The Green Witch Tarot is a dream come true for me. I have been reading cards for people for over fifty years, and in that time I have developed my own style that I have been able to adapt to most any deck. This lengthy experience of working with the cards and interacting with clients has helped me develop my approach to the tarot. Throughout these years, I have collected numerous tarot decks whose styles appealed to my interests in history, art, subject matter, historic, and literary references. But still I desired a tarot deck that spoke to my personal vision, one that distilled the basic components of the Craft in to a coherent whole and could relate to the various aspects of the Goddess and the God, the Elementals, the seasons, and the energy correlations of animals and plants of Nature.
While having so many decks to choose from has its advantages, I had not found the one deck that encapsulated my view of the cards and my reading style, so when I was approached by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, owner of Llewellyn Worldwide, to send a proposal for my own tarot deck, I was honored, delighted, and eager. This was a project that had been on my mind for a number of years, especially after the publication of Tarot for the Green Witch. For that book, I had selected cards from five Llewellyn tarot decks to illustrate my view of the tarot. Soon after the book came out, though, I began receiving inquiries from readers asking where they could purchase a Green Witch Tarot deck. The idea took hold and I began searching for an artist. For several years that search was fruitless, so the invitation from the publisher, coupled with Llewellyn's resources and experience, was a thrilling new page in my efforts to create a deck that resonated with my Green Path.
To make things better, the publisher turned over the project of finding an artist to tarot editor, Barbara Moore, who in turn discovered Danish artist Kiri Østergaard Leonard. It was definitely a magical moment. Synchronicity took control and the Universe aligned with timing, connections, and inspiration, to create an exciting team that grew to include Llewellyn's art director, new titles editor, cover artist, and layout designer, all coming together with Kiri and myself to create a stunningly beautiful package. The enthusiasm everyone had for this project was unceasing and invigorating.
When I put together the proposal for The Green Witch Tarot, only three detailed card descriptions were required. Once I started, however, the inspiration of years of consideration opened up and I could not stop until all the cards were completed, and so the whole lot went in with the proposal. Kiri's rendering of the three required card types (one Major Arcana, one Court Card, and one Minor Arcana) were The Holly King, The Page of Cups, and The Nine of Swords. The art was amazingly beautiful and exactly reflected the images I had described.
Writing the book that accompanies The Green Witch Tarot was a joyful opportunity to provide guidance and suggestions for how to do readings while also utilizing a deck that reflects the images of the Craft. It is a complete package of cards, meanings, methods of reading them, and fundamental instructions for the reader. I could not be happier with the results and I am filled with excitement to finally hold in my hands and conduct readings with my very own tarot deck!
My design for the back of the cards depicts a door with a wreath on it. The wreath has roses, which are a symbol of the Goddess or the Divine Feminine. The vine and leaves of the roses are symbolic of the God or the Divine Masculine. The thorns are a symbol of the Faerie Folk, known for brambles and tangles, as well as for the tiny arrows called elf-shot, for one must remember to use good manners when dealing with the Fair Folk to avoid giving offense to these powerful beings of Nature. The wreath forms a circle around a five-pointed star made of rosemary sprigs tied together. Rosemary is an herb of protection and communication with elves, and the star shows the harmony of the Elementals, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, with the individual through Spirit. This circle and star are a pentacle of Nature, set upon a green wooden door. The color green represents the plant world, Nature, the Earth, and Faerie. The door symbolizes the threshold one passes from the normal world into the psychic world of intuitive and spiritual communion when the cards are turned over and read.
Each card has an animal and a special plant to give added dimension in a reading. Although the descriptions in the book give a meaning to each of these, as well as to the main images in the cards, the reader should allow personal intuition to flow. Kiri's artwork pulls a reader into the scenes, and there are many psychic prompts within each card that may become a focus in a readings. Trust the intuitive response and follow that path in the reading. In using a spread of cards, read each card for the location in the spread (such as past, present, coming energy, etc.) and also as interrelated with the other cards pulled for the spread, with one card leading to the next or influencing the surrounding cards. There are several card spreads offered in my book, but there are also several excellent books by Llewellyn Worldwide that focus on spreads and offer numerous options. Tarot Spreads by Barbara Moore and 365 Tarot Spreads by Sasha Graham are fantastic and insightful books that make a great addition to the repertoire of any card reader.
Some cards in The Green Witch Tarot deck, such as Nature, are deliberately ambiguous, with different perspectives being offered. In the Nature card, a man is focused on setting a bear trap in the woods, but is oblivious to the bear watching him, or the fauns dancing in distant clearing. Are the fauns beckoning to the bear or to the man? Will the bear step into the trap for the bait once it is placed there? Will the bear recognize the trap and walk away? The card is all about the decisions a person makes and whether those choices are a trap or a release from a trap. Will someone take on restrictions or release those restrictions to aim for a more joyful life? Is a person so focused on doing something as to be oblivious to possible problems? There are many innuendos that can be read here. The man is in shadows, the fauns are in the light. A baited trap is a false blessing hiding underlying dangers for a hungry bear. When doing a reading, there are many options to explore. The bear is a symbol of endurance, and decisions, but it is also unpredictable, showing that the choice is open to the querent. Use the other cards in the spread to see the possible influences affecting the matter. The comfrey plant represents both binding and liberation, so it also reflects that there is choice in this card.
The reader should not feel constrained by my interpretations or my correlations for the plants and animals in the cards, but allow the images to open one's own personal psychic pathway to understanding. I see the cards as tools that are useful for guidance or aid in helping a querent make decisions or preparations, offering confirmations or showing potentials. In this light, I remind the people I read for that energy is always in motion, and the cards show how things are currently aligned, so that if desired, the individual may make changes through personal choices, positive affirmations, and with warding or encouragement of the energies.
It is my hope that others will feel as drawn to these cards as I do, and that they will enjoy the descriptions and depth of meanings each card can inspire. The artwork by Kiri is inspirational and offers many nuances and possible doorways into the intuitive and subconscious so as to ensure a fruitful reading. The animal and plant highlighted in each card provide additional prompts or further insight. The scenery itself and the major characters in the cards are expressive and filled with implications for a reader's intuition to seize upon. With this deck, a reader may open that green door to enter the realms of psychic perception, mystical spiritual connection, and communication with the energies of Nature.