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Goddess Tarot Deck Review
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Goddess Tarot Deck Review

Goddess tarot

This tarot deck is unlike many others that are out there. It was created by Kris Waldherr. One of the defining features of this deck is the fact that it has no male presence whatsoever in the major arcana, and the major arcana are represented by all goddesses. The strength of this deck is actually within the major cards themselves. Each of these cards have been changed from the well-known cards like the devil and tower in most cases to the others listed down below, and goddesses that are both well-known and others that are associated with other religions are attached to those cards.

Major Arcana In Order:

0. Beginnings card is associated with goddess Tara
1. Magic card is associated with goddess Isis
2. Wisdom card is associated with goddess Sarasvati
3. Fertility card is associated with goddess Estsanatlehi
4.Power card is associated with goddess Freya
5. Tradition card is associated with goddess Juno
6. Love card is associated with goddess Venus
7. Movement card is associated with goddess Rhiannon
8. Justice card is associated with goddess Athena
9.Contemplation card is associated with the goddess Chang O (Chinese Moon Goddess)
10.Fortune card is associated with Lakshmi
11.Strength card is associated with goddess Oya
12.Sacrifice card is associated with the goddess Kuan Yin
13.Transformation card is associated with the goddess Ukemochi
14.Balance card is associated with the goddess Yemana
15.Temptation card is associated with the goddess Nyai Loro Kidul
16.Oppression card is associated with The Wawalak ( aboriginal sister goddess from Australia)
17.Star card is associated with the goddess Inanna
18.Moon card is associated with the goddess Diana
19.Sun card is associated with The Zorya (from Russian mythology)
20.Judgement card is associated with the goddess Gwenhwyfar (Welsh)
21.World card is associated with the goddess Gaia

The Minor Arcana

As with other tarot decks the minor Arcana is split into four different suits. They are the  usual the cups, the swords, the pentacles, and staves instead of referring to them as wands. Each of these suits are associated with a particular goddess. The cups are associated with the goddess Venus. The swords are associated with the goddess known as Isis. The pentacles have the distinction of being presided over by Lakshmi. And finally the staves or wands are associated with Freya the goddess. As the female within the cards progresses through the cards to the 10th card, she’s experiencing various situations in life which are the patterns of growth for her.

The court cards

Unlike the Rider Waite this tarot deck has different associations. The king and queen both inhabit both decks. In this deck the page is replaced by the Princess, and the knight is replaced by the Prince. The only time in fact that a male presence is shown is that in the court cards. These two cards are the king and the Prince of which ever suit that is dealt. Although even though they are men they really seem to be women in these cards. The booklet that comes with this deck explains that each of these court cards represents a certain phase of the developments within a woman’s life.

Artwork

The art itself is very lovely. The major cards are stronger in color then the pastel colored minors. The edges of the illustrations are softened which gives it a dreamy like quality. Each of the minor Arcana suits have a different border within the inside of the card. The pentacles have pink wildflowers, the cups have blue ocean waves mountains in the background, the swords have a pale peach looking mountain scene, and finally the staves have a fiery based mountain scene. The deck itself is also very wide but doesn’t take away from your ability to handle it if you purchase the cards created in 1998. In 2003 a pocket version of the deck was released.

The goddesses depicted within this deck are wonderful and come with a lot of information. The stories that back the goddesses themselves help to add a new wonderful dimension to readings in general. This deck would be recommended for anyone that is interested in  the goddess lore. Some people might be put off by the fact that it is a very feminine deck in nature and lacks masculine energies. Other than that don’t rule out this deck as a possible addition to your collection. The Goddess tarot cards are beautiful.

The goddess tarot card meanings

Luckily for us the creator of the tarot deck Kris Waldherr offers a free e-book off her site for the meanings.  Goddess tarot

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shayline bourne

This is another deck that I discovered online, during one of my insomniac webcrawls. I typed in the word “goddess” and wandered through a few sites until I found it. I was instantly intrigued. The artwork is delicate and precise, but the energy is what really sings. When I do a reading with this deck, I feel surrounded by warm, supportive feminine energy. I know that sounds a bit flaky, but it’s the truth. I’ve often said it’s like getting advice from your mother, your sister and your best friend all at once-but with no guilt or sibling rivalry to muddy the waters. I can’t say how this deck would or wouldn’t work for a man, but I do recommend it highly to other women.

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Tarotist

A Review of The Goddess Tarot

The Goddess Tarot
by Kris Waldherr
Published by US Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN 1-57281-066-1

I have waited a long time to get this deck. My husband ordered it for me for Christmas /01, first it was back ordered, then we were informed it was unavailable. I was very disappointed. With very grateful thanks to my deck exchange with Watertrine Dove, I now have it. This lovely deck has more than met my expectations and was well worth the wait. Actually, I have fallen in love with this one as I did with my Greenwood, so I thought I would share my impressions for those of you who have never seen it.

Artwork – The artwork by Kris Waldherr is soft, muted and feminine as it the graphic design of the deck. The art is well drawn but is not too sophisticated or polished, which helps give it a gentle rustic feel. Kris is an author and visual and graphic artist who both wrote and created the art for the book “The Book of Goddesses” from which some of the art in this deck has been taken. Goddesses are depicted from many cultures, so there are a lot of costumes and backgrounds in the artwork from around the world. I have a penchant for female centred decks and where the others I have seem quite feminist in approach and often are different from a traditional Tarot deck, this one seems more like “feminine but very Tarot”. The graphic design has 3 borders, all are lovely and elegant. The card backs are royal blue with gold decorative trim in a Roman/Grecian style. You cannot tell if the cards are upright or reversed from the backs. The type face is also feminine but simple, so is easy to read. My only comment on the design is, even though the borders are very pretty I would like to have had the pictures larger and done away with some of the border area. This is only because I really like the artwork itself.

The Text – Kris, being a writer as well as a visual artist, is the author of the little white book that comes with the deck. She says in the introduction “My intention in creating the art and design for “The Goddess Tarot” was to create a tarot deck that would speak directly to women using “our” stories, while incorporating the archetypal power and symbols of the Tarot. In this way The goddess Tarot is meant as an accessible alternative deck for Tarot readers already familiar with the popular Rider-Waite deck and who seek a deeper experience of the Divine Feminine in their readings. It has been designed to be readily accessible to lovers of the Goddesses and mythology without any Tarot experience as well.” This booklet has the advantage of giving a meaning for the symbols Kris choose as well as a short divinatory meaning for each card. There is also short treatment on the Major Arcana, Minor Arcana and each suit, something you don’t usually find in the LWB. The spread section has the obligatitory Celtic Cross spread as well as an interesting Past, Present and Future spread that uses 4 cards instead of 3.

Structure – The structure is very traditional in a Thoth/Waite sort of way. The deck has 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana, 56 Minor Arcana arranged 10 cards in each of 4 suits and 16 Court/People cards, 4 for each suit. Eight is Justice and Eleven is Strength. The suits are Staves, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. The Court/People cards are called Princess, Prince, Queen and King.

Some of the Major Arcana have been renamed to a simple key word and do not picture what I would call traditional core images, but rather a picture of Goddess to go with the key word.

Eg: 06 – Love pictures Venus. At first glance, some of the Goddess on the list do seem to really go with the assigned Major Arcana Key. Kris, makes good cases for her choices though, by matching legend and lore about the Goddess to the keys, more that by what they are Goddess of.

The Major Arcana Keys are:
0 – Beginnings – Tara, Tibetan Goddess of protection and compassion
01 – Magic – Isis, Egyptian fertility Goddess
02 – Wisdom – Sarasvati, Hindu Goddess of wisdom, education, and the arts
03 – Fertility – Estsanatlehi, Navajo Goddess of the corn
04 – Power – Freyja, Norse Goddess of beauty and creativity
05 – Traditions – Juno, Roman ruling Goddess
06 – Love – Venus, Roman Goddess of love
07 – Movement – Rhiannon, Celtic horse Goddess
08 – Justice – Ukemochi, Greek Goddess of Wisdom
09 – Contemplation – Chang O, Chinese moon Goddess
10 – Fortune – Lakshmi, Hindu Goddess of fortune and prosperity
11 – Strength – Oya, Yoruba Goddess of the Niger River and the winds
12 – Sacrifice – Kuan Lin, Chinese Goddess of mercy
13 – Transition – Ukemochi, Japanese food Goddess
14 – Balance – Yemana, Santeria Goddess of the Caribbean Sea
15 – Temptation – Nyai Lord Kidul, Javanese Goddess of the waters
16 – Oppression – The Wawalak, sister Australian Aboriginal fertility Goddess
17 – The Star – Inanna, Sumerian Goddess of the stars and heavens
18 – The Moon – Diana, Roman Goddess of the moon
19 – The Sun – The Zorya, a trio of Slavic guardian Goddesses who attend the sun God
20 – Judgement – Gwenhwyfar, Celtic sovereign Goddess
21 – The World – Gaia, the Greek Goddess who symbolizes the earth

The Minor Arcana

The Pips images for the most part follow a Rider Waite/Smith style featuring only women, with the exception of a few cards like the all 10’s and the 3 of Pentacles. These few cards remind me more of a Thoth design, because there are no people in the images, only the suit tools. The Aces are a little different from the Rider Waite/Smith images in that there is no hand holding the suit tool out in offering suggesting a gift, just the one stave, cup, sword or pentacle on a very moody background that is well suited to the elemental qualities of each suit. The court cards although named in a Thoth fashion, King Queen, Prince and Princess, are of a more Rider Waite/Smith style. The Kings and Queens are seated, no Kings in chariots. The Princes are not mounted on horses like the Thoth or Rider Waite/Smith decks but give the impression of being more like the Princesses except for gender. I don’t get the Knight or Champion “feeling” from these Princes like I do in Thoth and Rider decks, they seem gentler and more tender hearted.

One of the more interesting devices used in this deck is that each Minor Arcana suit is connected to one Major Arcana Goddess and the suits artwork reflects that. The suit of Swords is connected to Key 1 Magic – Isis, Isis is an Egyptian Goddess, so all the artwork in the suit of swords is Egyptian looking in content. The Staves are connected to Key 4 – Power – Freyja and therefore Norse looking, the suit of Cups to Key 6 Venus and therefore Roman looking and Pentacles to Lakshmi and therefor East Indian looking. This device has in some interesting reading possibilities if one chooses to take advantage of it and also gives the deck, combined with the Goddess images from around the world a very multi cultural feel which I really like.

Readability – I have done two readings for other people so far and my daily card pulls plus a large reading for myself since I got the deck. I find the deck is very easy to read with and I enjoyed using it. Some of the Goddesses are familiar to me and some are not. So I look forward to researching the ones I don’t know to deepen my understanding of the Major Arcana and its
reading possibilities. I am sure a beginning Tarot student could easily read with this deck if they liked it. They might want to keep in mind that the traditional core images for the Major Arcana are not represented, so it will be hard to reference this deck with a lot of Tarot books on the market.

Additional Comments – Kris has a work book out for this deck called the Embracing the Goddess Within: A Creative Guide for Women. I really feel this book is needed to get the most out of this deck. I wish that the deck and this workbook where sold as a deck/book set

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