The Druid Craft Tarot (Cards & Book Set) by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

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Pack information: 78 cards & 192 page book
Card dimensions: 90 x 140 mms 
Author: Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm

They say: Let the DruidCraft path show you the Way.

At a time when we seek a closer connection with the natural world, this beautiful deck invites us to celebrate the earth and the rhythm of her seasons.

Combining the two great streams of Western Pagan tradition - Wicca and Druidry - Philip and Stephanie Carr'Gomm, together with artist Will Worthington, have created a tarot of extraordinary depth and relevance that can help guide and illuminate your life.

The DruidCraft Tarot's powerful images have emerged from a vast store of teachings and story-telling rooted in our ancient past. Use them as gateways to your inner spiritual world, and deepen your knowledge of yourself and of the earth. Let the natural wisdom of DruidCraft bring you insight and inspiration for the life issues that you face today. 

Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm have been initiated into both Wicca and Druidry, and are Chief and Scribe of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, one of the largest international Druid groups.

Will Worthington is a practising Druid, Pendragon of the Order, and a highly respected artist, whose previous works include the acclaimed Druid Animal Oracle and The Green Man Tree Oracle.

Guest Review by Vernon Marshall

The Druid Craft Tarot, by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, with artwork by Will Worthington, is an impressive creative work that will no doubt be making its impression on many a Tarot aficionado. It took a long time to come into production and there is clear evidence of a huge amount of preparation and research having gone into the project.

The first striking thing to hit you when acquiring the deck is the package itself. It is a big package. The box is about 6.5 inches wide and 10 inches long and bears on the front a large picture of Card number 3, the Lady. The size of the box is necessary because of the size of the guide book. The book is an admirable production and compares well with the brief amount of information and help given with some decks. There are 192 pages in a format that is larger than A5. The introduction is quite detailed with a brief history of the Tarot with references to, as well as Wicca and Druidry, the Western Magical Tradition, Pythagoras and Numerology, Merlin, Ceridwen and Taliesin, and the “Alchemical Wedding.” The book states immediately its belief position, with a quotation from Ouspensky, that the Tarot represents Nature and that, as in Nature, there are a number of potential meanings.

The controversial issue for some is the combination of the two ancient paths of Druidry and Wicca. The writers make the claim that the two have many features in common, such as their observance of eight seasonal ceremonies and the use of a magic circle. It could be pointed out, however, that the two traditions recognise those eight seasonal ceremonies in very different ways, and the use of a magic circle is not a feature of all forms of Druidry. Philip Carr-Gomm is, of course, the Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and is responsible for the change in recent years in adopting practices more in tune with Wicca, a situation not approved of by many Druids.

The book introduces the reader first to the Minor Arcana, or “the Outer Mysteries.” The Court Cards come first, followed by the “Pip” cards. What is unusual here is the way in which the cards of the same number are dealt with together, rather than the suits as a whole. In other words, the Aces are dealt with together, followed by the Twos, the Threes and so on. This does give a refreshing emphasis upon the numerological significance of the cards being read as stress is laid upon the number as much as upon the suit. The cards of the Major Arcana, or “the Inner Mysteries,” make use of the traditional archetypes as a whole, though they are given a different pagan slant, often with a different name. Instead of the High Priestess, for instance, we have the Lady. Temperance is replaced by the Fferyllt (i.e. Druidic alchemical practitioners) and the Devil is replaced by Cernunnos, the horned fertility god. These changes are not so radically different that they depart from the traditional understanding of how the Tarot works but they do quite satisfactorily utilise concepts and figures that enable us to appreciate our native cultural archetypes. The displacement of the Devil, for example, is to be expected in that the native pagan tradition has no concept of evil as understood by the usual image of that figure. Cernunnos is a very different character and more connected with Nature and all that that implies.

The final section of the book deals with the practical use of the cards. This begins with an excellent and detailed ceremony for the blessing and dedication of the deck. Included also in this section is a discussion on the purpose of the Tarot cards and a useful explanation as to why the deck should not be used to predict the future but to seek for insights, ideas and guidance. There are six different spreads offered, most of them new to me, such as the Spirits of the Circle Spread, my favourite. This seven-card spread helps us to explore how six different influences determine who we are and what are our distinctive gifts. These are the Spirits of Place, Ancestors, Time, Tribe, Journey and Awen (the spirit of Deity). It is a simple spread, easily learned, easily put into place and easy to read. There is a sample reading of this spread at the end of the section, along with a sample reading of the Hexagram Spread, and this is extremely helpful in making us aware of the nuances of meaning that can be drawn from the cards by reading them in this way.

The artwork on the cards is beautiful, as can be expected from Will Worthington, a real master in this field. The pictures have a mediaeval and even Arthurian feel about them with lots of coloured robes and hooded characters. I have used them to copy and paint and this has brought me extra insights and ideas. The one issue I have with the cards, and this is the case with some other decks also, is that they are quite large. At 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches they are difficult to handle and to shuffle. They are still impressive nonetheless and I do find them useful as tools for meditation and reflection. In fact, if you spread out the whole deck in a triple circle as indicated at the beginning of the book you can read the story of the wheel of the year and the significance of the elements.

The practical use of any Tarot deck is the important issue for me. Regardless of the artwork or the guidance of the accompanying book, it is whether the right connections are being made with one’s internal guide. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the large amount of information provided in this deck concerning the symbolic history and significance of each archetype. On the whole, however, this is a well-produced divinatory tool that will serve many people well for years to come.

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4 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Love this set

    Posted by Michael on 8th Sep 2011

    I absolutely love this set. I've had my eye on it for a few years now, but only decided to buy it after seeing a friend's deck in real life. Excellent quality too. I've shopped with Holistic Shop for a few years now and they've never let me down. In fact, I only ordered this yesterday morning and it arrived this morning. Great service and I'll be back to order again.

  • 5
    These are my all time favourites

    Posted by Valerie on 6th Sep 2011

    I have just purchased my 2nd Druidcraft Tarot from you, why? Because I want to have a reserve put by in case my others get damaged from too much use! These cards are incredibly accurate as well as stunningly beautiful. I do have a collection of other Tarot cards but never felt I was getting the type of readings I felt my clients deserved, the cards felt half hearted in their energies and I found that they didn't spark my intuition enough. I only realised this when I started to use the Druidcraft Tarot, everything became clearer for me the energies were so vibrant that my clairvoyance lifted enormously. These cards really do speak to you, they are my all time favourites. I use them with the Druid Animal cards and they blend wonderfully together, all in all these two sets of cards give accuracy, stimulation, energy and depth to any reading. My readings have improved enormously. I love them.

  • 5
    The cards are beautiful

    Posted by Andy K on 6th Feb 2010

    I love this deck! The fact that it has no Christian overtones and follows a shamanistic tradition, albeit not my own. Mine is Finno-Karelian as a blood-line and Tibetan by adoption. Still, it speaks to me and has an authentic vibrancy. The cards are beautiful, and although large, this gives them a reassuring solidity in this floating world. As usual, the Holistic Shop has provided exemplary service and this goes also for the Haindl Tarot, the Osho Zen, the Arthurian and Sharman-Caselli which they have also sent me

  • 5
    Did Not Disappoint

    Posted by Brian Stevenson on 19th Feb 2005

    This new deck and book has been eagerly awaited and I am pleased to report that neither the book nor the deck disappoint.The DruidCraft Tarot is not the first Druid deck to appear on the market, but the advantage this deck has over its rivals is that its creators are all knowledgeable and experienced Druids. Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington are all active in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, one of the largest international Druid groups. Together they have created a well-researched and fascinating deck of beautiful and striking images. The DruidCraft Tarot suits are standard Swords, Wands, Pentacles and Cups, with Princess, Prince, Queen, and King court cards. Some Major Arcana cards are changed: Lady and Lord instead of Emperor and Empress, Fferylt for Temperance and Cernunnos for The Devil. While not exactly a Rider-Waite clone, the DruidCraft Tarot draws on the same sources of Golden Dawn and western magical tradition. All the cards have a lively theatrical feel to them and give the impression that they are depicting something significant happening. Stephanie Carr-Gomm is Scenic Artist in Residence at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and I'm sure that her sense of theatre and drama must have influenced the appearance of the cards. I particularly liked the way in which several cards depict animals looking out of the card directly at the reader. For example, in the King of Cups, the King is shown gazing out to sea, but behind his throne a wolfhound looks at the reader. In the Queen of Pentacles, the Queen looks at her drum and a grey hare perched a little way behind her stares into the eyes of the reader. The cards are larger than standard and some people may find them a little difficult to shuffle. However, the large size does mean it is easier to see the enormous amount of detail in the images. The companion book, 'The DruidCraft Tarot', is comprehensive and attractively laid out. The organization is different to most Tarot books, as the meanings for the cards are ordered with the Court Cards first, then the Minor Arcana, then the Major Arcana. The book also contains detailed instructions for using Tarot cards, several Tarot spreads, sample readings, rituals and further reading and resources. The attention to detail in the DruidCraft Tarot set is commendable. Even the typeface used for the card titles and in the book was created especially for the deck. The imagery is richly coloured and thoroughly researched, the creators are knowledgeable and passionate about Druidry. The DruidCraft Tarot is an ideal set for the Druid, Pagan or Wiccan Tarot beginner as well as for the more experienced reader. It is also definitely one for Tarot collectors.

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