Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review of "Shapeshifter Tarot"

This deck is odd, to each his own, I suppose. Firstly, swords and wands are transposed, with swords representing fire and wands representing air. This would be OK to work with, except the card meaning are not representative of the elements....the meanings of the swords are still equated with knowledge, intellect, thought, justice and truth...but are now associated with fire, rather than air. The wands cards represent creativity, action, movement, enthusiasm, and career....but are classed under the element of air....this is rather confusing to new readers who are used to the Rider-Waite-Smith associations.

If you shamanic or druidic-themed artwork appeals to you this could be a wonderful deck to work with. Not recommended for beginners...there are too many variants from tradition to use this as a learning deck.

Rather busy representation of "The World" card.

The Court cards are Seeker, Warrior, God and Goddess. There are three additional Major Arcana in this deck, and almost all of the majors have been renamed. Traditional name first, then the card name in Shapeshifter Tarot:

0 The Fool - Initiation
1 The Magician - Sorcerer
2 The High Priestess - Sorceress
3 The Empress - The Mother
4 The Emperor - The Father
5 The Hierophant - Knowledge
6 The Chariot - Power
7 The Lovers - The Lovers
8 Strength - Courage
9 The Hermit - The Seer
10 Wheel Of Fortune - The Circle
11 Justice - Nature
12 Hanged Man - The Shapeshifter
13 Death - Rebirth
14 Temperance - Balance
15 The Devil - Choice
16 The Tower - The Serpent
17 The Star - The Star
18 The Moon - The Moon
19 The Sun - The Sun
20 Judgment - Transcendence
21 NEW - The Double
22 NEW - The Journey
23 NEW - The Dreamer
24 The World - Oneness

Cards all are labelled ( I suppose because with the strange imagery you do need some explicit guidance).The use of card labels restricts the reader from some of the more traditional interpretations and also from intuitive guidance. However, the deck itself can work if you enjoy a break from tradition, and it has beautiful artwork. If you're more of a Rider-Waite fan, don't bother.

Today's Card - The High Priestess

One of my favorites; let's skip right past the fool and the magician and go to The High Priestess.

She symbolizes occult knowledge, inner wisdom, drawing on hidden resources, use of intuition, dreams and imagination. Perhaps there are forces at work that are unseen but which will have a positive effect on your life. This is a card of mystery, indicating that there is a passive rather than active phase in your life at the moment.

Gill Tarot's Priestess card

This is my favorite; if only it was commercially available. The artist is photographer Tas Limur.