Tarot of the Celtic Fairies


Review by Terri Clement

Tarot of the Celtic Fairies by Mark McElroy and Eldar Minibaev

Published by Lo Scarabeo for Llewellyn Worldwide, www.llewellyn.com

ISBN-10: 0738721859

ISBN-13: 978-0738721859

The Tarot of the Celtic Fairies is a 78-card Tarot deck collaboration between Mark McElroy and artist Eldar Minibaev featuring the Fairies from a Celtic perspective.  It is published by Lo Scarabeo for Llewellyn Worldwide and contains a 160-page paperback companion book and a little white book (LWB).

The deck/book set comes in a very sturdy box that opens like a book, with a magnetic closure.

Before unwrapping the deck, I decided to breeze through the companion book.  Upon reading the Introduction in the book, I instantly became a little skeptical as Mark discusses his aversion to “fairies,” the term, the beings and the concept.  However, after delving into the companion book a bit more, I discovered that he did in fact do some homework and he crafted the Celtic Fairies and the Tarot together quite well.  

Flipping through the companion book, it reminded me of a video game companion book.  The companion book is very brightly colored and heavy with illustrations with a semi-glossy finish to the pages.

In the companion book for each card you will find sections for:  Keywords, Creator’s Commentary, Important Symbols, Interpreting the Cards and Questions to Ask.

The cards are printed on a very flexible cardstock with a light gloss finish.  The cards shuffle and fan beautifully.  The deck measures 2 ¼” x 4 1/2”.  The card backs are not reversible friendly, with a Celtic style knot that looks very much like a tree with two faces coming together in the bottom half of the card.

When looking at the deck itself, you will notice some cards fall in line with traditional RWS symbololgy, while other cards require reading the companion book to find the writer's interpretation, making the companion book a necessity.

You will also not find the traditional RWS suits within this deck, here you find that Spears = Wands, Cauldrons = Cups, Swords = Swords, Stones = Pentacles.  


Strength is number 8 and Justice is number 11.

The artwork in the deck varies from bright, illuminated imagery to dark and somber.  A few of the images are reminiscent of previous Lo Scarabeo decks such as the Tarot of the Gnomes.

The Fool card features a young, barefoot girl that is sitting in the grass.  She is smiling gently as she gazes into a book, whilst several glowing sylphs flutter around her, illuminated in yellow, pink, purple, and green.

The 5 of Cauldrons shows a young faerie seated in a cemetery, under a dark sky.  A lone black rose is growing in the foreground.

Temperance shows us a drunken Clurican (the lesser known cousin of the Leprechaun), riding a bucking goat through a field, while holding a glass of ale in one hand and a glass of wine in another.

Those who are ingrained in RWS might have some challenge transitioning over to this deck, but for someone who is willing to do a little studying may find this a fresh take on the Tarot.

This deck is not a fun, fluffy little fairy deck as leans a bit towards the darker side of realm.  However, if you are interested in the Celtic side of the Fae, then this deck book set might be perfect for you.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors.  Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - © 2011 Questions? Comments? Contact us at reflections@ata-tarot.com