A few days ago, my copy of the Minoan Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince arrived in the post. As it says on the box, this deck is inspired by the people of ancient Crete and their devotion to their Goddess, their land, and their creativity. The stunning images are based upon frescoes, jewellery, sculpture, and pottery from various periods in Cretan history. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s great gift as an artist, writer, and speaker is to invite the seeker into profound, significant realms through simple means and her artwork in the cards of the Minoan Tarot is no exception. Each picture contains enough detail to capture interest yet is simple enough to speak with eloquent directness.
Six of the Majors — Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Star, Moon, and Sun — retain their traditional names. The other Trumps are renamed: Lily Prince (Fool), Priestess (Magician), Oracle (Priestess/Popess), Goddess (Empress), God (Emperor), Singer (Hierophant/Pope), Visionary (Hermit), Wheel of Life (Wheel of Fortune), Balance (Justice), Hanging Woman (Hanged Man), Ancestor (Death), Flow (Temperance), Ecstasy (Devil), Shipwreck (Tower), Transcendence (Judgement), and World Tree (World).
The suits are Earth, Sea, Sky, and Art. The suit of Earth shows the children of the Mountain Mother, Sea the companions of Ocean Father, Sky the Lady of Heaven, and Art the Cretans’ own expressions of humanity. Court Cards are called Worker, Priestess, Master, and Mistress.
On the back of the cards is the labrys, an axe-like symbol of the Goddess and ceremonial tool of ancient priestesses.
The accompanying booklet is a gem. Behind every card is enough history to be informative without being overwhelming. Short inspiring messages follow each piece of background. Two original spreads round out the booklet: “Snake, Lion, and Dove” based on the Goddess and “Bull, Dolphin, and Goat” based on the God.
Here’s a four-card interview of the deck. For each question, I drew one card and used the creator’s text to inspire the pack’s answers.
Q: Whom do you serve?
A: Sea Four. I serve those who have (or need) the confidence to survive successfully. In addition, I serve small, close-knit groups that fight for worthy causes.
Q: For what greater purpose are you best suited?
A: Art Two. The complete attunement of mind and body to the attainment of one’s quest.
Q: For what purpose are you not well suited?
A: Sea Worker. Taking people on emotional adventures just for a lark.
Q: What key message do you most want to impart to us?
A: Sea Priestess. Life is a pilgrimage and each person carries the Sacred with them at all times no matter where they are.
You can order your own copy of the gorgeous Minoan Tarot at http://www.darkgoddesstarot.com/minoan.htm