Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

Review by Juliet Sharman-Burke

I was delighted to be asked to write a review for Tarot of the Crone. Now in its 3rd edition, it is truly a remarkable deck. Although it uses the basic structure of the traditional tarot, using mostly traditional titles for the Major Arcana, Tarot of the Crone has changed the Court Cards to Beast, Witch, Grandmother, Shadow to embrace feminine power. There is a colour illustrated informative booklet accompanying the deck which details things like the specific colours used as guides to the striking images.

The Minor Arcana uses two main colours to evoke the elemental energy of the suit: Wands – red and yellow, for power and will; Cups - red and purple, for feeling and soul; Swords – blue and yellow, for mind and ability; Disks – green and brown, for life and flesh. The Major Arcana uses any colour combination. Focus on the meaning of the colours is very effective. The first card I drew randomly was Wheel.

I instantly connected with the image of a labyrinth and the colour combination of Grey signifying the unknown, Mystery, secrets, shadow; Green representing life force as Growth, life path, connection between living beings crowned; Purple symbolising the life force as Magic , the path of the soul through time, deep power.

There are many fascinating ways of approaching the images including through the beautiful poems, which accompany each card, like this one for the Wheel:

I am the Mistress of Fate

You walk in patterns I set
You walk in paths you choose
And paths you don’t

You will turn and turn again

Every path
Leads you home

Tarot of the Crone is dedicated to Hecate, the underworld goddess, and encourages the reader to tap directly into the ancient mystery of feminine power. Although Hecate was a Titan, when Zeus became ruler of the universe, he respected her so much he allowed her to retain her privileges over earth, heaven and ocean that were her share when the Titans ruled the world before the Olympians. Zeus regarded her as supreme, both in the heavens and the underworld, and it is said that Zeus called upon her wisdom whenever a man or woman offered sacrifices and prayed for favour, permitting her to choose whose wishes should be granted and whose should be denied.

As guide or psychopomp, it was Hecate who accompanied Persephone on her journey to the outer world to re-join Demeter in Spring. She was also ready to guide her back to the underworld when the time came for her to take her place as Queen of the Underworld to rule with Hades during the dark months of Winter.

Tarot of the Crone works in similar way, it acts as a guide which can take us to and from the underworld, or the magical land of the unconscious mind. The images act as a focus for deep meditations; they are spare and uncluttered, which allows plenty of scope for the imagination to run wild. While the deck is not particularly suitable for divinatory readings, it is invaluable as a guide on our personal journeys in and out of our own underworlds. It is a deck to be treasured and worked with in very deep ways, as it summons directly the ancient wisdom of the earliest goddesses. I look forward to a long personal association with this stunning deck and thank Ellen Lorenzi-Prince for her magical creation.

Review by Juliet Sharman-Burke, author of 1985 classic, The Complete Book of Tarot (since then re-printed & re-illustrated with the Sharman-Caselli deck)

Tarot of the Crone is copyright protected. Card images may be used on blogs/websites as 'Card of the Day' endeavors or for review purposes but must contain the website along with Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. The images are not to form part of written teaching materials or otherwise be used without prior consent from the artist.

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