What do we see in the Fey and RWS tarots?


As I have considered and submitted my thoughts about the Fey compared to the Waite-Smith decks it occured to me that there is an overriding difference between them that may deserve some discussion.

The RWS decks (the several variations) and some of their clones have their message delivered though a veil of nostalgia. The Fey tarot delivers its message through a magical perspective. This differance explains the power of the Fey that many of us sense.

We have romanticized medieval and renaissance Europe and frozen much of those legends and images in a manner that reflects movies, popular books and tourist attractions. This distorts to some degree the (likely) intended meanings of the cards symbols -- or subdues the card's primal force.

On the other hand, decks such as the Fey force us to look at basic meanings through a fresh window, to struggle somewhat with what is being portrayed and how it relates to us. This list has recently started exploring through various threads these vital and important new views and our understanding of them.

One of the powers and attractions of Tarot readings and Readers is that we and the querent are asked to suspend disbelief. This should be repeated -- WE ARE ASKED TO SUSPEND DISBELIEF. The querent has to accept that the cards and the reader will show questions, problems, issues, solution paths, advice and likely outcomes -- and the reader has to trust (based on past experiences) that these components will be evident and will be helpful and applicable to the question and querent.

This is why we find the Fey Tarot so powerful and attractive; it helps restate and reinforce the magic we weave, the connections we make, the help we give, the growth and understanding that we pursue. This is why we participate. If we don't participate then we cheat ourselves and others of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I welcome the views of others on this topic. Dave.


Hi, Dave!
I agree with your post.

I have been on and off with this deck for a while, couldn't get it all together. This weekend I sat and read through the book and finally...

I have studied the RWS. I can understand the meanings and read with these. ( not saying I'm a pro but you know what I mean)
The Fey has taken me to the inside of the card. With the RWS I always felt a distance, with Fey I feel like I'm inside the card.

I feel you learn some kind of trust with tarot. For me, the Fey went beyond the trust, truth and knowing. It broke down a wall, maybe opened up my intuition more. The Fey makes the trust of tarot magical and then even more real. I don't know how they do it but it's nice to be at the place I'm at because of The Fey.

The Fey softens the RWS, not so serious but direct to the point.The Fey makes us believe in the truth of what the cards are saying, almost like a fairytale.

(don't know if I explained myself properly but it's something like this.)lol thanks for the thread.


LOL- ros; there is something about the nature of the Fey that just has no words....
This was one of those decks that I connected with and for the most part understood right from the start. I could not understand why some people had such a hard time with the deck and getting to know it's meanings. I thought maybe the meanings are different- or the images are to hard to connect with the meanings most people are used to.

I do not have a RW dack so have not studies specifically, and nothing that is really close to it- for the Fey was one of my very firsts once I started collecting.
I had only the fey and the book to help me to know this deck.
As the months went by and I aquired more books and decks- I learned how the Fey do connect and do have the traditional as part of thier being.

Ever see the TV show "sliders"? where they go into alternate worlds- same time same place, different dimentional history and outcome- a parallel world.....This is the Fey. They do not live amongst us, but in thier own little world beside us.
It does not take much to 'cross over' because even though it's different, it is parallel.


As the back cover says
..."it will help you learn to use the cards and also to look at them with the eyes of your soul."

I find the eyes on these Fey people may be what keeps me coming back to them. If the eyes our the windows to our souls maybe this deck has that kind magical current. These Fey speak to our souls and that's what makes them different. We are then intouch with ourselves in a more intimate way? Maybe the eyes tell the story, just like looking at a person, we can see what it going on by their eyes. Just an idea.

In most decks I don't think people have such big eyes. So actually these could be called "Soul Cards"

The Fey is like watching an anitimated movie and who doesn't like the magic in them. They take you to a comfortable place.

RWS is a truth, The Fey takes you to a place where you can believe in the magic with comfort, because there is a truth that goes with it.


I think that in the XXI century we are much more open to the suspension of disbelief than people were a century ago.
There is too much tv, media, and just generic culture that ask us to imagine the "not true".
I think it's like ancient Greece, and all of that Mythology :)
We now tell tales the same way they used.

In short, the connection does not came that much from the symbol used, but from the metalanguage used (what we depict, and the way it does touch our imagination).
This, of course, came true for any deck and not just the Fey one.
I just mean we may switch from symbol to symbol with ease... and the symbolic alphabet is something we may choose (sort of deciding what to get when out for dinner).
As we enter in phase with the symbols of the deck we begin the reading... and we look in a certain direction.

That is at least, what I do when I choose a deck for reading... I let the situation decide :)
(two cents... speaking more generally that just of the Fey. I still feel a bit akward to let myself get personal on the deck, here)


from the seaside! ^_^


RiccardoLS said:
I still feel a bit akward to let myself get personal on the deck, here

LOL- that's funny.....
I hope you get past that akwardness.....
The Fey are so very expressive and lovely.


For RiccardoLS

Riccardo, Yes, I believe your observation about us (current world residents) have a metalanguage today that didn't exist early in the 1900's. We now commonly see monsters as heros in our children's stories, we have fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings, and other broad cultural influences. It's no wonder that a tarot deck like the Fey can be so well accepted and adopted.

Still, we do have to make adjustments. For instance, last week I was looking at the Fey Justice card and could not connect with it so that I could understand it. (I purposely did not look at the book). I was lost on the card's symbology. Only when I read the book did my mental block melt away. As I had noted about some of the other cards, compared to the Waite-Smith decks, using the Fey tarot does force us to change our readings for clients.

Then, I believe that people today ask different questions, lead different lives with differing values, and expect different insights to help them. Yes, the same old health, relationship, work and home issues prevail -- but oftent he questions and answers are more subtle, more complex.




I remember Rachel Pollack saying somewhere that we need to "fall in love with the images" let them get inside of us, and we inside of them. Meditation, visualization, connecting with my deepest self....The Fey Tarot has done this for me as well as the RWS. I don't agree with Lunalafey though. The Fey certainly are in my world. :) Peace and blessings..........Michael


Dave - couldn't agree with you more. Suspend disbelief - I like that.

For the past few days I have been making a list of what the Minors mean to me. What do I agree with as gleaned from books - what do I find from experience so far. I used as a jumping off point the Magical Course in Tarot (good book, btw)

So, I have worked and re-worked my list, searching for the most concise meaning (alternate names for Majors too) and I'm just about done for now. Then it's back to readings again, something I have stopped except for daily draws -- using the Fey of course!! :)

I do not have alternate meanings for the Fey; I read them just as they are. I'm sure subconsious notions are in play in that, but I do not search for book meanings for them. Peek at the book that came with them on occasion, but find that I am not too drawn to that. I think the Fey speak to me just fine without needing an interpreter.

I like the Fey for that reason; I have not had the feeling that I was "wrong" in what they said to me. I haven't thus far felt I needed help in deciphering their messages, warnings, inspirations. (I do need that for WS + clones - ie: Robin Wood). And the Fey folk and countryside do all that - Sometimes hit right on what I am deriding myself over, and sometimes echoing my greatest wishes. The Empress came up yet again just now - actully, it jumped from the pack and landed on the floor here by the computer! She has meanings for me other than the standard Empress explanations found in all the books - so it delights me that she came to be my companion again today. insert *moisture in eyes* here...

Guess I'm "echoing" a sentiment stated above by someone - don't want to get too personal here. But I see, as I write that, that that's what we are free to do here. Tell it like it is. Alissa does this, for example, and it touches me deeply because she speaks of issues I have struggled with as well. Don't we all?

So, let us maybe not name names, but express what these cards/symbols/readings/happenstances mean to us as an individual on the journey -- as we are all on separate journeys yet all together as one.

hmm... guess I better stop at that and go shorten my FIL's pajamas, as he heads to Florida Monday. Ahh yes ... the mundane world interjects its claws once again.