A Deck Review: The Fairy Tale Tarot

Author & Artist: Lisa Hunt
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
ISBN: 978-0-7387-866-9
Release Date: September 2009

I was pretty anxious to have this deck coming to me for many reason. It intrigued my attention immediately because of its name. I find myself very often telling my clients “life isn’t a fairy tale.’ I even state that I will not give fairy tale readings, only the truth without sugarcoating. So I was very curious to see for myself how this deck was done and the cards and Fairy Tales portrayed. I was also wondering how these would be used for giving readings without having the client believe the “Happily Ever After” that fairy tales end with.

The first thing you notice when you open this, is the size of the book that comes with it since it is on the top. When you think of fairy tales you remember the classics from childhood such as Cinderella, Snow White, The Three Pigs and Red Riding Hood. There are so many others that I had not even heard of let alone know the tale. The book is well written; the tale depicted on each card is summarized. This is a big help for those unfamiliar tales we do not know or have never heard of. Lisa Hunt also then explains the symbols and meanings of not just the tarot meanings but she incorporates the fairy tale visual that she chose and explains the significance of it in a way that brings even more understanding of not just the cards but the tales themselves.

The first thing you notice with the cards themselves is that there is no border on them, so the images give the feeling of being there rather then a cut off photo look. This makes the cards even more attractive and appealing as a border would of taken away from the images.

The next thing that is noticed is the Fool card is titled Innocence and it is a fairy tale I recognized immediately Little Red Riding Hood. What an appropriate tale and title to use for this card about innocence. While going through the Major Aracana’s Lisa changed the names on many of them and I have to say they are appropriately renamed. There is however, one change that I found which may confuse a beginner; and that is Card XI which has been renamed Justice. Someone who is familiar with the traditional names Justice is card VIII and therefore seeing the name may cause one to confuse it with the original Justice card. Makes me wonder why a different name was not chosen for it.

The major arcana that really captured my attention was The Hermit. This card is commonly depicted as someone in a dark place, usually a cave, to reflect and take time alone. The Fairy Tale Tarot uses a bright, happy depiction from The Wood Fairy with the little girl Betushka dancing outside with The Wood Fairy. Not being familiar with this story I read the summary supplied in the companion book and was then able to understand the imagery that was used. The Hermit is shown in a more positive light and let’s one see that self reflection is a positive thing that we need to do from time to time.

The next thing I was anxious to see was how the minor arcana cards would look with the cups, wands, swords and pentacles added into the scenes. I have to say this was well done and they are discreetly shown so the scenes are still the focus point. When they are used, one has to look closely to find them as they are that well blended into the scenes.

When I got to the Eight of Cups I paused for a moment because it looks like The Tower card. It is a dark storm around a castle with lightening in the sky and 8 cups falling down into stormy waves. The tale depicted is The Fisherman and His Wife, another one that is unfamiliar to me and needed to be read. I am very grateful that the summaries of the fairy tales are included in the book.

This deck is very well done and thought out. It is indeed one to have in your collection whether you are a Tarot or Fairy Tale lover. For those not familiar with the fairy tales the book is very useful in fully understanding the entire meanings Lisa is portraying in the cards. Reading the cards without the book can be done, however getting familiar with the actual tales just expands on the readings and meanings.

4 Responses to “A Deck Review: The Fairy Tale Tarot”

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