Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

July/August 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Wheel of the Year Tarot Review

This article was written by Barbara Moore on November 30, -0001
posted under Wheel of the Year Tarot

Summary

The Wheel of the Year Tarot beautifully and cleverly incorporates the setting and sensibility of the seasons. The combined symbols of seasonal holidays and traditional tarot enhance each other, making for a very beautiful deck that is a delight to read with.

In-Depth Review

The Wheel of the Year Tarot is one of the most cleverly designed pagan-based decks I’ve ever seen. Both the Major and Minor Arcana seamlessly incorporate the theme in a way that enhances the traditional meanings and expresses the theme.

My test for whether a deck is a true RWS-style deck is this: if the images are viewed without text, titles, or numbers, would a RWS reader be able to tell what cards they are? Using that yardstick, then these cards to remain true to the RWS tradition.

The suits and the courts are particularly fabulous. Each is assigned to a Pagan holiday and season which is expressed in the images by setting and sensibility in a way that adds to rather than fights with or detracts from the RWS meanings.

The Cups are associated with Imbolc and Ostara, and consequently with spring. The Wands are connected with Beltane and Litha, and obviously with summer. The Pentacles represent Lughnasadh and Mabon with a clear autumn feel. The Swords are assigned to Samhain and Yule, and cover the winter months.

It doesn’t hurt that these are the associations that always made most sense to me, although I know many readers favor other associations. 

There are two cards I’ll talk about here. There is a charming touch of the old European flavor of interpretation in these cards. It is slight, but clever. The 9 of Cups is a delightful image of a happy group of people on a picnic. Glasses are raised and smiles abound. In the foreground is a close up of a leaf. Perched on the leaf is a ladybug. In the US, it is said that ladybugs are lucky. If one lands on you, you can blow it away and get a wish. One of the old fortune-telling meanings of the 9 of Cups is that it is the Wish Card.

The other card is the 8 of Wands. In modern decks, we mostly see just eight wands moving quickly through the air. However, in European decks I’ve noticed there is a focus on receiving a message (as well as the usual fast-moving events). This deck shows that interpretation by including a hawk or falcon with a message tied to its leg. 

The Majors are very archetypal and completely free of any calendar structure. I like this a lot, as it lacks the feeling that so many themed decks of have of forcing correspondences on the cards that simply do not make sense. Instead the Majors are designed to incorporate seasonal images and symbols in ways that enhance the traditional meanings.

There is, alas, one very unfortunate card. Sadly, it is one of my favorites: the 3 of Cups. This one shows three young ladies holding aloft three strangely sturdy-looking chalices. They stand near a newly hatched duckling and look as if they are about to bash its brains in rather than toasting its birth. Just slightly creepy. This is probably a good thing or the deck may very well be perfect and I don’t think that is allowed.

The art is beautiful. The images are clear and evocative. It is easy and lovely to read with; it has become one of my favorites.

Attributes

Name of deck: Wheel of the Year Tarot

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo

ISBN: 9780738729565

Creator's name: Maria Caratti

Artist's name:  Antonella Plantano

Name of accompanying booklet: Wheel of the Year Tarot

Number of pages of booklet: 63 (14 in English)

Author of booklet: Maria Caratti

Available in a boxed kit?: no

Reading Uses: General

Focus: Seasons

Artistic Style: illustrative

Theme: Pagan holidays

Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot

Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes

Does it have extra cards?: No

Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: No

Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: No

Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: No

Why was deck created?: To view the tarot through the seasons.

Book suggestions for experienced Tarot users and this deck: Any beginner book, such as Tarot for Beginners.


In western ceremonial magick, there is often a tendency to view a magickal operation as something that is at odds with the natural order of the universe. This is very much the core of the western mindset, where nature is something external to oneself to be "conquered." Human individuality and the Will of the magician are thought to be somehow... read this article
Casting a Circle for Clairvoyant Readings
The Moon and Rainfall
6 Truths About Enlightenment
High Magick & Initiatic Orders
Planetary Meridians: 10 Gateways to Empowered Intuition

Most recent posts:
Traveling with Spirits
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Gregory Peters, author of the new Magickal Union of East and West. I enjoy traveling, and will fly...

Treatment Vs. Self-Medication
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jean-Louis de Biasi, author of Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum...

Cards of Endings
In tarot, many cards seem to share meanings, or at least aspects of meanings. For beginners this can be frustrating. One way I encourage people to...




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac
Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Sun Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Sun Sign Book
Horoscopes for Everyone!

By: Kim Rogers-Gallagher
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN