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Arthurian Tarot Pack Paperback – 10 May 1990


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Paperback, 10 May 1990
£64.95 £9.19

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: David Westnedge Ltd; Har/Crds edition (10 May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850308437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850308433
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.3 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,703,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The Arthurian Tarot represents the ultimate in Tarot design. Steeped in the sheer unequalled magic of the legends, history and traditions of Arthurian Britain, these exceptional cards capture in 78 frames all the wonder and beauty of King Arthur's realm. Conceived and designed by Caitlin and John Matthews and beautifully executed by Miranda Gray, this original pack reveals the ancient traditions of the Arthurian Mysteries as a living mythos for creative visualization and personal transformation.

This exclusive pack comes complete with a fully illustrated guide to the divinatory and archetypal meanings of the cards – the 22 Greater Powers and the 56 Lesser Powers. The suits of Sword, Spear, Grail and Stone, corresponding to the four elements of Western esoteric tradition as well as to the four seasons, empower the reader through the sacred quest for the Hallows. The book also gives original methods for reading and using the Tarot, including the Merlin's Mirror and Excalibur spreads, with sample readings to show their practical significance.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John and Caitlin Matthews are respected initiators in the Celtic and Arthurian traditions and have written many guides to Celtic Legend and Tarot packs.

They run workshops worldwide in a variety of traditions including Celtic Shamanism and Arthurian Mysteries. They are the co-founders of The Foundation of Inspirational and Oracular Studies.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Heddwas /|\ on 9 Dec 2006
Format: Paperback
This is far and away my favourite deck, and has stood the test of time. For me, the images and connections work even better than the OBOD "Druidcraft Tarot".

I am not a diehard fan of the Matthews by any stretch of the imagination: certainly I have taken issue elsewhere with the dubious scholarship and mistranslations that underlie some of their published work. However, in developing the Arthurian Tarot, I believe they have played to their strengths, and produced a deck of stunning beauty and deep insight.

The images resonate profoundly with anyone familiar with the magical places of Britain and Ireland: on many of the cards I just know that I recognise the background, even if I can't quite place it. There is an uncompromising combination of ethereal beauty and almost matter-of-fact savagery in the deck, reflecting the realities of life and death which have bound both us and our ancestors to the wheel of incarnation.

The acccompanying booklet, as other reviewers have noted, balances the need for brevity with sufficient information to allow even a beginner to dig below the superficial and start to make their own connections as they work with the deck.

I also recommend the companion "Hallowquest" book for further study, particularly the year-long course of meditations based upon the cards. Although I would not agree with some of the conclusions the Matthews draw, the approach they advocate definitely brings an understanding of the relationship between the suits, the Major Arcana, the passing of the seasons and the Land itself: this is highly charged and very effective. For pagans and Druids in particular, the correspondence between the outer world and the Inner / Otherworld will become clearer and deeper as they work with the deck through the year.

Very highly recommended - all in all a first class tool for divination, ritual, and personal growth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Froxfield_Reviewer on 19 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am really enjoying these cards. I am a relative beginner - but wanted a deck that was based on firm Arthurian legend (if there is such a thing!) that included early celtic lore. There is a learning curve involved, I had to reread bits and pieces of some stories to make more sense of some of the images. Some very good research has gone into this set and I highly recommend it. Great stuff, I prefer it to my rider waite deck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss W. Merrymoon on 6 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This deck, as it's title shows, is based entirely on the Arthurian myths and legends of the British Isles, and is subtitled, 'A Hallowquest Handbook'. It is not essential to know all about Arthur in order to use this deck, but it would definitely be an advantage to have some knowledge. Alternatively, the deck could easily be used as a way of studying the Arthurian mysteries.

The Major Arcana in this deck is called 'The Greater Powers' and the only cards which have retained the original titles are 'the Star', 'the Moon' and 'the Sun'. Some examples of the rest are - 'The Seeker' (The Fool), 'The Washer at the Ford' (Death), 'The Green Knight' (The Devil), and 'The Flowering of Logres' (The World). The images are very evocative and lend themselves well to meditation and/or pathworkings (guided visualisations), especially as the images are viewed through an archway. The Matthews' approach to each card is to give a description, then some background information, followed by the archetypal meaning and the divinatory meaning, all of which makes fascinating reading.

The 'Lesser Powers' (Minor Arcana) are 'Sword', 'Spear' (Wands), 'Grail' (Cups), and 'Stone' (Pentacles), whilst the four Court cards are 'Maiden', 'Knight', 'Queen' and 'King'. Each suit has a corresponding element and season. The depictions don't always pack the same kind of punch as the 'Greater Powers', but nevertheless are interesting and well-executed. As with the 'Greater Powers', each card is explained in terms of description, background information, archetypal meaning and divinatory meaning.

The Matthews' give further information about numerical attributions, and interestingly, how to read time-scales with the Tarot, this latter in extraordinary detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PolluX-TaroT on 10 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
A must have for all serious tarot collectors, and for arthurian lore enthusiasts.
There have been a number of editions in the years, probably this one I got from Aquarian Press 1990 is among the oldest and best released, in comparison to newer editions colors are muted and soft, the atmosphere is eerie but moon-like, night-like and serene, peaceful.
There's also plenty of books for deeper study, I am not going into that.
It is highly reccommended, trying to explain why here would be daunting and useless, but everyone can see why once they have the real things in their hands.
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By ren-zi on 14 July 2007
Format: Paperback
This was the first tarot set i bought, they looked so different from all the others, the 'rider-waite'style of cards never appealed to me. At first trying to use them was quite obscure as i was a total novice, now however after 15 years of using them and having many other sets, these are by far the best for getting inspired and meaningful information.
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By GRANNYD on 3 Mar 2009
Format: Cards
This pack is one of my favorites. The imagery is excellent and the quality of the cards is ideal (HINT! they get to look used quite quickly- so you don't look like your practicing with a new pack!!!)I use these a lot and have to say they have always been kind to me and given accurate info. Highly recommend whether you are a beginner or an adept
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