DruidCraft Tarot: Meeting of Wicca and Druidry

A while back Lisa, Dani, and Dustin of Three Fat Readers talked about the DruidCraft Tarot, and that inspired me to chat about the deck here in a blog post. This isn’t a deck review. It’s me sharing my personal experiences with the DruidCraft. Another reason I wanted to go out of my way to post this is as a bit of a passive-aggressive defiant response to a recent “most influential” or “best of” publication on contemporary tarot decks where the DruidCraft Tarot by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington was noticeably missing from that “best of” list. Like… whut?!

This was one of my go-to public reading decks from back in the day. When I was in my 20s, I did countless parties and social events with the DruidCraft. Some of the cards in these photos are going to be upside down because I wanted to show you my copy of the deck straight out of its tattered old box and I read reversals with the DruidCraft. What you’re seeing here is the exact order, upright and reversed, that the cards were in the very last time I used them… which was about a decade ago.

Click on photos for high-res, close-up viewing.

The premise of the deck is to be a synthesis of Wicca and Druidry, to express a path that the guidebook calls “The Old Ways.” The deck is also inspired by the Golden Dawn, which united “many of the disparate strands of the Western Magical Tradition . . . A quantum leap in the understanding and application of the Tarot occurred thanks to the stimulus of the Golden Dawn, and so we have drawn on this in The DruidCraft Tarot Deck for its intrinsic worth, and for its historical connection with the evolution of Druidry and Wicca” (cited from the guidebook).

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To the New Seeker: Advice for Beginners

I opted to address this topic with a “Bell Chimes In” episode rather than a “Tinkering Bell” because it’s not going to be a practicum and there’s no substantive knowledge to be gained here. It’s more about my perspective and my thoughts as a practitioner of craft. So it’s just me chiming in.

If I could impart a few words to the new would-be seeker on an esoteric, occult, or mystery path, what would I say? This episode is of me giving my thoughts on where the new seeker might begin the journey…not the journey to attainment, but rather, the journey to finding your own path to attainment. (Then there’s the tough part to follow, where you have to walk it!)

Also, regrettably, after finishing and uploading the video, I realized there were points I should have clarified on (such as the “copy from the masters first” comment), so here’s the accompanying blog post to the video. line

THE MONAD: DEITY

In Episode #1 of “Bell Chimes In,” I talked about my perspective on deity. That’s one place to start in your starting thoughts on deity. If you haven’t seen it, I’m linking it here.

I find that there is a lot of immediate power to be gained simply through knowledge, so for the new seeker, strive for a comprehensive education in world religions, in particular ancient religions. Go as broad as you can, exploring the most unfamiliar of cultures and terrain to you. Also learn about the esoteric and magical practices of different civilizations. Learn as many perspectives as you can on deity and this concept of a monad, or Unity. Perhaps you gravitate more toward the sciences and applying scientific principles to better understand the metaphor of the monad. Perhaps you’re interested in origins mythology of indigenous cultures and extracting core truths from those myths. Five hundred years ago, what would your ancestors have believed?

When you start to think about occultism and the mysteries of life, Western or Eastern in faith, you’re likely to start seeing something expressive of spirit in everything, whether it is a person, an animal, a tree, or even a rock. You start to intuit how everything might all be connected in some way and dialed into a oneness.

Begin turning your attention to considerations of that oneness. Before you read any spells or pick up tarot cards or try to read someone’s palm, parse through your feelings and thoughts about oneness and that concept of monad, compare it to how people from a variety of cultures and histories express that same concept, and start looking for patterns that light your way toward truth and knowledge.

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Announcing the Video Companion Course to Holistic Tarot

B A C K G R O U N D   N O T E S

Some of you may know of the online video companion course to Holistic Tarot already. I put out the first few video lectures for the series this past week. The videos supplement the study guides and handouts, which supplement the book, Holistic Tarot. To check out the course outline and description, click on the above hyperlinked banner. This blog post is just to offer some of the behind-the-scenes commentary.

Offering a Beginner’s Tarot Course

I have been pressed ad nauseum about offering a beginner’s tarot course. While I haven’t felt called to start production of materials with that specific intent in mind, as in an online multi-media course that teaches you how to read a deck of cards, I wrote Holistic Tarot with that specific intent (i.e., to instruct on tarot at the beginner level) in mind. Then when the book launched back in 2015, I created a portfolio of syllabi, study guides, and handouts to help people navigate the 800+ pages. That was my “beginner’s tarot course.”

Still I got pressed. Apparently that wasn’t what many of you folks had in mind when you think “beginner’s tarot course”?

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Holistic Tarot Free Study Guides: For Beginners

Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen Beginner Study Guide 2

Holistic Tarot is now out in stores! You can order your copy of the book on Amazon, through the publisher’s website at North Atlantic Books, or through the distributor, Random House.

I hope you will find the book to be a timeless go-to reference source for all your tarot needs, but I also know that the sheer size of it can be intimidating.

So. I’ve created study guides and supplements for free download that will help you navigate the book and learn tarot. These study guides and supplements contain additional exercises and information that dovetail on the contents of the book.

The guides are subdivided into sessions with suggested reading, practice work, ruminations, and supplemental downloads that will help you learn tarot on your own and at your own pace. They will help you navigate the book, whether you’re reading at the beginner, intermediate, or advanced level.

Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen Beginner Study Guide 3

If you’re just starting out, I recommend following the Study Guide for the Beginner Tarot Student, a syllabus for learning tarot on your own with the Holistic Tarot text.

You are a Beginner if…

  • you are not sure exactly how many cards are in a standard tarot deck;
  • some of the imagery on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck seem a bit intimidating to you;
  • you’re kind of wondering what all this Rider-Waite-Smith tradition talk is all about;
  • when I say “tarot journal,” you draw a blank;
  • you are not familiar with the Celtic Cross; and
  • you find it incredulous that anyone in this world could know from memory the meanings to all those cards.

STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BEGINNER TAROT STUDENT

Click on the radio button below to download the PDF.

download-study-guide

Supplemental Downloads

Rider-Waite-Smith Flash Cards for Rote Study

DOCX

Log of Celtic Cross Practice Readings (Version: Waite Cross)

PDF

Tarot Spreads Practice: Quick Reference Sheets from Appendix A (for printing convenience)

PDF

Log of Readings

DOCX

PDF

Morning Routine Reading Practice (Template) DOCX

Beginner Guide Created: 12/17/2014

All Holistic Tarot study guides and supplements are available for free download here on this website at HOLISTIC TAROT STUDY GUIDES.

I hope these study guides are helpful in your learning and if you do use the Beginner’s Guide, please let me know about your experience with it!