A Year in the Wildwood
For Yule, my brother got me "A Year in the Wildwood" by Allison Cross. It had been on my wishlist for a while ever since I got the Wildwood Tarot. This deck - while still being fairly traditional follows the Wheel of the Year and a lot of Celtic Druidry. I decided to use this as a study deck to compare tarot with the changing seasons and rhythms of the earth. I started working my way through the book and deck with Imbolc. Each suit is connected to different elements and seasons where the Arrows (Air) are the time of spring and now I am moving into Bows (Fire) as Beltane approaches. These make sense to me as this is also how I use timing for seasons in my own tarot practice. The book discusses each card in depth and asks questions based on the lesson/meaning of each card while also connecting it to nature and the natural rhythms of our bodies. So far I have found a profound impact with just how perfectly the correlation between my life, the cards and the environment connect. I have been journalling each step of the way which is helping me pull out patterns and learn more about myself in the process. There is also a Facebook Study group devoted to the book where you can discuss with others also meandering their way in the Wildwood.
I have been very consistent in my journey with this deck and will continue until the end of the year. If this is something that interests you, then by all means begin! You can start at any time of the year and both the book and deck are very affordable. This is one of many way to connect with a deck and if you are interested in Druid mythology or the Celtic Wheel of the Year then you will absolutely find knowledge. If you were wanting to start a tarot journal this is a great way to do so and also help you learn more about yourself and how tarot and its lessons play out in our daily lives.
While on vacation in Florida, I wanted to try the novelty of ordering on Amazon and getting it that same day and The Yarn Tarot has been on my wishlist since a friend had mentioned it to me. As a fibre artist and tarot reader this is a must have deck for me.
This deck follows the traditional RWS system which is the one I really prefer. The Strength card is my favourite within the Major Arcana because it pictures a ginger kitty as the "lion" and I call Watson (my ginger kitty) my lion as she roars when shes happy and purrs really loudly with her mouth wide open. I also LOVE the dress in the angel in the Lovers. Beautiful. I also really like the figures in the images as this deck is inclusive and I am very jealous of all the kitted outfits the people are wearing.
I work in all aspects of these fibre arts on a regular basis and I feel this deck is very personal for me. The cards are matte yet very easy to shuffle. The box is a hard shell that when opened has beautiful images of the suits on it. There are 2 extra cards included with affirmations. The guide book is basic but it has a hard cover and is of a very good quality (much like the Modern Witch Deck/Guidebook). If you are a fibre worker and you don't have this deck already - what the heck are you waiting for?!!
The Yarn Tarot would also pair perfectly with my Unraveled Oracle to add even more depth to your readings.
This is the Tarot Disassembled by Jennifer Cooper Steidley. Its is a very unique deck using JUST symbols and colours. I backed this deck on Kickstarter a while ago with a few extras. There was a choice for the box to be black or yellow and I chose black which is the "moon" version. I also got 4 postcards, 4 holographic stickers and a cool bookmark!
This deck follows the traditional RWS system but you can see similar symbols throughout the cards and this may help some to delve deeper into this aspect of tarot. I have also been using this deck when it comes to dream interpretation as symbols and archetypes are the language of our subconscious.
I really love the vibrancy of the colours and the rose petal feel is a favourite of mine. The cards are matte which I also like and this makes it easier to take pictures with them.
The guidebook is very in depth covering the common symbols as well as each card meaning, keywords, associations and spreads. Jennifer's mind set with this deck was to disassemble all the parts in an image so that when you piece them back together you learn as you go. I'm really happy with this deck and it will be a great addition to anyone's collection.
My Working Decks
Like any others, I have a nice collection of different tarot decks. The above photo are the ones that I always have close by for readings. Since studying the cards, I have been using the Rider-Waite-Smith system with traditional symbolism and meanings. Even in my certification we use the RWS method of learning. As a result, these are the decks I am most drawn to and most comfortable using.
The Druidcraft tarot is a recent addition. It is my mentors favourite deck and I love how the images reflect the teaching of Druidry and Wicca. The cards a a bit big for my hands but it has made me learn different methods of shuffling as a result. I will usually only use this deck for people who I feel might relate to the images as a witch, druid or fantasy fan.
* I have a brand new boxed set of the Druidcraft Tarot to give away if you sign up for the Sage Wind Tarot Circle I lead.
You may recognize this deck. It is one of the most famous tarot decks and definitely the most popular. It is often the one you see misused in movies and in pop culture. Originally published in 1909 with images drawn by Pamela Coleman Smith and instructions by mystic and occultist A.E. Waite. This is a vintage deck made before US Games stamped the sides. It is also one of my most used decks.
The Everyday Witch tarot is likely my favourite deck that I use daily. I love it not only for the images but also because each card has at least 1 cat in it. As a crazy cat lady this works for me :) This deck is well worn in and I find it is great for everyday general readings. I also use it alongside the Everyday Witch Oracle.
The Light Seer's deck is absolutely gorgeous and I find it has a very gentle energy to it. I often use this deck if people are asking heavier questions. The images in these cards are comforting and caring.
I am still noticing new things in the cards of the Pagan Otherworlds deck. There is an ancient manuscript feel to them with a lot of hidden messages. This deck seems to hold wisdom that is a bit more to the point than the Light Seer's deck. I often use this deck when looking for answers that involve mental clarity and rationality.
The Modern Witch tarot is very much like the RWS deck but more... modern. It doesn't put people and concepts in a box. For example, the King can be a woman, there are updated clothing styles and people of all sizes and races. It feels very down to earth but still thoughtful. The messages I receive from this deck are like tough love. It is made from a thick cardstock so I find them hard to shuffle as the deck is very thick.
Tarot of Unknown Shadows
Got a new deck last week - The Tarot of Unknown Shadows made by Dark Synevr. I have been following them on Instagram for a while as I am interested in the Victorian Freak Show tarot that I believe they are currently printing. The cards above are a couple of my favourites.
Initially, I was quite impressed as the packaging looked really good and the deck is gilded on both the top and sides. The guidebook has that rose petal feel and is gilded as well., a bit more on it later.
The cards feel a bit think but they are a good size and easy to shuffle. A few cards were stuck together but no biggie. I really like the back design, a bit distorted looking yet also a nostalgic feel to them.
The suits are coins, swords, cups and wands like usual but the wands are umbrellas which make me think more of air than fire. The suits in each card are outlined in gold which is pretty and the card name is written in a beautiful handwritten font in gold at the bottom. I really like the gold detailing, it makes the deck a bit more magickal. The aesthetic of the deck is kinda haunting and vintage which is what drew me to it. It is made using collage with old photographs. I like the faded colours and frozen in time feel the images display. If you like traditional symbolism and images then this deck doesn't really touch on those at all. There are some small hints here and there but overall not traditional.
The Major Arcana is also beautiful. These are a few of my favourites. The Magician's eye glitters at you and it just looks so cool. There are gold details on all the cards - the other one that really stood out is the Devil card with the gold horns. Strength is #8 and Justice is #11.
There are 2 extra cards in this deck - Light & Shadows. They are a nice addition and I will incorporate them into my readings with the deck as oracle cards.
Back to the guidebook. The writing id very small but that's to be expected. Half is in English and the other half in Russian. I haven't read through it all yet but there have been a few sentences that have been lost in translation.
The tuck box has the same rose petal feel with gold detailing. It is nice and sturdy and the cards inside were cello wrapped to protect them. Again the writing on the back of the box is a bit disjointed but no big deal.
My main disappointment is that the gilding from the back of the cards has transferred to the front edges as if they were stacked when not fully dry. It bugs me because it is really noticeable because it is shiny. Like the writing on the cards, there is a chance it will fade with use but it is still something that irks me as I spent $65 on this deck.
I don't normally keep my decks in their tuck boxes and this cosmetic bag works good as one side is black and the other side is a nice shiny gold. I will still likely get the Victorian Freak Show Tarot once it is released because Victorian and Dark Circus are 2 of my fav things. I had more hopes for this deck but overall it is a nice looking deck, just some of the quality is lacking.
I did a 3 card reading with this deck and this is what I interpreted.
I used the Fairy tale spread by @TarotontheMoon.
Card#1: A wish: 5 of Coins = A change in life to help with health or the home. I need to start making my house feel like a home rather than just a shell that I am trapped in. Cooking more at home and organizing the chaos is a good starting point. It will also in turn help with anxiety and general mental health.
Card#2: An obstacle: The Sun - I should try and look for the positives in life as I am not letting much light in and as a result, things are getting darker and darker.
Card#3: A lesson: 9 of Coins - When I work with others who are supportive and want to lift others up, we all succeed. Look for these people and they will also help me learn my worth.