Reviews & Interviews

Deck Review – Pistis Sophia: The Goddess Tarot by Kim Huggens and Nic Phillips

Deck Review
Pistis Sophia:
The Goddess Tarot
By Kim Huggens and Nic Phillips
Published by Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit
22 card deck and 144 page guidebook

 

 

The Pistis Sophia is a very interesting majors-only Tarot kit that comes in a lovely 6 inch by 9 inch sturdy box with a magnetic closure easily opened in book-fashion with a handy ribbon tab. The box has a full color matte finish, with the deck name and a card image on the front of the box, and deck information and description and three card images on the back.

The first thing we see after opening the box lid is the guidebook book to this deck, which is 5 5/8 inches by 8 5/8 inches with a full color matte finish soft cover similar in design to the outside of the box. The guidebook is 144 pages of white paper with black print. It begins with Acknowledgements of the authors, followed by a useful Introduction which describes the authors’ reason for creating the deck, the source of the title, the structure of the deck, and the mythologies the authors associate with the major arcana cards themselves. Next are instructions for starting the process of immersing into the knowledge and myths associated with the Tarot major arcana. Following are instructions specific to the deck itself, including some sample spreads. The Card Meanings page offers some traditional correspondences.

Next comes the information about the individual cards. Each card section consists of 5 pages, containing quite a bit of information about the goddess associated with the card, a healthy writeup of divinatory meanings, and several keywords associated with upright and reversed interpretations. The guidebook concludes with a 10-page bibliography, and bios of the two authors.

The deck itself is a treasure. Of course since this is a majors-only deck there are only 22 cards, but it looks like no expense was spared in their creation. The cards are 3 inches by 5 inches, printed on sturdy card stock that is a nice size that works well even for small hands, with a glossy full color finish (both card faces and card backs) which allows for easy shuffling. The cards are edged in gold, with an orange back showing swirling designs. The card faces are brilliantly colored, with the card name and number as well as the goddess depicted, at the bottom of the card. The image has a border with the same pattern as the box and guidebook.

I did not expect to be as attracted to this guidebook and deck as I am. Here is 100 pages of intense material dedicated to the individual major arcana cards, material that explores the traditional archetypes of the major arcana through mythology and feminine wisdom, paired with a 22-card major arcana only deck with beautiful card images that just beg us to delve into and meditate upon. The materials and card information provided touch upon the writings and stories of the goddesses, holy women and heroines depicted in the deck, as well as a variety of cultures and time periods.

Pistis Sophia is not necessarily a deck for a beginner who seeks to learn the traditional images and symbolism of the Tarot. Not every card has a traditional name; for example The Emperor is known as The Construct, and The Lovers is named The Sisters. On the surface, the card meanings associated with these two examples might seem different, but in the end they do tell a valid story of each of the cards. The images are not based on a Rider Waite type deck, but rather allow us to explore the wisdom of the sacred feminine through historic goddesses, holy women, and heroines. The box itself states “For intermediate and advanced readers . . .”; however, if you are ready to add depth and texture to your understanding of the major arcana by using these vibrantly colored cards and the useful and informative companion guidebook, I highly recommend this beautiful majors only kit.


Kim Huggens co-authored Sol Invictus: The God Tarot, followed by her first book, Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards. She also co-authored two other decks, Tarot Illuminat and Tarot Apokalypsis with Erik C. Dunne. Kim’s passion for Tarot is matched by her passion for mythology, and she has edited three anthologies exploring mythological themes: From a Drop of Water, Vs, and Memento Mori. She completed postgraduate studies in ancient history, focusing on the magic and religion of the classical and late antique world.

Nic Phillips co-authored Sol Invictus: The God Tarot. Almost immediately after that project, he began working on Pistis Sophia with Kim Huggens while at the same time expanding his artwork into different media on a larger scale. His keen interest in the folklore of the British Isles encouraged him to write and illustrate Celtic Saints of Western Britain, and to move to live and work in Glastonbury, UK, where he produces spiritual and Goddess-themed artwork. Nic’s other research interests include world mythology and the nature of pilgrimage, and he is currently working on a book about the Black Madonna.

 

Pistis Sophia: The Goddess Tarot on Amazon

 

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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 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.

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