A brilliant attempt to present the Tarot, Wicca, and the Wiccan aspects of sexuality. The deck, filled with brilliance and inspiration, can soar above the limitations of the medium. It is an ideal choice for meditative work and for Tarot art collectors.
Purple is everywhere in this deck! It’s the main color of the outside of the beautiful satin bag that comes with the deluxe version of the deck. It’s the color of the back of the deck (which has the same design as that on the bag). It’s the color of the large border on each card.
The graphics are easily as good as that found on many modern decks. It has a sort of cartoony-mangaish style that is very popular today. The major difference between the drawings on this deck and that of other Tarot decks is that artist Elisa Poggese did not shy away from nudity. There’s plenty of nudity here, including some very sexual images:
The Lovers has a pose from the Kama Sutra. Obsession (RWS=The Devil) appears as a kinky S&M scene with a woman chained to a large pentagram and a man, fully erect, in a devilish mask. Eruption (RWS=The Tower) shows a couple having ecstatic intercourse with a volcano erupting in the background. One-Ness (RWS=The World) has a couple in the sitting "yab-yum" position surrounded by the zodiacal symbols and the Earth in the background. The two of cups shows two women kissing and more. The 5 of cups shows a naked woman abandoned by a naked man who is more interested in holding another naked man. Acolyte (RWS=Prince) of Cups shows a young man riding a dolphin by holding the dolphin’s large dorsal fin in a masturbatory gesture. The 2 of Wands shows the back of two naked young men standing side by side, arms familiarly over each other’s shoulders. The Mother (RWS=Queen) of Swords incongruently shows a lounging, bare-breasted young woman receiving a named man holding a platter with a decapitated head (Salome and John the Baptist?). If you’re not open to this kind of imagery, this deck is not for you.
Does this deck achieve its goal of representing sex and sensuality from a viewpoint of Wicca? Because Wicca has grown to encompass so much, it is impossible to state "Wicca is X" as there is bound to be some person or group who will say "No, Wicca is not X." Generally speaking, however, Wicca has what might be called a "sex-positive" attitude. That is, all forms of sexuality between consenting adults are approved. This is tempered with one of the most accepted beliefs of Wiccans (although again, not by all) known as the "Wiccan Rede": if it doesn’t harm anyone, do what you will. Therefore, non-traditional relationships are allowed as long as nobody is being hurt—mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Lesbianism, homosexuality, multiple partners, S&M are okay if all involved agree and nobody is hurt in any way. Further, one aspect of Wicca is the acknowledgement that sexuality is an aspect of spirituality. In the "Charge of the Goddess," recited by many Wiccans during certain rituals, it says, "Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals."
With that understanding, the answer to the question at the start of the previous paragraph is decidedly, "Yes!" Some of the imagery is imaginative and powerful. For example, Lust (RWS=Strength, but this seems taken from the Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot) shows a naked woman astride a galloping horse, clearly ecstatic with a lust for life itself. This is just wonderful imagery and certainly Pagan in tone. Time (RWS=Wheel of Fortune) is nothing short of spectacular. It shows the three aspects of the Wiccan goddess—Maiden, Mother, and Crone—as the Greek Fates, with the crone, Atropos, holding a knife to cut the thread of life at the end of our days. Behind them is the entrance to a dark cave in the form of a vulva, indicating that the power of fate itself is truly related to the power of women and the Goddess. This card alone is worth the price of this deck!
Because of the direction and uniqueness of the deck, it doesn't always match the divinatory meanings of the RWS deck. For example, Arising (RWS=Judgement) shows a sleeping man astral projecting. The Mother (RWS=Empress) shows a woman walking a child and leading a horse. The Chariot shows an empty chariot with a man and a woman astride horses that draw the cart. None of these are related to the RWS model, but they have their own meanings that, with practice and intuition, you'll determine for yourself.
The LWB includes two spreads and a meditation that could be helpful for a relationships and for understanding each other more thoroughly.
Name of deck: Sensual Wicca Tarot
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Creator’s name: Nada Mesar
Artist’s name: Elisa Poggese
Name of accompanying booklet: Sensual Wicca Tarot
Number of pages of booklet: 64 (14 in English)
Available in a boxed kit?: Yes. The set includes the deck and a beautiful lined satin drawstring bag. The lining is silver and the exterior is violet. The bag is embroidered with silver Wiccan symbols: the full moon with waxing and waning moons on either side and a pentagram in the center. Above it is a dagger and below is a chalice and wand.
Magical Uses: Meditation
Reading Uses: All general readings, especially those for relationships
Ethnic Focus: multicultural
Artistic Style: Modern graphic
Theme: Multicultural Wicca with a focus on sensuality.
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes
Does it have extra cards?: No
Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: Yes. They are:
The High Priestess
The Hanged Man
The Two Vessels
Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: No, however the court cards are renamed. Page, Prince, Queen and King become Maiden, Acolyte, Mother and Sage.
Why was deck created?: According to the little white book (LWB) that comes in the kit: "This deck explores the themes of sex and sexuality from a spiritual point of view and, in particular, through the Wicca belief and symbology. It is intended as a tool to facilitate exploration, meditation, and communication."