The Bright Idea Deck - Mark McElroy
Feeling chained to your desk? Boxed in by the demands of your current project? Trapped in a maze of predictable plot lines? Stymied by interpersonal conflict? With the Bright Idea Deck, you can deal yourself an idea, solution, or new perspective!

Creativity consultant, Tarot teacher and author Mark McElroy has created an ingenious, practical, and portable brainstorming tool: a powerful idea processor disguised as a deck of cards. This box set includes the deck, companion book, and white cardboard box for deck storage. Tarot enthusiasts will recognize the astrological symbols peppered throughout the cards, while Qabalists will easily identify the meanings of Hebrew letters portrayed in the cards. (For example, Cheth, the letter associated with The Chariot, means "fence"--and this card shows a Segway busting through a nice white picket!)

The Bright Idea Deck features 78 colorful cards illustrated by Eric Hotz which provide multiple perspectives for any situation including:

*Writer's block
*Brainstorming sessions
*Personal problems
*Sales, marketing, and advertising ideas
*Conflict resolution
*Pinpointing issues, motivations, assumptions, and overlooked factors
*Generating questions, options, and solutions
*Weighing pros and cons
*Building effective plans

In fact, you can even use the The Bright Idea Deck for ice breakers, attention-getting games, memory aids, and date or dinner ideas! You're only limited by your imagination. (And should that happen, this deck can help you break out of your creative rut!)

Many ad agencies and marketing teams use randomized images for brainstorming sessions. If this deck contained only pictures, it would be powerful enough. However, these cards incorporate other features that greatly enhance the effectiveness of the deck.

The Deck

Trumps The trumps are 22 cards identified by their purple border. These cards represent methods, motivations, and influences that deserve special attention.

Suit Cards The other 56 cards are divided into four suits: red, blue, yellow, and green.

Red cards address actions, desires, goals and intentions. This suit is a version of the traditional Fire/Wands suit in Tarot.

Blue cards address emotions, feelings, perceptions, intuitions, reactions, and prejudices. This suit is a version of the traditional Water/Cups suit in Tarot.

Yellow cards address decision making, logic, mathematics, strategies, responses, judgment, and reasoning. This suit is a version of the traditional Air/Swords suit in Tarot.

Green cards address material resources, the five senses, physical objects, and the environment. This suit is a version of the traditional Earth/Coins suit in Tarot.

Each of the numbers on the suit cards represents ten different stages, adding an extra dimension of meaning. In addition to number cards, each suit contains four special approach cards: Learning (traditionally Pages), Doing (traditionally Knights), Feeling (traditionally Queens), and Controlling (traditionally Kings).

For all cards, a helpful keyword is printed on the bottom. Also included are two extra cards: one lists the meaning of numbers 1-10, and the other shows the suit associations and meanings (including the Trumps).

The Companion Book

The 202 page companion book provides a wealth of information for getting the most out of your deck, including:

*Getting started
*Creating spreads
*Example spreads
*Interpreting meanings (including storytelling, decoding, listing and associating)
*Instant interviews
*Speed reading

There's even a section on "What Would The Trumps Do?" where one can brainstorm with the Trumps, asking each what they'd do in a particular situation. The author even provides a "cheat sheet" for this exercise-with 5 ideas for each of the 22 Trumps!

For each of the 78 cards, there are helpful instructions such as:

*Associations (what each cards encourages and cautions against)
*Exploration (a set of 5 questions intended to promote exploration)
*Commentary (comments by the author)

McElroy encourages you to discard any methods that confuses or displeases you.

If that's not enough, the end of the book outlines 50 different things you can do with the cards!

When I first got this deck, I had fun decorating the white box that comes with the kit: Using old magazines, I cut out letters of varying color, size, and font and glued them on one side to spell "Bright Ideas". You could adorn the box as you see fit, or choose to store them in a silk cloth or bag.

The Bright Idea Deck - Breakthrough To Brilliance Kit can be used for quick and simple idea generation, as well as for constructing plans, approaches, and projects of an elaborate nature. Whether you want to use the deck for party games, instant inspiration, or for serious insight, this deck will meet your needs. I am excited to see such an innovative, versatile product on the market, because it can truly be used by anyone. And, if you're a professional Tarot reader, there are no scary or potentially offensive cards in this deck (such as nudity) so the Bright Idea Deck could be used for more conservative clients and even for children.

I feel that this set of cards is one of the most underestimated, unappreciated, and under-exposed decks on the market. It can function as both a brainstorming tool AND an immensely readable, incredible accurate Tarot deck. The companion book to the Bright Idea Deck is truly a goldmine, because the author prods deck users to find their own answers while providing familiar images that invite contemplation, speculation, and inspiration. This would be a fantastic deck for journaling and self discovery, as well.

Below are 10 images from this deck:

Bright Idea Deck by Mark McElroy © 2005 Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.