A Dive Into The Victorian Fairy Tarot
Updated: Aug 31, 2021
The Victorian Fairy Tarot is a dreamy reflection of the Victorian society where nature, in a time of intense industrialisation, could play a major role again. How can we not feel a resonance with our current time? This deck invites us to (re-)discover the language of flowers, the meanings and messages of the ever-changing seasons and to reconnect with our instincts, feelings and ancient knowledge.
In this post I’ll go through the look and feel but also the best uses I find for this deck. In a follow up post I’ll share with you some spreads that work really well with the fairies!
THE VICTORIAN FAIRY TAROT: LOOK AND FEEL
The deck has an overall softer look and feel with many colours but mostly pastels and “quiet” tones, which makes it relaxing and peaceful to work with.
Flowers and their symbolism, the fairies’ natural environment and the seasons play a major role in both the major and minor arcana. Each fairy has its own flower, which has a specific meaning.
The only human present in the deck is the Fool, all other characters are fairies with their own personalities, social roles and moods. The Fool, just like us, is invited through the first card to enter and visit the world of the Victorian fairies.
There are also a lot of animals who play secondary but important roles in the deck (for example: Death, the Chariot)
VICTORIAN FAIRY TAROT: THE MINOR ARCANA
The minor arcana is very different from classic decks but follows the classic structure of the Rider Waite. Pentacles, cups, sticks and swords are replaced with 4 seasonal courts.
The Spring Court (Wands) is of course the happiest of all. Most of the cards convey messages of new things starting, exciting times ahead, action, rebirth, hope, awakening and more. There is a lot happening in the world of our fairies when the ice starts melting: Spring is when fairies start working, cleaning, planting and prepare all the summer blossoms. It is also a time of artistic and creative inspiration.
The Summer Court (Cups) is a quieter one. The cards bring messages of joy, pleasure, love, fulness and plenitude…with some exceptions. For example: The Five of Summer is a card of warning and disappointment. The Four of Summer is a card of boredom, selfishness and inaction. This is a very subtle court.
The Autumn Court (Coins/Pentacles) speaks of very deep and important life principles. It’s the time of harvest, of results. It’s also a time of hard work as the cold winter needs to be prepared properly if our fairies wish to survive the icy winds and the snow. The cards in this court represent hard work, skills, patience, maturity. Personally, this is my favorite court of all.
The Winter Court (Swords) is the hardest and most challenging of all 4 courts. Winter is of course a terrible time for our fairies. Many of these cards speak of conflict, fear, danger and need. They are great for warnings or understanding the details of a complicated or conflictual situation.
I find this deck really great for guidance, life coaching and portrait. You can investigate your consultant’s emotional state very clearly with the fairies’ symbolism and sensibility.
I particularly like the Dance of Happiness spread, which is recommended in the Companion book of the deck.
This spread is basically a happiness check where you’ll see how happy you are, who are the people supporting you in your quest for happiness, who and what is working against you, what are the steps to take to achieve your happiness & more. I will post a sister blog post with a full walk through this spread.
VICTORIAN FAIRY TAROT VS. MARSEILLE: COMPARING THE CARDS
The Victorian fairy deck is generally joyful and sweet. Of course, some of the cards include elements of conflict, sadness or fear but the main impression you get when browsing the cards is one of sweet old time charm. Where the Marseille cards are very sharp and somewhat “cold” the Victorian Fairy cards feel rounder.
The deck also respects most of the important symbols of the Tarot with a few exceptions but thanks to these notes of fantasy it also brings different perspectives.
Now let’s compare some cards!
1. Card 0: The Fool
In the case of the Fool, both decks stick to a pretty similar symbolism but I find the Fairy version to be more hopeful and bright. The Marseille deck Fool stands for new beginnings, sparkles but also wanderings (sometimes dark ones). The most positive aspect of the Fool is that he often encourages us to believe and take leaps of Faith.