The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single stepLao Tzu
Hey Hey Hey and welcome back to the Nest, I hope you are bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, happy, healthy and most importantly safe! Today boys and squirrels we will be taking a look at the Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot by Kelly Burton. A 78 card vibrant tarot deck rich in symbolism and sacred geometry honoring the honey bee where a portion of the profits are donated to the Honeybee Conservatory.
First we will be discussing a little of the history and meaning into the creation of the Sacred Bee Tarot, do a flipthru and show off the deck and packaging and then of course discuss my thoughts and opinions around the deck! As always I will make sure to include any appropriate links so that if you want to see more, read more or purchase the deck you may!
A professional tarot reader with a 32 year history as a graphic art designer, first time deck creator Kelly Burton was inspired and driven by the plight of the honey bee and it’s integral importance in the web of all life on Earth. She began looking at their anatomy, proportions and how they have evolved into the species that pollinates the world – including much of the human food supply. After playing around with sketching bees she began to notice how sacred geometry played a role and how through these shapes: the flower of life, the human face and all biology is connected.
An honorable mention is that a portion of the proceeds from every deck purchased will be donated to the Honeybee Conservatory. Their mission as a honey bee charity is to bring inspiration and education to schools and communities. They work to create more habitat for bees and also partner with gardens and urban farms across the U.S. and Canada to create bee sanctuaries that pollinate, educate and help build a greener, more sustainable world.
The Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot is a 78 card deck based in the RWS system, slightly bigger than your standard tarot card size, printed on a heavier quality stock, matte finish and GOR-GEOUS blue foiling on the backs and gilded sides! The deck was originally a Kickstarter campaign that raised $20k over it’s funding goal to bring this project to life. The Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot was one of several decks I brought attention to during my quarterly series where I like to raise awareness around Decks to Come. If you haven’t seen this before make sure to follow along for future articles to stay on top of all the quality decks coming out throughout the year and get the jump on crowd funding campaigns before they happen!
Let’s go ahead and get some of the superficial, but still equally important to me, out of the way…
I am super impressed with the quality of this tarot deck! The mix media collage-style art is just beeutiful (see what I did there?) and the bright, vibrant colors make me so happy to look at. My immediate reaction is that this is the perfect Spring time deck to work with, but honestly, if your someone like me that suffers from seasonal depression, using such a radiant and positive deck like this even during the darker times of the year is a much welcomed feeling! The card stock is so yummy and to be a perfect blend between quality and functionality. It is a little bit more difficult if you are a riffle/bridge shuffler but not impossible at all. If you have smaller hands I suspect it potentially can be a little more difficult to handle as it’s slightly bigger than a standard tarot card size so just bee aware. The blue gilding and foiling just add this fun pop of color that compliments the deck well and really takes the quality of the cards themselves to a higher level. The box is my favorite magnetic durable box, fully colored with ribbon. The little white book is just that, an 82 page little white book with colored matte finish cover…it gives me just enough to be able to read and work with the deck, if you are a book lover you may not be head over heels with it, but I certainly don’t think this would be a deal breaker what-so-ever. And honestly… with a price tag of $47 USD this tarot deck is a great example of a good value for your money!
Diving into the deck itself I want to point out some things that make the Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot unique. Unlike a traditional RWS deck, Kelly Burton has put her own spin on some of the cards, adding titles, changing some names and including symbolism within the major arcana. As a new tarot reader who may be used to working with a traditional deck I could see where this might be a tiny hurdle to get over but I have found the more that I have worked with the deck the more I have come to appreciate these changes. Just like with most decks, and really anything in life, I focus on the things that serve me and any of the ‘extras’ I don’t allow it to get me caught up for now…
Starting with the majors one can find two symbols at the top corners of each of the cards. The top left symbol has the corresponding Hebrew symbol and the top right- corner has the elemental symbol. Now to be quite frank I have NO idea what the meaning or message behind the Hebrew symbols are supposed to mean, they are not addressed in the book, BUT for those that find importance in it then great, otherwise these are one of those things I don’t need to pay attention to for now 🙂 As I mentioned before where some of the titles have been changed we can see the Fool is ‘the Journey’ and Temperance is now ‘Alchemy.’ Other prominent places we see this change of wording is in the suits being: Swords, Disks, Cups and Wands, although they are not labeled as such we do see a ‘S, D, C’ or ‘W’ in the bottom left corner of the card to indicate what suit the card is in and to assist the reader.
Although it threw me off a little when first looking at it I like how the Ace’s are titled “Root of the Powers of.” So the ace of swords is titled “Root of the Powers of Air.” Which is kinda different and I like it 🙂 The court cards are also slightly changed in their titles and can be read as: Princess, Knight, Queen and King. Just like we can see symbols added in the Majors, the minors have corresponding Planetary and Astrological signs located at the bottom of the cards with the cards Keyword. For instance the 2 of cups, or 2C is ‘love’ with Venus in Cancer symbols. I know some people can get thrown off or prefer their decks to not have any wording on the cards but personally I think that the borderless cards full of it’s image one would not get too distracted from any keys strategically placed at the bottom of the card. Everyone is different though, and I’m sure others will find if not the keywords then perhaps the symbolism helpful!
Throughout Kelly Burton’s deck sacred geometry plays an integral role not just in the art, but in the design, form and function of the deck. In the back of the guidebook Kelly further explains what sacred geometry is, how it influenced her art and how she incorporated this into the deck. Giving several examples as the Flower of Life, the Tree of Life, Metatron’s Cube and the Vitruvian Man.
As a lover of sacred geometry and someone who has several tattoos incorporating sacred geometry into my own art I could geek out on this for hours! What I found to be SO cool was not only did Kelly include sacred geometry in the art, but the actual freaking dimensions of the cards themselves!!!
I wanted the deck to be associated with the number 5 and that is why the deck is 5″ tall. You can go down many wormholes as to the significance of 5, such as the fifth element, the quintessence; the element of Spirit. The list goes on.
I also wanted the deck to be in alignment with the perfect form in nature, the golden ratio or phi- the number 1.618…. So the dimensions of the deck were designed to be 3.09″x5″
You’ll find the number phi in the great pyramids. The patterns produced by a nautilus shell and the center of a sunflower show the spiral pattern of the golden ratio repeated in an endless and beautiful spiral.Kelly Burton
- Check out the Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot video where I show off some of my tattoo’s with sacred geometry
Overall the Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot by Kelly Burton is certainly a deck I would recommend for those that are called to work with it! This unique deck based in the RWS system is rich with symbolism incorporated not only into the artwork but the design of the deck itself. For those that appreciate keywords, Hebrew letters, elemental, planetary and zodiac correspondences this deck tastefully includes it within it’s artwork without being distracting to those that may not find it necessary. From the overall quality of the cards to the packaging for $47 USD your overall value is great. Especially knowing that part of the proceeds go to the Honeybee Conservancy helping to make our world a better place!
A special thank you goes out to Kelly Burton for sending me an extra deck and tarot bag to do a giveaway! When she found out I backed her project she wanted to send me some love so I could pass that on! I will be doing the giveaway next week for one of my Patron’s for being so awesome and supportive of me and my content! If you would like to become a Patron to have opportunities like this now and in the future for deck giveaways along with special behind the scenes content feel free to click the link and check it out 🙂
Do you have or have you worked with the Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot? If so what are your thoughts or experiences? Comment down below and share with the rest of the Squirrel Nest so we can all learn and grow together!
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