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Tarot of Northern Shadows

by Sylvia Gainsford, Howard Rodway

Buy the book: Sylvia Gainsford. Tarot of Northern Shadows

Release Date: September, 2000

Edition: Unknown Binding


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Buy the book: Sylvia Gainsford. Tarot of Northern Shadows

Exceptional deck--much loved in my collection

The creators of the Tarot of the Old Path (one of my personal favorites) have done it again with their latest creation, Tarot of the Northern Shadows. At the time of this writing, I was unable to obtain Rodway's book by the same title, the deck does not come bundled with the text, and that is the only reason I didn't give the deck as high a rating as the Sacred Circle Tarot discussed above. This deck, loosely based on the Mabinogian is already well used in my readings because I was so comfortable with it from the first moment I thumbed through the cards. My favorite images include the High Priestess, which shows a nude woman kneeling whose arms are great blue wings. Next to her are a shield, spear and valkyrie helmet, while behind her is a spirit image of a grey long haired cat and three birds soaring against clouds. This is no meek priestess, sitting passively while she is receptive to her psychic visions, she is also a woman of action and strength who can obviously take care of herself. The rest of the deck is equally captivating. I was so impressed by the images Gainsford uses that I felt as if she and my own grandmother who trained me, must have learned from the same teachers. The blend of Celtic and Nordic imagery is so natural and consistent, that one forgets that there are any differences. To someone of Scottish or Irish descent, where the two cultures have blended so completely, this deck will feel very familiar. As much as I liked Gainsford and Rodway's previous effort, this deck is far better in that the deck captures the two cultures so completely that it is easy to "tell a story" or to follow the Fool's journey through the images. I predict that I will have to buy a second copy of the deck soon, because it will be so well used. This is a must have for anyone who feels a kinship with the Celtic or Nordic cultures.

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