Tarot of the Sidhe

Tarot of the Sidhe

Author: Emily Carding
Artist: Emily Carding
Schiffer Books
ISBN #978-0-7643-3599-0

I had a red letter day this past week – two packages in one day (Karyn Easton’s “Tarot Lovers Diary”, and Emily Cardings “Tarot of the Sidhe”)! My calendar is chock full of things waiting to be done, but I kept sneaking back for more looks at the enchanting Sidhe. Pronounced “Shee” (I won’t even tell you how I was pronouncing their name!), this deck is based on otherworldly beings known as Sidhe. In his foreword, John Matthews describes them as figures of great power, with a deep and lasting connection to our world. He sees them as being wise, sometimes tricky and elusive, but always noble.

This is a traditional 78 card deck. The Major Arcana retain their traditional titles, with the following exceptions: the Hierophant becomes the Elder, and the Devil becomes Pan. Justice is VIII, Strength is XI. The four suits are: Dreamers (Water), Warriors (Fire), Dancers (Air) and Makers (Earth). The Court card titles are King, Queen, Prince and Princess.

The deck and 96 page companion book come in a sturdy cardboard box with a lift-off top. The cover shows the imagery from the Sun. One side of the box indicates that the cards can be used for divination and meditation, to enhance intuition, and to strengthen the connection with the Sidhe Otherworld. The other side of the box gives information in the deck and companion book. I truly appreciate quality packaging, which is exactly what this is!

The companion book includes a foreword by renowned Celtic folklorist John Matthews, and an introductory section by Emily Carding on how the deck came about, and her deep connection with the Sidhe. Each card is presented in text only, with the Major Arcana carrying the speaking voice of each card, along with keywords and artist notes. The Minor Arcana Pips (numbered cards) and Court cards show a short poem, along with keywords.

From the book:

Two of Dreamers (Air):

Now the mind is split in twain,
The glorious whole is seen to wane.
And two thoughts now must find a path,
To bring both peace and conquer wrath …

Keywords: Division, Polarity, Truce, Temporary Balance, Decision, Stalemate.
At the back of the book is a section on reading with the cards, including the following spreads: the Pentagram Career Spread, the Hexagram Relationship Spread, and the Septagram Spread of the Whole Self. There is also information on meditation, and a special gift in the form of a song that Emily wrote one beautiful spring day, entitled “Song of the Sidhe”. Thank you, Emily!

The cards themselves are 3 ½” by 5”, of quality card stock. The backs are a solid black, with a center image in gray of the Great Glyph of the Sidhe. It is another great gift from Emily, in that it acts as a gateway to connecting with the Sidhe. This glyph fascinates me, as it brings to mind the spiral that we see in so much esoteric work, as well as a labyrinth, and, to a lesser extent, a Reiki symbol. The card backs are not reversible.

The card faces show a ½” black border. The Major Arcana show their Roman numeral at the top of the card, with the card title across the bottom. The Minor Arcana Pips show the suit and number (in text) across the top, with a word or phrase as to the quality of the card across the bottom. For example, the Nine of Dreamer is Nightmare, the Three of Warrior is Alignment, and the Two of Maker is Responsibility. The Court cards show suit and title across the top, with a word or phrase as to the cards quality across the bottom.

There was no sketching or planning on the cards – they were drawn quickly to capture the fluid nature of the realm and the Sidhe. Basically, these are channeled drawings, and they are extremely powerful. Each of the Major Arcana cards includes the Great Glyph of the Sidhe, which is intended to act as a gateway into the card for visualizations purposes – to connect with the archetypal energy.

The coloring in this deck is intense, each card speaking in its very own voice. There is a great deal of esoteric imagery, which more than likely was not intentional, but came through because of the subject matter. You are drawn into each card as a participant, rather than an observer. One of the things that I noted is that the eyes changed from card to card. Some of the eyes were white, with no pupils, some were regular eyes, and some were just hard to see.

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One of my favorite cards is the High Priestess. Here we see a female figure, standing over a body of water, her skirts flowing into the water, with small fish swimming around her . In her hands she holds a rainbow, while behind her we see mountains. The Empress is presented somewhat along the same lines – she wears a yellow and green dress, with her green skirts flowing into a pastoral type setting with rolling hills and beautiful flowers.

The Emperor is done in bright red, orange, and yellow, showing a nature that is consistent with who he is, but not usually portrayed in this fashion. The Maker Prince shows a male figure, kneeling in the forest, with a dog at his side. The Dancer Ten shows an outdoor scene, with columns of red, yellow and green light, under which we see a group of figures, all in a circle, with their hands held up, palms towards the center of the circle.

The Warrior Seven is a powerful figure that stands, facing away from the reader. He/she holds a sword over their head with both hands. Flames flow from the sword towards the sky. In the background we see other warriors lined up, backlit by the sky. The Dreamer Seven shows a circle of ghost-like figures surrounding a young man dressed in green. To the left we see a barren tree, backed by a night sky and a full moon.

This is an incredible deck! The Sidhe will take you places that you only imagined – each time you look at a card, they will take you somewhere new and different. Honor them, and they will honor you.

© February 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Who’s Who At The Readers Studio Part 2

This is Part 2 of Who’s Who At The Readers Studio. Barbara and Caitlin will both be presenting (I am looking forward to hearing what each of these ladies has to say!), and Emily is a very gracious and exciting in her own right, with three very exciting, mind-bending decks to her credit!

Emily Carding:

Emily Carding lives in Cornwall with her amazing husband, ethereal daughter and the glorious Albus Dumbledog. Here she has created various offerings, such as The Transparent Tarot, the Transparent Oracle, and The Tarot of the Sidhe for Schiffer Books. She has also contributed book covers, articles and artwork for several works from Avalonia Books. To date these titles include Towards a Wiccan Circle (Cover), Both Sides of Heaven, (Cover and article- “The Salvation of the Sidhe”, From a Drop of Water (Article- “Nimue: The Archetypal Priestess”), and Hekate Her Sacred Fires (Cover, Article- “Painting Hekate” and internal illustrations)

Emily speaks at specialist tarot events around the world and also works as a storyteller, the perfect combination of her experience in Theatre and knowledge of folklore, myth and magick!

New releases over the next few months include ‘The Norse Gods’ from Avalonia Books, (fully illustrated by Emily), ‘VS’ from Avalonia Books, (Cover and articles by Emily) and the much anticipated book and deck set of ‘Tarot of the Sidhe’ from Schiffer Books! There is also another surprise Tarot release around the corner…

She has also recently created banners for both Three Wishes Faery Fest and Sir Lanval, a new film from Chagford Filmmaking group, the latter which can be seen on display as part of an art and props exhibition in the Flavel!

She is currently working on lots. You’ll just have to wait and see 🙂


 Caitlin Matthews:

Caitlín Matthews is a respected teacher of the ancestral and shamanic traditions of Britain and Ireland.  As a recognized wisdom-keeper and elder, she teaches these traditions, re-awakening memory of ancestral wisdom for faith groups, cultural institutions and communities of the Celtic diaspora worldwide. She is the author of over 60 books and is the originator of  three tarots: The Arthurian Tarot, The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot and The Celtic Wisdom Tarot, as well as many divination systems including The Celtic Book of the Dead and Celtic Wisdom Sticks: An Ogam Oracle. Her Celtic Wisdom Oracle: Oracle Cards for Ancestral Wisdom and Guidance comes out in March 2011.

With John Matthews she is the author of the Storyworld series of storytelling cards which enable  families and communities to share inspiration and imagination. She also specializes in teaching traditional European spirit-consultation oracles where the diviner draws directly upon the spirits of nature or on the ancestral spirits for answers. She is a co-founder of the Foundation for Inspirational and Oracular Studies, dedicated to the sacred and ancestral arts that are held in oral memory and practice.  Caitlín lives in Oxford where she has had a shamanic healing practice for over 20 years.  www.hallowquest.org.uk

Caitlín says, ‘I am very much looking forward to this event.  The energy and inspiration that abounds in the US for tarot is unequalled anywhere in the world.  How we open the windows of tarot and how we walk through them seems very important to me at this time.

Our sense of tarot community is enhanced when we share our ideas and projects: there is no diminishment of any individual when we come together because our collective wisdom returns us to our tarot tribe.  This is a safe space and opportunity for many to discuss, swap ideas and encourage fresh growth in our tarot lives. When we return home – however uncaring our family or collective may be of tarot – we feel the glow of reconnection with the source of inspiration.

The kindness, friendship, patience and generosity with which we practise brings vital attributes to the world of divination, dispelling the false notion surrounding our craft.  If you are “just a beginner” or someone who’s “had a pack for a long time,” or someone who “doesn’t do tarot properly” then you will enjoy the Readers Studio 2011 – what you understand about your pack is more interesting than what you don’t know.

Your imagination has no bridle, unless you let others rein you in.  Stretch and return to your own beautiful shape as you join us for a grand get-together! Who knows what we’ll shuffle into life?’

Many blessings

Caitlín Matthews

Website: http://www.hallowquest.org.uk

My USA Amazon blog: http://www.amazon.com/Caitlin-Matthews/e/B000APC1TS/ref=sr_tc_2_0

My UK Amazon page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B000APC1TS



 Barbara Moore:

Barbara Moore Tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s life for over twenty years. Right from the start, tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, history, mystery, and magic, as well as its eminently practical applications. In addition to providing professional readings, Barbara consults for both Llewellyn Worldwide and Lo Scarabeo and is one of the founders of the Minnesota Area Tarot Symposium.

Barbara enjoys giving a voice to tarot cards not only by doing readings but also by writing the books that accompany decks. She has had the good fortune to write books and booklets for several decks, including A Guide to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot Companion, The Enchanted Oracle, The Mystic Dreamer Tarot, The Vampires of the Eternal Night Tarot, The Witchy Tarot, The Dream Enchantress Tarot, Tarot of the Sweet Twilight, and Shadowscapes Tarot, Pagan Cats Tarot, The Pagan Magical Kit, and The Book Shadows Tarot, volumes 1 and 2. In the fall of 2010, her new edition of Llewellyn’s Tarot for Beginners was released.

A Hermit at heart, Barbara has been getting out and about more, speaking at conferences, such as MATS, TABI, and Readers Studio, as well as appearing on Beyond Worlds. When not exercising her newfound social skills, she is busy playing with her cards, writing Llewellyn’s tarot blog, designing an exciting new tarot deck, and working on a novel that may very well include fortune telling.

You can contact Barbara through her website: www.practicaltarotreadings.com

Note: Barbara asked me to let people know that she can be found on Face Book, and to not be shy about friending her. She also encourages people to come up and introduce themselves at the Readers Studio.

Part 1 Of  Who’s Who  At The Readers Studio can be seen here – https://bonniecehovet.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/whos-who-at-the-readers-studio-part-1/ .

© October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet