Written By: Jordannah Elizabeth
Photo of the Summer Tarot Deck by Mary Shock. Photo: courtesy of Mary Shock
I am happy that there is a vulva in my tarot deck! – Mary Shock
Mary Shock has a gift. I’ve witnessed it first hand. The first time I met her was several months ago when I stumbled into an inclusive workshop for strange people. I was born strange. My mother told me the first time she realized I was “different” was when I sat in the front yard of my childhood home and dumped dirt over my head. I’ve been essentially running around the world, “dumping dirt over my head” ever since.
Anyhow, the workshop where I met Mary was last Spring. She and I were both attendees and politely promised to connect in the near future during everyone’s niceties at the end of the event, but it wasn’t until a bitter cold night in Baltimore a couple of months ago when I stepped into a lecture put on by her group, the Bmore Tarot Club that I saw her again. The lecture on the history of tarot was fascinating, and I was glad I attended.
Mary has this ability to create opportunities for people to learn. She doesn’t take advantage and she doesn’t hoard information like many metaphysical professionals do. She’s a portal for the local metaphysical community to gather and learn from one another in harmony. At the end of the lecture earlier this winter, all attendees got to check out different tarot decks from some of the teacher’s personal collection, and that’s when I was introduced to her Summer Tarot Deck.
Photo of the Summer Tarot Deck. Photo: Instagram/Mary Shock
Her handmade deck of 22 cards, depicting her imaginative version of the major arcana of the tarot were vibrant, sexy, creative and easy to interpret. I took them out of a little sack and held the cards in my hands, marveling at the diversity and international homage to people and images from all over the planet. After that interaction with her cards, she gave me a quick three card reading, which straightened my spine, and frankly a little bit of my life. We followed up with two more extensive readings in getting a closer look at the cards, which were at the moment bringing divination to my own experience, I realized the detail and thought she put into her cards.
The Judgment Tarot card depicts people reaching up to a angel who is looking down at them from the sky. When I look at the Rider Waite-Smith deck, I always felt like that angel was unattainable. But in Mary’s depiction, she adds a little latter that lent some connectivity between heaven and earth. I noticed this immediately, and told her that the latter was the access I longed for whenever I peered into this card. Her card intuited that she should add some realism, some grounding – some options and access to that dang angel.
Mary is awesome.
When I heard that she was throwing an official release for The Summer Tarot Deck, I felt, not only did I want to support her, but I owed it to her to attend her celebration and show my personal appreciation.
Victor F. De M. Torres, Alexander D’Agostino and Mary Shock. Photo: je
The release party had food and wine, and brief presentations were give by Mary and her friends, Victor F. De M. Torres, an intermedia artist and curator, and Alexander D’Agostino, interdisciplinary artist, teacher and arts organizer. Mary spoke about the evolution of her deck and Victor and Alexander shared presentations about their work and gave previews of what they are currently working.
Alexander D’Agostino at the Whole Gallery. Photo: je
After the presentations, I asked a question during the Q&A portion of the event that sparked a 20 minute collaborative conversation between the panelists and attendees about community healing, self love and our personal techniques of loving those around us. The event was a enlightening, peaceful and very connective.
You can order the Summer Tarot Deck and learn more about Mary Shock here.