- The Green Witch Tarot by Ann Moura and Kiri Leonard
- Author: Ann Moura Kiri Leonard
- Publisher: Llewellyn
- Format: Cards
The Green Witch Tarot is a Tarot deck conceived by popular Wiccan author Ann Moura and brought to life in the hands of artist Kiri Leonard
It comes in a large presentation box and includes a standard deck of 78 Tarot cards and an acompanying book.
We had the pleasure of reviewing this deck and these are a few of our thoughts.
The publication that accompanies the Green Witch Tarot is a large format paperback consisting of 240+ pages.
As usual, the book includes images of each card; along with a description of their meanings. However, the Green Witch Tarot Companion also includes a number of additional features including a short history of the Tarot, an explanation of the structure to the deck, how to read the cards, how to consecrate the deck as well as the method for carrying out an actual Tarot card reading.
The book also includes a number of both standard as well as non-standard Tarot spreads and blank journal pages for the inclusion of your own notes and obsvervations regarding any of the cards in the deck.
The cards themselves arrived wrapped tightly in a strong cellaphane wrapper. I have come across many decks packed in the same protective film and in the past I have found it to be a problem in that there is a risk of inadvertantly damaging the cards if you use any sort of sharp instrument, such as a knife, to do this job.
It was a pleasure to find that the publishers of the Green Witch Tarot have included a short tab on the rear that lets you break the seal without running that risk of damaging the deck.
A major plus to my mind!
The first impression that I received, even before opening the cards, was just how beautiful the rear of the cards is with a large pentagrqm displayed along with a rose on each of its corners.
It kind of sets the mood from the start.
The next notable feature to this deck is the quality of the cards manufacture. Each one is printed on a relatievly heavy card stock – an important feature if one is intent upon using these cards ona daily basis.
Initially, though, I did think that the cards, at 2 and 3/4 inches by 4 and 1/2 inches (7cm x 11.7cm), were a little small and possibly a little on the narrow size. However, when I held them in my hands I found that they fitted just right for speedy shuffling.
The Green Witch Tarot‘s authors have made a few changes to the traditional structure of the Tarot.
Swords have been renamed athames and Cups is changed to Chalices. Disks are now Pentacles but Wands remain as Wands.
The Court cards stick with the standard convention of Page, Knight, Queen and King.
The greatest deviation from traditional Tarot is found in the Major Arcana.
There are still Twnety-two cards in this deck but their titles have been dramatically altered.
These are as follows:
- 0-The Greenman
- 1-The Witch
- 2-The High Priestess
- 3-The Earth Mother
- 4-The Horned God
- 5-The High Priest
- 6-The Lady & The Lord
- 7-The Battle Wagon
- 8-The Crone
- 9-The Holly King
- 10-The Wheel of the Year
- 11-The Standing Stone
- 12-The Oak King
- 13-The Lord of Shadows
- >14-The Sidhe
- 16-The Wild Hunt
- 17-The Star
- 18-The Moon
- 19-The Sun
- 21-The World Tree
Each card of the Major Arcana is both individually numbered and titled in small text at the bottom of each card.
As I have pointed out earlier, this deck is in so many ways such a departure from traditional Tarot principles that it requires a slight re-adjustment to accomodate them.
The greatest changes are, of course, to the Major Arcana themes—some of which I initially found difficult to accept. Examples of these are ‘The Battle Wagon’ for The Chariot and ‘The Wild Hunt’ for The Blasted Tower.
I also question slightly the association of the Crone – a woman traditionally thought if as moving out of a position of power, as an alternative for Strength.
However, this apart, where the new names do work they do so in beautifully authentic ways. Substituting Harvest for Judgment, the Earthmother for The Empress and not least of all The Greenman for The Fool works sublimely well within the context of this deck.
As you dig deeper into The Green Witch Tarot though, you begin to realize that its hidden depths make any real comparison with the rather philosophical flavor to the traditional Tarot superfluous for this is a deck that stands well and truly on its iwn merits.
The fact that it has such an earthy, rather than celebral, feel to it is worth mentioning.
As for the card illustrations – such an important point to consider when purchasing a working deck, I found these to be beautifully consistent in their style, imagery and symbolic content. Whether you feel attracted to them or not is a matter of personal taste, of course, but there is no denying that each one carries as strong sense of its own atmosphere and magickal essence.
Whilst the cards are clearly extremely well thought through in their design it was so encouraging to find that this level of care had also been extended to the accompanying handbook – a feature of these boxed sets is that all too often they are let down by poor explanatory content.
Not so with this one which is easily one of the best introductory books that I have seen for a themed deck for some time.
In the book particular care has gone into the descriotion of each card. The author makes no assumption that her readers knows a great deal about either the Tarot ir about Witchcraft itself and so it covers quite a lot of the basics to this divination system.
This is true not only of the Major Arcana but also of the Minor cards in rhe deck which receive, as they should, a more mundane interpretation. This as well as the addition of the introductory material related to core Tarot principles makes for a publication which even complete novices will enjoy whilst also being of interest to practising Wiccans and Pagans of all kinds.
In short, this is a wonderfully magickal, invigorating and all-inclusive publication that thoroughly does just to the love and care that has been so evidently put into it by its author and artist.
For thise reasons this is a deck that stands alongside the very best if them and completely outshines the majority of themed decks available today.
The Green Witch Tarot is a deck that ignites the senses and draws its user into a land of magick – a realm populated by mysteries of light and darkness. It actually feels as if the Gods of Old are shining their energy and influence through it in a myriad of mysterious and magickal ways.
Credit: Review copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.