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Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
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Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot Deck & Book Set

by Poppy Palin

Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot Deck & Book Set
Price: $34.95
Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 3.25 x 4.65 inches, or 82 x 118 mm. Large.

Back of card: A kaleidoscopic mess, actually. Fairies peer out at you from all four sides, in colorful pastels. May be inverted, but does not contrast well with the front of the card. Two primary differences, front to back: The front has a border, and the colors on the front are stronger than on the back.

Book included: Yes, 6 x 9 inches, or 15.2 x 23 cm. 285 pages, illustrated.

Publisher: Llewellyn. Printed in the US.

Comments: Subtitled, Discover the Magic in Nature. By way of introduction, on the back of the box it says, Woodland sprites & crafty magicians, wise women & dancing faeries leap out from the vibrant cards.... Which they do.

In this deck, suits are the four elements, which are color-coded. Cups: Water/blue. Pentacles: Earth/green. Swords: Air/yellow. Wands: Fire/red. Court cards are Page, Knight, Queen & King.

Most everything else in the deck is unique. Here are the 22 Major Arcanas, both their principle & secondary names:

0 Wandering Minstrel/Free Spirit
1 Cunning Man/Magical Spirit
2 Wisewoman/Dream Weaver
3 Mother Nature/Spirit of Love
4 Lord of the Wild/Strong Spirit
5 Interpreter/Spirit Guide
6 Soul Mates/Blessed Union
7 Hunter/Spirit of Clarity
8 Natural Force/Wild Power
9 Healer/Wise Counsellor (sic)
10 Dance of Life/Web of Fate
11 Hooded One/Honorable Spirit
12 Silence/Visionary Spirit
13 Rebirth/Spirit of Change
14 Inner Child/Spirit of Purity
15 Fiddler/Wild Spirit
16 Lightning Tree/Wild Energy
17 Source/Connection
18 Mother Two Moons/Sensitive Spirit
19 Sky Dancer/Morning Star
20 Transformation/Awakening Spirit
21 Reaper/Wild Harvest

In the names for the major arcana, I like the idea the two names given are not always exact synonyms. I don't much like the idea that all 22 are PG-rated nice guys. Tarot should reflect the world & the world is not always a nice place. It just is. This is certainly true of nature spirits. (I recall a short story by Saki where Pan was guilty of outright murder.) I also sense the artist lacks a firm grasp of the major arcana in general. Almost all the cards have too much detail. The resulting clutter keeps us from seeing them clearly.

Things seem to improve in the minor arcana. Here are pictured simple, direct scenes. For those who know tarot, these cards are easily read, in both normal & inverted senses. The artist has a good grasp of nature spirits & shows them well. On many cards are shown what are elsewhere known as UFO-type "aliens". In my remarks for the Seven of Swords cards for the Tarot of Northern Shadows, I hinted that "aliens" & fairies/nature spirits were one & the same creatures, which, in fact, they are. Pagans have known this for decades. It is my wish that pagans would come to the aid of their UFO brothers & sisters.

The book, Stories of the Wild Spirit, by Poppy Palin, is awful. Each of the major arcana cards gets around 8 pages of what amounts to repetitive drivel. The minor arcana cards get around half a page each, a bit more for the court cards. Cards are illustrated, but without the text in the white borders, an unfortunate omission. The very top of the page gives the suit along with the page number. Under the illustration is the name of the card, but the card numbers themselves are never given, not even in the text. This makes it hard to know if, for example, you're reading the text for the 3 of Air, 4 of Air, 5 of Air, Page of Air, Knight of Air, or King of Air. All cards are described in the first person, which is fine for court cards & many of the majors, but not for most of the pips. No inverted definitions are given, nor, for the minors, are there any hints as to how cards are used in readings. For the majors, there is, despite great length, little of any real use to a reader. But on the other hand, if you want to meditate over the majors, one by one, the text is fine. This book would otherwise appear to be a case of a good artist in need of a good writer. I would not be surprised if there was a demand for a book to explain this deck & book set.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Join our tarot mailing list Astrology Home E-Mail: Dave

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site ( & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).