Celtic Tarot Cards Meaning from Nature

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Introduction D.N. Frost

It is with great pleasure that I introduce D.N. Frost, an exciting fantasy author with a passion for Celtic mythology and traditions. She has graciously provided a guest post about the rich symbolism of nature used in Tarot cards. Welcome D. N. Frost! I encourage everyone to learn more about her and the epic saga Tales of the Known World.

 

Guest Post: D.N. Frost |Celtic Tarot Cards Meaning | Apollo’s Raven

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Hello there! My name is D.N.Frost, and I’m the fantasy author, cartographer, and world-builder behind the epic saga Tales of the Known World. I love delving into the mythology and traditions of different cultures, and this guest post for Linnea Tanner was inspired by my love of Celtic mysticism. Enjoy!

The world of the ancient Celts teemed with layers of meaning and symbols drawn from nature. Many of these assorted myths and traditions were amassed in detail by Anna Franklin, a well-known Celtic Pagan authority in the British Isles. One of her books accompanied a Celtic-themed tarot deck, and though tarot only dates back to the 15th century, the book and cards are steeped in ancient Celtic heritage.

This card depicts Scathach, a legendary Celtic warrior woman.

Celtic Tarot Card The Warrior

Scathach, Celtic warrior woman of legend

At her feet, a badger appears as the warrior’s familiar, and from the corner grows the magical herb borage. The name for this plant arose from the ancient Gaelic word borrach, meaning “a brave or courageous person.” Celts often soaked borage leaves in wine, which elevated adrenaline levels to evoke power and courage.

Renowned for her skills and strength, Scathach ran a school for warriors in her fortress on the Isle of Skye. Her name meant “the shadowy one,” and her fortress was known as Dun Scaith, the “Castle of Shadows.” Scathach only trained the adept few who were brave enough to invade her fortress and entreat her tutelage within.

She was most renowned for training Cuchulain, the hero of the Irish Ulster saga. Though she is pictured with a sword while preparing for the Lughnasa games, Scathach is best known for the barbed spear Gae Bulg, which she gave to Cuchulain after he completed his training. Some tales accredit Scathach with the power of prophesy, a gift often attributed to ravens.

For ancient Celts, the badger was regarded as the best familiar for the warrior’s intrepid spirit. Seen as unshakable and grounded, the indomitable badger inspired the path of a warrior with its courage and ferocity. The Celts believed that the badger knew all the secrets of Albion, and that its knowledge arose from the depths of the earth in which it dwelt. The badger taught many lessons to the ancient Celts, including the importance of seeking inner solitude.

This card depicts a raven circling the cloudy sky over a youth lost in thought.

Page of Swords

The Omen of a Circling Raven

In the surrounding mountains, tall pines stand as the tree of heroes and warriors, and swaths of bright daffodils paint the springtime valley. This flower symbolized the instinctive sexual energies of spring, sweeping the earth in magical regeneration.

In the Celtic tradition, pine trees symbolized fertility and rebirth, representing the vivacious spring rather than the desolate winter. Pine was one of the chieftain trees in the ancient Ogham alphabet, and its sturdy spirit especially resonated with Northern Celts and heroes like the warrior Scathach.

Ravens were messengers from the Celtic gods, bringers of wisdom and guidance from another plane. For the Celts, ravens were teachers and protectors, especially for seers and spirit warriors. Because they often circled in storm clouds, ravens were said to be thunderbirds that could herald coming squalls. Ancient Celts viewed ravens as prophetic, and their behavior was often used to auger the outcome of battles.

According to legend, the foresight of ravens warned the Irish god Lugh of the Formorian invasion. The head of the Celtic god Bran, whose name means “raven,” was said to prophesy from White Mount, the future site of the Tower of London. Bran’s head protected Britain from invasion until King Arthur removed it to demonstrate his own dominion over the land, but ravens still roost in the tower. Legend has it that Britain will fall to invaders should Bran’s ravens ever disperse.

I hope you enjoyed this foray into the world of the ancient Celts! For more fun with prophesy and magic, visit me at DNFrost.com, on Twitter @DNFrost13, and on my Facebook page.

My love of cultures and mythology inspired an epic fantasy saga.

Let me send you my free ebook today!

References

  1. Anna Franklin, The Sacred Circle Tarot: A Celtic Pagan Journey; Llewellyn Publications, 2000.
  2. Paul Mason, The Warrior; Mixed media illustration. Sacred Circle Tarot: A Celtic Pagan Journey; Llewellyn Publications, 2000.
  3. Paul Mason, The Page of Swords; Mixed media illustration. Sacred Circle Tarot: A Celtic Pagan Journey; Llewellyn Publications, 2000.
15 Responses to "Celtic Tarot Cards Meaning from Nature"
  1. Edward Orr says:

    Thank you for the information D. Frost. Well written as is your book.

    • Thank you, Edward, for your comments. It was a pleasure to have D.N. Frost as a guest on my blog. She brings in a wealth of information regarding Celtic mythology and symbols. Have a great week.

      Regards,
      Linnea

  2. Aquileana says:

    This guest post is absolutey stunning …. I always get my daily three tarot cards for free at Tarot.com
    Knowing about this deck and its characters is simply amazing!!!!.
    Have you heard of The Wisdom of Avalon Oracle Deck?… It is another classic deck of cards based on the enligh mythology of Avalon, which includes, King Arthur and Merlin, among others~~~~~
    Thanks to both of you for sharing… All my best wishes! Aquileana 😀

    • Dear Aquileana,

      Thank you for your comments regarding the guest post. I also had a lot of fun working with D.N. Frost who brought a new perspective to Celtic mythology and what symbols from nature mean using Tarot cards. Thank you for sharing the other classic cards based on Avalon, one of my favorite tales. I appreciate your continuing support and sharing your love of mythology with me.

      Regards,
      Linnea

  3. Luciana says:

    Hi Linnea and DN

    What a fascinating post. This is another side of Celtic lore you don’t read a lot about. It goes to show how close the Celts and other ancient cultures were aligned and respected nature.

    Thank you for sharing.

    regards
    Luciana

    • Thanks, Luciana, for your comments. I also found the guest blog by DN fascinating as it relates to Celtic mythology lore. I am using some of these concepts in my series. Good luck on the launch of your new novel, In Search of the Golden Serpent. I thoroughly enjoyed how you incorporated Ancient mythology and the lost civilization of Atlantis.

      Best wishes,
      Linnea

  4. Lily Lau says:

    Oh my, what an interesting post you brought us this time! 😀

    • Hi Lily,

      Thank you for your gracious comment. I enjoyed collaborating with D.N. Frost who brought forth another aspect of Celtic lore. Glad you enjoyed you.

      Regards,
      Linnea

  5. maxima says:

    An interesting post!With love maxima

  6. D.N.Frost says:

    Thank you, Edward! I’m delighted you’ve enjoyed this post, as well as my published novel, Awakening.

  7. D.N.Frost says:

    Aquileana, thank you for your kind words! I received this Celtic tarot deck as a birthday gift and have been practicing tarot for over twelve years now. In addition to my fantasy publications, I also provide tarot readings and tarot lessons to those interested. I have seen images of the Wisdom of Avalon deck and it is beautiful.

  8. D.N.Frost says:

    Luciana, I’m delighted you enjoyed this post! Celtic lore seems swaddled in mystery, and Linnea does a wonderful job demystifying the traditions and culture of the ancient Celts. Thank you for reading!

  9. D.N.Frost says:

    Lily, I’m so glad you enjoyed my contribution to Apollo’s Raven! Celtic lore is certainly fascinating.

  10. D.N.Frost says:

    Maxima, thank you for commenting. I’m so glad you enjoyed my exploration of some Celtic symbolism, as depicted in two of my 78 tarot cards. The information seems right at home here on Linnea’s blog.

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