The core reason is we wanted our cards to reflect themes that felt deeply authentic to us and to the vibe of our deck. The classical virtues have ties to ancient philosophy and theology, and one can certainly find valuable wisdom in such things. But they can also come across as a bit rigid and dated. The title of our deck features the word EXPANSION and this particular portion of the deck beckoned for an expansive reimagining.
This was a gift to us as deck creators because it was the first time we had a completely open-ended card creation experience. We certainly feel our unique voice and vision resides in all the cards of both the Expansion Pack and the Spacious Tarot, but in creating most of our cards we were operating within an existing underlying deck structure. The values cards ushered us into a different dimension of card creation.
The conceptual difference between value and virtue is subjective and depends on who you ask. From my perspective, virtues are external and prescriptive. Virtues are assigned in a hierarchical way, by a person or system assumed to have greater knowledge or spiritual power. Values are different in that they are internal. Of course values are still influenced by cultural paradigms. But values arise within you naturally and correlate to your unique soul. Values are deeply personal, based on an internal resonance of how YOU feel called to live.
How we landed on these particular values
As mentioned above, creating the value cards was a delight. But it also presented some unique challenges. Once we decided to create value cards, some big questions arose: what values will we feature? How will we know if they will resonate with folks who find their way to the deck?
As we shared in the first lesson, we’ve come to think of these decks as energetic realms. So in bringing forward the value cards we started with the inquiry: what values arise in this energetic realm? To begin we had a list of maybe ten or fifteen words. Eventually we narrowed it down to these five: Connection, Curiosity, Offering, Transcendence and Spaciousness.
It’s hard to describe in words precisely why we chose these themes. Intuitively, this was what felt right. The same can be said of our process in selecting the imagery. The audio guide and paper guidebook go a little more in depth into analyzing the imagery of each card if you’d like more insight, but it was mostly a matter of tapping into our intuition.
Some of the images took a few tries to get them right, most notably Spaciousness. This card felt particularly important to us because Spaciousness is a key theme of both our tarot and oracle decks! Spaciousness was the very last card we finished in the Expansion Pack and it is one of our favorites. This card was very inspired by the Judgement card in our tarot deck. In creating this image Annie played into the colors of the door in Judgement. It’s as though with Spaciousness, you’re now fully immersed in that portal.
Ways to read with the value cards
Values as Amplifiers
We share one of our favorite ways to read with the value cards in the guidebook that comes with the deck: using them as amplifiers.
To do this, shuffle in the value cards with your tarot cards and proceed to read as you normally would. Any time a value card comes up in a reading, consider it as an amplifier of the tarot card behind it. The value card amplifies the tarot card by adding a new layer of meaning. If you ever read tarot cards in combination with one another, this is the same basic concept.
We shared an example on Instagram in which Transcendence is an amplifier to the Guardian of Swords. How does this value card interact with this tarot card? There are infinite ways to interpret any combination. Perhaps this pairing could be a reminder to take your focus away from petty BS and attune to the bigger picture.
Here’s an activity to try which is similar to something we shared in the lesson on the zodiac cards. Look at the five values cards and ask if there’s one you’re particularly called to cultivate at this time. Shuffle only your selected value card in with your tarot deck. Then look through the deck face up until you find your value. The tarot cards in front and back offer advice on cultivating this value at this point in your life.
A slight variance on this variety: instead of consciously choosing a value card, begin by shuffling the five value cards face down and pick one at random. This is a good option if you’re more open to synchronicity and trusting what comes up. Proceed with the rest of the activity as described above.
That’s what we have for you today! Our next lesson will focus on another question we’ve received frequently: how can you use the Expansion Pack on its own, independently of the tarot deck?
We’re excited to connect with you again soon!