I can’t pretend to be unbiased about this planner. Every significant positive change in my life over the last two years can be directly tied to using this little workbook/planner/journal book. It’s life-changing.
I know I rarely share non-tarot related products with you, but that’s because I save my recommendations for things that are a “Hell Yeah!!” – not just a “oh, yes, I like this and you might, too…” Learning tarot is all about self-discovery, personal development, and understanding (and creating!) our place in the world. That’s exactly what this planner is about, too!
The Your Best Year 2018 isn’t a daily/weekly planner – it’s more like a tough-love workbook for making your 2018 goals badass and resolute. (There’s a “life edition” if you don’t need the business guidance).
WARNING: This planner holds no punches and will light a fire underneath you to burn down the sun with your passion, commitment, and desires. It’s all about raising your standards (for yourself and others), holding yourself accountable, and never-never-never giving up.
Is this only for people with online businesses?
Nope! The business edition works for any type of business or career goals. There is also a “life” edition that is more focused on personal goals. If you want both, there is a super-discounted bundle available – it’s only $16 for both versions together!
Does it come in a print version?
Yes, totally! Both the life & business editions are available on Amazon for about $15 each. (There is no bundle option for the print version).
Can I see inside the book? Yup! My video briefly covers the interior, but there’s a better video at the bottom of this page that flips through the pages. The workbook is 1/3 tough-love essays and journaling prompts used to set your goals, and the remaining 2/3 is for monthly & weekly pages. You’ll use that monthly/weekly section for planning, tracking, review, accountability, and focus.
Um, “life-changing”? Really? Isn’t that a bit…much…for a planner?
Yeah, I know…it sounds so sales-y and hyped, but it’s totally true. I’ve been using the Your Best Year planners for the last 2 years (going on 3 with the 2018 version). In the last two years, I can directly tie every single business success and life change I’ve made to this planner. No joke.
I’ve grown LTWM from a hobby to my full-time calling in less than a year – and I’m now earning enough to live my dream lifestyle of location-independent work and full-time travel. Before I started using this planner, I thought my dreams were so impossible as to be ridiculous. (I mean, don’t “I teach people how to read tarot cards for a living,” and “I spend summers traveling Europe,” sound like impossible & ridiculous dreams? Now they’re my every-day life!)
Before I started using this planner, I was just doing enough to get through each day. Frankly, in 2015 I was STUCK. We’re talking food-stamps-level broke, overweight, lonely and miserable. That all changed thanks to the tough-love journal prompts in this workbook. The workbook prompts ask the harsh questions and the monthly/weekly planner holds you accountable to the answers.
I got off my ass for the first time in years thanks to this planner! It wasn’t easy – but it was a lot easier than I had imagined, once I faced my fears & excuses and started holding myself accountable to higher standards. That’s what I mean by life-changing.
If you’re serious about accomplishing your “ridiculously impossible” goals and dreams – and not putting them off for another year – The Your Best Year 2018 planner is the only tool you need.
Here’s to an amazing 2018 and an amazing “ridiculously impossible” life! 🙂
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
How was your week, lovely? I’m writing this from a cabin in the woods where I’ve created my own personal Winter Writer’s Retreat. I’ll be here for the next few months, writing until my brain collapses and eating all the carbs.
After the last 9+ months of being present for others and putting their lives first, the solitude and control of my time here is a luxury. I’ll never stop being grateful for being able to set my own schedule, drink the last of the milk, or walk around without pants.
And now that I’ve got time to spare, I’ve discovered the world is so full of treasure! Here are some of my favorite discoveries for you…
2. PUT IN THE HOURS – Being alone out here in the woods, I’ve gotten obsessed about podcasts lately and Being Boss is one of my favorites. (It’s about more than business). One of the hosts made a comment that “time on the field really matters,” and I’ve become obsessed with this idea. It’s not just about quality of work. Quantity matters too. Or, in the wise wise words of Hank…
“Knowledge without mileage equals bullshit.” – Henry Rollins
3. WHITE HOT TRUTH – Just finished reading White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte. It was the right book at the right time and I’ll be rereading sections again and again (especially the page about Devotion). Her words on devotion have become my prayer to myself.
“Deep growth happens when our self-care is a celebration of our goodness and value, and not a fixation on what needs to be fixed.”
4. TAROT DAILY PLANNER – I’m putting the finishing touches on the 2018 Tarot Daily Planner, which will come in a print edition! It’ll be perfect for recording your daily draws during the year or for planning out your life using tarot. The expected release date is December 1.
5. PLANNING FOR 2018 – I am committed to making 2018 my Best Year Yet. I’m using the Your Best Year 2018 business planner, which is a tough-love guide to making your dreams badass and resolute. (There’s a “life edition” if you don’t need the business guidance).
WARNING: This planner holds no punches and will light a fire underneath you to burn down the sun with your passion, commitment, and desires. It’s not so much a daily/weekly planner as it is a workbook for you to dive deep and create (and maintain) a strong plan for the year.
“We choose our excuses. They don’t choose us. But love comes when we kiss our excuses and, magically, they kiss back and feed the next stage of our lives…Your excuses are simply the roadmap that takes you from “here” to “there”. Good luck on your travels.”
MORE THINGS TO LOVE…bundling up for a hike after the first snowfall…hearing my niece’s first word (“ball”)…making friends with the neighborhood deer…magical origami street art…fleece-lined leggings…small town libraries…Skypes with besties about faith and love and trust…and the ah-ha text exchanges after…
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
When I first saw this tarot deck, I just knew I had to get it. It shows the exact scene from the original Rider-Waite tarot cards, only one moment after. These cards continue the story and add to it, too.
In a way, this is a bit of a novelty deck, although it’s extremely easy to read. But I also find it useful for tarot study to help understand the stories and meanings of each card to see “what happens next.”
I purchased my copy of the After Tarot Kit in the summer of 2017 from Amazon for about $25.
THE AFTER TAROT DECK REVIEW
It’s a fun tarot deck for people who are already familiar with the Rider-Waite tarot card meanings.
The After Tarot Kit is an extremely high-quality deck and package. It makes a wonderful gift for anyone who loves tarot and storytelling.
HISTORY OF THE AFTER TAROT KIT
The deck was created by Corrine Kenner and illustrated by Giulia Francesca Massaglia and Pietro Alligo. This deck was was first published in early 2017 by Lo Scarabeo, an Italian tarot deck publisher.
Giulia Francesca Massaglia is an Italian illustrator and cartoonist. She also illustrated the Mucha Tarot and the Romantic Tarot for Lo Scarabeo. I couldn’t find a portfolio or website online, but she’s on Facebook (in Italian).
Pietro Alligo is also an Italian illustrator, and he’s responsible for the Tarot of the Renaissance as well as others for Lo Scarabeo. My Italian is non-existent, so I wasn’t able to find much about him online.
THE PACKAGE & CONTENTS
The After Tarot Kit is a high-quality deck and package – much higher quality than normal. The exterior box opens from the side with a magnetic flap. Inside the box is the companion guide with the deck of cards nestled beneath it.
The cardstock is thick and sturdy with just enough “slip” to make shuffling the cards easy. These are very firm cards and they will take quite a bit of abuse.
The backside of each card shows a beautiful illustration of white lilies and red roses on a light green background. I like the card backs a million times better that the original RW-deck.
The companion book is also quite impressive. It’s printed in full color throughout and is organized in an unusual way. I’ll share more details below…
READING TAROT WITH THE AFTER TAROT DECK
The After Tarot Kit is designed to show what happens in the cards, one moment after what is shown on the original Rider-Waite deck.
Each card is extremely similar to the original RW card. If you know how to read any RW-based deck, this one will be very easy to read. Most of the differences are subtle and you’ll have to study each card to see how they show the “one moment after” image.
The After Tarot Kit carries the story of each of the cards just a little bit farther. It’s like you’re eavesdropping or being a peeping tom (but not in a creepy way). For example, the Two of Cups shows the couple embracing, and the Eight of Pentacles shows the craftsman showing off his completed work. If you like stories or storytelling, this is a fun deck to play with.
USING THE AFTER TAROT COMPANION BOOK
The companion guide is divided into two sections. The first outlines the basics of tarot and the second gives detailed descriptions of each of the cards.
This second section is organized strangely, but it works. The cards are organized by numbers, with the Major Arcana together with the pips. For example, the Justice card (11 = 1 + 1 = 2) is in the section with the Twos of each suit.
Each card is shown with a short intro paragraph and then covered in detail with the card description, key symbols, and suggested interpretations. When it comes to describing each card and its meanings, this is one of the most comprehensive companion books I’ve seen.
The After Tarot Kit doesn’t include any information for reading reversed tarot cards, however. The companion book doesn’t even include keywords for the reversed meanings.
IS THE AFTER TAROT KIT GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?
Yes, I’d recommend this deck over the original Rider-Waite, in fact. The images are so close to each other, but the quality of this deck is much better.
It’s very easy to read these cards and it is an excellent choice if you’re looking for your first tarot deck.
PROS OF THE AFTER TAROT DECK
Extremely high quality package, cards, and companion book.
Very easy to read, since the images are almost identical to the original RW-based cards.
Beautiful card back.
CONS OF THE AFTER TAROT DECK
This deck is only interesting if you like the original RW images.
There are no reversed meanings given in the companion book.
Overall, I give this deck 5 full stars. The quality is gorgeous and I love the idea of it.
If you’re a total tarot beginner looking for your first deck, this is a good choice. It’s a better quality deck than the original Rider-Waite (which uses cheaper cardstock, has ugly card backs, and doesn’t even come with a companion book).
However, if you don’t like the original Rider-Waite images, you won’t like this one either.
If you do like the original deck, though, you’ll love this one. It’s witty, fun, and very playful. It’s like meeting up with an old friend from way back when, and finding out you can still talk and laugh together like no time has passed at all.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
The Robin Wood Tarot is a bit…unusual. You’ll either love it or hate it.
Personally, I love it. I love it’s fairytale-meets-pornstar-mustache vibe and I love what it represents.
This was one of the first tarot decks to combine the meanings of the original Rider-Waite deck with nature-based, earthy imagery. It’s often called a Pagan tarot deck because it avoids much of the traditional religious symbolism in favor of more more elemental symbols.
The illustrations feel like they come out of a fairy tale, in a way that reminds me slightly of Arthur Rackham. The deck is a bit dated, but also classic.
This deck is popular among Pagans, Wiccans, witches, and people who don’t want Christianity mixed with their tarot. It’s also a very good deck for tarot beginners, as the cards closely follow the traditional RW-based meanings and stories.
I purchased my copy of the Robin Wood Tarot deck in 2016 for about $20 from Amazon. It’s also available from the publisher (Llewellyn Worldwide) for a few dollars more.
THE ROBIN WOOD TAROT DECK REVIEW
This is a fairly dated tarot deck, but it’s a wonderful choice for tarot beginners who want an alternative to the original Rider-Waite deck.
The illustrations are influenced by nature and the elements. It’s a perfect combination of Pagan images with the traditional RW-based meanings.
HISTORY OF THE ROBIN WOOD TAROT DECK
The Robin Wood Tarot was created by Robin Wood over the course of many years. It was first published in 2002 by Llewellyn Worldwide. This was one of the first “traditional” RW-based decks to use natural and elemental energies, which is why it is considered a Pagan deck. It’s a classic, and you’ll find many professional tarot readers who use this as their main deck.
Robin is a prolific illustrator. You can purchase prints of some of the tarot cards from her shop, and find out more at her website at www.RobinWood.com. She’s currently very active as a Second Life creator, which she talks about on her blog.
THE PACKAGE & CONTENTS
There is nothing special about the packaging of this deck. The Robin Wood Tarot comes in a small box, not the standard “big” box that Llewellyn now uses for most of its decks. This is the only real let-down of this deck. The outer box holds just the cards and is rather flimsy.
The backside of the cards shows a symmetrical Celtic-knot design in black, white, and green. It doesn’t match the style of the illustrations, but it doesn’t detract, either.
The cards themselves are lightweight and slippery. I appreciate this (since I’m a lousy shuffler and these cards are easy to shuffle), but I know some people would prefer heavier weight cards. They are coated and will take a bit of a beating, but they won’t last forever with regular use.
A companion guide is available separately. It’s written by Robin Wood, the creator of the deck (always a good sign) and has very good reviews on Amazon. I haven’t looked at it, so I won’t include it in this review.
The deck itself comes with it’s own “little white book,” which is a tiny 56-page stapled guide to the cards. This guide includes three sample tarot spreads as well as keywords for the upright and reversed meanings of each card. It’s useful, but doesn’t add much to the experience of using the deck.
READING TAROT WITH THE ROBIN WOOD DECK
Even though the illustration style is completely different, the Robin Wood Tarot deck closely follows the RW-traditional meanings, symbols, and stories.
The images are clear and colorful and they feel like they come from an old-timey fairy tale book. It’s impressive how Robin Wood was able to follow the traditional symbols so closely, yet create a deck that feels totally different from the original Rider-Waite.
There is a small bit of full frontal nudity in this deck. It’s tasteful and unabashed, but definitely NSFW.
IS THE ROBIN WOOD DECK GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?
Yes, absolutely. The cards in the Robin Wood Tarot follow the traditional RW-meanings extremely closely.
If you are Pagan, Wiccan, practicing witch, or just interested in those things, this is a wonderful deck. It doesn’t feel as Judeo-Christian as the original Rider-Waite, but uses the same stories on each of the cards. It’s amazing to have a RW-based Pagan deck that carefully combines both traditions.
PROS OF THE ROBIN WOOD TAROT DECK
A perfect combination of the traditional RW-based meanings with Pagan imagery.
The cards are well illustrated, detailed, and extremely easy to read.
CONS OF THE ROBIN WOOD TAROT DECK
It doesn’t come in an impressive package. This only matters if you’re giving it as a gift, though.
You have to purchase the full companion book separately.
The illustrations feel a bit dated. “Timeless” and “classic” are two similar words, but, yeah, “dated” works, too. 🙂
Like I said…you’ll either love this deck or hate it. I don’t know many people who are in the middle about it.
If you like the images and you are looking for a serious Rider-Waite based tarot deck that fits a more nature-based spirituality, this is the deck for you. It’s a good choice for your first tarot deck as it’s extremely easy to read and closely follows the RW-based meanings.
Of all the tarot decks I use and recommend, the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot deck is the closest to the original RW deck in symbols, meanings, and stories – but it uses a completely different illustration style. If you don’t like the artwork of the original RW cards, definitely consider the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot deck instead.
This review will cover all of the important details about this deck. I purchased the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot in 2016 from Amazon for about $26. It’s also available directly from the publisher, Llewellyn Worldwide, for a few dollars more.
LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT DECK REVIEW
This deck follows the original Rider-Waite symbols, meanings, and images extremely closely while using a more modern illustration style.
If you are looking for your first tarot deck (or one that is extremely easy to read) – this is a great alternative to the original RW deck.
HISTORY OF THE LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT DECK
The Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot was created by Barbara Moore and illustrated by Eugene Smith.
Her website, www.TarotShaman.com is an excellent source for tarot tips and news. She’s also an editor at Llewellyn Worldwide, and I get the impression that the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot was specifically designed as the company’s most basic “beginner” deck. Like with everything else Barbara creates, the details of this deck have been carefully chosen and completely thought through. She knows her stuff.
The cards were illustrated by Eugene Smith, an illustrator based out of Chicago. The cards (like all of his work) is modern, colorful, detailed, and has a fairy-tale feel. You can find out more about his work at www.EugeneSmithIllustration.com.
Barbara and Eugene have also partnered up to create an Alice in Wonderland themed tarot deck which has incredible illustrations. I haven’t purchased this deck yet so I won’t review it, but you can take a look at it here or see some of the images on Eugene’s website.
THE PACKAGE & CONTENTS
The Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot comes in a large box that opens at the top. Inside the box is the companion guide and the deck of cards. There is not “spot” to nestle the cards – once you’ve opened the package, the cards will float loose inside the box. It’s annoying and I’m glad Llewellyn has moved to the side-opening magnetic-flap boxes for their other contemporary tarot decks.
The backside of the cards is blue with a symmetrical pattern of white lilies and red roses. It feels similar to the original Rider-Waite card back, but is more attractive. The cards look very subtle when they are laid out in a tarot spread.
The cardstock is firm, but slippery. I suck at shuffling cards in general and these cards are difficult for me to shuffle. They just feel too stiff. I would prefer if they were a little thinner weight of cardstock, but that’s just me.
Most people prefer a thicker cardstock, so I know I’m in the minority. The cards feel thick and solid and I expect they will last a long time with regular use.
The package includes a companion guide to the deck, which is well written.
The cards themselves are borderless, which means the illustration bleeds off the edge of the cards. There is a small band of blue at the bottom of every card with the name of the card written in large print. It is extremely easy to identify the cards and tell them apart.
READING TAROT WITH THE LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT DECK
These cards are extremely clear, simple, and easy to read. They follow the RW-based meanings exactly, using a more modern illustration style.
There are a few cards where the person in the image is shown facing the opposite direction from the original RW cards. This is very minor, but if you interpret cards facing to the left as representing the past and cards facing to the right as looking towards the future, it’s something to be aware of.
The Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot really shines in the court cards. Since most people find the court cards difficult to learn, remember, and tell apart, I love using this deck with beginners. These court cards are different and you really feel their personality and story. It’s easy to tell them apart.
Not only that, but there is a forcefulness with the Queens and Kings that you don’t find in the original RW-deck. You really feel the mastery and strength of them. I find the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot’s court cards to be much, much, much easier to read that the original Rider-Waite.
USING THE LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT COMPANION BOOK
This is a standard tarot companion book, and it is well written and quite detailed.
Each card is covered, with keywords (for upright and reversed meanings) and correspondences, followed by a few paragraphs highlighting the symbols on the card and what they mean. Barbara Moore is an excellent storyteller, and she easily weaves together the card images, symbols, meanings and interpretations into a story that is easy to remember.
Unlike most companion books, which are usually very basic and specific to the one deck, this one is more comprehensive and thorough. You will go quite far in your tarot journey using just this book alone. It doesn’t cover everything, but it will give you enough of an understanding that you can learn everything else on your own through experimentation and practice.
IS THE LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT DECK GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?
Yes, absolutely. Along with the original Rider-Waite deck, this is the tarot deck I recommend most often for people just starting out learning tarot.
In fact, in some ways, I think this deck is even better than the original RW-deck. Personally, I prefer the illustration style of the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot, but even beyond that, the cards are easier to read with more personality and story.
As your first tarot deck, this is an excellent choice.
PROS OF THE LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT DECK
Extremely easy to read illustrations that closely follow the RW-based traditional meanings.
A high-quality, detailed companion book that includes everything you need to get started learning tarot.
The court cards have personality, are unique, and really feel like the energy they represent.
CONS OF THE LLEWELLYN’S CLASSIC TAROT DECK
Although, you’ll either like the illustration style or you won’t. But that’s the same for any deck.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Full disclosure: this is my current favorite tarot deck and the one I personally use most often, especially for tarot journaling. It’s hard to give an impartial review of something when I’m obviously so biased, but I’ll do my best. 🙂
Let me begin by saying that the Linestrider tarot is not for everyone. First, it’s got naked people on some of the cards. (The shock! The horror! But seriously, it’s pretty tasteful but NSFW.)
Second, you might just hate the illustration style or find it too subtle.
And finally, it’s a pretty tough deck to read if you’re an absolute tarot beginner. You’ll definitely need a confident understanding of the traditional RW-based meanings to read this deck easily and well.
But, with that said – this is one of my favorite tarot decks for a reason. It’s smart. I don’t know how else to describe it, but this deck reads in a way that is deep, clever, witty, funny, and extremely thoughtful. If you connect with this deck, you’ll always get interesting and provoking ideas from using it.
This deck is whimsical, clever, subtle, challenging, and beautiful.
This is not a great deck for learning tarot, but it’s wonderful for reading tarot. I don’t recommend it to absolute beginners, but it’s one of the decks I personally use the most often.
HISTORY OF THE LINESTRIDER TAROT DECK
The Linestrider Tarot was created by Siolo Thompson, an artist, illustrator, and designer based out of Seattle (after a life-time of adventures elsewhere). The deck was first published in mid-2016, so it’s still relatively new and unknown.
From her website, “Siolo is a weirdo with a background in comparative literature, a six year stint as an x-ray and angiography tech, experience in commercial kitchens, years as a bartender, hostess, waitress, deck hand, stripper, model, feminist publisher, martial arts teacher, bit part film actor, and medical translator…her art is as diverse as her life experience.” Gah! I love her already.
Her style is minimal, clever, soft, and realistic. For this deck, the artist used a lightweight watercolor and pencil illustration style that leaves the majority of the card white, with just hints of the image. The images are clear – but suggestive and open to many interpretations.
The Linestrider Tarot is published by Llewellyn Worldwide and is very similar in packaging and quality to other contemporary Llewellyn decks. The outer box opens from the side with a magnetic flap to reveal the companion book. The cards are nestled below the book.
The cards are fairly lightweight and slippery. They are coated and will take a bit of abuse, but probably won’t last forever if you are using them often. I’ve been using them almost daily for a year and only have a bit of light wear on a few of the edges.
I have a hard time shuffling cards, so I prefer them to be lightweight and slippery, but I know some people don’t.
The back of the card shows an abstract, symmetrical illustration in blue watercolor. It matches the “feel” of the cards, but not the style.
The companion book is your standard companion book, with about 275 pages of instruction and description for these cards.
The cards are illustrated using a mixture of people and animals. They are realistically drawn, using unusual colors and situations. Many of the animals feel anthropomorphic, with human qualities and costumes.
READING TAROT WITH THE LINESTRIDER DECK
The Linestrider Tarot follows the RW-based traditional meanings, but only in an abstract way. Most of the cards show animals instead of people and they “suggest” the meanings instead of telling the full story.
For example, the Five of Cups shows an owl guarding her nest of eggs. Three of the eggs are broken, but two are whole. It’s heartbreaking, sad, and hopeful – just like the traditional meaning for the card.
One of my favorite cards in this deck is the Nine of Cups. It shows a cat sitting outside an open birdcage, with a yellow feather in its mouth and a smug expression on its face. The traditional RW-card (with a fat man in front of a banquet of cups) has the same “cat that ate the canary” feeling, but the energy of the Linestrider card just feels right.
To read these cards, you absolutely need to have a solid understanding of the traditional RW-based meanings. The Linestrider Tarot hints and suggests the meaning, but it doesn’t outright say it.
USING THE LINESTRIDER COMPANION BOOK
The companion book includes a detailed description of each card with keywords and correspondences.
The descriptions include thoughts from the artist on the symbols used and how she developed the card. She also covers how to read the card with reversed meanings and interpretations. It’s fairly complete.
There are a few sample tarot spreads and a couple pages on the basics of tarot. It is not designed to be a comprehensive “how to read tarot” guidebook. But this is a comprehensive guide to understanding this particular deck.
IS THE LINESTRIDER DECK GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?
I want to say yes so badly! I want to share this deck with everyone!
But, no, this deck is not a good choice for your first tarot deck, and I wouldn’t ever recommend this deck for tarot beginners.
PROS OF THE LINESTRIDER DECK
So, so, so gorgeous. Unbelievably gorgeous.
The cards are thoughtful, smart, and deep. If you connect with them, you’ll connect hard. This is my favorite deck for tarot journaling.
The artist’s thoughts in the companion guide really add depth to the story & symbols of each card.
CONS OF THE LINESTRIDER DECK
Extremely difficult to read unless you are knowledgeable about the traditional RW-based meanings.
The cards “hint” at the stories, symbols, and meanings, so it’s not an easy read. You’ll have to use your brain.
It’s a very personal deck. I don’t know that it would work well when reading for others.
If you are looking for a tarot deck that is easy to read and understand, this is not the deck you want.
But if you want a tool for personal self-discovery that will help you dive deep into your own thoughts, consider this one. The Linestrider Tarot is a deck that will challenge you, guide you, and push you to grow.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
When I teach tarot to beginners, I always recommend they start learning with a RW-based tarot deck.
(RW = Rider-Waite, the tarot deck originally created in 1909 by A.E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, originally published by the Rider Company).
There are many tarot decks that follow this tradition, using the same stories, meanings, and symbols as the original deck, but in a more attractive package. The Green Witch Tarot is one of them.
This deck was designed for a very specific type of person, so before I start this review, I want to let you know that I’m not that person. I’m not a practicing witch. I have a fairly limited knowledge of the Pagan symbols used in the Green Witch tarot deck, and although I think the images are beautiful they don’t really “mean” much to me. My ignorance might be (unknowingly) influencing my review of this deck.
However, if you are Pagan, Wiccan, a witch, or just consider yourself witch-curious, you’ll love this deck. It’s a very good deck for tarot beginners, with a few minor caveats.
FYI: I purchased my copy of The Green Witch Tarot from Amazon in mid-2017 for about $24.00. It’s also available directly from the publisher for a few dollars more.
The Green Witch Tarot Review
This a great deck for tarot beginners who are Pagan, Wiccan, a witch, or curious about witchcraft as a practice.
The illustrations are beautiful and the symbols, meanings, and images are clear on (almost) every single card.
HISTORY OF THE GREEN WITCH TAROT DECK
The creator of the deck and author of the companion book is Ann Moura, a writer, teacher, and former Navy Lieutenant who is a practicing solitary witch. She learned the craft from her mother and grandmother and has been practicing for over 45 years. She’s written many other books about Green Witchcraft which can be found on her website at AnnMourasGarden.com.
Kiri Østergaard Leonard illustrated the cards. She’s a friendly, generous and prolific professional illustrator from Denmark who now lives in Austin, Texas. She specializes in detailed images inspired by fantasy, folklore, and fairy tales. You can view her portfolio and purchase prints of her illustrations from her own shop at KiriLeonard.com. (Highly recommended! Her tarot card illustrations is lovely, but the cards are so small it really doesn’t do her work justice. Her larger pieces are amazing).
The packaging of this deck and companion guide is extremely similar to others produced by Llewellyn. The large outer box opens from the side, revealing the tarot book with the deck underneath. It’s a lovely presentation and quite sturdy, but it’s not particularly amazing.
The back of the card shows a wreath made of roses and vines to create a pentacle. It’s quite pretty, but more than that, I appreciate how the design is offset towards the top of the card. This makes avoiding reversed cards very easy during a tarot reading. It’s tiny details like this that really set a well-thought out deck apart. You *know* the creator agonized over every last detail! 🙂
READING TAROT WITH THE GREEN WITCH TAROT DECK
The illustrations on the Green Witch Tarot deck closely follow the RW-traditional meanings. Very closely! This makes it a breeze to read with.
There are a few key differences, though. First, this is a Pagan deck. The Judeo-Christian elements of the traditional RW-deck are gone and replaced with Pagan references. Many of the cards have been renamed.
For example, the Cups are called Chalices and the Swords are called Athames. Most of the Major Arcana have been renamed using Pagan identifiers like the Lord of Shadows (Death), the Greenman (The Fool), the Oak King (The Hanged Man), the Holly King (The Hermit), and others.
Despite the naming differences, the stories and symbols used are the same as the traditional RW-deck. Even if you don’t know what the Wild Hunt or the World Tree are, you’ll be able to read the cards.
The only place I struggled with these cards is with the court cards. The images on each of the court cards, especially the Queens and Kings, don’t seem to match the traditional RW-meanings. With this deck, you may have to rely on memorization instead of intuition or the visual representation to remember the court cards. It’s the only real flaw in the deck I found.
USING THE GREEN WITCH COMPANION BOOK
I’m rarely impressed with the companion guides that come with a tarot deck. They usually seem thrown together using boilerplate text and scanned card images.
This book is different. The Green Witch Tarot companion book was written by a real witch. And it’s obvious she cares deeply about her practice and sharing information with others. it’s the real deal.
To quote from the Introduction, Ann Moura writes, “The Green Witchcraft approach to the tarot is based on a personal relationship to nature, earth magic, the elementals (earth, air, fire, water), and the power of the immanent Goddess and God in their many aspects, and to the faeries, spirits, and entities of the earth, otherworld, and underworld.”
Like most companion guides, the book describes each card in detail and then shares keywords for the upright and reversed meanings. This book really shines in the descriptions, though. This is not boring boilerplate. The author includes a description of the animal and plant life illustrated on each card and is adept at wrapping together the tarot card meanings, stories, symbols, and emotions.
The book also includes seven tarot spreads, some standard and some witchcraft-specific.
IS THE GREEN WITCH DECK GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?
The illustrations are extremely clear. The images follow the RW-based traditional deck closely (although some cards do use different names).
You don’t need to be a Pagan or witch to read tarot using deck. (Although, I’m sure it helps!)
PROS OF THE GREEN WITCH TAROT DECK
The illustrations are lovely and very clear to read.
Overall, it closely follows the RW-traditional meanings and symbols.
It’s easy to avoid reversed cards because the design on the back of the card is offset.
CONS OF THE GREEN WITCH TAROT DECK
The Court Cards are hard to read and don’t seem to *fit* the traditional meanings.
The companion guide is well written, but very short. I’d have loved to have full descriptions of the reversed card meanings (instead of keywords) and correspondences.
Since I’m not a practicing witch, I’m not the target audience for this tarot deck. Although I own this deck and enjoy it, I don’t use it often for tarot readings. For me, this deck is more like a fascinating look into a world I’m not really a part of. I like being a visitor, but I don’t feel very comfortable there. 🙂
However, I highly recommend this deck if you are a practicing witch, Pagan, or curious about witchcraft and you’re looking for a tarot deck that reflects your spirituality. It’s similar to the Everyday Witch Tarot published by Llewellyn, but the Green Witch Tarot feels a bit more “grown up” and authentic to the craft.
The cards are clear to read and the meanings very closely follow the traditional RW-deck, while mixing in some pagan elements. If you’re witchy, this is a great deck for you!
This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Everyone struggles with learning how to read reversed tarot cards. It really shouldn’t be that difficult – or at least no more difficult than learning the upright meanings. But it is. We all struggle with it, myself included.
Which is why I was thrilled when someone introduced me to the Revelations Tarot. This deck is the ONLY deck you need to help you learn how to read reversals.
The way these cards is designed is genius. One half of the card shows the “regular” RW-based meaning of the card. When you flip the card 180 degrees, the other half of the card shows the reversed meaning. So smart!
However, this means there are two different “stories” on each card, which makes them a bit busy, cluttered, and difficult to read for beginners.
I purchased the Revelations Tarot deck from Amazon in mid-2017 for about $28. This is my honest review of the deck, for both tarot beginners and for people just starting to learn and use reversed tarot cards…
The Revelations Tarot Deck Review
If you are learning how to read reversed (upside-down) tarot cards, you need this deck.
It’s too complicated for beginners just starting out. But if you already understand the traditional RW-based cards, this deck will be an invaluable (and beautiful) tool for your tarot journey.
HISTORY OF THE REVELATIONS TAROT DECK
The story of the Revelations deck begins in 2000 as a personal project for Zach Wong, who was fairly young when he created the deck. Unfortunately, Zach is no longer active online as an illustrator, so I imagine he’s moved on to a different career. (His illustration website is at ZackWong.com but it hasn’t been updated in years).
It took three years for Zach to create the cards. If you’re interested in how this deck was created and published (I find this stuff fascinating!), there’s a timeline at Zach’s website.
The style of the illustrations is a cross between colorful stained glass and early Manga. Each card is extremely detailed. The figures are humanoid, but not necessarily human. The Cups are represented by mermen and mermaids and the Pentacles are cyborg robots. It sounds strange, but it works.
THE PACKAGE & CONTENTS
The Revelations Tarot deck is published by Llewellyn, which has a standard way for presenting their decks. This deck comes with a large outer box that opens on the side with a magnetic flap. Inside the package is the companion book and the cards.
The cards themselves are a little “slippery” and light-weight. I actually prefer this, because it makes them easier to shuffle (and I’m a terrible shuffler so this is important to me). This deck will take a bit of abuse, but don’t expect it to last forever if you are regularly using the cards.
The back of the card shows an abstract swirly design on an electric dark blue background. It doesn’t completely match the style of the artwork on the cards and there isn’t anything particularly noteworthy about the card backs.
READING TAROT WITH THE REVELATIONS DECK
The Revelations Tarot is unusual. Each card is divided roughly in half with the upright side telling the “story” of the upright meaning, and the opposite side showing the reversed meaning. This means many of the cards will have two people doing totally separate but related things.
In general, the illustrations follow the RW-based traditional meanings. Because there is just So Much Going On with each card, this sometimes means that only one interpretation of the RW-based meaning is illustrated.
For example, the Three of Pentacles shows a man alone, carving a pentacle in front of a downtown skyline. This definitely has the interpretation of “hard work,” but because it is missing the other RW-based elements of this card, it is missing the interpretation of “teamwork.”
If you already know the RW-based interpretations, this won’t be a problem. Your brain will fill in the gaps. But if you are still learning the meanings, it will be difficult to match what you know to what you see on each card.
I find the court cards easy to identify and remember with this deck. Each one is distinctive and their facial expressions help to identify their meaning.
In fact, for every card, there are many small details to help you remember the story and emotion. The illustrations are so detailed and subtle that I keep finding things I’ve missed before. That makes each new tarot reading fun and gives depth to the readings I do with this deck.
USING THE REVELATIONS COMPANION BOOK
The companion book to the Revelations Tarot was written by the illustrator, which I appreciate. He knows these cards better than anyone else.
On one hand, this is your standard companion guide. It goes through each of the cards, one by one, and gives a few paragraphs about the card’s meaning. There are a few sample tarot spreads in the back, too.
Many companion guides are just terrible. The bar is set pretty low, so I’m always surprised when I find a good one.
The Revelations Tarot companion guide is not a great book for learning to read tarot cards, but it is a great guide for learning to read this particular deck. The book includes full meanings for each of the reversed tarot cards (not just keywords) and also describes the illustrations and symbolism for both the upright and reversed meanings.
I found it fascinating to hear how the illustrator thought of each card, from his own words. The descriptions about the illustrations and symbols of each card were also extremely helpful in pointing out details I otherwise would have missed.
IS THE REVELATIONS DECK GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?
No. This deck isn’t meant for beginners.
It seems unfair to hold it to my usual standard, since it was designed to do one thing (help with reading reversed cards) and it does that extremely well.
I don’t recommend this deck as your first tarot deck. The cards are busy to the point of feeling cluttered and the “stories” shown in the illustrations are sometimes unclear. It will be extremely difficult to learn the tarot card meanings if you are using only this deck.
PROS OF THE REVELATIONS DECK
This is THE deck if you want to learn how to read reversed tarot cards.
The illustration style is unique. I love it (so it’s a pro for me).
The companion book is really useful in understanding each card’s illustrations and symbols.
CONS OF THE REVELATIONS DECK
Because each card tells two stories (upright & reversed), the images feel crowded and cluttered.
The “stories” on some of the cards only show one interpretation of the RW-based meanings. You’ll need a solid understanding of the RW-deck to read these cards.
The cards are slick and thin. (I like this, but I know some people think they feel “cheap.”)
I could go on and on about how this deck helped me (finally!!!) feel confident reading reversed tarot cards. Or how I *love* the stained-glass-modern-masks illustration style. Or how much fun I have playing around with these cards.
But I’ll just wrap up this review with the only statement that matters. When you are ready to read reversed tarot cards, get this deck.