Tarot of the Old Path Reviews

The Tarot of the Old Path draws on a number of cultural outlooks and is intended for Pagan Tarot readers. Well known Wiccans, the Farrars and Margot Adler, also assisted the creators.

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Created by Sylvia Gainsford, Howard Rodway
Tarot Deck - 78 Cards - US Games 1990

Review by Gypsy

When I first became interested in Tarot several years ago, my parents offered me two of their decks that had gone unused to choose from for my own. The one my father offered was interesting in that, if I recall correctly, each suit progressively told a Greek myth through its pictures, while still maintaining Tarot imagery, meanings, and symbolism. It intrigued me, as I was interested in Greek mythology at the time, but I didn't want to choose right away. I then looked at my mother's offering, and was awestruck.

It was the Tarot of the Old Path, and as soon as my hands touched this deck, I felt a sense of pride flow through me.  Being raised a Wiccan most of my life, the imagery and art sounded a bell in my heart and spirit.  The deck called to me, to my sense of faith.  By using symbols and meanings pertaining to Wicca, Rowley and Gainsford created a Tarot deck that I connected with instantly.  I chose it over the mythology deck my father offered.  I wanted that connection with my faith and beliefs, and felt that this deck could bring me peace and a deeper understanding of my spiritual path.

Physically, although the deck is about 10 years old, it is still like new.  Each Major Arcana card has some silver material incorporated into the picture, usually on a character's eyes, that shines dully when light reflects off of it.  It gives the deck an even more mystical and magickal feeling.  The back of the cards feature a beautiful green vine, swirling gracefully into a figure-8, or Infinity sign.  The cards are about standard sized, and sleek for easy shuffling. 

Both a paperback book and small booklet accompany this deck.  The book contains the short biographies of the eight Wiccans consulted in the creation of this deck along with the interpretations of the cards and a few spreads, while the booklet has only the card interpretations.

The only dispute I have with this deck is that some of the Major Arcana names have neem changed from traditional Tarot names.  For example, Death is now called The Close, and The Moon is known as Illusion.  It is explained in the book that these changes are meant to more accurately portray the meaning ofthe card, but it can be initially confusing for anyone already familiar with the traditional Tarot names.

Any Wiccan looking for a connection to their roots and an insight into their faith will love this deck.  I recommend it highly.

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