Pagan Ways Tarot

Review by Terri Clement


Pagan Ways Tarot
by Anna Franklin
Published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4900-3
Released 2015
Retail U.S. $39.99

Pagan Ways Tarot
is a Tarot based on the Pagan worldview, using it's symbols and imagery, while still being similar to the Rider-Waite-Smith school of thought. Gods, goddesses, nature spirits and elementals weave the tapestry of this deck.

The deck and book set is housed in a heavy duty cardboard box with a magnetic closure, silver pull tab and stays. The 190 page paperback companion book fits neatly inside the box on top of two recesses that hold the deck. The deck is divided in two stacks and each is held together with a plastic sleeve.

The cards are printed on thick but flexible card stock with a very shiny laminate that feels a bit sticky. The deck riffle bridge shuffles well, if you shuffle ½ the deck at a time. One might have to adjust their shuffling style with this deck. It doesn't fan well. Fanning powder should fix that issue. The cards measure 3 3/8” wide by 5 1/8” tall.

Scan 3

The card backs are reversible friendly; a cloudy night sky showing the 3 phases of the moon, waxing, full, and waning. A black border top and bottom measures 9/16” with a Roman Numeral for the Majors or the card title for the Minors on the top and the title for the Majors or a keyword for the Minors on the bottom. The side border measures 5/16” on the left side of the card 3/16th on the right. This might be annoying to those with an astigmatism.

Strength is numbered VIII and Justice XI. Though the deck loosly follows the RWS with some of it's symbolism, several of the Majors are renamed:

                                                Empress                                        The Lady
                                                Emperor                                        The Lord
                                                Hierophant                                    Elder
                                                Wheel of Fortune                          Wyrd
                                                Devil                                             The Underworld
                                                Judgment                                      Rebirth
                                                World                                            Universe

Each card also has it's own god or goddess. For example: 10 of Wands – Atlas of the Titans, 8 of Cups – goddess Elen, and 9 of Pentacles – Ops and Saturn. 
The suits are: Swords (Intent), Wands (Will), Cups (Love), and Pentacles (Manifestation). The courts are titled Princess, Knight, Queen, and King.

The Pagan Ways Tarot Journey of the Foolis ordered a bit differently and this is fully explained in the companion book. The begins with the Fool, but instead of first meeting up with the Magician, he meets up with the Ace of Swords and receives a sword from the Otherworld. His journey continues on through the suit of Swords, then on to Wands, etc.

This imagery for Pagan Ways Tarot is created with photographs of real people, plants, and animals on digital themed backgrounds.


The Lord is seated cross-legged in a lush, green forest. He is wearing all leather, along with a mask and an antler head piece. His arms are stretched out in fron of hime and there is a bird on each of his hands. He is surrounded by woodland creatures; a deer, fox, and many others.

The book says,
“This is a time of stability when you feel confident and in control of your circumstances...”

Scan 1

The Sun captures an exquisite sunrise in the background and a field of golden yellow dandelions in the foreground. The image is very warm and inviting.

The companion book says,
“It's your day in the Sun. It's time for fun, creativity, self expression, and enjoying life...” It also states, “...a bright flash of enlightenment brining about transformation.”

Scan 2

The Queen of Wands features the “Queen of Summer” seated on a stone bench in a field of red poppies. She has rich auburn hair, is wearing a green dress, that fades to red in an ombre fashion, she is also wearing a shiny red cape. She is wielding a wand in one hand. A tabby cat sitting beside her, looks up to her fondly. The sun is sinking in the red sky.

Keyword is Midsummer.

The companion book reads, “...your creative powers are in full flood. You know exactly where you are going and feel strong enough to get there. Whatever obstacles get in your way, you will deal with them.”

The companion book is packed with information, including the authors theory of the history of the Tarot, some very basic Pagan information, along with the aforementioned theory of the Journey of the Fool. A nice touch is the inclusion of full size – full color images of each card. There is a solid introduction to each card with information about the featured god or goddess, along with upright and reverse meanings.

The Appendix includes a nice list of symbols and meanings. There are 4 well-known spreads; The Zodiac Spread, Planetary Spread, the Romany Spread, and the Celtic Cross. You will also find some basic information for meditating with the cards. There is also an Elemental Wheel exercise and a technique for using the deck for the Wheel of the Year.

This deck can easily be used right out of the box by anyone with a little background in Tarot. The keywords on the Minors will be a great asset to the novice. It might also prove to be a nice way to begin learning about the Pagan tradition for someone who has recently chosen to take the Pagan path or those who are just interested.

Anna Franklin has also created the Sacred Circle Tarot and The Fairy Ring Oracle. She has also written 28 books.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. All images are used with permission. Tarot Refletions is published by the American Tarot Association - 2015  Questions? Comments? Contact us at