I’ve been pining after this deck for some time and it’s finally in my hands!
Tarot of Trees is a gorgeous indie tarot deck by Dana O’Driscoll that works with tree motifs. It is heavily inspired her path as a druid and her deep connection to trees and their spirit.
Tarot of Trees is very reasonably priced for an indie deck, at $25. The cards themselves are smaller than average, about 3.5×2.5in, and I don’t mind at all with my tiny hands. I’m not a fan of the thin card stock- upon removal from the tuck box, one card’s corner had already been bent. Still, I’ve wanted a pocket deck for a while, and these are the perfect size- though technically I’ve already had this deck in my pocket, as I’ve worked with its phone app version.
The original art was hand-painted by the artist Dana O’Driscoll, and you can see her creative process here. I love how whimsical and vibrant each card is, and perhaps with the exception of the wintry Pentacles suit, the colors are so rich they seem to glow from within. If you work with reversals, you’ll be happy to know that the back of the cards are fully reversible.
For the most part, a passing knowledge of the Rider-Waite tradition will suffice for understanding. The deck does have an accompanying LWB, sold separately.
Some of the major arcana’s names have been shifted but not dramatically, for example The Hanged Man to The Inverted Tree and The Wheel of Fortune to The Wheel of the Year, which I think suits this deck’s theme and further grounds the card in the natural rhythms of nature.
Tarot of Trees also includes an extra card, Regeneration, inspired by nature’s power to “heal from her wounds, and to help us heal from our own” even as we are often the cause of both. You can read more about this card and its inspiration here where she offers permaculture design as a healing tool for our scarred connection to the earth that nourishes us.
The minor arcana have their standard names: Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups. These are also grounded further in the natural rhythms by seasons: Wands are paired with summer imagery, bright and warm; Pentacles with winter, chillier tones than I’m used to with the suit; Swords with fall, the colors are fiery and the atmosphere around them filled with tension; Cups with spring, arguably the loveliest of the suits full of floral and watery colors.
Overall, I think it is a great deck for tarot workers of all levels. The art is inviting and not unnecessarily complicated. Dana manages to imbue her trees and landscapes with the essential energy of the cards without eliminating space for intuition. I recommend it especially for folks who love to get lost in the art of a deck and use the traditional meanings as a guide rather than a rigid structure.
A mini deck interview for a mini deck:
She’s a cheeky little thing, and for a deck named after trees doesn’t do too well with standing still. SEVEN OF CUPS came up as what she wanted me to know about her. She’s all about presenting me with the options before me, good or bad, and isn’t so much about the actual decision but the journey in making it. THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR reinforces that reading. She asks me to dive in and meet the journey with all my senses in NINE OF CUPS, which is a lovely complement to the aforementioned cards. She does warn with TWO OF PENTACLES however, that perhaps a different deck might be called for when I need to make a definite black and white decision. The narrow, focused view isn’t what she’s about.