norse.jpg (23718 bytes)The Norse Tarot

This deck by Clive Barrett (Creator of the Ancient Egyptian Tarot), is based on the Waite Smith deck, but assigns Norse Gods, Goddesses and legends to the cards.The art is very good, with clear colors. Each card has a central scene surrounded by a border of scroll work.The Major Arcana have the name of the card at the bottom, and a corresponding rune is placed in the bottom of the border. The Major Arcana retain the traditional names, but the scenes have been reworked to incorporate scenes drawn from Norse mythology. For example, The Fool is Balder "god of the sun, purity and innocence", The Magician is depicted as Odin and the High Priestess is Frigga. Those who are are knowledgeable about the Norse pantheon, may have difficulty with some of the assignments, but the book that accompanies the deck provides some background information on the deity or myth assigned which gives some insight into why it was assigned to a particular card.

Several of the Minor Arcana are recognizable as re-workings of Pamela Colman-Smith's work, set in a Viking milieu. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Disks and the first letter of the suit name is included in the bottom of the border. The Court Cards are Prince, Princess, Queen and King.

The deck is sold as a set with a book. The book provides background information on the Norse people and a brief description of the Runes. Each Major Arcana interpretation has a short description of the card and a section of background information on the deity or legend the card is depicting. Upright and reversed interpretations are provided, as well as an interpretation of the corresponding Rune. The Minor Arcana section provides a short description of the scene, and upright and reversed interpretations. A short section on reading the cards follows. It provides three spreads: a Four Card spread, the Celtic Cross, and an astrological spread. Sample readings are given using each spread. There is also a table of correspondences between the Major Arcana, Runes, and Hebrew letters. Finally there is a "Quick Guide to Interpretation" which provides short interpretations for all the cards. The interpretations are fairly traditional.

This deck is recommended for those interested in Norse or Viking mythology. It is close enough to the Waite-Smith in design and interpretation to make the transition easy for those familiar with the Waite deck.

See more cards from the Norse Tarot Deck

The Norse Tarot by Clive Barrett
Deck/Book Set
ISBN: 0-85030-792-9
Publisher: Aquarian
Images Copyright (c) Clive Barrett


The Norse Tarot

The Norse Tarot has been designed to conform with the majority of traditional tarot interpretations. The illustrations should convey recognizable meanings to the practiced reader. Anyone first learning the tarot with this deck will be able to apply their skills to other decks with ease.

In every case a presentation has been sought which conveys the meaning in both an original way and in a form compatible to the Nordic theme of the whole.

Three of Cups

The Card
A happy scene as the birth of a child is celebrated by the infant's mother, father and grandfather.
A celebration or joyous occasion; good news; a reunion; success; favorable completion of a project; great happiness.
Reversed Meaning
Over indulgence; concealing or ignoring a disappointment or disaster; intoxication; drowning one's sorrows; ignorant or blind to reality.

From The Norse Tarot: Gods, Sagas and Runes from the Lives of the Vikings, by Clive Barrett

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson