Pagan Tarot Deck
by Lucia Raimondo and Christano Spadoni
A review by - Crystal Wind, CTR, CPTR, CTC
This deck illustrates scenes from the life of a pagan or Wiccan. Rather than give each individual card a meaning or an explanation in the LWB, Wicce explains the Number system (aces through tens) and how the deck works by asking: What's happening? What's she feeling? How does the card work with other cards around it?
The deck doesn't show a lot of esotericism, but it does show pagan symbolism. The pictures in the minor arcane depict the action of the card's number. Colors are mostly muted blues, browns, yellows and greens. Intense colors for emphasis would be a nice addition. The daily life depicted matches (RWS) Rider Waite Smith meanings fairly closely. The deck is glossy, 2 5/8 and 4 ¾ and is easy to shuffle. The backs feature the same illustration as the World card and are not reversible. The World card shows a man and a woman on a floating rock. She has summoned all four elements (sylph, salamander, undine, gnome) with the help of the man. There is a fire over the horizon in the background. In the white border are the card title at the top and numbers in the right and left hand corners. At the bottom are card titles in four different languages.
Courts are renamed: Page/Elemental, Knight/Novice, Queen/Initiate, King/Elder. Wicce says that Courts are /snapshots of ourselves at various points of actualization. Suits are Earth/Pentacles/security; Air/Swords/perception; Fire/Wands/spiritual challenge; and Water/Cups/emotions. The (Pages) Elementals are Wands/Fire/Salamander; Cups/Water/Undine; Swords/Air/Sylph; and Pentacles/Earth/Gnome. The Queens and Kings/Elders wear stoles of colors that represent the suits. There are no thrones for royalty. Wands and swords are male and Cups and Pentacles are female.
Take a look at the cards activities. All the Aces have draped cloths in colors that match the suits. 3 of Wands is searching want ads. 9 of Wands has the setback of having a car towed.6 of Cups has a mother and daughter having a tea party with dolls. Page of cups is a beautiful undine under water. 8 of Swords has swords in a row like a gate and the person's hands are clasped. 10 of Swords has a woman stomping on the swords, breaking them to throw them in the trash.2 of Pentacles makes you wonder if the woman is having a hard time juggling career and her pagan life when you see two robed elders in her yard. The Fool shows a woman in a white robe with a white cat walking on the Milky Way. A religious figure in the Hierophant is overseeing a book burning and a woman looks on sadly from the side. Strength is a woman in the forest surrounded by forest creatures including a bear and a wolf. The Wheel is a pie chart on a computer screen.
The Pagan Tarot is a lovely deck to read with if you contemplate the cards in the way that Wicce mentions, taking time to ask questions. If you already know the RWS meanings, this deck can be used by beginners as well as professionals. This is a collector theme deck that Wiccans will especially appreciate. If you want to understand the pagan path, the Pagan Tarot is a tool that will help as you follow the initiatory process.