The Sacred Circle Tarot: A Celtic Pagan Journey

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Overview

This Tarot isn't for Everyone, but it may be For You!

The Sacred Circle Tarot draws on the Pagan heritage of Britain and Ireland, its sacred sites, and symbolic imagery from that tradition. It's based on the idea (suggested by R. J. Stewart) that the Tarot had its origins with the bards of Celtic culture. Together with the included 336-page, full-size book, the deck becomes a virtual training course in Celtic Paganism.

Besides understanding the...

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156718457X New Inside & Out. Clean & Crisp! No markings. You will be pleased. Excellent book! ( z1s03 ) Some very minor shelf wear.

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Overview

This Tarot isn't for Everyone, but it may be For You!

The Sacred Circle Tarot draws on the Pagan heritage of Britain and Ireland, its sacred sites, and symbolic imagery from that tradition. It's based on the idea (suggested by R. J. Stewart) that the Tarot had its origins with the bards of Celtic culture. Together with the included 336-page, full-size book, the deck becomes a virtual training course in Celtic Paganism.

Besides understanding the history and theories, there is lots of practical work for any Pagan or Tarot enthusiast. Included are instructions for six different spreads and how to use the cards for several types of meditation and personal spiritual development. The artwork, which combines photos, pencil drawings, computer colorization and enhancement helps to give a breathtaking feeling of extreme realism to the images. It should. The cards show actual landscapes and sacred sites in Britain and Ireland.

Pagans will enjoy the fact that many of the Christian or Kabalistic symbolism has been removed and replaced with symbolism of the ancient Celts. For example the Fool is now the Green Man, the Magician is the High Priest, the Emperor and Empress are the Lord and Lady, the Devil is replaced by the Underworld, and the World is now the World Tree.

The book is a veritable training course in Paganism and Tarot. The imagery on the cards is absolutely beautiful. It's no wonder that this has become one of the most popular decks around. You're going to love this as soon as you get your hands on it!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567184570
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: BOOK&CARDS
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 2.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Franklin [England] has been a witch for 30 years, and a Pagan in her heart for all her life. She has conducted many rituals, handfastings and sabbat rites. She is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, a coven of the Coranieid Clan, a group of traditional witches with their roots in the New Forest, and branches in several parts of the UK. The Hearth publishes the long running Silver Wheel Magazine, runs teaching circles and postal courses as well as a working coven. Anna Franklin is the author of eighteen books on the Craft including the popular Sacred Circle Tarot, Midsummer, Lammas [with Paul Mason], and The Fairy Ring.

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Read an Excerpt

Summary:

The Sacred Circle Tarot features brilliant, realistic art and a totally Celtic Pagan orientation. Perfect for art collectors, Pagans, and people who already have experience with Tarot, its uniqueness is its high point and its challenge, as the Minor Arcana is non-pictorial and the Major Arcana has numerous renamings and even renumbering. Great for meditation and personal development.

Review:

It seems like most Tarot decks and their advertising like to shout, "This is a deck for everyone!" perhaps for the purpose of increasing sales. In fact, most Tarot decks can be used by anyone. The Sacred Circle Tarot, however is different. It is an elegant and erudite deck for people who are willing to go the extra mile and challenge themselves with new ways of approaching the Tarot and Pagan practices. Put simply, the more you know about these two subjects, the more this deck comes to life and achieves greater precision, personal direction and power. Therefore, this deck is ideal for people with some previous knowledge of the Tarot or who want to start with something that is absolutely unique.

The kit includes the deck and a full-sized book. Because of the uniqueness of the deck, the book is absolutely filled with information about the symbolism and meanings of these cards, making it a veritable training manual in Celtic Pagan occultism and symbolism. It has guidance on how to use the deck for meditation and personal development, including the way The Fool (or in this case, The Green Man) can be seen to travel through the Major Arcana cards, mirroring personal spiritual development. Six spreads are included, ranging from the popular Celtic Cross Spread to the unusual Web Spread, a layout that uses seventeen cards in a design of a spider’s web to examine past, present, and future trends, as well as their interrelationships. As the book doesn’t give examples of how cards are interpreted based on their position in the spreads, having previous knowledge and experience with the Tarot is beneficial.

The earliest Tarot cards do not have pictures on the Minor Arcana cards. One of the reasons the Rider-Waite-Smith deck became so popular over the past 100 years is because pictorial images were added to the Minor Arcana. The Sacred Circle Tarot returns to the original. The Nine of Wands shows a net of nine wands against a verdant landscape. The Nine of Cup shows nine cups filled with flowers in front of a sacred mound. The Minors do have names on them—the Nine of Cups, for example, is named "Stability"— which makes interpretation easier.

The images that are on the cards are of important sites. The "sacred mound" of the Nine of Cups is actually the summit of Glastonbury Tor. All of the plants in all of the cards are fully described, as is their symbolism.

This deck is great for general readings, readings for romance, and past lives. It is also very useful for meditation and personal spiritual development. For that purpose select a card at random and look up the meaning and symbolism in the book, read it a few times, then put the book down and focus on the card. If your mind wanders from the meaning and symbolism, gently bring it back to focus on the card. Eventually, your vision will "soften" and turn inward. Stay in that meditative state until you start to focus on the physical world.

The realism of this deck is breathtaking. The information about the meanings of the Celtic sacred places, all in one source is fascinating and leads to further study. It’s great for divinations and even better for personal spiritual development. Perfect for people who have some experience with the Tarot.

Name of deck:The Sacred Circle Tarot
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 1-56718-457-X
Creator: Anna Franklin
Artist: Paul Mason
Brief biography of artist: Paul Mason was born in Leicester, England, in 1951. He studied fine art in college and, since graduating, has worked as a graphic designer, photographer, and illustrator in both paper-based and electronic interactive media. He has had several exhibitions of landscape photography and his photographs have appeared on postcards and greeting cards, as well as in the photographic press. Paul has illustrated two books, Herb Craft and Familiars: The Animal Powers of Britain, as well as designing and illustrating book covers. In the past, he has taught photography and communication skills and was employed as a designer and illustrator by zoos and conservation organizations. At present, he designs interactive multimedia for De Montfort University, U.K.
Name of accompanying book: The Sacred Circle Tarot
Number of pages of book: 336
Author of book: Anna Franklin
Brief biography of author: Anna Franklin was born in the English Midlands. After gaining an honors degree in fin art photography, she worked for some years as a lecturer in fine art and media studies, and as a photographer and illustrator. Increasingly, she found that her work as a Priestess of the native British Pagan Tradition took more and more of her time, and decided to retrain as a therapist in reflexology, massage, and aromatherapy to augment the traditional craft skills of herbalism and counseling. She has run a number of courses in personal and spiritual development, healing, and magic, and has written several books on Pagan subjects including Herb Craft with Sue Lavender);Familiars: The Animal Powers of Britain; Pagan Feasts (with Sue Phillips); and Personal Power. She is the editor of the longstanding British Pagan magazine Silver Wheel and co-editor of the fantasy magazine Strix.
Magical Uses: Meditation, personal spiritual development
Divination Uses: General readings, past life readings, romance and love
Ethnic Focus: Celtic
Artistic Style: Realism
Original Media: Photographs, pencil sketches, computer colorization and enhancement
Theme: Celtic, Pagan, British and Irish.

This is a Tarot deck with the standard number of cards, however it does not have elaborate illustrations for the Minor Arcana and renames many of the Major Arcana cards and reorders some of them. It also has two extra cards, one illustrating "The Planetary Spread" using seven cards and another showing "The Circle Spread" that uses nine cards.

Here are the different names of the Major Arcana Cards:

Traditional
0 Fool
1 The Magician
2 The High Priestess
3 The Empress
4 The Emperor
5 The Hierophant
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 Strength
9 The Hermit
10 Wheel of Fortune
11 Justice
12 The Hanged Man
13 Death
14 Temperance
15 The Devil
16 The Tower
17 The Star
18 The Moon
18 The Sun
20 Judgement
21 The World

The Sacred Circle Tarot
0 The Green Man
1 The High Priest
2 The High Priestess
3 The Lady
4 The Lord
5 The Druid
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 The Warrior
9 The Shaman
10 The Wheel
11 The Web
12 Sacrifice
13 Death
14 The Underworld
15 The Tower
16 Initiation
17 The Star
18 The Moon
19 The Sun
20 Rebirth
21The World Tree

The names of the suits of the Minor Arcana cards only changes the suit of Pentacles to Disks. Swords, Wands, and Cups remain the same.

The Sacred Circle Tarot is specifically designed to be completely based on Franklin’s knowledge of the British Pagan Tradition of Witchcraft. Central to this tradition is the relationship of the practitioners to the land in a real, not symbolic manner. This is exemplified by the art, where the people, plants, and images are extremely realistic, often photorealistic, rather than the somewhat dreamy, symbolic, or impressionistic style found in so many decks. In keeping with the purpose of the deck, Franklin and Mason have worked to remove Christian and Kabalistic imagery and replace it with Celtic Pagan imagery in a way that speaks to modern Pagans. The "circle" of the title relates to the Wheel of the Year as well as the sacred circles of the landscapes and the cycles of life. The cards show landscapes and sacred sites in Britain and Ireland.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Summary:

The Sacred Circle Tarot features brilliant, realistic art and a totally Celtic Pagan orientation. Perfect for art collectors, Pagans, and people who already have experience with Tarot, its uniqueness is its high point and its challenge, as the Minor Arcana is non-pictorial and the Major Arcana has numerous renamings and even renumbering. Great for meditation and personal development.

Review:

It seems like most Tarot decks and their advertising like to shout, "This is a deck for everyone!" perhaps for the purpose of increasing sales. In fact, most Tarot decks can be used by anyone. The Sacred Circle Tarot, however is different. It is an elegant and erudite deck for people who are willing to go the extra mile and challenge themselves with new ways of approaching the Tarot and Pagan practices. Put simply, the more you know about these two subjects, the more this deck comes to life and achieves greater precision, personal direction and power. Therefore, this deck is ideal for people with some previous knowledge of the Tarot or who want to start with something that is absolutely unique.

The kit includes the deck and a full-sized book. Because of the uniqueness of the deck, the book is absolutely filled with information about the symbolism and meanings of these cards, making it a veritable training manual in Celtic Pagan occultism and symbolism. It has guidance on how to use the deck for meditation and personal development, including the way The Fool (or in this case, The Green Man) can be seen to travel through the Major Arcana cards, mirroring personal spiritual development. Six spreads are included, ranging from the popular Celtic Cross Spread to the unusual Web Spread, a layout that uses seventeen cards in a design of a spider’s web to examine past, present, and future trends, as well as their interrelationships. As the book doesn’t give examples of how cards are interpreted based on their position in the spreads, having previous knowledge and experience with the Tarot is beneficial.

The earliest Tarot cards do not have pictures on the Minor Arcana cards. One of the reasons the Rider-Waite-Smith deck became so popular over the past 100 years is because pictorial images were added to the Minor Arcana. The Sacred Circle Tarot returns to the original. The Nine of Wands shows a net of nine wands against a verdant landscape. The Nine of Cup shows nine cups filled with flowers in front of a sacred mound. The Minors do have names on them—the Nine of Cups, for example, is named "Stability"— which makes interpretation easier.

The images that are on the cards are of important sites. The "sacred mound" of the Nine of Cups is actually the summit of Glastonbury Tor. All of the plants in all of the cards are fully described, as is their symbolism.

This deck is great for general readings, readings for romance, and past lives. It is also very useful for meditation and personal spiritual development. For that purpose select a card at random and look up the meaning and symbolism in the book, read it a few times, then put the book down and focus on the card. If your mind wanders from the meaning and symbolism, gently bring it back to focus on the card. Eventually, your vision will "soften" and turn inward. Stay in that meditative state until you start to focus on the physical world.

The realism of this deck is breathtaking. The information about the meanings of the Celtic sacred places, all in one source is fascinating and leads to further study. It’s great for divinations and even better for personal spiritual development. Perfect for people who have some experience with the Tarot.

Name of deck:The Sacred Circle Tarot
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 1-56718-457-X
Creator: Anna Franklin
Artist: Paul Mason
Brief biography of artist: Paul Mason was born in Leicester, England, in 1951. He studied fine art in college and, since graduating, has worked as a graphic designer, photographer, and illustrator in both paper-based and electronic interactive media. He has had several exhibitions of landscape photography and his photographs have appeared on postcards and greeting cards, as well as in the photographic press. Paul has illustrated two books, Herb Craft and Familiars: The Animal Powers of Britain, as well as designing and illustrating book covers. In the past, he has taught photography and communication skills and was employed as a designer and illustrator by zoos and conservation organizations. At present, he designs interactive multimedia for De Montfort University, U.K.
Name of accompanying book: The Sacred Circle Tarot
Number of pages of book: 336
Author of book: Anna Franklin
Brief biography of author: Anna Franklin was born in the English Midlands. After gaining an honors degree in fin art photography, she worked for some years as a lecturer in fine art and media studies, and as a photographer and illustrator. Increasingly, she found that her work as a Priestess of the native British Pagan Tradition took more and more of her time, and decided to retrain as a therapist in reflexology, massage, and aromatherapy to augment the traditional craft skills of herbalism and counseling. She has run a number of courses in personal and spiritual development, healing, and magic, and has written several books on Pagan subjects including Herb Craft with Sue Lavender);Familiars: The Animal Powers of Britain; Pagan Feasts (with Sue Phillips); and Personal Power. She is the editor of the longstanding British Pagan magazine Silver Wheel and co-editor of the fantasy magazine Strix.
Magical Uses: Meditation, personal spiritual development
Divination Uses: General readings, past life readings, romance and love
Ethnic Focus: Celtic
Artistic Style: Realism
Original Media: Photographs, pencil sketches, computer colorization and enhancement
Theme: Celtic, Pagan, British and Irish.

This is a Tarot deck with the standard number of cards, however it does not have elaborate illustrations for the Minor Arcana and renames many of the Major Arcana cards and reorders some of them. It also has two extra cards, one illustrating "The Planetary Spread" using seven cards and another showing "The Circle Spread" that uses nine cards.

Here are the different names of the Major Arcana Cards:

Traditional
0 Fool
1 The Magician
2 The High Priestess
3 The Empress
4 The Emperor
5 The Hierophant
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 Strength
9 The Hermit
10 Wheel of Fortune
11 Justice
12 The Hanged Man
13 Death
14 Temperance
15 The Devil
16 The Tower
17 The Star
18 The Moon
18 The Sun
20 Judgement
21 The World

The Sacred Circle Tarot
0 The Green Man
1 The High Priest
2 The High Priestess
3 The Lady
4 The Lord
5 The Druid
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 The Warrior
9 The Shaman
10 The Wheel
11 The Web
12 Sacrifice
13 Death
14 The Underworld
15 The Tower
16 Initiation
17 The Star
18 The Moon
19 The Sun
20 Rebirth
21The World Tree

The names of the suits of the Minor Arcana cards only changes the suit of Pentacles to Disks. Swords, Wands, and Cups remain the same.

The Sacred Circle Tarot is specifically designed to be completely based on Franklin’s knowledge of the British Pagan Tradition of Witchcraft. Central to this tradition is the relationship of the practitioners to the land in a real, not symbolic manner. This is exemplified by the art, where the people, plants, and images are extremely realistic, often photorealistic, rather than the somewhat dreamy, symbolic, or impressionistic style found in so many decks. In keeping with the purpose of the deck, Franklin and Mason have worked to remove Christian and Kabalistic imagery and replace it with Celtic Pagan imagery in a way that speaks to modern Pagans. The "circle" of the title relates to the Wheel of the Year as well as the sacred circles of the landscapes and the cycles of life. The cards show landscapes and sacred sites in Britain and Ireland.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2014

    I really like this deck. Even though I usually go back to my bel

    I really like this deck. Even though I usually go back to my beloved RWS deck, I have done some exceptional relationship readings with this deck. The art is beautiful and the symbols and the colors really help me get down to the story the cards want to tell me. This is one of my favorite decks and I have owned many. Morgandy

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  • Posted January 1, 2009

    This is the best Tarot deck/book

    This tarot is wonderful, the deck not only is accurate its easy to understand. Do not get fooled by the beauties of other decks, because they do not tell you what you need to know like this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    absolutely stunning!

    the most beautiful and unique deck you will ever see! The multi media images are almost hypnotic in their ability to draw you in - combined with the wonderful book, this is a whole new tarot experience. It doesn't matter if you're a pagan or not, the essence of the wisdom is common to all spritual systems. don't miss this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2000

    More than a deck... an anthology!

    At first, the deviation from the standard major arcana was difficult to get accustomed to; but with a little practice, I hardly noticed. Let me tell you why. This deck combines photography and computer enhancement, coupled with European landscapes so familiar to the Celtic student, that you cannot help but be drawn into each card, only to re-emerge with the wisdom of a journey. The book deserves to stand alone. Even if you throw the cards away (but don't) the book is worth every penny. There's is a wealth of obscure and common Celtic knowledge contained within its pages. In describing the 'Symbology' of each card you are, in essence, receiving a history lesson with spiritual connotations. Celts and Witta should not pass this one up!

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