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The Goddess Tarot Deck Cards – March 5, 2012
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"Possibly the most beautiful tarot deck ever to be created is The Goddess Tarot.... Waldherr has selected goddesses from world over to portray these universal situations.... Each and every card reminds us that women can rise to any occasion with power and grace... I really appreciate the fact that although this oracle is considered as feminist in nature, it is not angry or strident in any way. It simply encourages females to be the strong, intelligent, sensual, and sensitive beings we were meant to be."
--Barbara Fianco, About.com
About the Author
Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author, illustrator, and designer whose many books include Doomed Queens, The Lover's Path, and The Book of Goddesses. She is also the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has nearly a quarter of a million copies in print, and other card decks including the Lover's Path Tarot and the Sacred World Oracle. Visit her online at KrisWaldherr.com.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Besides that cards coming not as I expected, these cards are beautiful and absolutely worth the money. They are by far my favorite cards (other than the standard-sized ones) and I highly recommend them. They are similar to the universal deck in format, but depict goddesses and the stories behind them. Very good for those trying to get in touch with their feminine side, connect with feminine energies, or just like looking at pictures of goddesses.
The Magician (1 - Magic) ISIS takes you through the suit of Swords, with The King of Swords as Osiris, although the swords represent thought and communication, the goddess brings her own love story and experiences with her in the suit
The Emperor (4 - Power) FREYA takes you through the suit of Wands, with her fiery, warroress energy
The Lovers (6 - Love) VENUS takes you through the suit of cups which is so flowing and romantic with its seaside art
Wheel of Fortune (10 Fortune) LAKSHMI and her consort Vishnu takes you through the suit of pentacles, with its lovely scenes of India.
The deck is like sitting having hot tea in a cozy kitchen with a gentle and wise old grandmother. I love the personable energies of the deck, and also to its credit, the card meanings and presentation are in standard RWS format which translates well from the standard RWS pack to The Goddess Tarot. In a nutshell? This tarot deck is a sheer joy to own and has become among my top 3 personal reading decks. Worth every penny plus so much more.
Each card has an intricate border that adds to the overall feel. The border on each Major card is unique and related to its Goddess. For example, Tradition/Juno is surrounded by two peacocks and little olive trees. Beginnings/Tara is bordered by a thick green forest with a tiger peaking out. There are 4 types of borders for the Minors related to its element. Pentacles have flowers with doves flying above, cups have rough blue waves, staves (wands) have a red and orange volcanic landscape. I just wish the border for swords had a more prominent feeling of air. It's a landscape of arid, craggy mountains, with a waterfall to one side. Only the very top of the border shows a few clouds.
I love the inclusion of Goddesses that are less "popular" in today's Pagan community as well as drawing from multi-ethnic backgrounds. Personally I think Waldherr does a richer, more evocative job with her non-European subjects and those cards tend to be my favorites. I don't like Gwenhwyfar being included on the Judgment card, as she is a legend, not a Goddess, though her card is very beautiful.
My biggest problem with the deck is that the little white book strikes me as being written after the deck was completed and tries to paint the deck as being more feminist than it really is as well as being more imaginative in scope. The booklet claims the deck's intention was to tell "women's" stories instead of men's. This claim breaks down for me when it comes to the Minors. They are all based on the images in the Rider-Waite deck and the Court Cards depict men where traditional. There's nothing new or particularly more feminist than usual going on here. Yet the LWB says the Minors are dedicated to 4 Goddesses and depict women's journeys related to those Goddesses. So the book's claims bug me a little. I also prefer more symbolism depicted in the Minors to give depth to a reading but if you are familiar with Rider-Waite, these are easy to pick up. Swords are supposed to show the Path of Isis and all cards have an ancient Egyptian theme given to the traditional poses. Pentacles are the Path of Lakshmi. I consider these East Indian pictures to best of the group. Cups are for Freyja but show generalized Medieval-ish figures with pale blond hair. Staves are supposed to show the Path of the Roman Goddess Venus but instead of having a Roman theme, there are Medieval-ish redheads in each scene.
These issues related to the booklet are minor though compared to the cards themselves. I expect to get many years of enjoyment working with this deck.