Robin Wood Tarot Deck

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Tarot Deck Review: The Robin Wood Tarot

Robin Wood Tarot
The Robin Wood Tarot is a great deck for beginners and veteran readers alike. Image by Patti Wigington

The Robin Wood Tarot Deck

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide

ISBN: 978-0875428949

If you’re familiar with fantasy artwork, chances are good you’ve seen Robin Wood’s work before, even if you don’t realize it. When she created a Tarot deck back in 1991, it immediately became recognized as a blend of her stylized fantasy art with Pagan imagery and symbolism. It’s quite possibly one of the most beautiful decks you can buy, and part of what makes it so lovely is the simplicity of the images.

The artwork is lush and vivid, and one of the things that fascinates me the most about Wood’s drawings (done with Prismacolor pencils, for those of you who are curious) is her use of color and shading to create texture. If you’ve ever felt that typical Tarot card artwork doesn’t really speak to you, check out Wood’s designs – they’re practically three-dimensional in appearance, and seem to jump right off the cards at you.

The Robin Wood deck is also a great one for beginners, as well as for older children or teens to learn with.  If you’re familiar with the symbolism found in Rider Waite, the Robin Wood artwork parallels Rider Waite interpretation. It should be an easy transition for any reader to go from Rider Waite to Robin Wood. It’s a pretty traditional deck when it comes to meanings and symbols, but non-traditional in the way it feels to work with.

One aspect of this deck that a number of people have commented on to me is that even though there are elements of Paganism in the artwork, they’re subtle enough that non-Pagan Tarot readers (and yes, they’re out there!) will feel comfortable using this deck.

Downsides to the Robin Wood Tarot Deck? A few people have remarked that the images are a bit vanilla, featuring attractive, smiling people with little diversity, but to be fair, many Tarot decks suffer from a lack of diversity. As far as the happiness quotient goes, there are times when a smile seems oddly placed on a Tarot card, but on the other hand, it makes the deck friendly and approachable for new readers.

Want to check out some other Tarot deck reviews? Be sure to read these for some ideas on which deck might work best for you:

  • Tarot Deck Review: Tarot of the Pirates: Are you a Tarot reader who enjoys pirate lore? Be sure to read our review of the Tarot of the Pirates from LoScarabeo/Llewellyn!
  • Review: The Whimsical Tarot Deck: Read a review of the Whimsical Tarot Deck, designed by Dorothy Morrison and with artwork by Mary Hanson-Roberts.
  • Read a Review of the Lord of the Rings Tarot Deck: Review of the Lord of the Rings Tarot Deck, by US Game Systems, with artwork based on the writings of JRR Tolkien.
  • Read a Review of the Jane Austen Tarot: Review of Lo Scarebeo's Jane Austen Tarot Deck by Diane Wilkes, with artwork based on the novels of 19th-century author Jane Austen, and accompanying "how to" book.
  • Review: The Zombie Tarot Deck: Wondering what you'll do for Tarot cards once the zombie apocalypse hits? No worries - Quirk Books presents a deck of cards that will help you plan for all kinds of undead contingencies. Read a review of the Zombie Tarot here!

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