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Forest of Enchantment Tarot
 

Forest of Enchantment Tarot


Jewel
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ISBN: 978-0738751399 Publisher: Llewellyn Publications Publishing Date: October 8, 2019 Author: Lunea Weatherstone Artist: Meraylah Allwood Card Dimensions: 4.5” X 2.75” Cards: 78, RWS Based Companion Book Pages: 228 Language: English

 

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   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

Forest of Enchantment Tarot

By Jewel – March 4, 2020

 

Forest of Enchantment Tarot, by Lunea Weatherstone and illustrated by Meraylah Allwood, was published by Llewellyn in October of 2019 as a deck/book set. The deck is based on our journey through the dark forest like characters from fairytales.  You enter the forest, walk the path, face the trials and challenges that lie within the forest, and come out the other side changed by the experience.  Each reading is a new journey and a personal fairytale in the making.  As noted in the companion book introduction “The forest is part of the human psyche.”  It is a dangerous and exciting place, a place that can contain terrors and gifts, “…it is a place you pass through to get somewhere else.”  The deck does not reference any specific story but is inspired by forest tales and you will recognize some familiar tales such as Little Red Ridding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Arthurian legends, and The Frog Prince to name a few.

 

The deck is populated by witches, wizards, faeries, elves, dwarves, animals and mythical creatures.  The art of this deck is simply beautiful, and the images draw you into the forest.  The watercolor paintings are rich yet soft and the images carry an aura of mystery and magic.  A couple of my favorite aspects of this deck, aside from the theme, is that it is borderless and that the same attention to detail and quality were given to the Major and Minor Arcana.  The card titles are contained in a small gold metallic ink scroll with black italic lettering at the bottom each card which blends in nicely without detracting from the imagery.  The scenes all take place in forest and will remind you of fairytales, fantasy books, and folklore.

 

It is evident that a lot of thought and care went into the creation of this deck.  From the renaming of the suits from traditional cups, wands, swords and pentacles to what you will actually find within the Forest: Visions, Spells, Challenges, and Boons respectively. Elemental correspondences are your traditional Visions/Water, Spells/Fire, Challenges/Air, and Boons/Earth.  The majority of the Majors have been renamed as well to go with the theme of the deck, and will be covered in a the next section of this review.  

 

The imagery of the Major Arcana is quite different from the RWS but reflect aspects of the traditional RWS meanings.  As noted above many of the names of the Majors have been changed:

 

The Fool becomes The White Heart,

The Magician becomes The Enchanter,

The High Priestess becomes The Wisewoman,

The Empress becomes The Green Mother,

The Emperor becomes The Forest Lord,

The Hierophant becomes The Oldest One,

The Lovers retains its traditional name,

The Chariot becomes The Faery Wind,

Strength retains its traditional name,

The Hermit retains its traditional name,

The Wheel of Fortune becomes The Enchanter’s Wheel,

Justice becomes The Huntsman,

The Hanged Man becomes Suspension,

Death becomes Black Shuck,

Temperance becomes The Forge,

The Devil becomes The Liar,

The Tower becomes The Folly,

The Star becomes Starlight,

The Moon becomes Moonlight,

The Sun becomes Sunlight,

Judgement becomes The Council of Animals, and

The World becomes The Wide World.

 

Though the variations seem great, when you start working with the deck you quickly understand that they are a translation of the RWS to fit the context of the theme of deck without really detracting from traditional Major Aracana meanings.  In addition with the change in names of the “scary cards” (Death, Devil, Tower, Hanged Man) it can make the deck quite suitable for squeamish querents.  The renaming makes sense and works very well.  I particularly like Temperance as The Forge as it gave me whole new perspective on the delicate balance implied by this card. 

 

Though a significant amount of the imagery is quite different in many of Minor Arcana cards 1-10, they do follow the Raider-Wait-Smith (RWS) system.  Where the deck deviates from this system is with the Court Cards in naming and slightly in meaning. Kings are Keepers, Queens are Weavers, Knights are Seekers and Pages are Children.  Again, as with the Majors the renaming of the Court Cards is very appropriate in carrying over theme.  In addition, as a whole I think they would be helpful to beginners in understanding the nature of the court card ranks. It breaks them down into levels of maturity and energy, and where there focus lies.  From the companion book:

 

Keepers “are exemplars of their suits, often acting as teachers or guides.  Keepers are protective, wise, experienced and in command, they are all Wizards, each a master in his own sphere of expertise.”

 

Weavers “are the initiating spark, the muse, the catalyst, the push out the door that leads to glory.  Weavers bring out positive qualities in others, whether through nurturing or by judicious application of tough love.”

 

Seekers “have a quest to fulfill, and the quality of action is common to all four seekers.”

 

Children “are changing all the time rather than being set in their ways, and they tend to get into predicaments more than other people cards.  Some are careless, some foolhardy, and some are just curious.”

 

The cards are typical Llewellyn card stock, which many consider a bit flimsy, but I find it thin but of good quality and great for those of us who riffle shuffle.  They do not stick nor clump. They measure about 4.5” X 2.75”, a great size for all sized hands.  The backs of the cards have a mirror image of an owl sitting on a branch at night, the moonlight is at the center of the backs of the cards and are reversible though reversed card interpretations were not included in the companion as Ms. Weatherstone does not use reversals.  Based on this fact, I would like to point out that the deck was not designed with reversals in mind though they can be used.

 

The deck comes with a 228-page companion book, titled Your Path Through The Enchanted Forest, written by Ms. Weatherstone.  Her writing is clear, interesting, and engaging.  The book is full color and glossy, with a full-page colored image of each card.  Gotta love that!  The Introduction starts out with some information about The Forest and what it represents, followed by sections on:  Tarot Basics including The Forest Journey: Major Arcana which speaks to the renaming of the Majors, and Forest Tales: Minor Arcana which talks about the renaming of the suits; Care and Feeding of Your Deck, about deck care; Frequently Asked Questions that focus on beginner level questions such as the best way to learn tarot, should one memorize meanings, should one read for oneself, etc.; How to Use Your Cards: this section gives some tips on learning to use or becoming familiar with a new tarot deck, how to use the “Closer Look” section on each card, using reversals, and shuffling.

 

The second section of the Companion book focuses on The Forest Journey (Major Arcana).  Each card includes a description, a meaning at glance (keywords), and “A Closer Look” which includes something specific found in the image for the reader to look at more closely.  The third section of the book is Forest Tales and is about the Minor Arcana cards 1-10.  Information about each card is structured as it is in the Major Arcana but the descriptions for each card is shorter.  Section four of the book is titled Forest Folk and is about the Court Cards.  Again descriptions, etc. follow the template set forth in the Majors but like the Minors the card descriptions are shorter than in the Majors.  The Final section of the book is titled Spreads and includes the following spreads:

 

Your Day in the Forest (1 card) – your basic daily draw.

 

The White Heart (2 cards) which is a variation of the previous spread using 2 cards.

 

Breadcrumbs and Moonstones (up to the reader how many cards) – this spread is designed to help you decide strategies showing what works and what doesn’t.  The deck is divided into two piles: breadcrumbs which are the strategies that won’t work, and moonstones which will work.  It is a progressive reading and the reader can choose from 2 cards to as many cards as they want.

 

The Owl’s Advice (6 cards) for situations where you need more information.

 

Shining Eyes, Creeping Feet (9 cards) this reading to help one gain clarity when scared or stressed.  First you find something that represents something you fear or are stressed about in the situation, then you go back and find something that encourages or gives you hope.  This spread really ties into the overall theme of trials and gifts found within the Forest.

 

The Council of Animals (1 to 12 cards) this spread is on getting advice from an animal counselor.  Each of the 12 animals on The Council of Animals (Judgement) card has advice for you in a particular area.  You can council with all 12 or however many or few you wish.

 

Lastly, pages 209-228 are pages for you take notes if you like writing in your books.  This type of thing is totally wasted on me, but I am sure there are some that will like that.  There is no bibliography or appendices.

 

I found my readings with this deck to be profound.  I felt like I was in the Forest of Enchantment, on the path, and part of a personal fairytale.  The imagery of the cards was gripping during the readings.  This is a very atmospheric deck and theme is executed beautifully and completely within the tarot structure which is not an easy thing to do.  Nothing feels forced or like a stretch.  The messages are straight forward and perfectly represented in the imagery on the cards.  I really enjoy using this deck when I am at odds with something in my life and not sure how to move forward.  The readings helped give me a sense of direction.  This deck is not “fluffy” or childish.  It does not shy away from harsh realities.  It puts you up close and personal with your issues.  This is a deck I will use and enjoy for many years to come.

 

This deck is a true delight, full of mystery, magic, choices and options.  I love how it just transports me into the Enchanted Forest to face my trials and challenges with thought and prudence.  The deck is gender balanced.   I would recommend to all levels of experience with the Tarot despite the changes in the Majors and Court Cards.  The book provides any guidance needed to successfully use the deck.  The tie into the RWS is there, just stripped of esoteric symbolism.  The archetypes remain clear.  I would recommend this deck to intuitive readers; fans of fairytales, fantasy and folklore or persons who like themed decks; writers; and readers that enjoy delivering the readings as stories.  If you are looking for a racially diverse deck this one might disappoint, unless you count species diversity as the deck does include humans, elves, dwarves, animals and mythical creatures.  If you are looking for esoteric symbolism this is not a deck for you.  Would I read for my dear aunt Fifi with this deck?  Absolutely, she loves the atmosphere of the deck and how it places her in her own story.  There is nothing I would consider offensive in this deck, and there is no nudity.  I would be comfortable using it in readings for teenagers and adults.  I would also not hesitate to use it when reading for squeamish querents.

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MollyCat

  

I merely wanted to thank Jewel for this comprehensive review.


I haven't purchased a Tarot deck for years but fell in love with the imagery of this beautiful deck and got one of the last copies  at one of our online booksellers.


I have been using the Tarot Mucha regularly for the last few months and think that Lunea Weatherstone's commentary is engaging and genuine.  It was whilst researching Lunea that I discovered 'The Forest of Enchantment'.  Meraylah Allwood's illustrations are simply magic.

I returned to TTM because I thought you would have reviewed the deck, Jewel.  Thank you!

What a beautiful place TTM is now.  I use Tarot in some way most days but have not kept up with the Tarot scene otherwise.

I've set aside this afternoon on 1 Jan 2023 to explore this deck.  What a great way to start the year!
 

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