Updated: Aug 31
The Best Decks for the Cold Dark Days
I thought of taking a look at the best Winter Tarot decks while I was doing a photo shoot with cards and wild plants. There was little to no heating in my work space. The floor is made of stone and the windows are many. I had found evergreen plants and some rare winter flowers for my session.
The association of two of my favorite things got me thinking about life and death. About what has to die and what can resist in the cold, freezing days. Beyond that, it made me think about how we treat ourselves and others, in the midst of difficult days. And it got me thinking about the meaning of our seasons and how they impact our lives. Big thoughts out of little branches 🙂
Tarot, like life, is all about cycles. That’s why it is so deeply connected with the most important, and most visible cycle of all: seasons. And Winter is a tricky one.
On the one hand, we all dread the cold winter days, especially those of us who live in Northern regions. Where the wind bites and where Winter truly becomes a danger all around us. We see the plants and animals suffer or die, while we do our best to make it through.
When the Christmas cheer is over, and January’s at the door, that’s when Winter becomes serious.
Maybe it’s an opportunity.
Wintertime is an excellent moment for the most serious and crucial Tarot readings.
EXPLORING THE DARKNESS WITH LISA HUNT’S GHOSTS & SPIRITS TAROT
The Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt is a very special deck. Its artwork is immediately recognisable as part of the work of the artist who brought us the Fairy Tales Tarot, another dense and complex set of cards.
This particular deck explores myths and legends from around the world, all related to death, loss, fears and the subconscious. It is filled with ghosts, wolves and strange creatures. They symbolize the darkness within us and the fears shared by all humanity since the beginning of times.
This deck is not my go to for regular readings and I have to have a special topic to turn to it. But in certain circumstances, such as a Winter meditation or a reading that aims to uncover fears or even traumas, this Tarot is just fantastic.
Each card is inspired by a tale, a legend from the Celtic, Native American or Japanese cultures, among others. It is one of the richest decks out there as you’ll need to do some homework to truly enter the world of the many creatures who are passing on their messages through these cards.
But for readings tackling fears of all kinds, the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot is a brilliant masterpiece that is not easy to read, but will reveal so much and even help heal the deepest wounds.
IN THE DEEP DARK WOODS WITH THE CELTIC WILD WOOD TAROT
An in-depth review of the Wild Wood Tarot has been on my to do list for quite a while now. It still is. One thing that is for sure about this popular deck is that it is great for cold weather readings.
The deep dark woods and Celtic atmosphere make for a perfect winter tarot deck.
King of Stones and the Ancestor in the Wild Wood Tarot
The Wild Wood is deeply connected to natural elements and therefore, seasons.
Each card has an ambient temperature and you can almost guess the time of the day. The Moon and Stars also play a big part in this deck, like they do for us, especially in the Wintertime. With the days so short and the nights so dark, they provide both guidance and hope.
The Wild Wood Tarot is based on the “Wheel of the Year” and the companion book provides many information and guidelines to understand and read according to it. This pre-christian, Celtic inspired calendar largely defines 8 times of the year regrouped under the 4 minor suits.
More importantly, the Wild Wood Tarot is not so much a tool for prediction than it is one for guidance. The woodlands are a reflection of our subconscious. A place to wander freely and find defining answers.
CLASSIC AND GLOOMY WITH THE TAROT NOIR
If you follow my blog, you probably know that I’m a believer in the Marseille Tarot. But the bright primary colours of the original deck and its many restorations don’t exactly make it an obvious Winter Tarot deck.
The Tarot Noir offers a great alternative to the Marseille deck. For the gloomy days, it works perfectly thanks to its washed out colours and overall austerity.
The allegory of Death in the Tarot Noir
The Tarot Noir is a fantastic work of art but its atmosphere is very dark.
While the deck works well for readings, it works even better for meditation exercises.
The Moon in the Tarot Noir deck
Do you have a favourite deck for the Wintertime? Then share the love in the comment section below!