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So Below Court Cards

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on May 29, 2013 | Comments (4)

I am really proud of the court cards for both volumes of the Book of Shadows Tarot. Because Lo Scarabeo encouraged me to push the boundaries and explore new possibilities, I tried to meet the challenge.

Because Book of Shadows, vol. 2: So Below is meant to be closer to the RWS tradition (whereas As Above was meant to be a kind of re-imagining of what tarot can be), the court cards are grounded in the familiar Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. However, I did two things that I think shake things up and mess with our expectations.

Instead of letting rank decide the gender of the characters, I let the suits decide. And to play with our heads even more, I designed the “passive” suits (Cups and Pentacles) with male characters and the “active” suits (Wands and Sword) with female characters.

You know how we all play different roles in life? Sometimes we are a student, sometimes an activist, sometimes a confidante, sometimes a teacher or leader? Well, to help support that point, each suit has the same character taking on each of the ranks. Clever, yes? Well, I thought so.

So let me present the So Below Court Cards. I hope you like them!

Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 33Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 34Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 35Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 36


Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 47Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 48Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 49Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 50


Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 61Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 62Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 63Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 64


Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 75Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 76Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 77Deck Book of Shadows II NOREG 78

Reader Comments

Written By Courtney Weber
on May 29th, 2013 @ 9:19 am

Wow…Barbara! Those are just gorgeous! You *should* be proud!

Written By Chirotus
on May 29th, 2013 @ 11:33 pm

A friend of mine recently acquired both of the Book of Shadow decks and showed them to me this weekend.

They are amazing. This is a fantastic creation, and I salute you.

The way the So Below deck illustrates “mundane” situations is brilliant, and the As Above deck’s imagery is very evocative of how I do journey work.

Again, an amazing creation.

Written By Chloe
on June 3rd, 2013 @ 11:05 am

I absolutely loved this idea! It took me a little while to figure out what was going on, and I noticed the male/passive, female/active suit thing, too. I love when Court cards challenge my assumptions. Like the fact that the Kings are all with groups of people… Wonderful! 🙂

Written By M
on January 27th, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

I just bought this deck for my partner. We really appreciate the two couples you included on the Sword and Wand Queen cards. The representation really stood out, especially after buying several “erotic” decks that featured only straight couples (and some gross sexual violence).

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