For the ancient Celts the Dragon symbolized fertility or the creation of earth. They believed that the first cell born out of the earth and fertilized from the sky by wind and water was produced by the Dragon. When the ancient druids spoke of Celtic Dragons they referred to Dragon lines, or ley lines. These lines were believed to be places where the most energy, magic and cosmic forces came up through the earth and were where they held their ritual meetings. They believed Dragons were creatures of a parallel world and as such sanctified these meeting places.
In mythology King Arthur was burdened by dreams of Dragons around the time of Mordred’s conception and again before his own death. The Celts long believed that if a king saw a Dragon, ruin would come on the land. Yet it remains a prominent Celtic symbol depicted on the flag of Wales. The motto accompanying the flag reads “Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn” or “The Red Dragon leads the Way”.
The Celtic Dragon tarot has been around for only a few short years. What makes it special are the spells and meditations accompanying the deck which are meant to lead the reader through various exercises in order to summon Dragon energy and perform sacred visualizations.
To illustrate this each deck contains a spell for prosperity. This entails the lighting of a green and gold candle. After they are placed on an altar together with three particular cards an affirmation is repeated and prosperity is welcomed.
The dragon tarot follows the same basic structure as traditional tarot cards. It has 78 cards which are separated into four suits being Pentacles, Cups, Swords and Wands. The cards correlate to Wands with Air and Swords with Fire. There are 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards.
The suits are represented as such
Pentacles is given the meaning of Earth Dragons encompassing the elements of Earth, North and Physical energy
Cups are given the meaning of Water Dragons and encompass the elements of Water, West and Emotional energy
Swords stand for Fire Dragons and their corresponding elements are Fire, South and Your energy
Wands stand for Airborne Dragons with elements of Air, East and Mental
There are a few slight changes in the titles of the Major Arcana and the titles and numbers are depicted in Arabic numerals. The other changes seen are the High Priest being replaced with the Hierophant and the Devil being replaced with Chains. As both the formal ceremonial aspect of the Hierophant and the Devil not being part of Celtic mythology these new representations makes sense.
The Minor Arcana use traditional suits yet their corresponding elements are different. For example Wands are depicted as Air instead of Fire and Swords as Fire instead of Air.
The Suit titles have not changed and the Court cards remain as King, Queen, Knight and Page. What is interesting is that the genders are changed, for instance a Knight may be depicted by a woman. The Celts did not discriminate between men and women and it was common that men and women worked side by side. They also went to war together. This aspect of Celtic tradition has been translated in these cards.
The changes to some images are interesting and show that the Magician is female. They also show the High Priestess as active and dynamic. Women in these Celtic Dragon Tarot cards are depicted as physically strong and powerful. Perhaps these depictions are meant to signify what we know about ancient Celtic women.
Each card in the Major Arcana has a full sized black and white picture of each card and is accompanied by a keyword. Each card is also given a description as well as a divinatory meaning yet there are no reversal meanings.
The creators of these Celtic tarot cards believe that the Dragon is devoted to bringing radiant energy to life within the traditional structure of the tarot. Each image uses Dragons to reflect its meaning and makes use of backgrounds that reflect Celtic history, culture and symbols.
What makes this deck outstanding is the Celtic dragon art on each card and the back of each card is embellished with a Celtic knot design.
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