Review – Pirate Tarot

(For your listening pleasure, Optional Mood Music at bottom of page.)

Pirate Tarot

Design- Carrie and Lucas Amodio

Illustrations – Liz “Galindorf” Harper

Publisher – Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 2009

ISBN – 978-0-7643-3182-4

From the beginning of time, sailors have been a superstitious lot and they used any method available to bring good luck and protection their way.  One technique dealt with fortune telling using the Tarot.  Meet here, a colorful cast of fantasy pirates, from elegant lady captains and playful cabin boys to crusty old sailors.  Two fun and exciting games will bring the buccaneer out in you! (printed on back of box)

The Pirate Tarot is a 78 card deck that replicates wood carvings of pirate life.  Each card does in fact look as if it could have been etched into wood.  If you have ever seen a “wooden nickle” this is how I imagine them to look and feel.   The deck is actually available in wood carving form, from Dragonfire Laser Crafts.

The card back are reversible, decorated with a skull and cross bones.  Each card has three keywords listed and some of the names have been changed to adapt to the pirate theme.  The cards are over sized, approximately measuring 3 5/8 x 5 5/16, with a white border.  As you can see in these scans, the border is very wide on the left side.  There is a great review on the Tarot Wisdom Readings site by Velvet Angel, and she shows scans after she trimmed the border off her deck.

The High Priestess has been renamed The Figurehead, and Judgement is titled The Plank.  Both are still easily identifiable with their more traditional counterparts. A few other of the Major Arcana are also changed, such as The Magician.  In this deck it is renamed The Chirurgeon (pronounced kī-ˈrər-jən). Who was he, you might ask?  The ship’s surgeon, who many times was also the ship’s barber.  More interesting information can be found here.

The court consists of Cabin Boy, First Mate, Lady Captain, and Captain.  There are four suits, Swords, Cups, Coins, and Pistols.

It was most disappointing to open the box and find there was no LWB (little white book).  There is an 8.5 x 11 insert which show examples of a three card spread and the Celtic Cross as well as instructions for a game that can be played (Tarochi?).

The deck comes in a standard box with a flap-close top, that is suitable for storage.  This past New Years Eve my son offered me the velvet sack that his bottle of Crown Royal had come in.  As it happens it made a perfect bag for this deck, and it all fits into it nicely.  Ha!ha!

If  you like unique themed decks, this is one I highly recommend.  It’s playful and fun to work with.  You may even learn something new about the life of a pirate.  I know I did.  Interestingly, there is a good bit of information on the web concerning pirates and the culture (as well as the myths) of living on-board a pirate ship.

Get your Pirate on and get your Pirate Tarot today!  Available on


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