Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot Review

dame darcy mermaid tarot
Mermaid Tarot – All images (c) Dame Darcy 2015

I was bombarded with images of this deck on my Tumblr and Instagram feeds for quite a while, until I finally succumbed and bought it from Dame Darcy’s Etsy shop.

What attracted me to this deck? It wasn’t the idea of the mermaids theme, but I loved the hint of burlesque, naughtiness and a bygone world of sailors, pirates and far away tropical islands.

There is nothing twee about the mermaids and 18th century ladies appearing in this deck, quite the opposite: feisty and sexy, and those sailors are quite dashing, too…

Yes, welcome to the delightfully seedy world of Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot!

Think Pirates of the Caribbean joyfully mixed with Cabaret.

Some of the men / boys / merblokes / ladyboys (?) look like they’ve escaped from a 1930s Berlin nightclub to chase freedom, faraway lands, love and luck across the seven seas:

dame darcy mermaid tarot boysAnd here are some of the ladies:

dame darcy mermaid tarot girlsThe illustrations remind me of vintage comic strips, and the watery colouring and tea-stain coloured background give the cards a distressed antique look.

This is a standard 78-card deck, although two cards – the Ace of Cups and Wheel of Fortune – are duplicated.

The cards shuffle extremely well, and their 70 x 120 mm size is perfect for me.

The deck comes shrink-wrapped in a white organza bag, which is just a wee bit small but perfectly adequate. However, I bought a little box for this deck, as I feel it deserves special treatment:

dame darcy mermaid tarot

The Mermaid Tarot is based on the Rider Waite tradition, but has been successfully adapted to the nautical theme without deviating too much from the RWS imagery.

I have been using this deck extensively over the last couple of months for client readings and must say it’s a joy to work with.

Is there anything I don’t like? Well, perhaps some of the images look as if they’ve been rushed, but that doesn’t lessen the overall appeal for me.

So, if you would like to get your hands on it, you can buy it from Dame Darcy’s Etsy shop.

And if you own this deck, I’d love to hear how it works for you. Just leave a comment below, and I’d be thrilled.

Warmest wishes,


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The Druidcraft Tarot Review

druidcraft tarot
The Druidcraft Tarot © Will Worthington 2004

The Druidcraft Tarot deck was first published in 2004, and since then it has become one of the most popular decks in recent times.

What makes this deck so irresistible is the beautiful artwork by Will Worthington, and as a bonus it comes with an excellent companion book by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm.

The theme of the deck is based on nature and the Wicca and Druidry traditions, so it is ideal for anyone wishing to explore these paths on a deeper level with the Tarot.

This is a fully illustrated deck with a Viking feel and filled with symbolism. I love all the animals on the cards.

The cards are a bit oversized for my liking – 140 x 90 mm. As you can see on the image above, they have a white border, which can easily be trimmed, and many tarot readers have done this.

I have seen cropped versions of this deck, which just look stunning, so if you intend to use it regularly, I’d recommend getting rid of the white border.

The 192-page comprehensive companion book includes information on Tarot history, Druid mythology, the seasonal cycles, card descriptions (including reversed meanings) as well as spreads and sample readings.

Although I cannot fault the artwork of the Druidcraft Tarot, I have to admit that the full frontal nudity on some of the images (the Hanged Man and the Star) really bothers me.

I’m not prude, but I don’t think that genitals are a pretty sight, especially in a tarot deck. They remind me of those bad, unnecessary sex scenes in movies, when less would definitely be more.

And the Lovers card is a little risqué, too, which sadly makes it unsuitable for children.

For that reason, the Druidcraft Tarot doesn’t quite make it on my list of all-time favourites, but if you don’t mind the nudity and like the theme and artwork, then don’t be put off by my opinion.

The Druidcraft Tarot Deck & Book Set

Text © Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm 2004
Illustrations © Will Worthington 2004

Connections Publishing 2004

Buy it from the Book Depository (free worldwide delivery)

Warmest wishes,


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The Crystal Tarot Deck Review

Crystal Tarot deck
The Crystal Tarot © Philip Permutt & CICO Books 2010

If you are using crystals in your spiritual practice and would like to combine them with Tarot, then the Crystal Tarot deck by Philip Permutt is ideal for this purpose.

The cards have wonderfully sparkly vibes radiating from the colours and images.

Each card depicts a crystal together with the traditional Tarot image. For example, we see Moonstones at the feet of the High Priestess and pink Tourmaline with the Ace of Swords.

The small companion book provides the basic information for each card and its chosen crystal.

It also offers a brief introduction to Tarot crystal meditation, includes Chakra correspondences with each card and also includes two spreads.

The pip cards in the Minor Arcana are non-illustrated, which doesn’t make this an ideal beginners’ deck.

But if you would like to learn more about using crystals in your Tarot work, then this deck is a very useful tool for that.

I have listed below the Major Arcana cards and their corresponding crystals as suggested in this deck.

The crystals in brackets are alternatives based on the Golden Dawn correspondences; use the crystal that you feel more comfortable with, works for you better or is available to you; some crystals mentioned seem to be rare and difficult to get hold of.

  • Fool – Tourmaline (Tourmaline, Turquoise)
  • Magician – Labradorite (Citrine)
  • High Priestess – Moonstone (Pearl, Labradorite)
  • Empress – Emerald (Emerald, Rose Quartz)
  • Emperor – Ruby (Ruby)
  • Hierophant – Herkimer Diamond (Topaz, Lapis Lazuli)
  • Lovers – Rose Quartz (Blue Lace Agate)
  • Chariot – Obsidian (Amber)
  • Strength – Citrine (Tiger’s Eye)
  • Hermit – Peridot (Peridot)
  • Wheel of Fortune – Amethyst (Sapphire)
  • Justice – Jade (Jade, Emerald)
  • Hanged Man – Aquamarine (Aquamarine)
  • Death – Crocoite (Bloodstone)
  • Temperance – Red Garnet (Amethyst)
  • Devil – Smoky Quartz (Jet, Obsidian)
  • Tower – Titanium Quartz (Garnet)
  • Star – Lapis Lazuli (Clear Quartz Crystal)
  • Moon – Selenite (Moonstone, Opal)
  • Sun – Imperial Topaz (Herkimer Diamond)
  • Judgement – Fire Opal (Malachite)
  • World – Clear Quartz Crystal (Onyx)

Crystal Tarot StrengthI have drawn a card from this deck to sum up the inherent quality and energy of this deck, and I pulled Strength:

Based on the book’s interpretation of this card, the Crystal Tarot may be especially helpful when at a crossroads and trying to make sense of the possibilities and opportunities available.

Messages received from this deck will offer confidence, encouragement and illuminate the need for balance and show how to achieve it.

Luckily, I have both Citrine and Tiger’s Eye in my crystal collection, but I don’t see the need to purchase all the crystals suggested in order to read with this deck.

You can buy crystals that are linked to your birth cards, e.g. persona, personality and year card.

You can also obtain crystals for those cards you use more often for spells, magick and path working.

Overall, this delightful deck with its gentle images can be used without crystals if necessary.

The naive-style artwork of the cards will also no doubt speak to children, who show an interest in the Tarot.

I managed to get the Crystal Tarot from Amazon UK for less than a Fiver; if you live outside the UK, try the Book Depository (they ship worldwide and are often cheaper than Amazon).

Warmest wishes,


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The Planetary Spread with the Rosetta Tarot, Part 1

Rosetta Tarot, www.rosettatarot.com
The Rosetta Tarot © 2011 M.M. Meleen

Last week I received the magickal Rosetta Tarot in the post, and I’m very impressed with the stunningly vibrant images.

This self-published limited edition tarot deck by artist and author M.M. Meleen is based on Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot and the Golden Dawn tradition. 

Some images are very similar to those in the Thoth deck, but others vary a lot, and some images have even been given a modern, 21st century overhaul.

This isn’t a lengthy review of the Rosetta Tarot. Overall, I love this deck, and it has inspired me to create an 8-card planetary spread, which can be used as a condensed overview, ideal for general readings.

If you are interested in buying this deck, you will need to be quick, because only 777 copies have been printed, and I received number 520.

I would also recommend buying the companion book, the Book of Seshet, as it offers a wealth of information on the artwork and symbolism of the deck, astrological correspondences, an introduction to Qabalah and explores the Golden Dawn based tarot structure.

Planetary Spread

In ancient Greco-Roman astronomy five planets and two illuminaries (sun and moon also referred to as planets) were identified, which could all be seen with the naked eye:

Moon – Mercury – Venus – Sun – Mars – Jupiter – Saturn

It was also believed that the Earth was at the centre of the solar system, circled by the seven planets.

The planetary spread is based on this ancient model.

Each planet is associated with characteristics and psychological energies, which we all express in various forms and at different times.

In Tarot, the planets are linked to Major Arcana cards, which can already offer you an insight, what the individual planet is all about, and what the position in the spread refers to.

This spread doesn’t contain a future/outcome position. Instead, each card may reveal new information or confirm what you already know. It may also offer guidance on what action to take, perhaps even suggest future possibilities:

1. Earth

The self; present situation; your current role; how you express yourself; where you are right now; your reality; identity

2. Sun (The Sun)

Power source; what motivates you; energy levels, creative endeavours; level of contentment

3. Mars (The Tower)

Action; the male principle; what actions need to be taken; what needs to be confronted; power and control issues; leadership; what existing structures need to be broken up and rebuilt; in a relationship reading, this position can relate to the male (or male-orientated) partner

4. Venus (The Empress)

Love; the female principle; relationships; family; home life; what needs to be nurtured; sensual pleasures; health; in a relationship reading, this position can relate to the female (or female-orientated) partner

5. Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune)

Opportunities to look out for; things in your favour; changing circumstances; new experiences; growth, expansion; what helps you to reach a long-term goal or is necessary for survival

6. Mercury (The Magician)

Messages that clarify a situation; potential; communication; resources available; what needs changing; intention and goals; generating ideas

7.  Saturn (The World)

Opposition or teacher; obstacles, limitations and boundaries; what has been achieved and completed; lessons learned; what adversity have you overcome that has made you stronger; likewise, which apparent positive situations/people in your life can turn out to be a problem in the future

8. Moon (The High Priestess)

Feelings and emotions; how you have been feeling recently; moods; fears, insecurities; doubts; perceptions, what is hidden; intuition

How to read the Cards in this Spread

Shuffle the deck and arrange the cards face-down. Although the cards are placed in the numerical sequence of the spread, they can be read in any order.

If you do the reading for someone else, you could ask the querent to choose, which card to start with (whilst the cards are still lying face-down). This can give you an indication, what the querent’s subconscious priorities are or what concerns them most.

See this spread in action with the Rosetta Tarot in the follow-up post.

In the meantime, download the FREE planetary spread worksheet to do your own reading.

Warmest wishes,


Would you like to learn more about using astrology in your tarot work? Check out my Tarot Astrology online course:

tarot astrology course workbook

The Sirian Starseed Tarot Review

Sirian Starseed TarotThe Sirian Starseed Tarot is one of the most new age decks I have come across so far.

The photography-based artwork depicts star-studded skies, galaxies, crystals, orbs, dolphins, Buddha, Shiva, the Sphinx and humans from far away fantasy worlds.

When I first looked through the deck and studied each card, I felt uplifted by enchanting images.

I noticed that a lot of the Major Arcana cards have been renamed; traditional authority figures have been turned into Abundance (Empress), Reason (Emperor) and Guidance (Hierophant), and any Christian Church influence has been removed; the Devil has become Shadow, and Judgement has turned into Karma.

The new names offer a fresh perspective on the somewhat dusty archetypal images, and most of them express very well the universal energies the cards represent.

However, I wasn’t so sure about renaming The Sun to Solar Deity, which sounds a bit clunky. What’s wrong with calling the sun Sun?

And why turning Justice into Divine Justice? Personally, I regard the sun as a star in the universe rather than a deity, and Justice is simply Justice…not necessarily divine.

The Fool has been renamed Starseed, and at this point you might be asking what Starseed is all about.

According to Patricia Cori, author and co-creator of this deck, Starseeds are humans, who have been planted on our planet by aliens from the Sirian star system, in order to help humanity evolve on to a higher spiritual level.

Starseeds here on Earth are unaware of their outer space origin, so if you want to know, if you are one of them, you can find out with the Starseed identity test.

There is a somewhat wonderful wackiness to this new age concept, but I’m not concerned about its validity; everyone is entitled to their opinions and ideas.

What is most important to me is the quality of this Tarot deck and how well it works for me without getting involved into Alien conspiracy theories.

Needless to say, the suits have also been renamed; Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles are now Flames, Chalices, Orbs and Crystals.

The courts have changed from Page, Knight, Queen and King to Seeker, Adept, Sage and Master.

I love the transformation of the outdated feudal hierarchical structure of the court cards into one that is based on knowledge and experience rather than power and wealth.

But despite adopting a universal approach to the court cards, there is still a gender division present; the Seekers and Sages are all female, and the Adepts and Masters male.

The exception is the Master of Crystals, who is neutrally depicted as a crystal skull.

In true new age spirit I would have liked to see both genders being represented equally in each archetype, e.g. the Adepts could have easily been represented by two males and two females, which perhaps would have further enhanced the essence of this deck’s visionary message and energy.

My little quibbles shouldn’t distract from the fact, that this is overall a very attractive Tarot deck, which can easily become your favourite, if you love the new age concept and artwork.

The oversized cards (15 x 10 cm) are impossible for me to shuffle, but they are ideal for meditating, manifesting and other magickal workings.

Although the Sirian Starseed Tarot can be described as a non-traditional deck, you can see a connection to the RWS cards in many of its images.

Some offer new perspectives like Starseed (the Fool), the Seven of Flames (Wands) and Adept of Chalices (Knight of Cups), others take the sting out of negative cards like the Nine of Orbs (Swords) and Five of Crystals (Pentacles).

The spirit of the Sirian Starseed Tarot makes this the perfect deck for exploring deeper knowledge, understanding, conscious shift, spiritual growth and life purpose.

Sirian Starseed Tarot AbundanceI have drawn a card that sums up the overall energy of this deck and what it may offer me.

The message I have received is Abundance – creativity, sustainability, fulfilment, nurture, receiving and sharing.

A good sign to work with this deck more often, especially at this time of year, when we have just experienced the 12/12/12 memorable ascension date (note the number 12 = The Hanged Man – emerging from stagnation to a new perspective and consciousness) and are moving towards the end of the current Mayan calendar cycle on the 21 December 2012.

Sirian Starseed Tarot

Patricia Cori & Alysa Bartha
North Atlantic Books 2012
© Patricia Cori 2012

Buy it at: Amazon.co.uk

The Witchy Tarot Review

Witchy Tarot

The Witchy Tarot is a seriously funky, slightly naughty deck, depicting saucy witches with big pointy hats, goats, broomsticks and even scateboards!

At first glance, the images are fun, full of symbolism, and each one really tells a story.

The style is a mix of traditional and contemporary – surrounded by nature and old-fashioned kitchens and gardens, the witches are dressed in mini skirts, flare trousers, stockings and high heels.

This deck certainly has a sense of humour!

The Major Arcana is based on a traditional tarot deck, but it is also divided into groups of 7 cards relating to tools, plants and animals that are part of a witch’s life.

The Devil is the odd one out – he doesn’t belong to any group.

Some of the Major Arcana cards are interpreted differently to my own perception.

For example, the Fool‘s keywords are “chaos, haste, breathlessness, loss, rebellion”, whereas the Hermit‘s interpretation is “sluggishness, delay, cold blood”.

In comparison to the Hermit, the Hanged Man suggests “temptation, punishment, natural therapy”.

The Minor Arcana has been changed the most; the suits and the court cards have been renamed:


Flames – Wands
Cauldrons – Cups
Broomsticks – Swords
Boulders – Pentacles

Court cards:

Celebration – Page
Moon – Knight
Goddess – Queen
Trial – King

There is method to this madness, but you really have to get used to it.

For example, the “celebrations” relate to the four fire festivals of the Wiccan/Pagan wheel of the year:

Celebration of Flames (Page of Wands) – Beltane
Celebration of Cauldrons (Page of Cups) – Imbolc
Celebration of Broomsticks – (Page of Swords) – Samhain
Celebration of Boulders (Page of Pentacles) – Lammas

The Moon seems an apt connection to the Knight expressing volatility and movement. The four phases of the moon are linked to each Knight:

Moon of Flames (Knight of Wands) – Waxing Moon
Moon of Cauldrons (Knight of Cups) – Full Moon
Moon of Broomsticks (Knight of Swords) – New Moon
Moon of Boulders (Knight of Pentacles) – Waning Moon

The Goddesses (Queens) are:

Flames – Holda (German)
Cauldrons – Bona Dea (Roman)
Broomsticks – Morrigan (Celtic)
Boulders – Hekate (Greek)

The Trials (Kings):

Flames – Flight with whip and broomstick
Cauldrons – Sabbath with dancing
Broomsticks – Initiation and kiss
Boulders – The brand of fire

I really like these correspondences and have listed them here, so you can make use of them with any tarot deck, if they resonate with you.

The enclosed mini booklet offers a brief overview of the structure of this deck and card interpretations.

It also contains a 13-card spread, the Circle of Witches, which is useful as a general reading covering all aspects of life.

Overall, I really enjoy getting to know the Witchy Tarot. It’s a deck for 21st century women, who embrace witchcraft as the “Craft of the Wise” and as a tool for empowerment and spiritual growth.

Although this deck may be aimed at the younger generation, it will appeal to the young at heart regardless of age.

Witchy Tarot 3 of CauldronsFinally, I have drawn a card that expresses the inherent energy of the Witchy Tarot:

3 of Cauldrons

“Witches cuddles, tenderness, assistance, availability, communication, study, love designs with an older man”

Hang on – love designs with an older man?



Good vibes from this deck all around!

Buy it from the Book Depository

(free worldwide delivery)

Witchy Tarot, Laura Tuan & Antonella Platano (Artist)
© 2003 Lo Scarabeo

Warmst wishes,


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The Journey Oracle Review

journey oralcle

This review of the Journey Oracle by Adrienne Trafford was first published in the Spring 2012 edition of the TABI e-zine.

The Journey Oracle is a set of 46 colourful cards packaged in an attractive hinged keepsake box together with a small instruction booklet.

The cards measure 115mm x 70 mm and are printed on glossy card stock.

Before I started reading about the cards in the booklet, I decided to spread them out and let them speak to me.

First I noticed that virtually all cards depicted women, mostly with auburn hair (hardly a blonde in sight!).

The artwork and style is quite girly. Each card contains a keyword, such as Hope, Passion and Loss, which are self-explanatory.

There is also a set of Queens (Queen of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, Queen of Spades, Queen of Clubs) as well as personality types, such as the Adventurer, the Vampire and the Puppet.

From the description of the Queens in the booklet it is possible to relate them to the four tarot queens, e.g. Hearts (Cups), Diamonds (Wands), Spades (Swords), Clubs (Pentacles), so for tarot readers this will be easy to remember.

You may notice by now that there is hardly any structure to this deck.

It even contains four cards with a landscape layout, with the keywords Desire, The Guardian, Eternity and The Goddess.

It’s all very random in my opinion, but does a “life path” deck need to be structured?

The author explains in the booklet that she started creating the images, when she found herself at a crossroads, and her journey ahead was along a rocky, uncertain road.

This may explain the somewhat melancholy feel of the cards, and perhaps we can conclude from this that life can be quite random at times, without structure and not making much sense.

So how do you read with this deck?

The author suggests picking just one card for guidance, but you can also choose a standard tarot card spread, such as a 3-card past/present/future layout.

Keeping it simple is the best option with this deck, as it will give clear, concise and straight-forward messages.

Does this deck give accurate readings?

I have pulled a card each day over a week and found that I could relate to all of them in some way.

A 3-card past/present/future reading was also quite revealing and described accurately the issue I was addressing.

When I used the deck for friends, they also related well to the issues that were addressed.

Overall, the Journey Oracle is a delightful, feminine deck that offers insightful readings.

It’s simple but effective; there’s no need to study the explanatory booklet in detail before starting to use them, and there’s no need for large, complicated spreads.

From my experience so far with this deck, it will offer meaningful messages and guidance on any issue.

Schiffer Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-0-7643-3783-3

Buy my preloved copy HERE

Buy from Amazon.co.uk 

Buy from the Book Depository (FREE delivery worldwide)

Warmest wishes,