One of the things I like most about being on social media is meeting people I may not have otherwise. One such happy synchronicity is my connection with artist Pamela Steele. Steele is the creator and illustrator of the Steele Wizard Tarot, among other Tarot and Oracle card decks. She kindly gifted me a copy of the Steele Wizard Tarot deck. It is enchanting and powerful, and I was immediately drawn to its energy.
Steele, who has been a Tarot practitioner for decades, shared with me her long-held vision of bringing Tarot into the mainstream. She sees Tarot not just as a divination tool but rather as a tool for spiritual and personal development. I totally agree with that viewpoint and the Steel Wizard Tarot comes through beautifully in this regard.
First published in 2006, the Steele Wizard Tarot is an 88-card deck that follows the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. It includes four additional court cards—Maidens for each suit. It also has six additional Major Arcana cards that are placed after the World card—in order, the Weaver, the Universe, Truth, Evolution, Soul Twins, and I AM. I have found that these cards add a rich resonance to the readings in which they appear.
The illustrations are beautiful and resonant. The scenes are set in a fully realized fantasy kingdom where both magic and simplicity play a part. While there is a touch of the supernatural, there is also evidence of real human struggle. Those who are familiar with the RWS system will be able to follow along. However, the pictures are not exact duplications and many include some subtle and interesting differences. One example is the Six of Swords, which shows only one person in the boat and the swords are not taken with them, but left behind. In the Five of Cups, only two cups are spilled over and three cups remain standing. The Strength card (not pictured) features a dragon instead of a lion.
Among the court cards, the Maiden comes between the Page and the Knight, giving a more nuanced transition between these youthful characters. In the guidebook, Steele gives brief interpretations of the cards upright and reversed, yet strongly encourages the reader to use their intuition when it comes to card meanings. Generally speaking, though, as I understand her guidelines, the Pages carry the elemental energies of new beginnings as it relates to the suit. The Maiden is an introspective energy and the Knights indicate outward action.
The Major Arcana in this deck is similar to the traditional Rider Waite Fool’s journey in some ways and different in other ways. In the Steele Wizard Tarot, Death is called “Transition” and the Devil is “Materialism.”
The Weaver, according to the guidelines, “shows you where you are on your path”—your destiny, if you will—following the events of the World card. The Universe indicates an awareness of infinite possibilities, not just those confined to 3D existence. Truth represents authenticity as you allow yourself to be seen for who you truly are. For me, Soul Twins is essentially the “shadow work” card—that is, the ability to accept yourself for who you are and who you are not, and loving yourself unconditionally. Evolution represents personal/spiritual growth in new dimensions across the expanse of the universe. And finally, the I Am card represents the awareness that each of us are connected as individual expressions of Source (unity consciousness).
The deck is rich with meaning and I love working with it. I recommend it for newbies and experienced readers alike. The third edition of this deck will be released in 2023. Visit Pamela Steele’s website for more details.