Book of Shadows Tarot: A Review
Lo Scarabeo has finally made up for their disappointing Elemental Tarot with the release of the Book of Shadows Tarot. This Wiccan deck showcases delightful, sensual imagery that is exquisitely detailed and rendered in vibrant colors. It is sure to become a favorite among self-respecting witches.
What sets this deck apart is its connection to the Elemental Tarot. Both decks use the four elementals to represent the meanings of the minor arcana. According to the Austrian occultist Paracelsus, the elementals are gnomes for earth (pentacles), sylphs for air (swords), undines for water (cups), and salamanders for fire (wands).
Some decks deviate greatly from the traditional interpretations of the minor arcana, which can be vexing. However, the Book of Shadows Tarot completely departs from tradition, but it does so in a way that is so well executed that it doesn’t really matter.
For example, the suit of fire, traditionally represented by wands, illustrates the planets from Ace to Ten. Each planet is represented by a male god, except for Venus. Notably, the Moon is not included, perhaps because it already appears in the Major Arcana. Similarly, the Star and the Sun also appear in the majors.
When it comes to making various systems fit within the context of Tarot, it is nearly impossible. Minor “imperfections” are inevitable and ultimately irrelevant. The Book of Shadows Tarot embraces this challenge and offers a unique perspective.
The suit of Air, traditionally associated with swords, represents divination and interpretation of reality. The numbered cards in this suit depict dreams, the pendulum, scrying, omens, palmistry, the attendant, I Ching, meditation, the runes, and the Tarot itself.
The suit of Water, traditionally represented by cups, showcases the features and faces of the Goddess. It explores various aspects of love in its purest and most impure forms. Each card in the suit symbolizes a different aspect of the Goddess.
The suit of Earth, traditionally associated with pentacles, depicts the magic of the natural world and our planet. Each of the cards in this suit represents a different aspect of the Earth, from the human body to sea creatures to a full day.
The Court Cards in all four suits follow a consistent pattern. The elemental of the suit represents the Knave (traditionally Page or Princess). The Knight, Queen, and King are renamed Maiden, Mother, and Crone, respectively. These archetypes symbolize the three phases of a woman’s life in Wiccan tradition.
The major arcana of the Book of Shadows Tarot is a treasure trove. Each card has been given a new name and interpreted from a Wiccan perspective while retaining its original meaning.
Overall, this deck is a remarkable piece of work and warmly recommended to anyone interested in Wiccan spirituality.
Complete Details of Book of Shadows Tarot
- Creators: Barbara Moore, Gregorz Krisinsky
- Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
- Year: 2012
- Deck Type: Tarot Deck
- Cards: 78
- Major Arcana: 22
- Minor Arcana: 56
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