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Volume 3 Issue 5 ISSN# 1708-3265
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The Well Worn Path
Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor
Art; Mickie Mueller

ISBN #: 0-7387-0671-X

The idea is wonderful; a deck created for Wiccans and other Pagans. Not a deck which just renames tarot cards, rather a completely different kind of oracle deck, built around Pagan themes.

I wanted to like this deck, I really did! But, I kept wanting more…

I wanted an oracle deck that was first most based on the circle round, the turning of the wheel. I envisioned a deck that would give equal time to each of the elements, including the earth and sky, and corresponding times of the year. It might have been nice to have a deck that revolved around the 13 moons.

I feel the Well Worn Path lacks balance and an overall vision. It feels like the authors just picked the most well known Pagan and Wiccan symbols, and gave each of them a card, paying little attention to how the deck would work as a whole.

We have a Wheel of the Year card, and cards called The Crossroads, Initiation, Handfasting, Harvest, Summerland, and Reincarnation, but where are the all important 'planting' and 'birth'? I suppose one could say the circle is also represented by the Maiden, Mother and Crone, cards, and planting could be similar to the fertility assumed in The Stag-Horned God, and one could argue reincarnation is birth? But that seems to be a lot of 'coulds'.

This is not a gender-balanced deck. In addition to the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, cards, we have the Crescent-Crowned Goddess, and Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, all represented by females. The only specifically male cards are The Stag-Horned God, and The Greenman.

Many cards symbolically say similar things. For example, a chalice and a cauldron basically have the same meaning. In my eyes, The Moon, and the Crescent-Crowned Goddess represent the same things. This is not a problem if one uses this book and card set as a learning tool; there are nuances that do differ between these things. However, when the deck is used for divination, the overlaps tend to disproportionately tip readings over into certain areas, while barely touching, or ignoring others.

Beginners may like this as a simple introduction to Wicca. Traditional altar tools, such as the Athame, the Pentacle, the Chalice, and the Wand, are represented and discussed. There are 'book' cards representing teachings and 'laws', such as the Eight Fold Path, The Law of Three, and The Rede.

The artwork is fine. It appears to have been done in watercolour, perhaps also with coloured-pencil. The back of the cards is lovely. It shows a wooden door with an image of the Tree of Life. The tree of life, by the way, was a symbol I was disappointed to find missing from the cards themselves.

The cards are unnumbered, making them difficult to look up in the accompanying book. The 216-page book discusses each card in three sections, The Meaning, The Teaching, and the Alignment. The Alignment section gives guided imagery to help you gain deeper understanding of the card. The last chapter, Solitary Rites, discusses the use of the cards in ritual. The package also contains a black organdy bag, to store the cards in.

While the cards can be used as a stand-in for actual ritual tools, and this could be a way to learn very basic Wicca; I was disappointed in The Well Worn Path as a divination tool, especially as its creators are so well known and respected.

Reviewed by
Toria Betson

If you wish to purchase this (or another) deck, please visit the Tarot Garden. They have many decks from which to choose. If they are not currently stocking a specific deck, please note special orders are welcome at: sales@tarotgarden.com.

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