The Witches Tarot is the original Portuguese version of the Witches Tarot deck (original name) by Ellen Dugan and designed by Mark Evans.
The “Witches” around the world will appreciate this new tarot! Award-winning author Ellen Dugan, a respected Witch and tarot reader, and award-winning artist Mark Evans have created the perfect deck for all devotees of the craft. Positively radiating the energy of witches, this easy-to-use tarot displays beautiful and evocative digital artwork. Echoing the traditional Rider-Waite structure, each card includes instantly recognizable pagan symbols that resonate with today’s witch.
When it comes to pagan symbolism, Ellen Dugan & Evans pay much more attention to plants and sometimes companion animals. The flowers, plants and trees are more diverse than the standard Rider Waite Smith with lilies and roses. Ellen Dugan has carefully chosen which plants / herbs / flowers and stones to symbolize or emphasize the meaning of each of the letters. On some cards, animals / birds / mythical creatures are used that can deviate from or be an addition to the Rider Waite Smith standard. These are also added based on pagan teachings.
The most obvious difference from the Rider Waite Smith style is in the renaming of the Major Arcana: V – The Hierophant was named The High Priest (which in some Marseilles-style decks it was formerly called), X- The Wheel of Fortune becomes The Wheel of the Year, XV – The Devil is renamed to the Shadow Side and XX – Judgment is called Karma.
The suit of hearts has some mermaids. Any mermaid portrayed is a beautiful woman, once naked, but tastefully done. Dolphins appear in the 8 of Cups and in the King of Cups; Starfish appear in the 8 of Cups; in the Pagem, a fish appears from the chalice. Virtually all the characters in the suit wear blue, and most of the cards depict a scene with some kind of water; ponds, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and the ocean provide backdrops for the suit.
The suit of Swords shows fairies between the scenes of 2, 3, 5 and in the Queen of Hearts. The Ace, Page, Knight and King feature hawks; the 4 and 7 of hearts use peacock feathers; the 5 and 6 feature dragonflies; the 10 of hearts shows a perched owl; and the queen has birds singing on her throne. The backgrounds of the suit of Swords usually have mountains or hills, and occasionally barren fields. Mountains tend to represent the element of air, just think of their alchemical symbol! The 5 of Swords is one of the major deviations from the Rider Waite Smith Tradition found in the Witches’ Tarot; 5 Swords levitate, spread out, pointing to a dragonfly, while fairies fly, very different from the traditional card.
The suit of clubs is all represented in the same way “a branch of hawthorn adorned with red ribbons”. Ellen Dugan says she chose the tree because it is associated with the Element of Fire, but then adds that it is also associated with fairies (of the Air / Swords suit). As far as mythological creatures are concerned, some Dragons are featured but not Salamanders, the usual creature associated with the Fire Element. Dragons appear most notably in the 5 of Clubs, where there is a dragon to represent each of the 5 Elements (Blue for Water, Green for Earth, Gold for Air, Red for Fire, and Purple for Spirit). The other dragons appear as designs on 6, 9, 10, Knight and King of clubs. In addition to dragons, mainly golden/orange cats are used, which is associated with Fire. Everyone in the suit of Wands is dressed in red and gold. Note that the 6 of Wands can easily be confused with the Knight of Wands, as both are men riding valiantly on horseback. For the Fire suit, the scenarios surprisingly have a lot of vegetation.
In the suit of Diamonds, all except card 3 are made in “gold”. Gold is symbolic of God; who is represented by the sun and who dominates the elements of air and fire. A variety of pets are used; a cat on the 3 of Diamonds, a raven on the 8 of Diamonds, a hawk on the 9 of Diamonds, a dog is featured on both the 10 and the Queen. The scenes depicted in the suit of Diamonds are the most diverse of the Minor Arcana, where some are depicted with lush vegetation, others are internal or feature architecture. The 5 of Diamonds varies again from the Waite Smith Rider Tradition; a dead tree, hanging on golden Diamonds, stands among a barren winter scene. The winter scene is appropriate (and traditional), as the suit of Diamonds and the Element of Earth is associated with the winter season.
Many images are made via computer and with photo manipulation. There are some characters and cards that are portrayed beautifully, most of the Major Arcana should be noted!
The back of the back is phenomenal. The center is the pagan / wicca symbol of the Triple Goddess or Hecate (Maiden, Mother and Elder); the Crescent, Full and Waning Moons. The moons are a true image of our moon and are suspended in the starry sky. The upper half of the card has a pink/purple/fuchsia glow (Love) and the lower half are decorated with blue/cyan/mallow (shadow).
About Ellen Dugan
Ellen Dugan is a world-famous psychic, renowned tarot author with over thirty years experience, has published over a dozen books, and has received numerous literary awards. He currently resides in Missouri, USA. The Witches’ Tarot is one of his most important works.
It contains 78 cards and also contains a 312-page book (Portuguese). Both are contained within a solid cardboard box of a shiny black with framing and titles in gold. The book that accompanies this Tarot is quite enlightening. In the section titled ‘Introduction’, it includes Ellen Dugan’s personal experience with the Tarot, quick information on general Tarot practices, and some advice for reading yourself and others. In the section titled ‘The Major Arcana’, the card images are described, their meaning interpreted, and then vertical keywords, deities and astrological associations, and reverse keywords are provided. In the section titled ‘The Minor Arcana’, she provides another quick introduction and some basic information about the meanings of each suit before beginning the descriptions. Like the Major Arcana, it includes images of the card, interpreted its meaning, and provided vertical keywords and reverse keywords. Ellen also includes Zodiac associations. The evening entitled ‘Magic with the Witches’ Tarot Deck’ is the most prominent. Here Ellen talks about meditation with the Tarot and provides some mantras. She then gives several cards regarding spells that can be used for “Enhancing Tarot or Magic Studies”, “Creating a Strong and United Circle” and some for more basic needs; Abundance, protection, romance, broken hearts and home.
Author: Ellen Dugan & Mark Evans
Deck: 78 cards
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