Tarot Deck Review
The Wayfarer Tarot
Guidebook by Stacy Salpietro-Babb
Artwork & Design by Margaret Shipman
Publisher: Self Published via Kickstarter
Publication Date: 2018
The Wayfarer Tarot is created by Stacy Salpietro-Babb (guidebook) and Margaret Shipman (artwork and design), first edition 2018 ISBN: 978-0-578-42920-5. This beautiful deck was self-published via a Kickstarter campaign that ran during 2018. Stacy and Margaret began working together to create The Wayfarer Tarot during 2013, forming the ideas that would become the deck, and combining Stacy’s vision for the meaning of the card and Margaret’s visual interpretation.
The Wayfarer Tarot comes in a 3 inch by 5 inch cardboard box with a matte finish color card image on the front, the card name on the sides, and a plain black back. The cards measure 2 3/4 inches by 4 3/4 inches with rounded corners; the card stock is sturdy and durable but soft enough to withstand shuffling. The finish is low gloss and nicely slippery; the cards shuffled nicely as I worked with them over the past few weeks.
The first thing I noticed about these cards after opening the box is that the Wayfarer Tarot Major Arcana cards are created with a noticeably different style from the style of the Minor Arcana cards. The authors of this deck made this design choice on purpose, encouraging us to notice the different forces at play within the Majors and the Minors. The Major Arcana cards of the Wayfarer Tarot represent archetypes and major spiritual forces, and the colorful card images invite us to dive deep into each card in order to understand its energies. The Minor Arcana cards of this deck connect to the experiences that make up our lives, day-to-day experiences that join together to offer a larger meaning.
The card images have a border at the bottom containing the name of the card; the Majors also have the card number at the top of the card. The Minor Arcana suit names are Earth, Water, Air and Fire, and the background of the drawings on the Minor cards is color coded with a pastel wash, with green on the Earth cards, blue on the Water Cards, red on the Fire cards, and off white on the Air cards. The color palette of the Major Arcana cards is vibrant, with mostly primary colors. The images themselves are clever and interesting, making you want to think about the card and its meaning in new ways. The II of Water shows two fish bowls next to each other, each containing one fish who is gazing at the fish in the other bowl. These fish are connecting and communicating, hopefully creating a trust that can be built upon. The image on The Chariot is of the Space Shuttle as it enters the far reaches of our planet’s atmosphere, telling of the planning and timing and work necessary to pull off a launch, and the larger forces that can either support or derail this endeavor unless that planning, timing and work are done with focus and determination. The backs of the cards show a brightly colored collage consisting of flowers within red circles; that same pattern is found in the image of The Magician.
The deck comes with a single page offering basic descriptions of the deck, and a code for downloading a free 178-page PDF of the Complete Wayfarer Tarot guidebook, obtained at the authors’ website, wayfarertarot.com. The cover shows the same image as the box. The guidebook begins with Our Story, describing how The Wayfarer Tarot came to be, and What Makes The Wayfarer Tarot Different? which talks about the reasons for the unique appearance of the deck, and Words of Wisdom for the Wayfarer, which offers advice for connecting to the deck. Author’s Note is written by Stacy Salpietro-Babb. Next are the pages dedicated to card descriptions, 157 pages of valuable information and insights regarding the cards. Each card description contains the card number and name, a full color image of the card, information regarding the symbolism used and descriptions of the reasons for the symbolism and the meaning of the card image, and suggestions for how to use the card in a reading.
Following the card descriptions is a section called Interpretation, which talks about how to connect with the specific card images and how to prepare for a reading, and a few spreads with nicely-detailed descriptions of each card position and a general suggestion for the purpose of the spread. Th guidebook finishes with information regarding Meditation with Tarot Cards.
The stated goal of the creation of The Wayfarer Tarot is to make the Tarot accessible for our modern times, and to contribute to the ever-evolving dialog surrounding the mysteries of the Tarot. The combined efforts of the authors have succeeded in manifesting that goal. This is a Tarot deck that is user-friendly, perfect for the novice reader. The vibrant and interesting images of the cards combined with the well-written guidebook make this set a great and valuable experience for those just dipping their toes into the vast ocean of information that is the Tarot. Experienced readers will also love this deck. While the imagery contains recognizable symbolism and archetypes, the individual cards are different enough to tickle the mind and encourage us to think out of the box when interpreting the cards in a reading. It is easy to recognize the personalities of each of the cards in this deck because of the unexpected images (The Devil is a woman, The High Priestess is a yogi, and the Lovers are an elderly couple!) and the well-written guidebook describing the cards. This encourages back-and-forth communication between reader and seeker, which makes for interesting and compelling readings.
Stacy Salpietro-Babb has been interested in the Tarot since l999. She is a self-taught Tarot reader who also presents classes and workshops that teach others how to form a relationship with each of the cards of the Tarot. Margaret Shipman was a student in Stacy’s 78 Days of Tarot class in 2013, when the collaboration between the two began. Margaret Shipman is a Vermont-based artist who is inspired by the natural world, the dual nature of humanity, and the magic in everyday life. Her work can be found at her website, margaretshipmanart.com. Be sure to check out The Wayfarer Tarot FaceBook page, too!
To purchase your own deck, visit Their Site!
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 Journal 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.