Mystic Faerie Tarot
by Linda Ravenscroft, text by Barbara Moore
Faeries with pink gossamer wings, flower buds in delicate lavender, cheerful furry creatures. one might not immediately see beyond the light and innocent, when first flipping through the cards of this deck. There is an obvious ethereal quality to the images, which is as silky and smooth as the cards themselves. Mystic Faerie Tarot
is a visual journey through a faerie garden, and the companion book is our guide. We do indeed meet friendly sprites, and visit the lovelier areas of the garden, but we also confront darker powers and forces we may believe are not in our control.
There is truth to be found in this fantasy. There is a strong sense of reality to this otherwise very otherworldly tarot set. Barbara Moore's approach is of a highly practical nature. Early in the book she reassures the reader, "Often when you think you don't know what to do, you really do. But fear or logic or what other people think gets in the way. The tarot can help you get past those things and find the answers in your heart. To get to those answers you need a bridge, a place where your heart can communicate with your mind." Her reassurance reminds readers that although they are about to step into a land of magic - a land of fairy dust even! - they will remain planted firmly on their own ground. The answers they seek are not obscurities supplied by mysterious others, but are simple truths given light.
The cards in this deck are delightful. Muted gold borders give a rather focusing, serene influence. The composition of each card is very well-designed, and decorative elements are layered, creating richness. Colors are used beautifully, with finesse and sophistication. The deck is as well organized as it is gorgeous to look at. The four suits are Wands, Blooms (traditionally Cups), Thorns (traditionally Swords), and Pentacles. These suits refer, respectively, to adventure and enterprise; love; despair and resourcefulness; and hard work or luck. Moore tells a tale for each of these suits that is reflected very clearly in the imagery of the cards. Her descriptions and card meanings are straightforward and easy to apply.
The Major Arcana cards generally stick to traditional or standard design and interpretation, with some unique variations. One card that stood out to me was the Priestess, who is depicted sitting in meditation, wearing emerald green. She is described as a shaman, and is earthier than we might expect. Her wisdom seems to be very much about being in tune with nature, being in balance, and being "connected." Despite some differences to the traditional Priestess, she is true to tradition in that she is most definitely inward-looking.
Moore provides insightful step-by-step instructions on conducting effective readings. Her tips on "Asking a Question" are particularly helpful. Nine spreads are offered, which draw on faerie themes and range from one-card to thirteen-card layouts.
Don't let the precious faeries in Mystic Faerie Tarot
fool you: this is no lightweight deck. It instructs as well as inspires. I would highly recommend it as a first deck, or as a gift to a teen or young adult, or of course, to anyone who would like to invite the fae into their life!
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Card artwork by Linda Ravenscroft
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2019