The Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake and Elisabeth Alba.
I picked this deck up this weekend (because obviously I needed another deck after getting two new tarot decks AND two oracle decks over the holidays ;3 ) at Barnes and Noble because I had some store credit burning a hole in my pocket and they didn’t have the Tarot Coloring book in stock. I’m going to get the coloring one at some point, but I wanted some instant gratification.
So here’s my thoughts about it:
It comes in a nice sturdy box with a magnetized flip open cover, inside is a 252 page book and the deck itself. The deck doesn’t come in a separate box or bag, which is kind of a bummer for me, I like my decks to have a box for JUST the cards so I can toss a deck in my bag. I’ll have to get a drawstring bag or something like to store the cards when I don’t want the big box.
The book is pretty nice, it’s full color and has glossy pages. There’s a short standard introduction to what tarot is and what it does and how to use it. Nothing revolutionary, but all decent as an introduction for someone who might be picking this up for their first deck. There was one line about using a card that falls out while shuffling as a signifier which was something I hadn’t heard before, so that was a nice little gem for me. It also had a little table that spelled out the number pattern thing for minor arcana (aces being new beginnings/opportunities) which I had been meaning to review. Finding little synchronicities in something like this makes me happy.
As for the cards themselves I quite like them, they’re not perfect, but really I haven’t found The Perfect Deck ™ yet if it even exists.
I’m going to start with the things I didn’t like about this deck. First of all, as I mentioned above, no box just for the deck. Also the card stock that they’re printed on is pretty thin. The cards aren’t going to hold up as a deck for The Ages, these are going to bend as I work with them. My last problem with them is a big one, I still like this deck and I anticipate working a lot with it, but it’s got a real problem with lack of racial diversity. It would have been so easy to add some witches of color into these cards. There are a handful, I think I counted ten, that could be people of color. Or they could just be Caucasians with a little bit of a tan. I find that really disappointing. Deck creators, please, diversify it up! I want more people of color in my tarot decks. Diversity is beautiful and awesome and it’s so important. Representation is important. There are a few hints of representation in here, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough.
This problem aside, there are a lot of things I like about this deck. It’s witchy, which, spoilers, I’m definitely into. 😉 There’s a cat familiar on almost every single card (cards without cats: Three of Swords, Hanged Man, Six of Wands, Hierophant, and the King of Pentacles, in case you’re interested). I’m a cat person who has a cat familiar so this scores big points in my book. One of the first cards I always want to see when I look at a new deck is The Lovers. I was pleasantly surprised to see two figures that could be easily queered. There are no gendered markers (aside from possibly the long curly hair, but these days plenty of guys I know have long curly hair) on them. I looked at a handful of other cards and I saw a handful more semi-androgynous figures. Then as I was reading the book that came with the cards they said that it was intentionally done “in the hope that everyone will feel included and see themselves somewhere in these cards.” Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s too bad we couldn’t get some intersectionality here with witches of color! In other cat related stuff, did you see the cat tails and how they make a little heart! I loved it!
I also love the way they depict the Hierophant in this deck as well. This card is often shown as a Papal like Christian church man. This obviously wouldn’t fly in a witchcraft deck so they had to go with something else. So there’s a yoga instructor with two students. I love the fact that there’s a woman instructor on this card. I have often, in the past, struggled with a white Christian male as the authority figure when that’s so far away from my hoped for reality. Ideally, seeing as the practice of yoga originated in India, I would have loved the teacher to be a woman of color so as not to continue white washing the practice of yoga, but this is progress. It’s not to say that there isn’t more work to be done, there always is. I also like that this card shows an ambiguously gendered person.
The next card I wanted to share with you is another of my favorites, The Hermit. It shows a witch sitting in front of a crackling campfire. I adore the change from the dark robed old man with a lantern, even though I really like that traditional imagery too.
Campfires are such wonderful places for recharging for me. I grew up as a Girl Scout and so I’ve been to a lot of campfires and I have such strong positive associations with them. Meditating listening to the crackle and pop of that fire with a cat purring across fro me sounds like a little slice of heaven. And I always love seeing an owl pop up in readings. Athena is my matron goddess and seeing her symbol always gives me a little boost.
Overall, I like this deck a great deal. I think it’s got some great symbolism, I love that it’s witch themed, and I like how easy it is to queer the cards. I really like that they put those androgynous figures into this deck with intention. I think this will be a great deck to read with and I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to teach me.