reed1.jpg (13630 bytes)The Witches Tarot
Review by Michele Jackson

If you would like to purchase this deck, click here.
 
This deck, conceived by Ellen Cannon-Reed and Martin Cannon (no relation), is based on Paganism and Qabala. The art is good with intense colors, and the scenes extend to the edge of the cards with no border. A nice touch. Some of the Major Arcana have been changed: The Hierophant is The High Priest, The Hermit is The Seeker, The Devil is The Horned One, The Star is The Stars and The World is The universe. The cards Justice (usually 11) and The Wheel (usually 10) have been reversed, though I think this is a printing error as I can find no reference to this change in Reed's book. The Minor suits are Wands, swords, cups and pentacles, though Reed attributes wands to air and swords to fire. The Court Cards are Princess, Prince, Queen and King. The pictures of the court cards from all 4 suits are identical with the exception of the color of clothing worn. Reed has devised a court card system that is based on the four worlds of the Qabala. Rather than representing people, the court cards in this deck are modifiers for the cards following them. An interesting concept which certainly makes the court cards easier to interpret and which makes sense when viewed from the Qabala. The backs of the cards are black with a silver pentagram.
There is an excellent book written for this deck, "The Witches Tarot: The Witches Qabala book 2". Reed describes the Majors in relation to their path on the Tree of Life and her discussion of the Minors includes descriptions of the Waite-Smith and Golden Dawn decks for comparison. Useful if you have been using one of these decks or their clones and want to contrast and compare them with Reed's deck. Book 1, "The Goddess and the Tree" is an introduction to the Qabala. I recommend that it be read first, as Book 2 jumps right into a discussion of the cards from a Qabalistic viewpoint and provides little introductory material. It will be rough going if you do not have a basic understanding of the Tree of Life and the Paths whether from Book One or some other source.
This deck was designed by a Pagan for Pagans. The scenes are Pagan in feel and are not Waite-Smith based. Some study will be required to make use of this deck. However the two books mentioned here are excellent references.

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The Witches Tarot Deck ISBN 0-87542-669-7
The Witches Tarot: The Witches Qabala Book 2 ISBN 0-87542-668-9
The Goddess and the Tree: The Witches Qabala Book 1 ISBN 0-87542-666-2
All available from: LLewellyn Publishing


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