Artist: Antonella Platano
Publisher: Llewellyn (Lo Scarabeo)
Publication date: December 2003
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When I first saw illustrations for the Witchy Tarot in the Llewellyn catalog I was both stunned and disappointed. I was stunned by the lovely artwork and disappointed that it had been "wasted" on a deck which from the text description was aimed directly at the teen girl market. Now that I have the deck in hand, I'm still stunned by the artwork. Antonella Platano has produced excellent illustrations for this deck. The art is as evocative of the theme as is it beautiful. Those who collect Tarot decks for their artwork will definitely want to look at this deck.
Almost all the cards in this deck feature teen witches. There are a few exceptions with males or older women, but the vast majority are teen witches. Generally gorgeous teen witches. Note that these are witches, not necessarily Wiccans. The Major Arcana have the traditional symbolism, but are also divided into three groups (plus the Devil card) depicting the tools, animals, and plants that are associated with witches. While the symbolic meanings of the Minor Arcana are similar to those of the standard Tarot deck, the suits are Cauldrons (cups), Boulders (pentacles), Flames (wands), and Broomsticks (swords). The court cards have been replaced with Celebration (page), Moon (knight), Goddess (queen) and Trial (king). Each Minor Arcana card is well-illustrated with a specific scene.
The Witchy Tarot is accompanied by a 12 page foldout booklet that describes the deck, the basic meaning of the cards, and gives a special thirteen card "Circle of Witches" layout for use with this deck. Actually, there are two of these: one in English and one in Spanish. While this is more than enough information for an experienced reader, it's not nearly enough for a beginner. Fortunately, the card interpretations are fairly standard so most beginner books on the Tarot will be usable with this deck.
I expected to find the Witchy Tarot of limited appeal -- and it probably is. However, it is not as limited as I expected it to be due to its excellent artwork and interesting use of symbolism. While it is definitely aimed at the "young adult female" market, this is a deck that will appeal to those outside its niche. Collectors will probably want it for its art. Others may simply find it a fun deck to read with. Those who read for teens may find it particularly useful. It's well worth a look if you have the chance, especially as it is priced a bit lower than the average Lewellyn/Lo Scarabeo deck.
Reviewed by Randall