Author: Paulina Cassidy
Artist: Paulina Cassidy
U.S. Games Systems Inc.
The “Spiritsong Tarot”, by Paulina Cassidy, is a 78 card deck, accompanied by a 105 page guidebook, that follows the traditional framework of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards. Cassidy, whose work includes the Joie de Vivre Tarot, the Paulina Tarot, the Witchlings oracle, and the Faerie Guidance oracle, has added yet another level to the Tarot by placing animal guides in each card to act as gateways between the physical world and the spiritual world. Her selection was based on both Shamanic and Native American symbolism, matching the animal to the traditional attributes of the card. The cards and deck come packaged in a hard cardboard lift top box, with the image of the card Strength on the top of the box, and information about the deck on the bottom.
The Major Arcana retain their traditional titles, with the exception of The Fool, which becomes The Traveller; the Hierophant, which becomes the Shaman; the Lovers, which becomes Love; The Wheel of Fortune, which becomes The Wheel; Death, which becomes Transformation; The Devil, which becomes The Shadow; and Judgment, which becomes Awakening. Strength is VIII, Justice is X. The suits are Acorns/Wands, Shells/Cups, Feathers/Swords, and Crystals/Pentacles. The court cards carry the traditional titles of King, Queen, Knight, and Page.
The cards are 3” by 5”. The card backs are a lovely antique white, with brownish lotus like imagery going up the center of the card.The card faces have a ¼” outer border, with a thin black border around the imagery. The card title is at the bottom, surround by delicate artwork. The Major Arcana title includes the card number and title, with two keywords in smaller letters under it. The pips (numbered cards) include the card number (written out) with the suit, with two keywords under it, in smaller letters. The Court Cards include the court title and suit, with two keywords in smaller letters under it. While I normally do not like to see keywords on a card, the fact that they are written in small lettering to me makes them acceptable, as they do not really “claim place” in the card. The artwork is fantasy style, with a pastel color palette.
The Ace of Acorns features the Ram as the animal guide. Keywords are “creative force” and “confidence”.
The Ace of Feathers features the Goat as the animal guide. Keywords are “mental clarity” and “foundation”.
The Eight of Shells features the Starfish as the animal guide, with the keywords “quest” and “renewal”.
The Empress features the Rabbit as the animal guide, with “beauty” and “abundance” as the keywords.
In the introduction to the guidebook, Cassidy talks about bringing together the world of Tarot, and the world of animal guides. She also talks about the elemental signs, and the four suits and their attributes. Each card is presented with the card title, the animal guide associated with it, the cards message, keywords, reversed message, and reversed keywords. No images are included. At the end of the guidebook is a section on connecting with the cards, as well as templates for the following spreads: The Spiritsong Star Spread, the Spiritsong Healing Spread, the Spiritsong Tree of Life Spread, a One Card Oracle Reading and a Three Card Oracle Reading. There are two blank pages at the very end for notes.
I love the gentle nature of the pastel coloring and the fantasy artwork, and the wonderful manner in which animal guides are introduced. This deck can be used for such diverse purposes as divination, meditation, card a day guidance, and personal growth (to name a few). It would also work well in a comparative reading, where the same cards are pulled from two or more decks, placed in the same template, and read together.
© November 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.