I’ve had this for some time now, but haven’t gotten around to doing a post on it. I was lucky enough to find a pristine used copy (Ebay, where else?). It was originally published in 1994, so it’s not new, but it was new to me. This deck is by the same authors who brought us the Druid Plant Oracle: Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, and illustrated by Will Worthington (Wildwood Tarot, et al). In a way the Druid Plant Oracle (which came out in 2007) was designed to be a companion to this one, in that the cards are exactly the same size (roughly 3”x5”) and style allowing the decks to be combined for a reading, but in this deck the backs are done in a dark blue where the Druid Plant Oracle is done in green. This set includes a hardback book (in contrast to the DPO’s softcover), as well as a spread cloth decorated with Celtic design and what I think are the four dragons (water, earth, fire, air) depicted on four of the cards in the corners, done in a somewhat sparkly silver metallic paint.
There are 33 cards, and 3 blank cards that you can either illustrate yourself or leave out. I’m no artist, guess which I’ll be doing. The book devotes four pages to each card, and in the tradition of the Druids is heavily focused on restoring the natural balance. The Introduction of the book begins with a quote from Chief Seattle from 1855: “when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men” it will signal “the end of living and the beginning of survival.” We forget our ancient native traditions and lose our connection to nature at our own peril, essentially. The authors make no bones about calling out the Book of Genesis mandate to ‘subdue every living thing’ (Gen. 1:26) as the signal of the beginning of the end. As with all of the decks Worthington is involved in, it is primarily concerned with reconnecting to and re-embracing our pagan past. Accordingly, this deck will not be for everyone. For me, it fits like a glove, especially these days when I am (ok, I’ll say it) obsessed with my heritage and the ancient, pre-Christian Celts.
The artwork is gorgeous, and once again I had a hard time deciding which cards to show.
The authors make a note in Chapter Two, “The Sacred Animals of the Druid Tradition” that “The interpretations should not be read as predictions, but should be used to provide words of advice, insights into the inner dynamics behind events.” I think that’s a good thing to keep in mind with any deck, and any reading. Ultimately the choice of how to act is up to us.