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Robin Wood Tarot

Robin Wood Tarot

4.9 11
by Robin Wood, Michael Short (Joint Author)

A Tarot for Pagans and Non-Pagans Alike

The Robin Wood Tarot has rapidly become one of the most popular Tarot decks in the world. Its beautiful art, vibrant imagery and luminous energies, enchants everyone.

The 22 Major Arcana cards are filled with life that was previously unseen in the Tarot. It is also filled with the energy of nature, taking


A Tarot for Pagans and Non-Pagans Alike

The Robin Wood Tarot has rapidly become one of the most popular Tarot decks in the world. Its beautiful art, vibrant imagery and luminous energies, enchants everyone.

The 22 Major Arcana cards are filled with life that was previously unseen in the Tarot. It is also filled with the energy of nature, taking the images outside of rooms and into the beautiful abodes of the gods. For example, The High Priestess is an ageless woman wearing a lunar headband. Behind her are trees and a darkened sky lit only by the moon.

The shining strength of this deck lies in the fifty-six cards of the Minor Arcana. The characters on the cards almost seem to breathe. Often, the cards seem so dimensional you get the feeling you could jump into them. Watch the boy carve pentagrams on wooden disks in the eight of Pentacles. Gleefully help steal blades in the five of Swords. Join in the merry dance on the four of Wands.

The 56-page booklet explains everything to give a Tarot reading, including the upright and reversed meaning for each card and 3 different layouts. Each of the pip cards is given a word or short phrase to help you identify the meaning of the card with virtually no effort.

Pagans will love the influence of nature on this deck. Beginners will find it makes learning the Tarot fun and easy. Experienced Tarot readers will love the radiantly colorful, symbolic, and infinitely captivating deck. Get your copy right away.

Editorial Reviews

Tap into the wisdom of your subconscious with one of the most beautiful Tarot decks on the market today! Reminiscent of the Rider-Waite deck, the Robin Wood Tarot is flavored with nature imagery and luminous energies that will enchant you and the querant. Even the novice reader will find these cards easy and enjoyable to interpret. 78 full-color cards, instruction booklet.

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
3.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.20(d)

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Read an Excerpt


A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves the characters from the gaudy but primitive (in artistic terms) style of Smith to a passionate and clearly identifiable focus. As a result of this added intensity, this deck makes learning the standard Tarot far easier than the RWS and allows for deeper insights. The blandness is gone! The positive focus and real knowledge of the artist makes this ideal for the tens of thousands of Neopagans, as well as medieval reconstructionists and anyone learning the Tarot. This has certainly helped to make The Robin Wood Tarot one of the most popular decks in the world.

In-Depth Review:

Do you remember the first time you saw the original "Star Wars" movie? The good guys win against impossible odds. The evil empire was defeated. It leaves you feeling happy and great.

Using The Robin Wood Tarot won't help you overcome an evil empire, but it will have a similar result: You'll feel really good about just using this deck. Some Tarot decks are very neutral. But look at the Sun card. That’s one happy baby! And when someone else smiles it encourages you to smile. Using this deck is simply a pleasurable experience.

If you have been using the Waite deck, or one that follows that so-called "standard," this deck is a pleasurable surprise. It follows the standard, but so many cards have slight but subtle differences that you’ll wisely smile. "This is good," you’ll think. For example, look at the Ace of Wands. Hidden in the wand is a strand of DNA. The tip of the wand (as all of the Wands) has a crystal attached, bringing the imagery into a modern frame. And of course, the wands are a masculine symbol, so perhaps the two sunflowers on the card (referencing the Sun card?) that flank the central wand hint at that symbolism. That’s clever. It will make you smile.

And there are so many of these things (in computer programs they’d be called "Easter Eggs"). You'll love this deck just for the joy of discovery. Luckily, these Easter Eggs aren’t merely changes for fun. Each adds to the meaning of the card and adds depth to interpretation both in readings and for meditation.

The RWS version of the Judgement card is distinctly Christian in nature. It shows the concept of the angel sounding the trumpet that will lead believers to resurrection. The image on the Wood deck presents the same concept—rebirth—without the Christian overlay. Combine that with horned headdress on the Magician and there’s no doubt about it—this is a Pagan deck. But unlike some decks (and some people!) it doesn’t try to stuff Paganism at you from every corner and cranny. It simply is there in all its joyousness. That means although Christianity isn’t dripping through this deck, it’s not going to offend any Christian or non-Pagan who comes to you for a reading. In a very real sense, The Robin Wood Tarot is spiritual without being overtly linked to any one religion. And that’s just remarkable.

In many Tarot decks the faces of people have fewer details and personality than the funny pages in the Sunday paper. Here, the characters and personalities are well wrought. Not only is the art some of the finest you’ll find on any Tarot deck, but the characters literally pop out at you. You can feel their happiness, sadness, fear, and hope, grumpiness and curiosity, awe and exuberance, fury and joy.

Even when you can’t see the face, you can experience the passion. Look at the 9 of Swords. The RWS deck shows a figure (man or woman?) in bed, burying his/her face in his/her hands while crying. Waite calls this a card that means "utter desolation." In the Wood deck, the figure grips the bed sheets with one hand, obviously showing rage. Therefore, this card moves the meaning beyond mere "desolation" and depression. It shows the next stage, anger and rage, that will move eventually to action and eventual victory. It marks not hopelessness, but the beginning of the end. It’s still not an indication of things being positive now, but shows that it’s the end of desolation and the start of action. It’s a card that now can provide hope.

You should be aware that on a few of the cards there is nudity. So if you don’t want to see even illustrations of private parts, this deck may not be for you. Also, because this is a deck with a medieval, Celtic feel, you won’t find PC people of color and non-European ethnicities. That’s certainly understandable.

Many people use this as their primary deck for giving readings. It is good for Tarot readers of all levels—beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Although it definitely has a Pagan flavor, it’s not going to be offensive to people of any spiritual path who are willing to consult the Tarot. While the deck seems to be far more for readings than for meditation or magic, it could certainly enhance any Pagan ritual and could be used at Pagan fairs, medieval reconstructionist events, etc. The Robin Wood Tarot is definitely not the RWS deck but it’s not so far from it that it won’t find a home with someone who is used to that deck’s symbolism. If anything, it’s an advancement on the RWS, taking it an evolutionary step forward, bringing in concepts that ring true for people of the early 21st century rather than the mindset of a century ago.

Name of deck:The Robin Wood Tarot

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide

ISBN: 0-87542-894-0

Creator and Artist: Robin Wood

Brief biography of artist: Robin Wood's interest in art was evident from an early age-she literally teethed on Prismacolor pencils. A prolific artist, she has illustrated many book and magazine covers. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, Michael Short. On her website, www.robinwood.com, you’ll find lessons on using 2-D and 3-D graphic software, items for the Second Life online virtual reality environment, and more.

Name of accompanying booklet: "The Robin Wood Tarot"

Number of pages of booklet: 56

Authors of booklet: Robin Wood and Michael Short

Magical Uses: A good deck to accompany any Pagan—especially Celtic-oriented—magic. Also good for meditation and guidance in astral projection.

Reading Uses: Perfect for learning to read the cards, all general purpose readings, romance, anything positive and not too "heavy" (the characters are too happy for that).

Ethnic Focus: Medieval Celtic, with one anachronism (7 of Pentacles appears very modern) and a few Northern European costumes.

Artistic Style: Modern realistic

Original Medium: Colored Pencil (?)

Theme: Follows RWS standard romanticized medieval imagery

Does it have extra cards? Yes. It has two extra cards. One gives a brief explanation of a 5-card spread, the other gives a brief explanation of a 15-card spread)

Notes on the Major Arcana: Although the Major Arcana follows the RWS standard, there are some subtle differences. The Fool looks straight ahead rather than up, giving less of the feeling that the Fool has his head in the clouds. Still, he is about to walk over a cliff. The Magician wears the headdress of a stag, showing this deck's Pagan elements. The Empress is shown at a spinning wheel. The Emperor is far less grim than the RWS version. The two figures at the foot of the Hierophant are tonsured boys rather than men. The Lovers stand beautifully naked and proud. The rider in the Chariot plays a harp. It is the Wheel of Fortune, however, that seems to vary the most from the RWS model. It shows a a wheel with eight spokes. Within the spaces between the spokes are drawings of the same woman, each showing a different quality from extreme sadness at six o’clock to ecstatic bliss at 12:00. At the circumference of the wheel a ball is moving, as if this were a roulette wheel of emotional possibilities. Truly a unique interpretation of this card. Death walks rather than ride a horse, and his (?) face is hidden in deep crimson robes. Temperance appears to be a male figure juggling spheres rather than a female pouring liquid between two chalices. The Devil shows two naked figures striving to break free of their chains, but doesn’t include Mr. Scratch. The figure in the Star pours water from bowls rather than pitchers. The image on Judgement also varies from the RWS, but it clearly shows the same meaning in a far more uplifting way. Rather than corpses being called by an angel to rise from the dead, It shows a proud, strong, naked woman rising from a flaming cauldron, with the image of a bright, golden phoenix behind her. Finally, the World eliminates the heads of the four creatures from Ezekiel (and Golden Dawn ritual), replacing them with images of the elements they represent. The focus of the image is the central figure who is amazingly and exuberantly dancing.

Notes on the Minor Arcana: The Minor Arcana generally follows the RWS standard with some notable changes. The faces of the characters have far more emotion than just about any deck around. There is also far more detail on each card of the deck rather than the large areas of flat colors used by Smith. The eight of Pentacles features a young boy carving pentacles and the seven has a person who looks more like he belongs at a modern renaissance fair. The figures on the court cards of Swords appear to be Northern European. The colors of the court cards in all the suits clearly show the elemental symbolism of the suits.

Meet the Author

Robin Wood's interest in art was evident from an early age-she literally teethed on Prismacolor pencils. A prolific artist, she has illustrated many book and magazine covers. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, Michael Short.

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Robin Wood Tarot 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sherylb07 More than 1 year ago
This has long been one of my favorite decks to use for personal readings as well as one of the easiest to interpret. The images are bright, clear, and beautiful, making readings enjoyable and easy to interpret. The images jump from the cards and are inspiring to look at. I recommend this to beginners and experienced readers alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robin Wood's Art is wonderful. It transports me to a spiritual realm of Celtic gods, goddesses and spirits. Each picture is an easy way to remember the interpretation of the card within the Tarot Deck. I highly recommend it for the beginner and expert alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this deck. The images make it easy to 'sense' what message the cards are trying to give the reader. It is one of the best decks for the beginner to learn on. I'm a beginner, and I've had better luck with this deck than any other I've tried. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This deck is great! The pictures, colors, and variety are all beautiful, and this is a great deck for either a beginner in the tarot or someone more experienced. I learned the tarot with this deck and it is great in incouraging your intution and creavity. I recommend this deck for everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have used this deck for a few years now, and I have found this deck to be the best at readings. The colors are outstanding, and the minor arcana are easy to ineterpert. I would suggest this deck for the beginner as much as i would for the expert.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This deck is one of the most beautiful I've seen and I found it very nice to use. The readings have been well suited. I love this deck!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This deck is beautifully drawn, positive in nature, and easy to work with. Each card can be drawn in connection to another, and it makes an easy read for beginners.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Robin Wood deck is the best I've seen. The cards are beautiful to look at, bearing natural and pagan themes that are more than mere face-value. Excellent meditation vehicle. The pictures are very detailed, in depth, colorful, and wonderously easy to interpret. Many tarot decks give you the feeling of repetition, especially in the minor arcana. Each card is a fresh idea! You bond with these images so quickly and painlessly and you soon leave the manual behind!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased the Robin Wood Tarot, and was amazed to find that the cards allow the reader to be tremendously intuitive in readings. I highly recommend this deck for those new to the Tarot. The cards are also beautiful. Brightly colored, and a great source for meditation. Buy this deck. You won't regret it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This deck is my all-time favourite! The images are earthy, gentle, humourous, whimsical, beautifully drawn, and brightly coloured. I can say little else about it, I just truly *love* this deck. UrsulaMatria Borealis