Here’s a gem I stumbled across on EBay a few weeks ago. It’s a self-published deck from England, and very probably the single most pagan Tarot deck I have seen. While it’s based on the Rider-Waite, there are significant changes to many of the cards. I wish I could show you the whole deck, but copyright prevents this. While the art is not always sophisticated (some of the figures, particularly on the court cards) seem somewhat flat, there are others that really stand out.
One thing I love is the cards are borderless, and large. The card stock seems good, far less flimsy that certain commercial publishers’ decks. They’re not slick, so handling them is more sure and they’re not likely to simply slip as you shuffle them. They are large, roughly 97mmx148mm (just over 3 6/8″ x 5 7/8″) so those with smaller hands might find them a challenge to shuffle but there are other ways of mixing.
The biggest change is in the courts. We have the standard page and knight in each suit, but the Queen and King are featured together on a single card, giving us only three court cards for each suit, rather than four. I think this is intended to be the equalizing of Goddess and God that is prevalent in most Wiccan traditions (although some exalt the Goddess above the God).
The minors are essentially pips, but each suit has a background to go with the season of the year it’s traditionally associated with (winter for pentacles, for instance).
The deck came in a white tuck box, inside a cotton drawstring bag, along with a small stone (not sure what it is, it’s blue in color) which I thought was a nice touch. Included was a single page of interpretations and correspondences to explain the runes and Celtic tree/Ogham alphabet used on each card, but it only covered the first twelve cards. I contacted the seller who apologized for the oversight and promised to send the rest of the sheets that go with the deck. It’s also heavily scented by incense which is presumably burned or at least stored in the shop. There doesn’t seem to be a way to order online except through EBay, though, unless of course you can get to London and visit the shop, I assume they’re sold there. The backs are shown below, the black cat sitting on the pumpkin. I’ve added captions to the photos, but the cards themselves don’t show them.
There are itsy bitsy titles on the Majors running up the image in different places, and the minors have the suit title at the bottom and number at the top, rather than spelling out “Four of Cups” for instance. I can’t stand the decks that have the titles in six or seven languages around the borders, eating up half the image space.