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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Witchy Tarot Deck Review

This article was written by Barbara Moore on May 12, 2009
posted under Witchy Tarot

Summary:
The Witchy Tarot is like your best friend: smart, pretty, funny, surprising deep and always cleverÖand always very real and honest. It helps you embrace your power while accepting your shortcomings. This deck gives great Tarot readings but it also provides a mini-primer for those new to the Craft. Sprinkled throughout, the reader will learn about useful tools and animal and plant lore as well Wiccan celebrations, moon phases, and goddesses. With the Witchy Tarot, you get great advice and have fun while youíre doing it.

Actual Review:
Just because something is cute and fun, doesnít mean itís not powerful and serious. In many ways, people are at their most powerful when theyíre feeling good, looking good, and having a good time. The Witchy Tarot deck is like that, too. It looks good and it is certainly having a good time. As you work with it, youíll find that you can have fun with it and also find lots of help, guidance, and answers delivered with a sense of style and a sense of humor.

The Witchy Tarot combines elements of classical Tarot and traditional Witchcraft with an undeniably young vibe. But before we look at some of the sass, letís take a look at the structure of this deck, which is, for the most part, clever, innovative, and useful. First, twenty-one of Major Arcana cards are divided into three groups: Tools, Plants, and Animals. This gives a balance to the Majors and showing aspects of the Craft, making it a kind of primer, introducing users to various items encountered on the Wiccan path. The only Major not so grouped is the Devil, also called (in this deck) LeonardoÖas in Da Vinci. It is rather interesting, really. This card shows Leonardo as one who can make machines that imitate nature but arenít natural, going outside the flow of Witches, who celebrate and honor nature. Leonardo gives the illusion of nature that is really a machine and the Devil card gives the illusion of freedom that is really bondage.

One of my favorite parts of this deck is the court cards. Normally, the court cards give readers nothing but trouble. Itís easy to see why. We donít really relate to the hierarchy of page, knight, queen, and king, even if we understand it intellectually. Also, the images of these figures in the cards are usually just sitting there. But thatís another discussion for another time. Instead of Pages, the Witchy Tarot uses these cards to represent celebrations: Imbolc, Lammas, Beltane, and Samhain. Using the cross-quarter days is a good idea, since the solar festivals are usually better known, again, making this a nice primer for a beginner. The Knights, typically fast-moving energy, are in this deck the phases of the moon: full, waning, waxing, and new. The Queens become goddesses: Bona Dea, Hecate, Holda, and Morrigan, providing a nice sampling of different pantheons. Changing the Kings to Trials is an interesting approach and illustrates how all forms of authority (usually associated with the kings) are not honorable, particularly the "Initiation and Kiss" card. The other Trials are: Sabbat with Dancing, The Brand of Fire, and Flight with Whip and Broomstick.

The structure provides stability and instruction. The images on the cards have the personality and specific messages. One thing about this deck is the sense of realness. Not every card is given a positive spin. Life isnít always fun; learning to accept and deal with all parts of life is part of the deal. In these cards, the witches are sometimes lost, failing, or being deceived. Sometimes they are mean and petty. They also learn and succeed. They are brave and kind. They are smart and determined. Just like real people. Again, itís like a primer, showing someone new to the Craft that becoming a witch does not automatically solve all problems.

One of my favorite cards is the 2 of Boulders. It shows two young witches in the middle of a small stone circle. They are fighting. One is holding a beaded necklace; the other, a bunch of beets. When I first saw it, I stared, wondering "what the heck?" Then I started laughing. They are fighting because of a misunderstanding. They apparently agreed to meet and make a swap. One thought they were swapping beets; the other, beads. If I brought some nice beads, I sure wouldnít want to trade them for beets, either. Another clever card isnít quite as funny and portrays a really poignant and tender scene in which a young Witch learns the hard way that people can sometimes just really suck. The card shows her in a clearing at night. A cat, toad, and donkey are around her. Her clothes are in a pile in front of her. She is shivering in the cold night air, holding a candle with one hand and trying to cover herself with her other. The donkey picks up her hat with his teeth and seems to be handing it to her. It looks like she was tricked into taking off her clothes (we all know that if anyone says you must take off your clothes to get Wiccan training, you should run, not walk, away; but she didnít know this). And now the donkey is trying to "help." He is helping by handing her, first, the least needed piece of clothing and, second, to take it from him, she has to expose herself. The meaning given for the card is "small betrayals hidden behind a favor." Indeed.

This deck is like the kind of person Iíd like to be friends with: smart and grounded, but also clever, witty, and wise. Itís pretty and stylish, fun and sassy. Itís challenging but not too crazy. Itís both reliable and surprising. It reads very well and is wonderfully accurate and clearósomething many readers will appreciate. I know I did. This deck gets used when I need to be able to laugh at myself without denigrating myself; when I need to accept my shortcomings and embrace my power. In other words, it gets used quite often.

Deck Attributes
Name of deck: Witchy Tarot
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
ISBN: 9780738704456
Creatorís name: Laura Tuan
Brief biography of creator: A prolific creator of oracle and tarot decks and author of divination books.
Artistís name: Antonella Platano
Brief biography of artist: A comic book artist, Antonella has also illustrated the Tarot of 78 Doors and the Gay Tarot.
Name of accompanying book/booklet: Witchy Tarot
Number of pages of booklet: 62 (14 in English)
Author of booklet: Laura Tuan
Available in a boxed kit?: Yes. The kit includes a more extensive book. Itís also available as a mini-deck.
Reading Uses: General; Romance
Artistic Style: Comic
Original Medium: if known (examples: oil, chalk, pencil, digital)
Theme: Traditional Wiccan principles in a modern setting with a sense of humor
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: No
Does it have extra cards?: No
Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: Yes, as follows:
The Magician: The Witch
The High Priestess: The Priestess
The World: The Universe
Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: Yes, as follows:
Cups: Cauldrons
Pentacles: Boulders
Wands: Flames
Swords: Broomsticks
Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: Yes, as follows:
Page: Celebration
Knight: Moon
Queen: Goddess
King: Trial
Why was deck created?: To explore Tarot from a Wiccan perspective with young-at-heart, cheeky sense of humor.
Book suggestions for Tarot beginners and this deck: This deck also comes in a kit form that includes a companion book that is helpful.
Alternative decks you might like:The Pagan Tarot, The Sorcererís Tarot, The Robin Wood Tarot.

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