Inner Whispers

Guiding You To A More Magical Life

Inner Whispers

Dark Goddess Tarot Review

BF-DarkGoddessTarot-OverviewThe Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince (Arnell’s Art, 2013) is clearly a well-researched and considered deck from someone deeply invested in both tarot and honouring the Goddess in her many aspects.  The companion material is very definitely a Little White Book, and yet it is a good one.  For each Goddess, there is the name of the Goddess, where she comes from, and her prime association.  And then there is a single sentence describing her, relating her to the tarot archetype she has been connected with.  While very brief, this gives enough information to a) find out more about the Goddess if you so choose b) understand the connection between the Goddess and the tarot card for assistance in interpreting a reading.
Using the deck this week, I have found the cards interesting and illuminating – the Goddess aspect adding to the potential interpretations, while honouring the base meaning.  The card stock is good quality, though the cards are a little larger than average, making it somewhat tough to shuffle.  The backs are non-reversible, with a sea-shell type pattern in watery colours.
Turning to the cards themselves, from the Majors I drew the Wheel of Fortune, represented by Fortuna.  The LWB says: “European Goddess of Fate and Fortune.  The high fall and the low ascend.”  I like the way that, as well as having figures clinging to or falling from her wheel, there are fields before Fortuna.  The ones on the left seem half fallow, while the ones on the right are fully green, adding to the idea of reaping a variable harvest.

Baubo-wikiThe Courts have been renamed to match the Goddess theme of the deck.  So, we find Amazons (Pages), Sirens (Knights), Witches (Queens), and Hags (Kings).  They are interesting titles, which work well to my mind.  Baubo as the Siren of Earth is this the Knight of Pentacles.  It’s an odd image, a pair of legs with a head at groin level and a bustier perched like a hat atop that and a full moon directly above that.  However, having looked her up, there are old figurines that show her just like that.  There are two female figures to either side, her other aspects, perhaps.  And it has a rather watery feel for an earth card, though thinking with your crotch is fairly earthy, I guess.

The LWB says: “Greek Bawdy Goddess.  This is life in the body: raw, ridiculous, sublime.”  Googling Baubo, she is known for having tried to console Demeter when Persephone went missing, by quoting lascivious poetry, feeding her barley water, and bringing her son to her.  These were all practical approaches to take, which fit well with this archetype.  However, Graves specifically connects her to the crone aspect of the Goddess, which draws into question the ‘Siren’ designation.  Perhaps that is just connected to the lascivious poetry 😉

BF-DarkGoddessTarot-Overview1The Ace of Air is Nemesis, a Goddess of retribution for hubris: hard truths and decisive action.  She points in front of her with her right hand, and holds a sword in her left.  The LWB says: Greek “Goddess of Judgement.  The first step in discernment: perceive what exists.”

To represent the Minors I drew the Three of Earth: the Norns.  These Scandinavian Fates weave the web of life under the world tree, with a dragon under its roots.  They certainly work together well as a team!  As the LWB puts it: “Norse Goddesses of Destiny.  Small stitches weave the world.  Do your part.”

Altogether, this deck does require a degree of knowledge around different Goddesses.  The LWB sometimes falls short in this regard: I had to google Baubo to really make sense of the Siren of Earth.  On the other hand, a deck that encourages you to explore further, and which is consistent and well-thought out enough to make sense with extra knowledge drawn from other sources, is no bad thing.  While this won’t be a deck for everyone, it is an intelligent and deep deck.

9 Responses to “Dark Goddess Tarot Review”

  • I love this deck! I wish it was available in a regular store and not so pricey, also considering I always have to add up 20 euro’s for customs

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s tough. I guess, with decks like this, you need to pick and choose the ones that really matter to you, and then maybe ask for them as a gift. My Dear One is always happy to get me a special deck for my birthday or Christmas 🙂

      Reply
  • “though thinking with your crotch is fairly earthy’ 😀 Yes indeed! (And thank you for the smile this brought to my face.)

    Reply
  • I was very interested in buying this when it came out. I knew Ellen on a list and sent her an e-mail to congratulate her on the publication of this. Unfortunately, the price nipped my interest in the bud.

    I once had the Goddess Guidance Oracle by Doreen Virtue and traded it because the booklet lacked information or depth. When you want to know about mythological figures, you need more than a booklet with one-page entries.

    So, this deck was disappointing in its high price, but also in its booklet from the sound of it. It’s so frustrating as from what I saw of her, Ellen does have depth of study and mind. I know it costs more to write a larger booklet, but what’s the point of truncating the information, particularly if readers can’t make sense of your write-up without looking online for more information?

    This is why I don’t buy too many decks any more. Booklets become more like a bullet list than a study guide, and thus not engaging to me.

    Remember we were talking about Ian Daniels’ Vampyres deck Chloe? How he wrote pages and pages on each card and it made the deck because of the depth of his interest and information. Think how great that would be with this Dark Goddess deck.

    Reply
    • On the other hand, JJ, I know you’re not averse to doing your own research. And as I say, at least the booklet gives you enough information to do that research. And the one phrase sentence is always interesting… 🙂

      Reply
    • The artwork doesn’t rock my world, but the deck is very well thought out. It’s a bit like Shining Tribe in that way, but without the wonderful companion book…

      Reply

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