The Hobbit Tarot

The Hobbit Tarot

Review by Terri Clement

The Hobbit Tarot by Peter Pracownik (artist) and Terry Donaldson (author)

Published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.,

ISBN-13:  978-1-57281-677-0

ISBN-10:  1-57281-677-5

Are you a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and Tarot? Then The Hobbit Tarot might be just what you are looking for! Peter Pracownic and Terry Donaldson team up once again to bring us this fun Hobbit theme deck. This deck features Bilbo Baggins as the Fool as he journeys his way through the Major Arcana.

The 78-card deck arrives in a fold-top box picturing Gandalf sitting at the base of a tree preparing to smoke his pipe. The cards measure 2-3/4" wide x 4-3/4" tall. The card stock is heavy, making the deck thicker when stacked. It also has a light lamination and the cards are quite flexible. Though the edges of the cards are a bit sharp, they will wear in with use. The card faces have a very thin white border and a ¼” title banner at the bottom of the card. The Major Arcana have Roman Numerals and titles on each card, while the Minor Arcana card numbers are written out (Two of Wands). The card backs feature sacred geometry and several gold rings, astrology symbols and the inscription from the ring, set on a dark blue background with a very thin white border. The backs are reversible friendly.

Strength is number VIII and Justice is XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins. The Courts are Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

Image-wise The Hobbit Tarot is not what I would consider a Rider-Waite-Smith clone and would require some study for someone who relies on RWS symbology.  However the divinatory meanings in the companion book do follow the RWS structure.


For example:

The Empress pictures Gandalf pointing to something or someone off in the distance while Bilbo is having a conversation with their companions. Or perhaps he is showing the direction they should go?

The companion book gives the following definition for this card:

“Harmony, creativity, sensual pleasure, and abundance. In a spread it shows that now is the time to encourage greater harmony and love in your life. This card has a connection with the arts, fertility, prosperity, and gain. If it shows another, this person will be important in assisting towards these goals. It can also show the role of mothering, either literally, or symbolically.”  

The artwork by Peter Pracownik may seem familiar as he also created artwork for the Imperial Dragon Oracle, Dragon Tarot, The Lord of the Rings Tarot and Card Game, and Woodland Wisdom Oracle Cards.


One beautiful image is XIX – The Sun. This card shows a stream switch-backing its way across a valley filled with wild flowers from the mountains in the distance. The bright sun is low in the sky.  

The booklet says:

“The road of life leads each of us through our respective Wilderlands. We see Mirkwood in the distance. The forest is where our Companions receive their initiations, teachings and new skills…”

The Divinatory meaning says:

“A sense of growth and harmony, feelings of self worth, gaining recognition. This card says you have arrived and can now bask in the sunlight of recognition. In a love aspect, it says you accept yourself and your beloved, without trying to change him/her. It is an excellent omen for future happiness.”

Author Terry Donaldson has written several tarot books including The Dragon Tarot and The Lord of the Rings Tarot.

The companion book is 95-page paperback booklet that provides an introduction and lists each card with a description of the scene for each and a divinatory meaning for both upright and reversed. There are 3 unique spreads in the back of booklet. The first is a 12-card titled The Ring of Gollum Spread, the second is a 9-card spread titled The Sword of Aragon and the third spread is a 14-carder called The Arkenstone Spread.

This deck would make a nice gift for any J.R.R. Tolkien fans that also enjoy working with the Tarot. With some dedication to working with the deck, it could be used by anyone from beginner through professional.

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