Ellen Lorenzi Prince is an artist who has created different themed tarot decks in the past, including the Minoan Tarot, Dark Goddess Tarot, and Tarot of the Crone. Each deck has a unique focus and tightly organized theme and the cards have appealing and uncluttered images.
I wondered if Ms. Prince really had something new to say with her Greek Goddess theme. It took me a few days to explore the deck by using it for 3-card readings. The more I used it, the more I liked it. And yes, Ms. Prince definitely has something new and (at least to me) very exciting to share in this tarot.
When one hears “Greek Goddesses,” the first thing that comes to mind are Goddesses like Aphrodite and Athena. And they are included in this deck. But the Major Arcana centers on the earlier Greek pantheon of Titans and Protogonos, elemental deities representative of natural forces. Ms. Prince incorporates these lesser-known but important deities seamlessly into the Major Arcana in a way that’s truly revelatory. We tend to slap the label of “archetypes” onto the images in the Major Arcana, but it changes greatly when you shift these archetypes toward deities that embody natural forces.
18. Nyx (the Moon card) is the Protogonos of Night, the elemental power that “draws a veil over the light of day.” Each card description begins with a quote from an ancient Greek text about that deity. The quote for 19. Hemera (the Sun card), the Protogonos of Day, show the ineffable beauty of extremely ancient Greek poetry: “There…where Nyx and Hemera draw near and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze…And the house never holds them both within; but always one is without the house passing over the earth, while the other stays at home and waits until the time for her journeying come; and the one holds all-seeing light for them on earth.” The card description continues “Hemera…is the elemental power of Day to disperse the dark mists of the veil of Night.” The card meaning is: “Add energy with color and movement. Try something new today. Do something fun . Remember what is fun. Your original self shines from the inside out. Be naked – remove the layers that have gotten in the way.”
The suit and court card names are modified. The suits are Arrows, Cups, Swords and Grain. Arrow cards (Wands) have short excerpts from legends about Artemis. Cups cards share mythic bits about Aphrodite; Swords about Athena; and Grain cards about Demeter’s legends. These excerpts are also from a range of ancient Greek texts. Court cards are Child (Princess/Page), Champion (Knight), Companion (Queen) and Queens (Kings). Each court card highlights different aspects of a suit’s patron goddess. The Child cards show the young, pure aspect of the goddess. Champions focus on each goddess in her most active or forceful aspect. The Companion cards shows the goddess’s most helpful side in relation to humanity, while the Queens represent the ultimate divine and esoteric nature and powers.
A great amount of research and thought was invested into the Greek Goddess theme. The booklet presents a sophisticated grasp of the tarot structure and how to adapt it to a unique theme along with surprisingly enlightening and inspiring card meanings. This is a work by a mature and experienced tarot artist! While the Greek Goddess Tarot doesn’t mimic traditional tarot meanings, it succeeds in putting a fresh spin on those traditional meanings that will be welcome from tarotists who are feeling a bit stale and want to freshen up their interpretive skills.
Another very fine offering from Ms. Prince and Arnell Ando – well done!
~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Creator: Tarot deck and book by Ellen Lorenzi Prince
Ellen Lorenzi Prince, 2021
78 cards, 78-page booklet and fitted tarot bag $60 plus s/h (US and Canada only). https://www.darkgoddesstarot.com/order-ggt.htm