Shapeshifter Tarot Review
I bought this deck sight unseen because I had heard so many people rave about it, and it is, indeed, a magical, enchanting deck. Lisa Hunt’s ethereal images draw you into ancient Celtic shapeshifting lore. D. J. Conway and Sirona Knight, coauthors of the text, apparently had the original idea, and they explain shapeshifting as akin to meditating on the relationship (characteristics, traits, talents, and energies) between humans and nature, especially animals, so that we expand, internalize, and integrate our awareness. This is an extraordinarily empowering and visionary deck. The cards are perfect for encouraging changes in perspective and for understanding or evoking personal strengths. For details, one of their chapters is titled”How to Shapeshift.”
Three new Major Arcana cards have been added to this deck:
The Double, The Journey, and The Dreamer.
The total of 81 cards honors the legend of the 81knights of the Nine Rings of the Cordemanons of the Celtic Gywddonic Druidtradition, of which Sirona Knight is a High Priestess and Third Degree Craftmaster. One of the five original and innovative spreads included inthe book honors and taps into the energies of those nine “frequencies orharmonics of light,” as Knight calls them. The names of many of thetraditional Major Arcana have been changed and the four suits bear theirelemental names:
Earth (pentacles), Air (Wands), Fire (Swords), and Water(Cups). Note the shift of the element of air from swords to wands and vice versa. Court cards are the Seeker (page), Warrior (knight), God (king) and Goddess (queen), with the Goddess card now being the highest card in the deck.
All cards in this deck are to be read upright.
For guidance each Minor Arcana card has a definitive prophecy meaning at the bottom of the card with the elemental (suit) name at the top. Additional key words for all cards are included in an appendix. In the major section of the book, the authors explain each card’s symbolism or artistic presentation and its prophetic ordivinatory meaning.
One problem with this is that sometimes the text does not refer to the black and white illustration opposite it and sometimes it does. This is easily remedied, however, by always looking at the card instead. You will want to anyway because of the energy and feelings its colors evoke. There are lots of ways to work with this deck beyond readings, and, for me, that was one of the most exciting things about it. The authors suggest using it to not only interpret or clarify dreams, but also to replace negative dream images. Use it meditatively to enhance and strengthen your own energies and to help you become more aware of the animal energy another projects.
I can’t wait to delve more fully into each of the cards, yet at the same time, each illustration is so complex that speed would be a sin. My tiger-self is already poised to leap into the process.
The Shapeshifter Tarot boxed kit (ISBN 1-56718-384-0) is published by Llewellyn.