Shining Woman Tarot by Rachel Pollack is a wonderful deck of 78 cards, inspired by international myths, shamanic journeys, esoteric traditions, stories, tribal art and other creative enjoyments. There are Kabbalistic, standard tarot, Native American, prehistoric rock art, fairy tales and other influences. There are scenes from Greece, North America,
Malta, Ireland, England, France, Denmark and the Netherlands. The title 'Shining Woman', refers to the last card of the major arcana, usually titled 'The World'. The image is a celebration of life and appears in images throughout the card deck, such as ,'The Tower', '3 of Stones' and 'Awakening'. Symbols of animals occur, such as the turtle (or tortoise), toad, snake and fish. Some of the traditional tarot titles have been changed into 'Tradition' and 'The Hanged Woman'. There is the soul's journey through the major arcana from birth to enlightenment, the four suits of minor arcana which are descriptive of human experience in all its varied forms. Wands (fire) are trees: cups (water) are rivers: swords (air) are birds: pentacles (earth) are stones. Each card is given a poem and a write up in the booklet.
Reversed meanings are provided and the books provides explanations about all the cards. The majors have a short poem and there is a sample reading of a spread. The court cards are titled Place, Knower, Gift and Speaker. Sample: Five of Rivers is traditionally the 5 of Cups (water). It shows a Native American image of the myth of a fish carrying the sun at night to its place of rebirth in the east. The extended neck of the crane recalls the Spiral of Fortune and is inspired by earthenware dated from around a thousand years ago. This card teaches us about change, so we flow with ups and downs, adapting, growing, developing and changing. Here we have acceptance because no situation remains the same for ever. 'This too shall pass!'
I very much enjoyed working with this deck. It's a mature woman's deck, but a man could be the reader or receiver. But expect something greater than one sees in standard decks. this is not a tarot deck to be left on the shelf. Rachel Pollack is one of the world's finest tarot masters and this is creative and inspirational. This is one of my recommended decks. Review by Wendy Stokes