The Forest of Enchantment Tarot takes a refreshing approach to deck design. The cards provide visual metaphors for the reader’s journey through the forest of life. Lunaea quotes Sara Maitland’s book “From the Forest: A Search for the Hidden Roots of Fairy Tales”: “The forest is the place of trial in fairy stories, both dangerous and exciting. Coming to terms with the forest, surviving its terrors, utilizing its gifts, and gaining its help is the way to happy ever after.”
The imagery deftly incorporates the forest and its fairy tale denizens. The cards of the Major Arcana are renamed and re-populated to reflect the theme. For example, The Fool card is the White Hart, a beautiful white deer. The Chariot is The Faery Wind. Judgment is the Council of Animals. Each card image is reproduced in full color on the left-hand page of the book, with a detailed description provided on the right. The full-page reproductions in the book are terrific as they allow the reader to see all of the fine details in the art. After the main themes of the Major Arcana card are described, there’s a “Meaning at a Glance” paragraph followed by a “A Closer Look” paragraph that encourages the reader to access symbol language by pointing out things to consider. Reversed meanings aren’t included.
The Minor Arcana is also re-designed. The suit of Wands is called “Spells”; Cups are “Visions”; Swords are “Challenges” and Pentacles are “Boons.” The Court cards are the Forest Folk, and are renamed Child (Page), Seeker (Knight), Weaver (Queen) and Keeper (King).
The accompanying book “Your Path Through the Enchanted Forest” by Lunaea Weatherstone is formatted in a manner that’s helpful for looking up card meanings. Following the introductory material, the first section presents the Major Arcana cards. The second section presents the pip cards in groups – the four Aces, the four Twos, etc. The third section presents the Forest Folk (Court cards) from Child to Keeper. The final section of the book offers a half-dozen spreads and lined tarot-journal pages for writing notes. A unique deck like this requires a very well-written and well-designed book to make the deck useful, and Lunaea Weatherstone did a terrific job.
The 5” x 8” book fits into a box with a magnetic closure. The cards are stored in a fitted space beneath the book. The 2 ¾” x 4 ½” cards don’t have borders. Meraylah Allwood’s images are gorgeous! There’s a lot of green throughout (forest!). The character and animal drawings are charming, and there are some interior backgrounds and larger landscape backgrounds to add depth and contrast.
The Forest of Enchantment Tarot is suitable for any reader who is attracted to fairy tales, friendly beasts, and magical creatures. This is a good deck for personal meditation and for considering specific situations. The thoughtful planning and high-quality production and packaging make this a decent value at the price point. Well done!
~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Author: Lunaea Weatherstone
Artist: Meraylah Allwood
2020, Llewellyn Publiscations
240 page book, 78-card tarot deck
fitted box with magnetic closure. $29.99