Card deck provides insight, clarity, creator believes

Nov. 29, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.

The questions of whether to apply for a job, go bungee jumping or propose marriage can all be answered by drawing a card from a deck.

At least that's what Melissa Roth believes.

Roth, who describes herself as a writer with intuitive feelings, created Lifesongs Insight cards to help its users see their challenges, identify their resources and uncover any subconscious issues they need to address.

"It's called Insight cards to help people get clarity and to help people figure out what to do or what will help them on their way," said Roth, 55, of Victoria. "Everybody can use a little bit of guidance on how they can make positive changes in their life."

The 70-card deck is similar to the Rider-Waite tarot deck cards only in that they both contain different suits, Roth said.

The Lifesong cards contain suits for spirit, mind and heart.

Unlike the traditional tarot cards, the cards are not mystical and have nothing to do with divination.

Roth likened the cards experience to listening to a sermon at church.

Although the sermon was not written specifically for one person, it could be just the right message that person in the congregation needed to hear to make a change in their life.

Each card in the deck features a song title, symbols and colors and pictures designed to evoke musical connection to beliefs, emotions and memories for direction and perspective in life.

Because the cards pick up on a person's energies, beliefs and environment, the readings are meant to be a snapshot rather than a permanent indicator.

Roth, who is a longtime tarot card reader, said the idea to develop the cards came in 2003 after learning about a California psychologist who was using similar cards to help his patients' uncover their hidden subconscious.

She worked up a mock deck of her Insight cards on regular playing cards and spent years searching for just the right printer and artist, Roth decided to collaborate with three artists for the artwork.

Sandra Coffin and her two adult daughters, Michele Evans and Andrea Ezell, began working on the artistic design in early 2010.

The project was completed in January.

"I'm really proud of the cards, I think we did a really good job. We were able to unify our ideas and come up with a piece that we liked," said Coffin, as she described having to come up with a design with only the name of a song title and a brief description of what the card represented. "Some of them went together really OK. Others we agonized over."

So far, the cards have been a huge success, said Roth.

She has sold 53 decks from her first printing.

"I've had a pretty tough year emotionally. This reading assures me this is the way to go," said Tracy Beck, 42, who had her cards read during her lunch break.

Additionally, Roth said she did a reading for a friend who was considering reconciling with her ex-husband.

Her friend later reconciled with her ex, and they are still together.

"It's gratifying to feel like I'm helping people get more solid on a feeling," said Roth.

The cards have also proven helpful in her own marriage, said Roth.

When troubles arise between Roth and her husband, Dennis Tardan, Roth said the cards help the couple realize that perhaps the problem is not with each other, but rather an internal problem that one spouse is taking out on the other.

"That alone helps any relationship," said Tardan, who gets readings several times a week.

Although the deck is designed to be do-it-yourself, Roth said she has done about 50 readings for friends and family so far.



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