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The Robin Wood Tarot

Rating: (out of 49 reviews)

List Price: CDN$ 26.95

Price: CDN$ 14.11

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5 Responses to The Robin Wood Tarot

  • Bruce MacDonald says:

    Review by Bruce MacDonald for The Robin Wood Tarot
    This is definitely my favorite deck. The artwork is excellent, colorful, and expresses the meanings very well. Wood has done a good job of adapting the deck for use by Pagans. Let me voice my one complaint first though; for some reason she has kept the Pope as the image on the Hierophant card. This has negative connotations for many Pagans and is not in harmony with the rest of the deck. As a result it stresses the negative rather than the positive aspects of the card. A High Priest or Elders card would have better expressed the positive aspects of the Hierophant. That aside though, the rest of the deck is very good. Some of the cards are virtually the same as the Rider-Waite deck (such as the Hermit and the Sun card) while others are completely different but express the same meaning in a better way. Among the best original cards is the Devil. No ugly, horned, goatish embodiment of evil here, just a very vivid and easily understandable expression of bondage to material things and feeling trapped. The Magician is another favorite, showing a mature and self-confident man wearing a stag antlered headdress and magically controlling physical manifestation (he holds the Cosmic Lemniscate in his hand). The Judgment card deserves special mention since it does away with the tired imagery of Gabriel blowing his trumpet and souls rising from the grave. Instead we see a cauldron of fire from which arises a perfected spiritual body, while a phoenix rises in the background. This perfectly expresses the true meaning of the card in terms of pagan imagery (probably derived from alchemy, but we are also reminded of the Cauldron of Cerridwen). The Minor Arcana are equally well done; most are similar to the Rider-Waite deck but are more elaborately drawn than Pamela Coleman Smith’s images. The court cards are especially good and in many cases the figures are portrayed in more active poses than in some other decks. In summary, I’d say this is an excellent deck for beginners since it corresponds very well to the Rider-Waite meanings which appear in so many books. Yet the deck remains very useful for more advanced readers due to a wealth of symbolic imagery and colorful, expressive artwork. An excellent companion book for this deck is Tarot Plain and Simple by Anthony Louis which uses this deck to illustrate the cards.

  • Anonymous says:

    Review by for The Robin Wood Tarot
    I expect this deck appeals to many people, judging from the number of copies I’ve seen around. In its favour, the colours on the cards are bright, and the deck is well-printed. You don’t have to squint to see what’s going on in the pictures; they’re not blurred (a pet peeve of mine). The scenes portrayed on the cards are pretty, too, albeit in a highly conventional way.But…after you’ve looked at the cards for a while, you’ll realise nearly all the people figures are blond, white, and happy. They look like pseudo-medieval Barbie and Ken dolls, if you can wrap your head around that idea. Much of the traditional tarot symbolism has been removed, which would be fine if there was something to take its place, but there isn’t. The deck is vapid. Even the supposed ‘Wiccan’ connection is of the ‘flowers-and-bunny-rabbits’ variety.I give Wood credit for coming up with one of the most interesting Devil cards I’ve seen. It depicts a man and a woman tied to a chest of treasure that they’re trying to pull out of a cave – with no success. A very apt comment on our times, though it is incongruous with the overall feel of the deck.Aside from that card, this is too much of a ‘shiny happy people’ deck, and lacks the depth that should be inherent in tarot. I could forgive this if it was meant to be a whimsical deck, like the Halloween, Phantasmagorical, or Wonderland tarots, but it isn’t. As a serious tool for either reading or meditation, it falls far short of its goal.The Robin Wood tarot is largely a Rider-Waite-Smith clone, but if you’re looking in that direction, you can find better. This one just doesn’t hold up.The deck contains a fair amount of nudity, but it’s quite inoffensive. Possibly a good deck for teenage girls, but I’d not recommend it for anyone over age 16, owing to its shallowness.

  • Kirsten M. Houseknecht says:

    Review by Kirsten M. Houseknecht for The Robin Wood Tarot
    There are people who collect Tarot decks for the artwork, and people who only buy decks to use. I tend to do both, and have a colection of over 30 decks. The Robin Wood Tarot is one of the few in my collection that is both admired for its artwork, and in regular use as a reading deck.This deck is overtly Pagan, and will probably not suit anyone who likes Christian imagery in their deck. All of the images are close enough to the “standard” of the Rider-Waite Tarot, to be read without difficulty for anyone familiar with that deck. This deck uses swords=air, wands=fire symbology.The best book on tarot reading in general to go with the deck is “Tarot, Plain and Simple”, which uses illustrations from this deck. Robin Wood’s own book, “The Robin Wood Tarot, The Book” is a better choice for finding out the details behind why certain cards are depicted the way they are, and is very interesting reading in its own right, but is not as clear on basic divinatory meanings, or basic Tarot reading.Some of the notable card imagery in this deck:The Magician: The Magician is depicted as a Wiccan High Priest, wearing a crown of antlers, but still wearing the traditional red and white and with all the familiar symbology.The High Priestess: Unquestionably a Wiccan priestess, with her Dianic crown and pentacle necklace, she is depicted in a familiar way, with much the same symbols as would be expected, but outdoors.The Heirophant: Robin Wood’s disatisfaction with organized religion shows clearly in this card (for more details, please read her book) and is unusually negatively aspected.All of the minor arcana are fully illustrated, and very clear. Note to the modest, there is some realistically depicted nudity in this deck, although very tasteful.No one deck will ever suit all people. The deck that speaks to you, may not speak to me and vice versa. I can only say that I have found it of use *to ME* as a good deck to read from, and hope you find it likewise.If you like Robin Woods artwork, then this deck is worth collecting for the art alone, and I can also highly recomend going to her website, to see and buy more of her prints. She now offers machine embroidery patterns, as well as doing a great deal of work on computer graphics, and fonts, and sells disks of these ready to use.Blessings and Peace

  • Susan Byers says:

    Review by Susan Byers for The Robin Wood Tarot
    A previous reviewer felt that some detractors of this deck are put off by its pagan perspective. I don’t believe that is the case for most of us; in fact it is the watered-down quality that irritates so much. You feel that the wiccan beliefs, or the tarot, are not being portrayed with mature power and passion. The images are a cross between the Sunday comics section (Prince Valiant-type heroes and busty beauties) and a Jehovah’s Witness leaflet, with joy and wholesome love glistening in every eye. The people are relentlessly white and blonde. It is a very unsophisticated palette, but apparantly it appeals to many. For me, there are vast, uncharted existential realms that are not even touched upon by these images, and I find the art shallow and annoyingly hard to take. I couldn’t even handle the book that uses this deck for illustrations, even though it is supposedly a fine work on the tarot. To each his own…

  • Anonymous says:

    Review by for The Robin Wood Tarot
    When shopping for a tarot deck, one should always choose a deck that “speaks” to them, whether it be the use of color or the images of the deck. This deck I find the images rather weak or watered down. Take the card, The Wheel of Fortune, for example. In this deck it shows a woman going through various stages of emotion from happiness to depression instead of the tradition image of a wheel showing the waxing and waning of fate – a more powerful image. The Magician is also weak in the Robin Wood deck, a laughing man with antlers on his head – give me a break! When doing a reading the images should grab you and not make light of the situation as I feel this deck does. This deck is definitely for the faint of hearts out there.

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