The lovely, whimsical Faerie Tarot was published June 2008 by US Games. Author and artist, Nathalie Hertz has outdone herself this time. I recently reviewed her Vampire Tarot which was an intriguing deck that I didn’t think would find huge popularity because of the theme. However this deck should find a very different reception.
Let me start with saying that I don’t like the LWB (Little White Book) that comes with most decks. Hertz surpasses the mundane, boring, almost dogmatic-automatic blurbs of so many LWB’s. Her LWB is not your run-of-the-mill pablum. She gives you brief descriptions of all the cards–not just the Majors.
Take for instance her whimsical rendition of the Eight of Wands. Bordered in red that fades into orange and yellow at the bottom, this typical speedy fire card calls for travel like most Rider-Waite-Smith clones. Yet here we don’t see eight staves slashing at the sky. No, we are shown two faeries intent on their journey. You get the travel aspect of this card but their steed made me chuckle when I saw it. Yes, our faeries ride a snail. So the message I get from this card is “even if it is at a snail’s pace, you must keep moving forward.”
From Hertz’s LWB, we are told:
Divinatory Meaning Journey, movement, a positive transformation. Promotion, communication, letters. Deep and sincere sharing. Leisure, peace and quiet.
Reversed meaning Discords, uncertainties, regrets. Deep loneliness, quarrels in the family, false friends, jealousies. Unwanted changes, stagnation. It is time to take initiative.
Now even in her description she goes against the more traditional meaning of the eight of swords. For her she wants this card to bring a sense of not rushing things. I can see how that would work because often we tend to rush headlong into things without enjoying the trip that gets us there.
All of her cards feature a colored border that fades at the bottom where the name or number of the card is featured. The colors vary but suit each card nicely. The Magician features a purple border that goes from royal purple to violet. This elderly man flies on a starry field with his implements all about him. The infinity symbol rests on his pointed hat like a quirky bow. The corners within the frame are adorned by green growing things.
This deck is a double bordered deck. The bright colored edgess frame more detailed borders so that the cards almost look like pictures hanging on brightly colored walls. I am not one of those who dislikes borders. I actually really like them because they make me feel like I’m walking into cards which is a technique I learned in Tarot for Your Self. So the picture frame appeals to me for that reason.
Overall this deck’s bright colors and slightly wicked, definitely mischievous faeiry folk reminds me of Poppy Palin’s Waking The Wild Spirit. I never really clicked with Palin’s deck but I have to admit that I immediately popped this deck into my brand-new Franmade bag and put it in my purse instead of my much-loved World Spirit Tarot.
That’s huge, y’all. I’ve been reading with the World Spirit Tarot for a while now. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving to another deck. I think I’ve found that deck in Hertz’s Faerie Tarot. The Empress really resonated with me as I saw her staring out at me with her attendant owls. She seemed slightly fierce and reminded me quite strongly of the Vampire Tarot’s images. Her hair and dress are purple making her seem to fade into the night in spots but she is so very present in this card. I associate owls with Athena and can see the wisdom this Empress may bring to me.
From Hertz’s LWB, we are told:
Divinatory Meaning Changeable ideas, intelligence, creativy, harmony, serenity, stability, arts, poetry, maternal advice. In love, an enriching new relationship
Reversed meaningShallow intelligence, lack of communication, vanity, arrogance, subterfuge, weariness, apathy. Indecisions, canceled plans, coldness. A false friend.
I’ve been using these cards for my FTN readings. Today I had a querent ask me if she would achieve her dreams in this country. I drew the Ace of Swords. I was struck by the firmness of this sword thrust into the ice with the Arctic hare next to it. My interpretation (remember I read on an intuitive level) was that she would have to learn the lesson of the Arctic hare and change herself completely to fit her new environment. One of the reversed meanings Hertz assigns to this card is success through sacrifice. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.
I don’t read reversals but I tend to pick up good and bad from cards so I just read ’em as I see ’em. 🙂
The last card I want to talk about is the extraordinary Queen of Cups. I have an affinity for swans. I am not sure why. Here we see a lovely blonde faerie with red wings wearing a matching dress leaning down. A swan rests quietly by her. Her face is contemplative as she holds her cup. I wonder what she is seeing as she gazes past the swan. It is one of the first cards I pulled out of the deck to study more closely.
If I did a point system, I’d have to say this was a 10 out of 10. But I don’t do a point system so I’ll just leave you with the fact that I will be reading with this deck a lot from here on out. It was an instant WIN for me. The Faerie Tarot is a super deck that I think everyone can enjoy and use.