goddess within

Tarot Deck Review: The Goddess Tarot Deck by Kris Waldherr

December, 2017

The Goddess Tarot Deck created and Illustrated by Kris Waldherr

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT; the deck is printed in Italy. Inside the softly-colored box are the 78-card deck, a 3 ¼ x 4 ½ inch “Little White Book” containing an introduction by the author, card meanings, and a description of the Celtic Cross spread, a 207 page 4 ½ by 7 inch softcover companion book, and a 20 inch by 17 inch template or layout sheet for a Celtic Cross spread, showing card positioning and position meanings.

The theme of this deck as indicated by its title, The Goddess Tarot, is the Divine Feminine, and Ms. Waldherr is certainly qualified to create this deck. She is the author of The Book of Goddesses, and its companion book, Embracing the Goddess Within: A Creative Guide for Women, which together offer a rich and textured portrait of the Divine Feminine. Some of the art from these books is also found in this deck. The Goddess Tarot highlights the Divine Feminine, and the language, symbols and mysticism associated with Goddesses throughout the world. Each of the 22 Major Arcana cards features a feminine archetype personified by a Goddess, and many of the card names have been changed to more accurately reflect the combination of the traditional meaning of the card and the myth of the Goddess representing the card. For example, Tara is featured on the 0 card named “Beginnings,” with Isis on the number I card named “Magic,” Sarasvati on the number II card called “Wisdom,” and similarly all the way through to the number XXI card with the traditional name of “The World’ and the corresponding Goddess of Gaia. Merely working with the images and card descriptions of the Major Arcana alone would offer a broad taste of personality traits and myths associated with many Goddesses honored within various cultures, religions and spiritual practices.

But if you are interested in the Divine Feminine, you don’t want to ignore the Minor Arcana. Each of the suits presented, the traditional Cups, Staves, Swords and Pentacles, illuminates the wisdom of a specific Goddess and a myth or story associated with that Goddess. The Cups tell of Venus and the emotional satisfaction associated with both the Goddess and the suit. Staves offer the talent and initiative of Freyja, Swords the understanding of Isis, and Pentacles tell of the beauty and wealth of Lakshmi. Each numbered card has an image based on the Rider-Waite deck but adjusted to fit the story or myth being told by the suit. The Court Cards, also each with an image, are ranked King, Queen, Prince, and Princess.

The cards themselves are 3 3/8 by 4 ¾, large enough so the images can be seen but not so large that shuffling is a challenge. Like the companion book, the card stock is sturdy enough to encourage regular use. The finish is glossy, which should make the cards nicely slippery but to my surprise, I found the cards in my deck tend to stick together, making shuffling a bit difficult. The images themselves are beautiful. The coloring is pastel, but while soft and dreamlike images are created by the palate used in this deck, there is also a vibrancy that is alluring. The figures are detailed, and are costumed appropriately according to their individual stories. The backgrounds behind the figures are beautifully colored, as are the frames around the images. The back of the cards contain a simple image of royal blue and gold.

If you are a “Tarot purist,” this might not be the deck for you. Despite being Rider-Waite based, the Goddess Tarot uses non-traditional names and images on the Major Arcana cards, and incorporates a story into the images of each suit of the Minor Arcana cards. Overall, most of the images are of women, with very few male images within the deck.

But if you are a Tarot enthusiast, either woman or man, who is interested in deepening your knowledge of the Divine Feminine, the Goddesses of different cultures, feminism, and world culture, or if you enjoy exploring Goddess/Divine Feminine imagery of all kinds, this deck will be a good fit. The beautiful imagery and compelling myths combine and lace seamlessly with the meanings and correspondences already in place within a Tarot deck in order to offer a rich and textured portrait of the Divine Feminine. The use of Goddess archetypes within the images and stories of the Major Arcana presents a whole new set of Goddess-specific correspondences to be used in a reading, adding depth and texture to the messages of the cards.


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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot reader and teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journey To Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.


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Hedgewitch Days!

March, 2015

Celebrating the Forgotten Goddess Within!

Hi my lovelies!

March is here, yay…bring on that BST and the extra hour of daylight!!!

Spring is springing and nature is in full on fertility mode, 50 shades of Grey has nothing on our natural world. The cycle of the Goddess is well and truly underway for the year, the maiden rules once again, all young, beautiful and full of promise. But with everything screaming newness and freshness I can’t help thinking it is all a little past me. Ok, I can feel the vibrancy of the Maiden in nature, but in my inner world that phase is over. At 44 I can’t really pull off the Maiden phase anymore, so what phase of the Goddess should I be in?

We are all so familiar with the traditional Maiden, Mother and Crone, the triple aspects of the Goddess, reflected in the world we live in as it turns through the year. It wasn’t until I had a visit with a fellow Witch and good friend Carmen that I started thinking this whole thing through. We were nattering on and for some reason the Goddess aspects came up. I said I figured I was now in the Crone phase and Carmen wisely asked if I really felt that I was. Ummm…Now that takes some thinking!

You see, I am definitely not the Maiden anymore, the role which has LONG since passed me by in a cloud of 80’s fashion and large quantities of alcohol. The nurturing Mother role seems to have left with the departure of my daughters and my empty nest. Of course I am still a Mother forever and always, especially where my purse is concerned lol, and I do still long for the mothering role, maybe accounting for all my fur babies and their reluctance to enjoy the many hugs and kisses I wish to bestow on them daily, honestly I wish they were a little more amicable to my overenthusiastic affections! Now I am also a Grandma…a role that hit me at the age of 40, and a role that I relish and hold oh so dear to my heart, being a Grandma is THE best thing about having to go through the whole Mother thing! But because there is now another generation in place does this automatically promote me into the Crone aspect of the Goddess within?

I don’t feel wise enough to be the Crone, let me think…nope, definitely not wise enough, and hopefully I am not yet in the last phase of earth life, however I do seem to have taken on an advisory role in a way, everything from how to cook to advise on the human emotions we all have to deal with daily. I seem to be, nowadays, the go to person for advice and help, surprisingly I can usually come up with a decent and sensible answer to most posed questions and if I can’t, I know how to point in the right direction and give any encouragement needed to progress forward with solving a problem. Sometimes I am well and truly shocked by what is buried in the back of this rambling brain, and more and more I find myself thinking I have turned into my Mum, so often the words just spring out of my mouth in the exact way she would say them.

Anyway, back to the conversation. Carmen wisely brought up another phase that really needs consideration in the whole inner Goddess argument. There is a word that sums up all of us in this in between phase of Mother and Crone and the missing Goddess is …..((Drumroll))….Matriarch!!!

Ok, this words definition in the dictionary is;

A woman who rules a family, clan or tribe.

A woman who dominates a group or an activity.

A highly respected woman who is a mother.

Now THIS I can relate too! This position signifies to me a higher level of the Mother Goddess, the go to person with knowledge and experience who can send you in the right direction, but still has a way to go and many life experiences to enjoy before the Crone phase is reached. She is the one who holds everything together, the one at the controls of the family, and ultimately the one who is head of her clan, unless the Crone decides differently by overruling her!

I like this new aspect of the Goddess within me, and am very comfortable being the Matriarch to my little clan. When I stumble into the bathroom in the morning and look in the mirror I can see the Matriarch reflected back at me. She is there, with all the signs that accompany her, the aging skin and the slightly thinning hair. But she is NOT the Crone, she still has many roads to travel down to get the next phase and many mistakes left to learn from! I am kind of fond of this new inner Goddess, the phase where self-doubt dissipates and a confidence starts to build, suddenly you begin to realise you actually don’t really worry about what others think! Your beliefs begin to embed into your day to day life, you have more time to explore the world as you want and believe it to be. It is a phase of freedom, love and discovery!!!

Now this is not to say that I can’t relate to all the aspects of our beloved Goddess, the cycles and turning of the year will always ring in my heart, bring me joy and a sense of belonging. I will always celebrate all her gifts to us, and be grateful of the seasonal reminders that put us firmly in touch with our path. As ever, this spring equinox of Ostara will be a shining connection to the Maiden and will be celebrated as passionately as ever by this little Hedgewitch. I will also continue to celebrate all the Goddess aspects within me too, especially the Maiden who, with the help of a little nip of something naughty but nice, can still be found rocking out down the front with the best of them! She will still do all the ill-advised and stupid things that come with youth and pretending to not know better…fortunately, my newly discovered Matriarch Goddess (thanks Carmen) means I won’t go too far, oh, and if I do I won’t matter anyway hehehe!!!

I hope you all find some time as we celebrate the Maiden in March to recognise the Goddess phase within you, and celebrate her presence, whatever phase you find yourself to be in.

Big hugs and Bright Blessings as ever my lovelies