This is the deck that opened up the tarot to me when I was a wee baby witch in the early 2000s. I had previously used a Universal Waite deck, the one I’ve joked in the past that everyone owned in the late ’90s and early 2000s. That particular deck with its muted palette, and frankly awful, guidebook made it a struggle for me to connect with the deck. In fact, I moved on to other oracular systems during this time. When I attended in my first festival in southern Missouri I went to a tarot workshop where the teacher was using the Robin Wood deck. The first card that I saw from this deck is The High Priestess.
What I love about this deck is that it has a brighter color palette and much more accessible guidebook. The guidebook is friendly and informative including history, introduction to color and symbology, and numerology. This was also the first place I was given permission to not read reversals. This was a game changer for me.
This is also a deck which taught me to look at the artistic differences on some of the cards. I have been described as a traditionalist when it comes to tarot. This is a fair assessment for me. The Robin Wood Tarot does have some differences to it that may not seem traditional. As someone who does not have a strong Christian background, the Judgement card in the Robin Wood deck resonates with my understanding of spiritual awakening and rebirth. In contrast, the Hierophant is still the Hierophant. Old dude in fancy robes with a big hat.
This is a deck that I recommend to new tarot readers that want to learn with a Rider-Waite-Smith variant. This was my primary deck for nearly 10 years and was often the deck I “thought” in. The Robin Wood Tarot is true to the original art and meanings, which provides a solid jumping off point into other decks. It is also an easy deck to use in tarot classes and with books that are based in RWS imagery. The book is sold separately from the deck but it is worth the investment. Both are available online from Amazon and easily available from your local bookseller. If you’re comfortable reading online, The Fool’s Dog has made an app which includes the full text of the book. While I’m not wild about doing readings with an app, it’s a great pocket resource.
Robin Wood can be found online at www.robinwood.com