I thought I should probably write some about the associations I came to for this deck, since they’re not traditional, and are based on my own personal interpretations and the weather and seasons here, in Australia.
The suits are named for the seasons.
Spring I’ve associated with water. Spring isn’t actually when we get most of our rainfall, but we do get a fair bit. Traditional suit-wise, it’s closest to wands, being about the new life, and shoots and buds appearing on the trees, which actually really starts happening in winter here, so Spring became cups.
Summer I’ve associated with fire. Bushfire season. We do get most of our rain in summer, but our lands are notoriously dry, and bushfire is a real part of summer. Fire ban days, and endless dry are common. Drought is more a part of summer in reality, than rain is. The traditional suit most associated here is Swords – sticks. The trees that burn.
Autumn is earth. The ground is cooling, and our crops are harvested. We don’t have a deciduous autumn, with red and orange leaves, but the trees do change. The odd tree turns, and there is more colour than our usual grey-gum-green in the trees. Stones and earth seem to me to be a natural pairing, which leads to the association with the traditional suit of pentacles.
Winter is air. There’s nothing quite like the air on a winters morning. It’s crisp, bright, clear and invigorating. It really is the embodiment of air. The suit of wands was most like my thoughts of buds and shoots that start here, and end in spring. Wands was a difficult choice to make between winter and spring, but water seemed the most logical choice for spring, so wands became winter.
I hope that explains a bit to you.
The name of the deck too, I’ll explain. It’s about my spiritual path, which is highly nature oriented – my Garden Path. The antipodean tarot bit came about as partly an explanation of the differences between this deck and traditional interpretations, due to the seasonal differences. We celebrate Midsummer at Christmas, don’t forget! Antipodean means opposite, or standing on different feet. It’s also used to describe Australia, and New Zealand too, as The Antipodes.
So this is my Australian tarot, celebrating my earthish spiritual path.