What a perfect day to talk about witches! Tonight is the Blue Moon in August, so I hope you've got your petitions ready and the candles you will be burning throughout the night. You can almost feel the static in the air, it's full of some magic made real. I love the fact that full moons last more than one day, more so when they affect the weekend. People go pretty crazy with the cycles of the moon, and this one especially hit the psychic world with the water energy from Pisces. We can expect double the crazy now!
I have been waiting for this deck to come back in stock. According to Ellen Dugan, it came in stock ahead of time -- originally scheduled to come out in September, but the quantity was limited and sold out fast. My pre-order didn't make the queue, and I had to wait until it came back in stock. A couple of weeks went by pretty slowly, but I got it in last week. To this day I still haven't been able to read the book that comes with it. I have heard good things about the book, particularly about the style it is written in. While I don't doubt that the quality is excellent, I like a tarot deck best if it speaks to me intuitively. I have a thorough understanding of how to read cards already, and it isn't necessary to brush up on card meanings. The new images are what make it refreshing for me, because I will be much more focused on the new elements they bring to the world of metaphysics. The subtle deviations from tradition in the images are what make new decks worthwhile for readers. If not, we would stick to our first deck, since it is likely the one that we know inside-out. Our market is pretty saturated already, and it is in these subtleties that we find the value of new tarot decks. For the Witches Tarot, those differences lie in stylistic approach and in the general context of the cards. It is infused with very real magic; there are only a few magical elements present in the whole deck, such as dragons. There are only around 6 or 7 cards that don't seem humanly possible, which is pretty good for 78 cards.
The scenes seem more sober than other tarot decks bordering on the literary genre of fantasy. In general, the dialogue with this deck is pretty cold / devoid of emotion. I wouldn't recommend using it for a romantic reading, but I can see how it would be good for business and financial reviews. I also get the impression it is a good deck to use for general readings / annual spreads. There are a lot of single figures in the cards, but rarely any dialogue amongst them. Even the Three of Cups seems like a stiff celebration, I don't see it as merry. I still like this deck and consider using it in dream interpretation spreads.
The backs of these cards are quite beautiful, they had me sold on this deck. They feature a space scape with the representing the various phases of the moon. When laid out, these cards feel like magic. Turning them over grounds you into a situation that will be discussed slowly. It narrates stories in what feels like a slow suspension in time as a turn around the pagan year. A better name for this tarout would be the New Age Tarot. While Samhain, Beltane, Imbolc, Mabon, etc, are such important events for wiccans and pagan witches, I don't get any stirrings from that in this deck. The people don't really seem immersed in a world of paganism or magic, either. The're just medieval folk carrying out the legacy of the Rider-Waite Smith tradition. It's missing something, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm just going to go with the statement that it's missing magic, and I don't mean the fictional dragons & wizards kind. I mean the kind of the craft, the grimoires, the cards, and the gypsy lore.
The scenes are quite vivid, they give off the impression of Tolkien meets Renaissance festivals of the divine. The people you interact with in these scenes look quite modern for residing within the medieval realm. I would go as far as to suggest they are contemporary actors dressed in evocative but current clothes. Beautiful actors, if I may add. They all look like movie stars to me! I have to admit that this is a beautiful tarot deck no matter which angle you look at it from.
There is no dialogue between the cards. Any messages that they offer are exclusively for the Querent, thus making it an intimate deck. I wish there was a little more rapport amongst the cards, but you can't have it all. This is still a very beautiful deck, and one I recommend to beginners if they want something more flashy than a regular RWS. They are good for breaking the ice in the world of tarot and getting the standard meanings down. While I did not connect to this deck as much as I would have liked to, I am still very sure that many readers will feel an electric connection to this deck. I will be combing through the Internet to read other peoples' reviews, maybe then I will find some undiscovered treasures in the Witches Tarot.
WITCHES TAROT DECK INTERVIEW:
♡ What is your most important characteristic?
Queen of Pentacles. This court card radiates wealth, luxury, stability, and a deep connection to the Earth. It feels like Ellen Dugan's legacy as a product of hard work and hard-earned knowledge. She will pass it down to others (dog) once they are ready for the lessons up ahead.
♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
The Chariot. The traditional meaning of this card is to keep moving forward even when met with opposing sides. It is of travel, persistence in harsh times and being able to keep it together. However, this card in particular has a very ethereal dream feel to it. The knight is trying to keep the horses drawn, and therein lies his conflict. He treads stellar terrain, the land of dreams, hopes, intuition and fears. He needs to slow down, ground himself and then pick the pace back up. This tarot can see itself as the knight as he draws the reigns of the horses, trying to get them to slow down.
♡ What are your limits?
Ace of Cups. Overflow of emotions can overwhelm people and stop them from seeing things clearly. Taking the previous card into consideration, this deck is for decisions and difficult tasks, but if people don't listen with an open heart, they are not likely to learn anything from their readings with this deck. The pool under the cup is stagnant, it isn't churning even though more water is being poured into it. Our emotions are our own to handle, but they will continue to build up whether we do something about them or not.
♡ What are you here to teach me?
Strength. Restraint before action, careful consideration of the circumstances will prove a valuable ally. The Strength card encourages the expression of the mind with certainty and passion, the details are in knowing when to do so. It is takes courage to tell the truth, especially in toxic situations. This card shines of personal fortitude and not being afraid to defend oneself in the right circumstances. This has been a prevalent lesson throughout 2012 because I pull this card every week.
♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Knight of Wands. Getting immersed in the moment and pursuing this craft with passion. The Knight of Wands faces forward, he is very much in the now and he radiates that confidence that I have been talking about. He looks like a man of the world, he's ready for adventure and for new beginnings.
♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
Nine of Swords. Not the first time this card comes up. I remember it from the Vertigo interview. The card has a general sense of emotional drain with the moon in the background. She is reaching out for the tenth sword to defend herself from drama and negativity. The puncture wounds on her neck make her look as if she has been attacked by a vampire. She's going to use her last strength to fight off the negativity, the madness, the nightmares, and the worries. Since this card is very near the 10, it is a last resort to handle negative situations and people. It also represents the mental state some of my clients come to me with, feeling defeated and vulnerable. It's up to me to find solutions to problems that feel like a nightmare in their lives.
♡ Which card do you want to show off?
The Star. A beautiful woman in the nude draws from the waters of inspiration. She isn't afraid to be out by herself in the dead of night because the map of stars led her here. She gives a calming sense of healing through intuitive practice, and alludes to the progression of feelings with the water that she is pouring. This card is of sensual inspiration, healing through divinity, and trusting in our own path even if we're not sure where it leads.
♡ How do you see me?
Queen of Wands. Again? That's funny. The Queen of Wands is an artist, she's sure of herself and she's really radiant with charisma. She is best known for her strong character and abundance of passion, which she uses in social activity, business and personal development. At her best she can be creative, charming and radiate a lot of warmth. At her worst, her words will burn scars in your heart and she will attack with verbal fury. She can be a nightmare with her wrath, there is no doubt that she will aim to destroy.
♡ How do you see yourself?
Six of Wands. A hard-earned victory or achievement. There is a gushing sense of pride coming from this card that I really like. The knight looks a little tired, though. The best feelings arise from our hardest battles. What a trooper -- this tarot deck is telling me that it defends its ideals with pride, and that it celebrates every victory as if it were the first.
The answers have been pretty consistent in the tarot card interviews conducted for Samhain Moon. Perhaps this calls for switching up the interview questions to find some more dynamic answers. Still, this is a really good way to get to know a tarot deck. I suggest you guys try it with your favorites. Come back to let me know how it goes!
Have a magical weekend,