The Cathar Tarot

The Cathar Tarot
Review by Terri Clement


By John Mathews and Wil Kinghan

Published by Watkins Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78028-912-0

Retail US: $19.95

The Cathar Tarot Rider-Waite-Smith draws on middle ages and a spiritual group of people from that time frame. This deck while traditional in having 78 cards, there are drastic differences from the traditional deck.

The first difference with the Cathar Tarot that you will notice is that all but one of Trumps have been renamed. Death is the only Major that keeps it's traditional name. The suits are also renamed; Book of Shields (Wands), Book of Swords (Swords), Book of Love (Cups), Book of Wisdom (Coins). The courts are titled Squire, Knight, Lady, and Lord. 

The deck and 112-page guidebook are housed in a heavy duty cardboard box with a pull out tray. The images are printed on a thick but flexible cardstock with a shiny laminate and rounded corners. The cards measure 3" wide x 4 1/2" tall. With the cards being a bit on the thicker side the deck is a bit of a challenge to riffle-bridge shuffle, but the cards fan beautifully.

The image on the card back is a foliate cross but there is a slight pattern on the bottom, so even through the cross is uniform, the backs are not reversible friendly.

Scan 11
Scan 12

The Sun or The World of Light shows a bright sun against a red sky. In the foreground, we see a person behind a lectern and others seated around listening.

The Three of Wisdom (Coins) features a man standing on a mountain. He is holding a red book in one hand, while the other hand is lifted towards the heavens. There is a snow covered town in the background.

Scan 16

The guidebook is fully illustrated and discusses who the Cathar people were and a little bit of history about their belief system. Around 50 pages cover the Major Arcana. Each of the cards has a divination meaning listed as well as "light" and "dark" keywords. Towards the back of the book, you will find 3 original spreads and sample readings.

This is an interesting deck and would be fun for someone interested in the Cathars and the Middle Ages.

Review copy provided by Watkins Publishing

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