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Tarot of the Witches

Paintings by Fergus Hall. Booklet by Stuart R Kaplan.

This deck is an immensely popular one and has been around for almost thirty years now. It generally follows standard Rider-Waite symbolism though it introduces a modern slant on artwork and in my opinion an almost comical approach to the people in the cards, so far as the Majors and Court cards are concerned.

I have to say though that the suits themselves are not suitable for use by a beginner since they are very plain, bearing none of the traditional symbolism which helps to unlock the learner's potential. In fact, what do you make of this: a winged disembodied foot flies in a pink sky above a hilltop and is surrounded by seven swords!

You do have to already be very familiar with the meanings of individual cards in order to work with a deck like this one. Courts follow traditional King, Knight, Queen, Valet pattern. Wands become Batons; Disks become Coins. The booklet, written by Stuart Kaplan, is reasonably comprehensive though again, definitions on the Minors are somewhat lacking. There is a rather complicated set of instructions about spreading the deck which surprisingly suggest reading purely from the Majors. The only spread given is that of the Celtic Cross, but oddly enough it is renamed the Magic Circle of Solomon.

Review by Jan.


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