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The Druidcraft Tarot

Designed by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington.

See pictures of this deck.

This is logical progression from the Druid animal oracle for writers Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington. Philip Carr-Gomm has been Chief of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids for almost two decades now, and has written several books on the topic of Druidry. Stephanie is his wife, and the OBOD Scribe.

This deck is a fascinating blend of Wiccan best practise and symbolism, laced through with Druidic lore and legend. It relies heavily on the Celtic tradition for many of its root sources. Worthington weaves these threads into a rich landscape of sacred animals, sacred sites, ancient forests, Though designs do pay homage to the traditional RW images there’s a host of new, well thought out imagery here.

Suits are standard Wands/ Swords/ Cups/ Pentacles. There are some changes in the titles of the Majors – the Empress becomes the Lady, and the Emperor the Lord, in keeping with the Celtic influence. Art/Temperance becomes The Fferyllt, the name of a legendary group of Druids who explored the secrets of alchemy. The Devil becomes Cernunnos, the Wild Hunter, and the Aeon/Last Judgement becomes Rebirth. However none of these changes essentially alter the traditional meaning – rather they expand and build upon it. Courts follow the modern tradition of King, Queen, Prince, Princess.

The detail in these cards is absolutely delicious. Look at the objects in the distance – each crafted with as much eye for detail as those in the foreground…..the tabby cat in the High Priestess card is half hidden in the shadows behind the central figure and yet somehow contributes a greater meaning once you have spotted it. And take a look at the detail of the sky in the Death image, silhouetting a distant henge on the horizon. Notice the tree spirit’s face behind the skull wielding figure too.

I love the Ace of Pentacles in this deck. The rocks look as though they are crystal, forming a cave from which emerges a prowling bear, Druid totem of the North. A single pentagram is blazoned against a sunset sky. The trees are bare, and the land sleeps, yet somehow the image on this card hints at the promise of Spring. We are told in the book’s description of this card that it represents the night of the Winter Solstice.

Every single card I examined held half hidden secrets to be discovered in the imagery - once discovered every single thing contributed to my overall understanding of the card, and enhanced the Druidic emphasis of the deck.

The handbook, written by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, is accessible, enjoyable and easy to work with. Each card is described in detail, there is a section indicating how the card should be read in a spread, and reverse meanings are given for those of us who use them.

As well as giving plenty of interesting information about the imagery on the cards, much of Wiccan and Druidic lore is explored in context to the Tarot. Interpretations are thought-provoking, well thought out and informative for both the beginner and the more experienced reader. I definitely learned new stuff in browsing the book. One thing I really liked is that there were very few diversions in the text from working the card, but enough information is given that if you wanted to explore the background beliefs and legends it would be easy to do this.

The book also gives a good variation of different spreads to use – some old favourites and others completely new.

An excellent addition to the collection I have to say!!

Review by Jan

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"The Works" Spread

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