Witches Tarot

UPDATE: 10/4/2014 – As this post is getting a lot of hits lately, I thought I should add that the deck has in fact grown on me, as I thought it might, and I find myself reaching for it to read with quite often.


My latest addition to my collection is the Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan, illustrated by Mark Evans. They always hook me in with any title that includes the word “Witch” so I quickly pre-ordered it when I found it listed at Amazon. I also own the Tarot of the Witches by Ellen Cannon Reed, the Witches Tarot by Fergus Hall, the Witch Tarot by Beth Seilonen.

The art is all done in Photoshop (I’m sure you could tell) as so many decks are today. I find this somewhat disappointing. While this allows for a great deal of realism in certain aspects (the faces are almost too detailed, nearly a photographic level which I find distracting) there’s getting to be a sameness in a lot of these decks.

I have to admit to being underwhelmed by this one. Despite the claims of it being “perfect deck for all devotees of the Craft” it is a Rider-Waite-Smith clone, with a few notable exceptions in the card designs. Judgement has been replaced by Karma,

The Devil is “The Shadow Side”, The Moon is what I’m calling a Wiccan High Priestess (although what she’s doing leading a pack of wolves I don’t know)

The Ace of Cups, while still a single large cup/vessel/chalice shows the four streams of water pouring out (signifying the four elements/directions) the dove of the Holy Spirit with the communion wafer is gone.

find the Two of Swords a little odd. Normally the person holding the swords has them at even angles, indicating a precarious balance. This card shows them at obviously uneven angles which would say to me things are out of balance already, you’re losing control.

On the plus side, it’s very colorful, and the narrow black borders are nice. You can see all the Majors at the official Web site, and a few of the minors.

The book gives a black and white illustration of each card, about a page of description, and half a page of interpretation and keywords/deity associations/astrological association/reversed meanings. There are a few spreads given, and some ideas for using Tarot cards in your spellwork. On the whole, I have to say I probably could have lived without this one. It’s not particularly pagan, except for a handful of cards. It may be one that grows on me with time.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. submerina says:

    I think the Moon is supposed to be Hecate (read it on the official blog… I think…) 😐 though She is typically accompanied by hounds not wolves. All I see is Blondie ha ha!

    It’s so funny that you mentioned the 2 of Swords – that card also has me uttely confused! I stood in front of the mirror, in case they did it to be more anatomically correct, but no.

    What is up with the Magician?? Must be his Most High Ceremonial Master of Thee Arkane (TM) face. And don’t _even_ get me started on the High Priestess… There are way too many rage-inducing cards in this one. Do you think, mebbe, that you should start throwing ohhhh, I don’t know… glitter and stuff at it? ;D

  2. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Hehehehe! Glitter… yes… hmm…

    The Justice card bothers me. I removed that para from the post, but the head seems out of proportion, too big for the body.

    The thing that bugs me is it’s not particularly pagan/Wiccan-oriented, with the exception of the Wheel, Karma, the World, maybe the High Priestess. Other than that it’s a straight-up RWS clone. The Wizard’s Tarot is much more overtly pagan. Barbara Moore’s Book of Shadows Tarot decks are due out this year and next, but from what I’ve seen of those I’m not overly excited about those either. Where are the visionaries??

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