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The Minor Arcana bear traditional suit titles of Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands, and unlike the Celtic Dragon and Shapeshifter Tarot the elemental attributions are for Fire — Wands and Air — Swords, symbolism I personally find preferable and which became a slight stumbling block in my reading of earlier decks from Lisa and D.
Further, these Minors are not just the afterthought of an artist such as is found in so many other decks, but rather they are equally as considered, beautiful, and evocative as the Majors.
Princesses are not the Page, and Princes are not Knights, a convention most Tarot readers are familiar with. As the title of the deck suggests, every card in the deck has a fairytale from around the world associated with it. Thus, the card images evoke not only the card meaning and interpretation, but also the events and characters of the story as well.
It is always difficult for an artist to find the balance between portraying the story and the meaning in such decks, and in the cases of certain cards I feel that Lisa presented the story more than the card meaning, but overall I think she maintained a healthy balance between the two.
Luckily, for any images one is unsure of, there is a companion book to refer to for the story!
One of the best things about the stories that Lisa has attached to the cards is that they are all very well chosen. Each story evokes perfectly the card meaning and symbolism, yet also add extra layers of meaning that speak more personally to the individual.
Thus, even an experienced Tarot reader may find themselves pleasantly surprised at the insights revealed by the stories that accompany the cards they are otherwise so familiar with — I had an experience with the Five of Cups that left me reeling in a good way!
Every card is detailed and highly symbolic, with over-the-top occult symbolism completely removed in favour of more naturalistic images. Such symbolism speaks more readily to beginners, to younger readers, and to those who would rather read the cards intuitively than have to remember dozens of different occult systems to gain interpretation.
These stunning images are made all the better by the fact that the cards are borderless, allowing you to step right into the images and more freely link them in readings as connected rather than as isolated events. Lisa has retold every single fairytale for our enjoyment and benefit, then described the symbolism in every card and the way the associated tale represents the card meaning and how it might reflect our selves and our lives.
It also features an impressive and extensive bibliography that would be an excellent resource for anybody wishing to research further the fairytales themselves. The book is also introduced by a succinct explanation of how fairytales are food for us: In this short section, Lisa manages to demonstrate that the two are most definitely symbolically related and serve the same purpose.
The book presents a couple of new spreads, but I was hoping to see more spreads and perhaps some exercises or ways of using the deck that were more in keeping with the fairytale theme. However, anybody with a little time on their hands would be able to consider their own methods of using the deck.
Beginner or advanced reader, young or old, male or female, the card images and the associated fairytales speak to themes and feelings that are beyond all these transient states.
The Fairytale Tarot is utterly delightful.There is a little something for every Pagan, Wiccan, or Witch to use in daily or celebrations of life in "The Dictionary of Wicca, Witchcraft and Magick.
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