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The Celtic Wisdom Tarot Deck & Book Set

by Caitlin Matthews

The Celtic Wisdom Tarot Deck & Book Set
Price: $35.00
Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 3.5 x 5.5 inches, or 90 x 140 mm.

Back of card: Fuzzy orange sunburst with three orange swirls in the center, in a Celtic arrangement. Can be inverted if you're not fussy.

Book included: Yes, 144 pages, hardcover. Dimensions: 7 x 8 inches, or 17.5 x 20.6 cm. The back of the box says there's only 128 pages, a misprint. Lavishly illustrated in color.

Publisher: Destiny Books. Printed in China.

Comments: In this deck the major arcana cards are known as Wisdom Cards. The minor arcana cards are known as Story Cards. Suits are:

Battle is Swords, representing Winter
Skill is Wands, representing Spring
Art is Cups, representing Summer
Knowledge is Pentacles, representing Fall

These seasons are not according to the traditional solar calendar. Celtic winter starts October 31. Celtic spring starts January 1. Celtic summer starts April 30. Celtic fall starts July 31. I really don't know where they get this. I've seen snow in London in mid-April, a rather heavy snow.

The court cards are Woman, Warrior, Queen & King.

Story (eg, minor arcana) cards are also known by number:

Ones/Aces are know as Auguries
Twos are know as Dialogues
Threes are known as Courtships
Fours are known as Judgments
Fives are known as Combats
Sixes are known as Foundations
Sevens are known as Adventures
Eights are known as Elopements
Nines are known as Revelations
Tens are known as Quests

Of course many tarot decks are designed along these lines. This is one of the few decks to make that design explicit.

Here are the Wisdom/Major arcana cards, in order:

0 The Soul/Fool
1 The Decider/Magician
2 The Guardian/High Priestess
3 The Shaper/Empress
4 The Keeper/Emperor
5 The Rememberer/Hierophant
6 The Lover/Lovers
7 The Mover/Chariot
8 The Empowerer/Strength
9 The Counselor/Hermit
10 The Spinner/Wheel of Fortune
11 The Balancer/Justice
12 The Dedicator/Hanged Man
13 The Liberator/Death
14 The Mingler/Temperance
15 The Challenger/Devil
16 The Changer/Tower
17 The Dreamer/Star
18 The Imaginer/Moon
19 The Protector/Sun
20 The Renewer/Judgment
21 The Perfecter/World

With the Soul/Fool standing aside, the remaining 21 Wisdom cards are also arranged into the Seven Candles of Life, each composed of 3 Wisdom Tarot cards (triads). For example, the Candle of Growth is composed of the Shaper, the Spinner & the Dreamer. There is also the Triple Spiral of Revelation, made up of three individual spirals: Wisdom cards 1-7, 8-14, and 15-21.

Interestingly enough, of the many spreads shown in the book, the traditional "Celtic" layout is not among them. These are shown:

The Three Illuminations Spread (four cards in darkness, three candles of illumination)

The Soul-Protectors Spread (five cards in a vertical row, two more on either side of the center vertical card, making a cross)

The Five Streams of the Senses Spread (ten cards in two horizontal rows of five)

The Co-Walker's Spread) (Fifteen cards: six to the left, six to the right, three in the middle. Of the six card groups, five cards relate to one & these two unique cards relate to the center card of the three card center.)

The Weaver's Celtic Cross Spread (Six cards: Card 2 crosses card 1, the other four cards go around the two in the center.)

The Seven Candles of Life Spread (Twenty-one cards: Three horizontal rows of seven cards each. A 22nd card is chosen to "stand above" the other 21.)

There are also guidelines for meditation, including one that requires a full year to complete.

All in all, a most interesting deck.

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).