I recently purchased the Sensual Wicca Tarot after lusting after it for months. I loved the few images I’d seen, the artwork, the representation, and, of course, the sensuality made it a deck I knew would really help my work.
What I Love
Its purple! No really, purple is one of my favorite colors. To me it speaks of power, magick, passion, and luxury.
The art by Elissa Poggese and edited Pietro Alligo is excellent. Its illustrated and artistic without feeling cartoonish. Its soft and whimsical without feeling like a joke. The people feel real without being photographic or digitized.
It is sensual. It doesn’t hide from sexuality and nudity – exactly what I need in a sex magick deck. It also doesn’t get particularly crude (no cum, heavy kink) – good for readings with people that are still a little uncertain of sex witchery. Don’t want to scare them off too soon.
It has POC and Queer rep. Women and men of color – 1 Asian looking woman, a few black men, and Native Americans. There’s women kissing women, and men kissing men. I love seeing this as a bi-demisexual woman and as someone with marginalized clients and students. The world is diverse and the tarot, as a mirror of the world, should be too.
What is Lacking
I’m not Wiccan so that part of the deck isn’t particularly appealing. That said, other than the triple moon on the back and a few terms, it isn’t overt. If you are Wiccan, you might enjoy this but there are other decks out there that are more high key in that placement.
Trans rep. While there are gay, lesbian, and bi figures in the deck, there aren’t any that are obviously trans. I have seen some indie decks approach this with figures in various stages of transition and would have loved to see at least a card or two show that here.
There were a few cards that felt like a cop out like 5 of Swords which contains 2 banners – one with 5 swords and the other with a smaller image of the Emperor. The Empress could have been more sensual and luxurious – as Taurus rep – but instead is a mom in a field holding a kid’s hand and very pregnant. I didn’t feel the Empress vibe, just the fertility part.
The book is minimal. Just basic keywords or the cards in various languages. I wish it had come with a book that went into detail about the figures. Like why was Joan of Arc chosen? Is that Boudicca? Why were certain ethnicities chosen for certain cards? And so on. I would love the artist input.
Interviewing the Deck
One of the methods I use to bond with a new tarot deck is an interview spread. It is a way for me to see how well we will mesh and to dive into reading these cards. I enjoy using the interview tarot spread by Beth over at Little Red Tarot. It has 6 questions that give a good look at what the relationship between the cards and reader will be like.
- What is your most important characteristic?
- What are your strengths as a deck?
- What are your limits as a deck?
- What are you here to teach me?
- How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
- What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The spread doesn’t have a particular layout, you can use whatever shape or formation you like. In the past I have even looked at each card in my hand and put them at the bottom of the stack before pulling a new card – this works when you don’t have a flat, clean space to lay the cards out on. For the Sensual Wicca Tarot, I used the same layout as Beth – 1,2,3 on top and 4,5,6 on bottom.
Most Important Characteristic – The Magician
This card symbolizes that the querent has all the tools they need to create powerful magic. Its a card of Hermeticism and masculine manifestation. The deck says it will be a tool for my purpose, to direct my will in the planes of existence. It is a method, not magick itself.
Strengths – 7 of Swords
The deck is sly and witty here. it says I give you many options – I have a hoard of them to offer. Each one is sound advice though some are double-edged. This is a character that is devious but this card is one of strategy. Its gonna make me think.
Limits – 6 of Pentacles
Nothing here is free. This deck can’t give me everything I desire and it certainly isn’t charitable. I’m gonna have to do the work no matter the card I pull.
The Lesson – 2 of Pentacles
Making decisions. Getting priorities straightened out. Taking a breath in order to move between this task and that project with wisdom.
Collaboration – Maiden of Wands
Embrace the experience itself – try new things. Discovery and adventure await. Accessing new levels of consciousness. Ready for a catalyst.
Potential Outcome – Ace of Pentacles
Good business. Manifestation into the Physical Plane. Abundance.
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