Sensual Wicca Tarot 

By Debra Madigan
Having been a lover of all the Lo Scarabeo decks, I anxiously waited with baited breath for any of the local metaphysical stores to announce the Sensual Wicca Tarot's arrival for purchase. (As a working witch, it is important to me to keep as many Wiccan dollars circulating locally as possible). 

Nada Mesar, who previously wrote the 32 card “Wiccan Cards,” illustrated by Chatnya Hemhamvibul, authors the deck.  The Sensual Wicca deck is illustrated by artist Elisa Puggese. 

I happened to be delivering a high-end designer Witches Hat I had made to a store that carries my work, and I asked if any Lo Scarebeo decks were in.  Lo and Behold, the owner had just taken delivery of one copy of the Sensual Wicca Tarot.  When I got home, I literally stayed up all night studying each card and writing.   Then, I spent the next two days looking at and thinking about the cards.  I would definitely say "sensual," and not "erotic," is an appropriate title for the Sensual Wicca Tarot. 

Although I am experienced enough that I can read the cards without having to look up meanings, I always read the enclosed material to see what the author intended for each card.  In this case, I looked forward to reading Ms. Mesar's  “suggestions.”   Ms. Mesar says she can only suggest meanings as a “point of reference,” because the reader and querent need to use their “sexual and spiritual experience” to find the meaning of the cards.  This is the perfect explanation for these cards.  They are wonderful tools for exploration of sexual feelings and thoughts, but they should be used carefully.  

The 63-page booklet accompanying the deck begins by explaining that this Tarot is to be used by couples.  Ms. Mesar gives Tarot spreads that are to be done sans clothing, starting with simple exercises, and progressing to more advanced quests for each partner’s knowledge, and most unavoidably, past sexual history.  This is meant to hopefully lead to intimacy (both physical and spiritual), via questions, and through drawing, and then reading, the cards.  I find this a unique Tarot idea, but Ms. Mesar takes for granted that the couple using this Tarot has reached the point in the relationship where both partners are at a spiritual level of acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love.  Otherwise, the “Sensual Wicca Tarot” could initiate a lot of naked fights.  

The images on some of the cards are beautiful, breathtaking, and unbelievably thought provoking.  However, conservative Wiccans, and also people in an early or unstable stage of a relationship, should be aware that subjects boldly covered in the cards include homosexuality, bondage, multiple partners, and self-gratification.  Broaching questions about a partner participating in any of these activities in the past might be something one is not ready to hear, whether they realize it or not.  In my opinion, before using this deck naked with a partner, it should be used as a tool for self-examination of one’s own sexual past, thoughts, current state, and fantasies.  Not all couples are at the proper level of relationship actualization for baring one’s soul at the level this deck requires. 

The cards themselves are on somewhat flimsy stock.  On a positive note, this makes them a little easier to shuffle.  However, they may become worn quickly, unless the communication reaches physical intimacy fast enough to preserve the cards.  The backs of the cards are a spiritual purple/violet, with a nice Wiccan array of the Triple Goddess with pentacle.  The design is such that the querent would not know if the card was drawn reversed, although I do not think that makes a difference in Ms. Mesar's layouts.
There are many similarities, and also many differences, in how this deck compares to the Rider-Waite.  The court cards have been changed: Maiden instead of Knave/Page; Acolyte, instead of Knight; Mother instead of Queen; Sage instead of King.  Many of the Major Arcana cards have also been changed.  Thankfully, the Fool is now a lovely, confident young woman venturing out on life’s journey.  The Hierophant has been changed to the Initiator, Strength is changed to Lust, The Wheel of Fortune is Time, and Justice is Balance.  The Death card is changed to a loving image called Transformation: a caring female figure bends over an ill figure at bedside.  Other cards have been renamed and redesigned as well, and what makes this truly a Wiccan deck, since Wiccans do not believe in the Devil, is that the Devil card has been changed to simply, Obsession.  I applaud Ms. Mesar on this! 

In the Minor Arcana, a thought provoking card is the Ace of Pentacles, which is simply a large bear, wildly tearing a pentagram with his claws.  One card I appreciated was the Two of Swords, which instead of the traditional female with her arms crossed, has been changed to a male and female.  Also, in a fresh approach to the Three of Swords, it is now swords lying on a coffin, somehow disturbing but lovely.  

The Ten of Swords has an almost translucent nude figure of a young woman standing in front of a definite authority figure (king?) who is holding a phallic sword, and in the background there is a crowd of angry looking knights-in-armor figures with their swords drawn.  The female is almost hiding her breasts and other areas.  This card really had me wondering what was going on in the scene, and it was just awe inspiring to me.  Is she in judgment of something…the past?  Is this a nightmare of vulnerability?  She is standing too dignified for that!  It made me think of how often women are judged for sexual behavior that men are not. 

There are so many cards I could elaborate on, but I recommend examining the deck for yourself.  It is well worth the purchase price for sexual self-exploration, and then couple sexual exploration.  

Ms. Mesar says she had a goal in designing the deck: “to explore the themes of sex and sexuality through the Wiccan belief and symbology.  It is intended as a tool to facilitate exploration, meditation and communication.”  I can certainly say she has reached her goal, but the tool should be used carefully and with a loving, cautionary, accepting approach.

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008 

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