. What perfect ways to express those elemental energies in business terms!
Each Phase is described card-by-card in the book. McCarthy has tried to fit each minor card to an actual linear progression within its phase. In my opinion, some of this seems forced, and sometimes departs from the traditional energy of the card, even when that energy could easily fit into the Phase.
There is a special section in the e-book dedicated to professional tarot readers. I am looking forward to using this deck in planning and operating my own business. In my book, Fortune Stellar, I advise tarot professionals to use their decks to plan and create their businesses. How exciting that there is a deck designed for that actual purpose!
McCarthy sees a place for Corporate Tarot, not just as a kitschy theme deck, but as a tool to be used by actual corporate leaders, visionaries and employees. To me, this is not a far stretch at all. The community that embraced “What Color is My Parachute?”, “Who Moved My Cheese?” and “The One-Minute Manager” could easily accept Corporate Tarot.
So, what does the deck actually look like?
The cards are attractive, and exactly what you would expect a business-themed deck to be. The cards are color-coded in muted tones. Border-clippers, beware! This is not a deck that would work with borders removed.
Some of the deck images are photographic, others are illustrated, some are a combination. Much like a Marseille tarot deck, the Strategy (Major) cards, and the Personality (Court) cards are illustrated with people, while the Tactical (Minor) cards are illustrated with symbols.
Corporate Tarot may not be a deck for everyone, but it distinguishes itself by being a deck for a group of people who might not otherwise consider tarot a helpful tool.
I think that Corporate Tarot could help any tarotist improve their understanding of the ways tarot can speak to questions of business.
As a tool of career development for professional tarotists and their clients, Corporate Tarot could be invaluable.
See the cards in action!