Although the Men’s Sacred Tarot deck was conceived to be used by men in particular, it can be used for all audiences due to the 3 levels of interpretation inside the deck. The deck is a collaboration between Patrick Bell (originator), Penelope Clement (traditional artist), and Lisa Culjis (graphic artist).
The first level allows for readings that heal on an individual basis, applicable to everyone. Many people have found an important insight for moving forward on their path after working with the deck on this level in readings by Penelope Clement.
Men’s healing. Racial healing.
The second and third levels apply specifically to healing men and the discord between races. Patrick Bell, the originator this deck, tells the story of its conception:
“About 10 years ago, I was meditating when, instead of the familiar stray thought running through my head, I heard a Voice (yes, That Voice) addressing me, ‘Patrick, you will do something about racial healing.’ I felt like it was a case of mistaken identity. What did I know about racial healing, or anything dealing with diversity? I was a 50-something white male. It scared the heck out of me and I stopped meditating at that point. The trouble was, the Voice never quite went away. Then, the universe presented me with an opportunity. I was asked to write an article on oracles, including the Tarot, about which I knew little. My research led me to develop a deck for men, since I was told there were no such commercially available decks, and also answer the Voice’s call to do something to promote racial healing.
Some time later I found my artist collaborators, Penelope Clement and Lisa Culjis, and over the next several years we built the deck more or less as I had originally envisioned it, with ample input from both Penny and Lisa. Who came up with which idea, I have no clue. The final product was channeled in ways none of us fully understands, but all of us love.”
In addition, the depictions in the Major Arcana are multicultural, drawing images from African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, European and Middle Eastern cultures. There are also some universal, non-culture-specific images (The Wheel of Fortune, The Star, The Shadow, The Prisoner). Each culture is honored in their representations. Eight new cards have been added to the Major Arcana: The Warrior, The Shadow, The Slave, The Prisoner, The Liberator, The Prophet, The Kahuna, The Poet, which can be removed for traditional readings. The Minor Arcana are more abstract and formalized, with no specific cultural allusions. The court cards are King, Queen, Prince and Princess, each representing an aspect of mastery inside their respective suits of Wands, Disks, Cups and Swords. The numbering scheme for the Minor Arcana is based on a cycle of light and dark that roughly follows a cosmogonist approach (i.e., the universal story of creation that every culture tells).
Lisa Culjis, the deck’s co-creator: “I knew very little about Tarot when Penny and Patrick invited me to create the Minor Arcana cards for the Men’s Sacred Tarot. I was moved by Penny’s beautiful Major Arcana paintings and Patrick’s healing vision for the deck and happily joined them as a co-creator. I chose to keep the imagery in the Minor cards bold and graphic to compliment the artwork in Penny’s Major cards. I loved the challenge of effectively expressing the meaning of the cards using minimal elements. The simple imagery also allows freedom for very individual, very personal exploration of a card’s significance/meaning in a spread.”