The Bad Bitches Tarot: A Modern Goddess Deck

The Bad Bitches Tarot by Ethony has my kid sister’s name all over it. Okay, it doesn’t literally, and she’s not exactly a “kid” anymore, but if I were to profile who would fall in love with the Bad Bitches Tarot, it would be the yuppie upper east side Manhattan dwelling Millennial fashionista third-wave feminist who thinks it would be really chic to have a tarot deck out on her coffee table.

I showed the deck to my sister by video chat and she just gasped. “Omigod it’s gorgeous. But I don’t know how to read the tarot.” To demonstrate how she could totally use this deck for herself, I pulled a card for her–the Six of Wands–then read the card’s meaning out of the accompanying Guidebook. The meaning, straight out of the book, fit perfectly with her situation.

We then pulled another card, the Seven of Swords. Again, I read that card’s meaning to her straight from the book. The sis major LOL-ed at how blunt the message was. Ethony’s Bad Bitches Tarot Guidebook has attitude, style, and a modern, punchy tone. Sis totally approves.

“So I can just read that tarot deck for myself? Pull a card like you just did and then read about it from the little Guidebook?” (It’s embarrassing to me as a tarot author how minimal my sisters know about the tarot…)

“Yes.” I said. (Or you could read the card meaning from that giant book your sister wrote but whatevs.)

“I love it,” she beams. And really, you can’t help but to love this deck. It’s a goddess deck for the digital Millennial age. It photographs beautifully for Instagram shots, with rose gold gilded edges and a semi-matte finish that’s got just the perfect relaxing ASMR shuffling sound when you riffle the cards.

Everything about the deck is elegant and beautiful. I love the deep eggplant color of the box, a hue reminiscent of the Amethyst Crocodile Birkin by Hermès. The shiny rose gold lettering is so on-trend. I love the magnetic flap box and the mandala-esque design adorning the bottom of the packaging.

The card back design is reversible, with rose gold foiled etchings that match the rose gold edges of the deck. Ethony’s eye for detail and finishing touches is just impeccable.

The Bad Bitches Tarot comes in a sturdy box, with a beautiful matching interior, that beautiful dark plum purple tone for the accompanying Guidebook (by the way, the Guidebook is hilarious and is one of the most entertaining LWB reads I’ve experienced in a long time), and just top-notch cardstock quality.

I don’t have to tell Rider-Waite-Smith tarot readers what the above card is, right? Isn’t the detailing and references to the RWS fantastic and so on point?

And here’s another example. The approach to depicting the RWS symbolism and iconography through fashion and modern-day goddesses is brilliant.

As Ethony acknowledged, the font size in the Guidebook is hard to read, so she sends along with every order the PDF e-book for the Guidebook, which is really helpful. I read through the entirety of that Guidebook and it’s a great primer for the tarot. Someone who knows nothing about tarot can operate this deck competently armed with just Ethony’s Guidebook.

I see this deck as one of those perfect tarot decks for the modern fashionista who is curious about reading tarot but isn’t going to dive deep into an occult study of it. The deck plus Guidebook is going to bring you accurate, practical readings, but also do so by speaking your language. This deck is keyed in to the Echo-Booming iGeneration wavelength.

So in the Guidebook, each card entry is subdivided into five sections: Bare Meaning, Boudoir, Business, Bank, and Blocked. I really love it the repetition of the Bs, you know, as in Bad Bitches Tarot?

The Bare Meaning gives the archetypal essence of the card. Boudoir is how to apply that card meaning to love and relationship readings. Business is how you apply that card meaning in professional, career readings. Bank is all about your finances and money matters. Blocked is if you read the cards with reversals or if the card is in a “negative” position in a card spread. Then you’d read the Blocked meaning of the card. The whole structure is brilliant for beginners.

Before I saw the deck itself, I admit I wasn’t sure about how readable the deck would be to me. Is there going to be enough familiar cues in the card for me to know what that card is without looking at the title? With some of the other modern tarot decks I’ve been seeing lately, that hasn’t been the case. However, rest assured that this deck has plenty of familiar cues for the seasoned reader. Just check out the above close-ups.

When working with Bad Bitches, do not neglect the Guidebook. The Guidebook is really what pulls this deck together and gives you the full personality of Bad Bitches. Like for the Ace of Pentacles, if you pull that card, you get, “You are about to be offered something pretty bloody fantastic” (and so much more… the card meaning entries are surprisingly comprehensive and multi-faceted).

Or the Four of Pentacles, haha, this one is cute: “Are you the kind of Bad Bitch who skimps out when it is someone’s birthday or never offers to pick up the bill at dinner? Or that person who looks at the bill when it comes and dissects every single line item?” And what if the Four of Pentacles is in a Blocked position or appears in reverse? “Well someone has no fear of their next credit card statement. While you are on a spender bender, can you buy me something delicious?”

One additional detailing that may have helped out this deck would be color-coded backgrounds. So, for instance, one color wash for the Majors, another color wash that’s earth-toned for Pentacles, fire-toned for Wands, and so on.

Most notably, this deck features all women, or modern goddesses. There’s an aesthetic about this deck that covers the Millennial generation and even third-wave feminism so well. There’s an unapologetic girl power motif.

This deck will be your BFF. You store this deck somewhere special in your home along with a rose quartz or amethyst, you pick, and then when you hit a rough patch or have a question you’d like some advice on, you pull out the Guidebook, follow one of the spreads, or simply draw a card. Then look up the card in the Guidebook and you are going to hear the voice of your BFF. This is a modern-day oracle, for sure.

In the Guidebook, the court card entries to deviate a bit from the structure. For the courts, you get the Bare Meaning and then you get Behaviors. So, for the Queen of Swords, “The Queen of Swords can see through bullshit a mile away and is going to call people out on it.” Also, if and when you pull a court card, there are action items that the Guidebook advises. Continuing with the Queen of Swords, when that card is pulled, it means you’ve got to (a) be more objective and calculating, and set aside your emotions while you put your grown-up professional hat on, (b) challenge your own ideologies and point of view, or (c) nurture integrity and fairness in the social situation.

Bad Bitches is a tarot deck for divining about contemporary life. There’s a social consciousness in this deck that’s subtle, yet impactful. I dig the Digital Age bourgeoisie sparkle that remarkably, does not take away from the groundedness, and the earthiness of this deck’s energy. It’s compassionate, conscientious, and highly intelligent.

Who is the modern-day goddess? The social influencer. And every card in Bad Bitches depicts a different facet, a different archetype of that social influencer of today’s generation, in other words, a different archetype of the modern goddess. The depiction on The Hierophant card captures that sentiment perfectly.

By the way check out the detailing in the card’s background. Throughout the cards you get this subtle stardust that adds design interest and elevates the imagery from being overly-simplistic. Altogether well-done. My hat goes off to the two artists, Elena Semenkova and Sasha Semenkova.

The Bad Bitches Tarot is luxurious. It’s social in every way. It’s relevant AF. The deck pulses with the spirit and energies of Generation Z. There is a precocious savviness to the Bad Bitches that’s palpitating.

In the interest of full disclosure so I keep it 100 with you, I consider Ethony one of my tarot tribe sisters, so if you believe that renders me biased in my review, then there’s that.

By the way, since I’m familiar with Ethony’s work, let me tell you a bit about her, about your deck creatrix. She coined the expression “Awakened Souls” (also be sure to check out her Awakened Souls Oracle deck, which I’ve reviewed in the past, linked here) and has founded a modern higher-consciousness movement online dedicated to personal spirituality. Ethony is also the headmistress of the Tarot Readers Academy, author, renowned tarot blogger and YouTuber, and spiritual life coach.

Bad Bitches is outfitted for a rather defined audience with a really specific vibe, so that’s why this deck will either resonate loudly with you and you have to get it now, and while you’re at it order a copy for every one of your urbanite BFFs so the deck can go viral, or you’re going to leave feeling indifferent.

If Bad Bitches is resonating loudly with you right now and you’re like, omg, this is trill (true + real, for you old fogies), order the First Edition at ethony.com, linked here.

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