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The Sacred Circle Tarot

By Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, the Sacred Circle Tarot, published by Llewellyn, is a seventy-eight card deck drawing on the Pagan heritage of Britain and Ireland, its sacred sites and symbolic imagery from the tradition. The circle of the title is not only the Wheel of the Year, but the sacred circles of the landscapes and the cycles of life - spiritual, material and emotional.

it was our aim to formulate a deck which not only draws on ancient traditions but which is of immediate relevance to the modern Pagan practitioner. We felt that the deck should not only be beautiful but useful, using key symbols to unlock the deepest levels of Pagan teaching.

The images are derived from the bardic Celtic tradition of the gods, goddesses and cosmology. Death appears as the Celtic Death Goddess and the Devil as the Underworld aspect of the God. This derivation of the tarot from bardic tradition is also clearly seen in the four suits which represent the four magical weapons of the four directions of the Tuatha De Danaan: the sword of Nuadha [associated with the east]; the spear of Lugh [associated with the south] which became wands or rods; the cauldron of the Dagda [associated with the west] which became the cups, and the stone of Fal which became discs and later pentacles.  

The cards depict landscapes and sacred sites in Britain and Ireland, centres of energy and worship for thousands of years, emphasising our connection to the land and its cycles and the visible and spiritual legacy of our ancestors.

In the native magical tradition each plant and animal has a place [or places] on the wheel, a magical connection within the web of being and a spiritual lesson. These feature strongly in the imagery of the deck, as do archetypes of Gods and Goddesses.

The Cards

This is a 78 card deck, and the names of some of the cards have been changed to reflect Pagan ideas – thus, the Empress becomes The Lady, for example.  As well as being used for divination, the imagery of each card is designed to work as an aid to meditation and spiritual development.

Published by Llewellyn

The accompanying text for the Sacred Circle Tarot is no longer published, so you can access it here along with the pictures