by: Anna Franklin
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
“There are unseen Otherworlds overlapping our own, populated by gods and goddesses, nature spirits, and elementals. For the Pagan, everything has a soul or spiritual essence. This deck is based on the Pagan worldview, its symbols, and teachings, and offers 78 beautiful cards featuring gods and goddesses. An accompanying guide tells the story of the Fool as h e journeys through the Minor and Major Arcanas, encountering the forces that shape him and each one of us. The myths of the gods create links between cards, between the Majors and Minors, and between the inner and outer paths we walk.”
Pagan Ways Tarot is a 78 art card Tarot deck which is based loosely on the RWS structure with it’s focus on Pagan beliefs, Sabbaths, and varied pantheons. The deck is broken down as follows:
- 22 Major Arcana
- 40 Minor (Pip) Arcana
- 16 Court Cards
There are a few renamed Major Arcana.
- The Lady = The Empress
- The Lord= The Emperor
- The Elder = The Hierophant
- Wyrd – Wheel of Fortune
- The Underworld = The Devil
- Rebirth = Judgement
- The Universe = The World
The Four Suits follow the traditional
- Wands = Will
- Cups = Love
- Swords = Will
- Pentacles = Manifestation
The Court is comprised of:
- Princess = Opening of each season
- Knight = Action of the suit
- Queen = Zenith of each season
- King = Element in its purest form
Cards are printed on a sturdy card stock with a high gloss finish. I am not a fan of this finish, although it adds a beautiful veneer, it makes the deck harder to shuffle. They measure approximately 3.5 x 5.25. Card back are reversible.
The beautifully bound 190 page companion book is fully illustrated with a color representation of each card. There are two main chapters: The Minor Arcana – The Journey of life. and The Major Arcana – The Journey of Initiation.
For each card there are 3 sections of meaning.
- The Journey
- Upright Meaning
- Reversed Meaning
A 5 page appendix explains the symbolism used on the cards, plus four spreads are included. There is a discussion on using the cards in meditation and an Elemental Wheel Exercise.
The book and deck set are contained in a sturdy storage box with magnetic closure. The cards are beautifully illustrated and the companion book is well written and arranged for ease of use. Although the theme of this deck is Pagan in nature, I feel it can be used by any Tarot reader from beginner to master. I highly recommend this deck as both a lovely addition to any collection and a very workable reading deck that will remain relevant for years to come.