New Decks and Old Ride The Chariot

I notice that Ellen Lorenzi-Prince has a new deck called the Dark Goddess Tarot. She is currently writing a book to go with it. I once owned the Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue but I found them lacking in information about each goddess and traded them. I hope Ellen might do a better job in her forthcoming book. People need some substance in books and challenge to the mind, some astute observance and information. I like to see that in books rather than vapid rote.

I enjoy Ellen’s artwork in this deck, it’s nice to see that thoughtful people are still creating decks with some depth and I hope it sells well for her.

After browsing through the 2014 Lo Scarabeo catalogue, a friend and I gave up and said “Meh.” I liked Lo Scarabeo the way they were, wildly artistic with a European flavour and a roster of talented illustrators, some quite original. Now they are pretty same-y with more computer-generated art of expressionless humanoids, and all-purpose booklets. I know why they did this, to appeal more to North Americans and to publish decks that were “readable” out of the box. Unfortunately they lost most of the creative vibe that made them excellent by doing so. I always found them readable so I never understood this, but I guess many people want instantaneous homogeny or they won’t buy a deck.

Let’s see, I thought I’d resurrect another older deck to fiddle with. From the Celtic Tarot by Lo Scarabeo:



This deck has a different artist for the Majors and Minors. The Minors are not as detailed and people are a bit Conan-like with a strange reddish skin tone. The artwork tends to be blurry, suggesting muted backgrounds and the action of figures, and perhaps a lack of time. I’m not sure if this was a Majors-only deck that they made into a full deck with another artist.

The Ace of Chalices is all water and emotion. You are allowed to express emotions, they can overflow, as long as you keep a grip on them. The lily pads signify growth to me, to grow as a human you have to allow emotion. The booklet has a one word entry for this “care.” It could be care for others or care that these emotions don’t gush out without care.

The Chariot in this deck is more violent. I suppose the Celts were often waging war or defending themselves from others. We forget that when looking at their beautiful art and jewellery.

The figure is Nuadu Airgetlam or Nuadu Silverhand; you can see the silver gauntlet on his left hand. “Airgetlam” means silver hand or arm. He was king of the Tuatha Dé Danann and then lost his arm in battle. At that point he wasn’t eligible to be the king because of this physical imperfection and was replaced. The new king Bres was rather hard on the people, so when Nuadu has his arm replaced with a working silver arm, he became king again and ruled for 20 years.

He eventually stepped down and the more youthful Lugh became king. War continued though with Bres and his followers and Nuadu was killed in battle. Lugh eventually won the war and avenged Nuadu.

I find the Tuatha Dé Danann confusing since some of them seem to be magical gods, like Lugh, and others just folk.

Advancement, victory, but also violence. In any case action and bravado. It’s interesting that the Ace, the ultimate of emotion, rides with The Chariot. The impetus of action is often strong emotion, emotion spilling out until you act.

For me…I’m torn. I have become a fossil, never moving, the bones in my shoulders and hips are cracking and moving when I lie down. If I had any trust in doctors I would mentally drive myself to go. Perhaps that’s the action this is referring to? Or it could be the action of a spiritual journey—I have more trust in that.

I like the way Nuadu is standing up, confronting the situation, defending, aggressively saying “No!” or “Come and get me, you’ll have a fight on your hands!” He is certainly NOT passive and willing to fester until fossilized.

Another one of those days…must counteract…strap my silver hand on and brandish my sword.



2 thoughts on “New Decks and Old Ride The Chariot

  1. Yup, I hear you.

    I am revisiting a lot of my old decks because so many of the new ones just don’t appeal anymore. A lot of the computer-generated ones are monsters, aren’t they? I think LoS have definitely let their standards slip and have lost their identity. Probably due to listening to people on forums. All appear RWS-styled, dark and witchy seems popular, kooky and cool earns money. One of those decks looked just like Mark Rydens work. I’m sure that is’s cute and weird enough to be popular .. for five minutes.

    It’s a shame. For now, I will flip through The Fey and The Gay.

    • The Fey was about my 13th deck–the spouse got it for me for Valentine’s Day, so it holds good memories for me and I feel it holds up art-wise and as a deck. The book is interesting too. Not like the books LS publishes today.

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