Whether you consider this the age of Aquarius or nah, it’s hard to deny how powerfully mainstream both cannabis and the esoteric have become.
The normalization of plant medicine, moon rituals, and the iconographic tarot have made New Bohemians out of a diverse segment of the population. We see zodiac placement on dating profiles, Major Arcana art prints in department stores and a global buzz around functional fungi, ancestral herbs, and cannabinoid wellness.
Whether you call it sorcery, enlightenment or revolutionary hippie residue, tarot and cannabis have been used for generations to access and navigate intuition. Frankly, it was only a matter of time before someone married the two concepts. And while The Psychic Mary Tarot Deck may, at first blush, seem an superficial coupling of weed and woowoo, a closer inspection actually reveals an interpretation thoroughly suited to our times.
Who is Psychic Mary?
The Psychic Mary Tarot Deck was created by celebrity psychic Jusstine Kenzer, aka PsychicGirl. Psychic Mary’s decks are reinterpretations of Rider-Waite cards—the best-recognized tarot iconography—and, as such, can be navigated with most contemporary tarot guidebooks.
Though Psychic Mary’s deck utilizes Rider-Waite’s structure, Kenzer introduced an iconography and terminology with Psychic Mary that, while potentially eliciting double takes from tarot-fluent users, will resonate clearly with varsity stoners.
Kenzer’s Major Arcana cards lack expressively gendered caricatures and detailed, symbolic tableaus of its more traditional contemporaries. Instead, this deck relies on straightforward, uncluttered single images against plain, white backgrounds. Some cards are comically simplistic in their accuracy (Judgement represented by a DEA badge, The Sun represented by a fluorescent grow light), while others require a more developed comprehension of tarot (The Empress represented by a single, sprouted seed, or Temperance presented as an empty bong).
Although Psychic Mary’s Minor Arcana rely on the Rider-Waite structure, they’re much more complex in their cannabis user-oriented reimagining. Rather than suits of Staffs, Swords, Coins and Cups, Psychic Mary’s Minor Arcana are organized by Grinders, Lighters, Pipes and Papers.
The face cards eschew royal terminology in favor of pothead vernacular, swapping Grower for King, Dealer for Knight, Smoker for Queen, and Tender for Page. The Minor Arcana are reliant on numerology rather than tarot’s established, highly visual folklore.
Test-Driving the Psychic Mary
There are no fewer than five tarot decks in my house, but I’m not out here giving free readings on full moons. I just happen to appreciate small-scale works of art and guided introspection, both of which good tarot can provide.
When I broke open the Psychic Mary deck, my first impression was that this particular deck wasn’t likely to deliver on either of those fronts. But on closer inspection, I saw a deck that actually felt both intentional and authentic to stoners and spiritualists alike.
My first spread was a simple, three-card arrangement meant to turn my inner eye toward my past, present and future. For the past, I pulled the Eight of Pipes, for the present the Ten of Lighters, and for the future the Eight of Grinders.
I was stoned to the bone as I pulled cards, so I had to consult the reference card several times before Psychic Mary’s language settled into my memory. I pulled another three cards, this time an Empress card represented by a single, dancerly splash of (bong?) water, Death represented by ashy chunks of black resin, and The Emperor represented by a chic leather couch.
By my third pull, it occurred to me that seeing such elaborate icons reduced to these relatable cannabis associations would be an awesome way to introduce my less mystical-minded homies to the fun, totally subjective contemplativeness of the tarot. This deck may appear superficial, but that lightheartedness could introduce tarot as fun and accessible rather than performatively witchy.
Our household is less concerned with divination than introspection, and to that end, The Psychic Mary Tarot Deck is a fine addition to our collection. But I think the real value in this deck is how easily and entertainingly it can introduce an everyday stoner to the self-reflection of a good-ass tarot reading, which is something everyone, Aquarian stoner or nah, can make good use of.
Get it from: psychicmary.com