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Wizard's Tarot
 

Wizard's Tarot

Saturn Celeste
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May 8, 2011

by Corrine Kenner (Author), John J. Blumen (Author)

Product details

    Cards: 264 pages
    Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; Tcr Box Cr edition (May 8, 2011)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 073871285X
    ISBN-13: 978-0738712857
    Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 2.2 x 7.8 inches
    Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

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Jewel

  

Wizards Tarot

By Jewel

 

I have been wanting to write a review for this deck for quite some time, and decided to just sit down and do it.  What deck you ask?  The Wizards Tarot by Corinne Kenner and illustrated by John J. Blumen.  Grab a mug of Butterbeer and come join me on a tour of Mandrake Academy.  I am a current student here.

 

Though the whole theme may seem gimmicky or hockey to some, I can assure you that the deck and book are incredibly well thought out, educational, and fun.  The deck follows the general principles of the Rider Waite Smith (RWS).  But we will get to that shortly.  Suffice it say, Ms. Kenner has taken a cultural phenomenon and turned into something every Tarot enthusiast can enjoy and learn from no matter your age. 

 

If you can’t tell already, I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and a huge Tarot fan, so this deck was a must have for me.  Intended or not, the theme and concept pay homage to J. K. Rowling’s wonderful imagination.  Published by Llewellyn in 2011 as a deck and book set, The Wizards Tarot transports you to Mandrake Academy, a school of Tarot and magic where you are the Initiate, and the Major Arcana (Magician through World) are your teachers.  Mr. Blumen’s digital art is wonderful and cohesive, and provides the atmosphere of an ancient school of magic that draws you in and captivates your imagination.  Combined with Ms. Kenner’s concept and writing Mandrake Academy comes to life.  Ms. Kenner’s writing style allows for some basic esoteric teachings to be explored and understood by the ley person.

 

The deck is the standard Llewellyn sized deck (approximately 2 3/4" by 4 1/2" inches). The cards have ¼” borders in dark blue with a gold designs running through and a thin gold frame framing the images.  Inside the border, at the bottom of the cards, are ¼” parchment scrolls with the card titles/names. The card stock is your traditional Llewellyn card stock, easy to riffle shuffle and of good quality. The gold design on the dark blue card backs make me think of astronomy for some reason, and though the top and bottom are not identical, reversals can be easily used.  I love the deck structure of the Wizard’s Tarot.  The deck has the traditional number of 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana (40 Minors and 16 Court Cards).  So let’s step into the Great Hall and go over this together.

 

The 243-page companion book that comes with this deck is my favorite companion book of all time.  The Wizards Tarot Handbook, is designed as a course in very basic magic and Tarot all in one.  It is fun, inviting, detailed, and the information can be applied outside of this deck.  The Introduction of the book opens up introducing Mandrake Academy, describing the campus, informing you about the students, faculty, and staff, discusses the academic calendar (a year and a day), and needed school supplies which are the deck and book.  I started in September of last year and I am on course to finish on time.  I am not into magic, but who knows if this deck and book might not get me to give it a try at some point, but I digress.  The next section is about the Major Arcana, followed by the Minor Arcana section.  The Minor Arcana section opens up describing each School of Magic, number magic, and then moves into the cards.  The final section of the book covers the Royal Families or Court Cards.

 

Several of the Major Arcana have been renamed to fit the theme, but the meanings do remain consistent with the RWS.  The Fool has been renamed The Initiate, and you, the new student, are the Initiate.  The subsequent Majors are your teachers and are as follows:

 

• The Magician – Professor of Basic Magic

• The High Priestess – Professor of Divination

• The Empress – Professor of Herbal Magic

• The Emperor – Headmaster of Mandrake Academy

• The Hierophant – Professor of Mythology

• The Lovers – Professor of Spellcraft

• The Chariot – Professor of Astral Travel

• Strength – Professor of Familiar Creatures

• The Hermit – Librarian and Professor of Candle Magic

• The Wheel of Fortune – Guidance Counselor

• Justice – Professor of Ethics

• The Hanged Man – Professor of Runes

• Transfiguration – Professor of Transfiguration

• The Alchemist – Professor of Alchemy

• The Dark Lord – Professor of the Dark Arts

• The Tower – Visitor’s Guide to the Tower

• The Star – Professor of Astrology

• The Moon – Professor of Lunar Magic

• The Sun – Professor of Solar Magic

• Judgement – Professor of Final Exams

• The World – Queen of the Witches

 

The Major Arcana are not numbered, so you could place Strength and Justice per your personal preference, but they are placed in positions 8 and 11 respectively in the book.  In addition, each Major has a familiar.  Some of the illustrations are fabulous new ways of looking into the majors such as the Hierophant being represented by the Centaur Chiron, the wounded healer, and The Hanged Man by Odin and his two ravens.

 

The Majors section of the companion includes information about each professor, a section pointing out all the key symbols included on the cards – which do include esoteric correspondences, a practical magic section which deals with magic related to the subject the professor teaches, and a Tarot spread that ties into the subject matter.  Yes, that means there are 22 different spreads of all kinds in the book!

 

The Minor Arcana use the four traditional suits and elements, but also correspond to a particular season, are represented by a color, symbol, and have an elemental guardian.  Students of each house wear a vest or tunic of the color representing their House.  Confused?  No problem, here is the breakdown:

 

• Wands/Fire/Summer.  Color red, symbol lion, elemental guardian the Salamander.

• Cups/Water/Autumn.  Color blue, symbol angel, elemental guardian the Undine.

• Swords/Air/Spring.  Color yellow, symbol eagle, elemental guardian the Sylph.

• Pentacles/Earth/Winter.  Color green, symbol bull, elemental guardian the Gnome.

 

The Minors section for each card includes the magic power of the card, magic charm section, and key symbols.

 

The Court Cards are represented by the elemental guardians for each House and are called the Royal Families.  Though they retain the traditional naming Page, Knight, Queen, and King the book gives you a little more detail into the function each position serves.  Pages are Messengers of their element, Knights are Hero’s of their element, Queens are Guardians of their element, and Kings are Rulers of their element.  I found the use of the elemental guardians and roles to be very helpful in better understanding the court cards not only by rank, but by rank and suit.

 

As you can tell, I could go on about this deck and book for at least a year and a day.  This is a great deck for beginners, intermediate and advanced Tarot enthusiasts alike.  There is something for everyone here.  If you wished you could attend Hogwarts, you will enjoy Mandrake Academy.  If you want to dip your toes into astrology, numerology, elemental correspondences, or Tarot and the Hebrew alphabet you will enjoy this deck.  If you just want to learn Tarot this is a great deck for that too, and one that leaves plenty of room for you to grow as you gain experience.  If you are a Tarot enthusiast wanting to explore some magic basics you will enjoy this deck and book.  If you like mythical and magical creatures, there is something in this deck for you too.  This deck and book set is an interactive learning experience in the magical world of Tarot.

 

Unfortunately, as of this writing the deck/book set are out of print, which is a real shame.  If you are in one of the groups I mentioned above, and do have a chance to get it I do not think you will regret it.

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