Tarot Deck Review
The Dark Goddess Tarot
by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince
Publisher: Red Feather Mind/Body/Spirit
Publication Date: October 28, 2020
The Dark Goddess Tarot is created by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince (copyright 2020 by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince), and published by Red Feather Mind/Body/Spirit, an imprint of Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310. The Dark Goddess Tarot is a fascinating and beautifully lavish deck that explores 78 powerful female archetypes and the feminine powers inherent in magic, mystery, death, sex, dominion, and shadow.
The Dark Goddess Tarot comes in a 6 1/4 inch by 9 inch cardboard box with a magnetic lid. The box is matte finish black with gold lettering and beautiful full-color card images on the lid, with a deck description on the back. While the box itself is quite substantial and should stand up to heavy use, the insert that holds the cards in place is a tiny bit difficult; each time I remove the cards, they scrape against the sides of the insert.
The cards measure 3 1/8 inches by 5 inches with rounded corners; the card stock is sturdy enough to create a 1 1/2 inch pack, but thanks to the glossy finish, the cards handle nicely and shuffle easily as I worked with them. The images are dramatic, sumptuous and attractive, with a black border, the name of the goddess inscribed with black lettering on a gold banner at the top of the image, and the name and number of the card in gold lettering at the bottom. The palette is primary colors and jewel-tone colors, creating images that really catch the eye and invite further exploration. The card back is gold with a black border and a medallion image in the center; combined with the gilded edges, this deck is as beautiful to behold from the back as it is from the front.
The 176-page softcover guidebook is as attractive as the deck itself. The 5 5/8 inch by 8 5/8 inch book has a matte finish, just like the box, with a black background and a cover emblazoned with the same image as the lid of the box. The guidebook begins with a very brief introduction, a description of the goddesses used in the Major Arcana, the Minor Arcana suits (based on the four elements), and a description of the Court used in this deck (with Amazon, Siren, Witch and Hag representing Page, Knight, Queen and King).
Next is the card description section. Each card section contains a full-page color image of the card surrounded by a black border; in the border at the top is the name of the card, name of the goddess associated with the card, and the pantheon to which the goddess belongs. At the bottom is an affirmation. The card description itself contains several paragraphs describing the history and culture belonging to the goddess associated with the card, as well as a few paragraphs describing the meaning of the card and interpretations for when the card appears in a spread.
Following the card descriptions are a few spread suggestions, a description of the author’s inspiration for this lovely deck, and a brief description of her experiences working with these cards. The book ends with a short bio.
I worked with these cards for a few weeks, and my big surprised was how well the different card meanings and the many goddesses themselves seem to mesh. I expected this to be a noisy deck (after all, imagine having all 78 of these goddesses in one room!), and it is noisy. But contrary to my expectations, these Dark Goddesses seem to want to work together. I mainly used three-card spreads, but did not ever have trouble working with their messages and finding useful outcomes.
This is a beautiful deck. The images are simple and easy to connect with. The descriptions of the different Goddesses are easy to understand, as are the messages of the cards. This may not be a deck for a beginner who is looking to learn the traditional symbolism of the Tarot. The meanings of the cards are interpreted through the Goddess assigned to the card, and while a reader with some background in the traditional symbolism of the Tarot can recognize these archetypes and symbols laced into the images and card descriptions, this might not be a good learning deck.
However, if you are interested in learning about many different Dark Goddesses, this deck will easily and efficiently facilitate that endeavor, whether you are an experienced reader or a Tarot neophyte. Because this deck is in many ways like an Oracle deck in Tarot clothing, even the newest of readers will be able to use these richly created images and the information from the guidebook in order to provide interesting and effective readings.
Ellen Lorenzi-Prince is a novelist, Tarot writer, and the author of the Dark Goddess Tarot, has also created The Minoan Tarot, inspired by the ancient people of Crete, their Goddess, their land, and their creativity, and Tarot of the Crone, inspired by the grandmother, witch, hag, and ancient holy one, and the upcoming Kali Tarot. Information about Lorenzi-Prince and her work may be found at darkgoddesstarot.com. She is also one of the founders of the Dark Goddess Lodge, a subscription community offering guided meditations, discussions, Goddess-centric tarot spreads, and community work. Information about the Dark Goddess Lodge may be found at darkgoddesslodge.com.
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.