Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Deck Review: Everyday Witch Tarot

Deborah Blake (author) and Elisabeth Alba (artist/illustrator), Everyday Witch Tarot. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-7387-4634-0. (link to publisher)

Genre: divination, card decks
Subgenre: Tarot, witches, witchcraft
Format: 78 cards deck with companion book (paperback) packed in solid cardboard box with magnetic closure.
Source: I bought this new and own this. (Do not recall where I got it, but possibly Barnes and Noble. You can likely find it at your favorite esoteric shop, or if you must, that big retailer everyone hates but uses anyhow). 

Promotional image for the deck from publisher
Deborah Blake, the author, is a Wiccan high priestess and author of other books on witchcraft such as Everyday Witchcraft and The Witch's Broom (book links to WorldCat). I can see a bit of everyday/quotidian vibe in such books, and this Tarot deck certainly has that. The title of the deck is very accurate; this is a deck you can use on a daily basis. If you want a deck you can use regularly, daily, that feels casual, and not complicated, this deck may be for you. The art is done by Elisabeth Alba, and it definitely works for the deck. I will add that you do not have to be Wiccan like the author (or a witch of any form for that matter to enjoy and use the deck).

Let's start with the companion book: Guide to the Everyday Witch Tarot. The book is pretty basic in terms of content. It is arranged as follows: '

  • Short introduction. The author presents a short story of how the deck was created in the form of a little tale, even starting with "once upon a time." 
  • Chapter One: In this chapter, Blake points out this deck "is based on the classic Rider-Waite deck that many people are already familiar with" (5). However, she also tells us there can be variety with some images close to RWS and others are very different. Still, I can say if you read on the RWS system, you can use this deck well enough. This chapter also includes a basic lesson on how to do a reading and on learning the cards. Blake also encourages readers to experiment. 
  • Chapter Two. This chapter includes common questions and answers. Some common questions include: 
    • What is a signifier and should I use one?
    • What if I get bad news, a bunch of scary cards, or answer I (or the person I am reading for) don't like?
    • Do I have to be psychic to read the Tarot? (spoiler alert: NO. Author then discusses this). 
    •  Under Tarot extras this chapter offers three spells to use with Tarot. If you do not practice a craft or such, you do not have to use these. If you do or choose to try, the spells are substantial but fairly easy to perform in terms of materials and things to do to make the spells work. 
  •  Chapter 3: This chapter contains the card meanings. We first get the Major Arcana. For each Major Arcana card you get a full color image of the card, a key phrase, and then card description and meanings. Major Arcana cards also include a section on "Things to consider," which gives a reader questions and ideas to consider related to the card. For the Minor Arcana cards, cards are arranged by suit ace to ten with their court cards (court cards are not separated from their suits). In terms of substance, content is similar to the Major Arcana: full color image, key phrase, description and meanings and "things to consider," just a bit shorter overall. 
    • On a side note, I do not usually write in my books, but if you do, this book does include some lined pages throughout this chapter for you to add your notes. 
  • Chapter 4. Three spreads included: one-card, three cards, and Celtic Cross. 
  • Brief conclusion. 
The book overall is in full color, and in terms of aesthetics it does look very nice. In terms of content,
the material is light and basic. By light, I meant it is pretty positive in terms of meaning and outlook. This book and deck are really for everyday use. The content is good for beginners and those wanting a deck with a positive, optimistic outlook. I am not saying this deck is all sweet- it can and does read honestly- but if you seek some comfort, this is a good choice, and the meanings in the book reflect that.

The content is accessible and easy to read. Black maintains a light hearted tone throughout. If you choose to use the book with the cards, it works well, However, if you read by intuition and/or just seeing the cards, the images are clear and mostly within RWS.

Six of Pentacles
This leads me to the cards. Elisabeth Alba's art is cute and playful. It is also bright and colorful. Plus if you like cats, most cards feature one cat or more. The deck features male and female witches. The images are mostly modern and contemporary, but there is still a fantasy element. Furthermore, if you are looking for a "family friendly" deck or one without "scary" elements, this is a solid choice. In the few times I read publicly for others at events, I carry multiple decks so clients can get a choice. I usually try to have at least one "family friendly" deck, and this one works nicely. If someone brings a child along, this deck is safe for them to look at (properly supervised if they are small children of course). I am happy to take this deck with me to read for others.

This is a deck you can easily use year round. If you plan your decks' Modern Spellcaster's Tarot deck (link to my review) has that borderless style too. I think it works well, and they should use it more. Back to this deck, the good bright art has a bit of a playful element. This is a deck that always made me smile when I used it. This is not really a deep study deck, but it is one for daily use and readings on a lighter side work well with this deck. It is a good mood deck. Good for a pick me up if you need it.
Page of Wands.
rotation based on seasons, I'd say this is a good one for spring and better yet for summer. The cards measure about 4 1/2 inches by 2 3/4 inches. They are borderless with a small ribbon in the bottom of the image to identify the card. This borderless style is one Llewellyn seems to be favoring recently in some current selections. For example, their

Overall, this is a good deck for beginners and for those wanting a light and easy deck in the RWS tradition. I personally like it a lot, and I am glad to have it in my collection. Looking for a witch themed deck, and you like your witches on the lighter side with pointy hats but still a bit modern, this may be for you too.  

4 out of 5 stars.

Note on photos: Except for the promo photo, all photos were taken by me of my personal copy of the deck.

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