Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

DruidCraft Tarot Deck Review

Druid book1

The DruidCraft Tarot

Creator(s): Philip Carr-Gomm & Stephanie Carr-Gomm (Authors), Will Worthington (Artist)
Number of Cards: 78 Major Arcana: 22 Minor Arcana: 56
Card Size: 3.54 x 5.51 inches
Publisher: Published by Connections 2005
Deck Tradition: Rider-Waite-Smith
Minor Arcana Style: Unique Scenes With Suit Symbols
Suits: Cups, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards: Prince, Princess, Queen, King
Major Titles: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Lady, The Lord, The High Priest, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, The Wheel, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, The Fferyllt, Cernunnos, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Rebirth, The World

The Fool is 0 Strength is 8 Justice is 11
Deck Theme: Celtic
Card Back: Reversible
Back Design: Plain dark brown with small gold details in the center and corners.
Companion Material: 192-page softcover book is packaged along with the cards in a cardboard box.
Languages: English

From the moment I received the DruidCraft Tarot deck in the mail six years ago and began thumbing through the cards, I knew that I would have a special relationship with this deck. Since then, it has become one of my main reading decks and a favorite with clients.

The DruidCraft Tarot deck is a combination of Wicca and Druidry to form a masterpiece of a Tarot deck, presenting a nice integration of masculine and feminine energies. We are presented with lush green hillsides, towering oak trees, medieval castles, serene rivers, wise druids and youthful bards all in the spirit of the earth-based Wiccan and Druid traditions to emphasize a connection with the natural world. This deck is not just for those who follow a Druid or Wiccan path, but for anyone who connects with nature.

The richly colored cards contain clear, vibrantly painted lifelike images, which because of the attention to detail, makes the characters and the settings on the cards seem real. Both the authors and the illustrator are active in the Order of the Bards, Ovates and Druids (http://www.druidry.org), the world’s largest Druid order, based in England. As practicing Druids, the authors lend many years of writing and teaching experience to the creation of this deck. Many people find the Druid Animal Oracle, also by Philip Carr Gomm, Stephanie Carr Gomm and Will Worthington, a wonderful complement to the DruidCraft. In fact, several animals from the Druid Animal Oracle show themselves again in the DruidCraft. You may also like to explore the Druid Plant Oracle as well, also by the same authors and artist.

The card themselves are of good quality card stock and are larger than most – they measure 3.5 x 5.5″ inches, something those with smaller hands or who have difficulty shuffling larger decks may wish to keep in mind. Each image is surrounded by a 1/4″ white border. I’ve recently seen some images of the cards where the border has been trimmed and am now seriously considering doing the same myself – the cards are especially attractive without the border.

The Major Arcana cards display the numbers in Roman Numerals along with the name of the card (in uppercase) in black type inside a gray box on the bottom of the card. The cards are reversible with brown leather-colored backs which contain a reversible golden knot design.

DruidCraft Tarot Card Back image

DruidCraft Tarot back of card

The deck follows the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition of 78 cards with the Strength card being 8 and Justice 11. While the much of the imagery is recognizable from the RWS Golden Dawn tradition, there are a number of changes to the symbolism to correspond to the Celtic theme of the deck. For instance, several of the Majors have been renamed to reflect earth-based traditions:

The Empresses has been renamed to The Lady
The Emperor has been renamed to The Lord
The Hierophant has been renamed to The High Priest
Temperance has been renamed to The Fferyllt
The Devil has been renamed to Cernunnos
Judgment has been renamed to Rebirth

In fact, one of my favorite cards in the deck is Cernunnos, the Horned God of Fertility representing the Lord of the Animals and the Hunter. In traditional decks, this card is The Devil, and warns against greed, materialism, and sexual obsession. Cernunnos represents the powers of the animal, instinctual and material worlds which, in the Druid and Wiccan traditions, are not considered evil but rather represent our potential for abundance and liberation – our ability to master and use responsibly the forces which govern life on earth.

Cernunnos card druidcraft tarot imageCernunnos Card

The Fferyllt, traditionally Temperance in the RWS system, depicts a Druid alchemist who combines the powers of water and fire to create harmony, balance and transformation. It is a card that blends the inner and outer to create a harmonious creative self.

The Fferyllt card druidcraft tarot imageThe Fferyllt Card

The Rebirth card, traditionally judgement in the RWS system, depicts a child being reborn from the Temple-Tomb of New Grange. A Priest-Initiator stands outside the entrance, blowing a dord (a ritual horn) to wake up the soul – to be reborn, to accept its life and begin a new cycle.

DruidCraft Tarot Rebirth Card imageRebirth card

Another one of my favorites is the Death card. Here we have the Goddess Cailleach in her crone aspect, holding a skull while standing in front of the Cauldron of Rebirth. The appearance of dawn in the sky as well as the cauldron hint at the idea of rebirth and transformation. In the background near the river, we see a dolmen which as the companion book points out, is not just a place of burial but also of initiation and rebirth.

Death 198x300Death card

The other Majors in this deck are equally stunning.

The suits of the Minors are Cups (water), Pentacles (earth), Wands (fire) and Swords (air). The images, which tend to fall short in some decks, are just as wonderfully illustrated as the Majors. I personally find the imagery of the cards completely relevant and obvious to the card meanings. The suit and number of the cards are spelled out in uppercase (for example, TWO OF PENTACLES) in black type inside a gray box on the bottom of the card.

The Court Cards are

Princess,
Prince,
Queen, and
King.

The comprehensive and detail-oriented companion book that comes packaged with the deck is one of the best I’ve seen. Coming in at 192 pages, it is chock full of druidic/celtic lore, spreads and other tidbits. The positioning of the card meanings in the book is non-traditional in that the the Court Cards are presented first, then then Minor Arcana (grouped by number, rather than suit) and then the Major Arcana. An entire page is devoted to each of the pip cards and court cards where each is given a short list of keywords, a description, the upright meaning and the reversed meaning. The Major Arcana cards are given three pages, with a list of key words, an in-depth description, the significance of the card, the card meaning and the message of the card.

The book also provides a section on how to use the cards including a rite of blessing and dedication for your deck. Also provided are six original spreads. These are:

  1. The Awen Spread – for finding the seeds of inspiration that can guide your life, and for observing the relationship between past, present and future in your mental, emotional and physical worlds.
  2. The Lunar Spread – for help and nurturing or giving birth to ideas or projects, or for exploring your creativity.
  3. The Pentagram Spread – for help in your search for wholeness, healing, integration and spiritual development.
  4. The Hexagram Spread – for gaining insight into relationships and the inner quest for union.
  5. The Spirits of the Circle Spread – for help in determining the influences that are affecting your life, and to explore your sense of identity, in search of the answer to the perennial question, ‘Who am I?’
  6. The Chalice and Wands Spread – for exploring specific situations or problems, or for general readings where a sense of orientation or direction is needed.

Sample readings using the Hexagram Spread and The Spirits of the Circle Spread are given at the end of the book.

Note that the deck does contain some nudity, specifically The Hanged Man, The Star, Rebirth, Cernunnos, The World and the Lovers cards. You may wish to bear this in mind when working with sensitive clients.

I find this deck suitable for both Tarot beginners as well as the more experienced readers. I would highly recommend this deck to anyone interested in Wicca, Druidry or other earth-centered paths, or to anyone who has an interest in Celtic-style decks. This deck would also be a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection.

Buy the Deck HERE

Additional images of the deck are below:

  Cups12Prince of Cups

  DruidCraft Tarot 4 of cups image4 of Cups

The Moon Druidcraft Tarot imageThe Moon

All images of the DruidCraft Tarot © 2004 Copyright Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

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