The Halloween Tarot - Kipling West
“Successful Tarot readings are based on insight into what you *do* see, and whatever flashes of insight into your own life the pictures may offer you. In fact, think of yourself as the black cat that appears in every card of the Halloween deck. He is your touchstone, and travels through the deck with you as your companion.” – From the companion book











For quite some time, I’ve had my eye on The Halloween Tarot deck and book set by Kipling West (illustrator) and Karin Lee (companion book and LWB author). Although I assumed I’d be pleased when I eventually bought them, I had no idea just how thrilling it would be to actually SEE the deck!

While the outstanding cartoon-like artwork of The Halloween Tarot is colorful and clever, I wasn’t prepared for the intuitive and symbolic richness of the cards. Designing many of the cards based on Rider-Waite iconography—but tweaked and twisted to incorporate themes from Halloween, old monster movies, circus images, and the German-made “Vegetable People” that were popular Halloween toys/decorations in 1920’s America—Kipling West has given Tarot an influx of fresh perspective—while still paying homage to ancient esoteric symbolism.

As I went through the deck one card at a time, I noticed how certain phrases popped into my head—a silent commentary to the arresting depictions—and a very good sign that this is a deck that would “speak” to me.

From the terrified man strapped to the ever-turning Wheel (and the target of knife-throwing!), to the experimenting mad scientist in The Hermit—the jolly Pumpkin Man careening through paved cemetery roads in a hearse (The Chariot) to a chained Frankenstein fixed on his cement throne (The Emperor), associations both practical and divine made themselves known.

Reading the delightful illustrated 137-page companion book was more than just a treat: it provided solid, yet innovative, ways to see and interpret the cards (including upright and reversed meanings). While you *can* buy The Halloween Tarot by itself—and it *does* include a LWB by Karin Lee—the companion book found in the box set is a not-to-be-missed traveling companion through this particular deck.

The suits of the Minor Arcana are Ghosts (Cups), Imps (Wands), Bats (Swords) and Pumpkins (Coins)—and the Court Cards follow the Page, Knight, Queen, and King rendering. The whimsical orange and black card backings are fully reversible, depicting a black cat, spider, smiling skulls, bats, vines, stars, full moon, and an all-seeing eye in the center.

There is no nudity in The Halloween Tarot, nor are the images gruesome or threatening—making it a *wonderful* for deck for children. (My 8-year-old son is enraptured with both the cards and book!) But make no mistake: the light-hearted appearance of the cards belies the abundant symbolism nestled within the images, as well as the rich repository for intuitive insights.

I was blown away by a three card reading I performed with this deck, mostly because two of the cards contained specific (to me) references about a book I was reading—a direct answer to my unspoken query about my spiritual path. So if you’re tempted to think that The Halloween Tarot is only for holiday readings or as a quirky, light-weight addition to a deck collection, think again: this is a great reading deck than can also speak to weightier matters!

If you’re a huge fan of Halloween, there’s no question you’ll love this deck. However, even for those who *aren’t* rabid for this particular holiday or its accoutrements, a charming, readable deck awaits you—no matter *what* time of the year!

Below are 10 images from this deck:


































































Below are 10 images from this deck:
































Related Articles
The Back in Time Tarot Book - Janet Boyer
The Fairy Tale Tarot - Lisa Hunt
Legacy of the Divine Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Silver Era Tarot - Aunia Kahn
Shadowscapes Tarot - Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
ShadowFox Tarot - Richard and Jennifer ShadowFox
Twilight Realm A Tarot of Faery - Beth Wilder
Otherworld Tarot - Alison Williams and Sarah Nowell
Morgan's Tarot - Morgan Robbins and Darshan Chorpash
Shining Angels Tarot – Giuditta Dembech and Federico Penco
Heart Tarot - Maria Distefano
Imperial Dragon Oracle (Majors Only) - Andy Baggott and Peter Pracownik
Hallmark Tarot - Darla Hallmark
Hezicos Tarot - Mary Griffin
The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Animal Lords - Angelo Giannini
Tarot of the Sweet Twilight - Cristina Benintende
The Transparent Tarot - Emily Carding
Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Smith Waite Centennial Tarot)
Paulina Tarot - Paulina Cassidy
Mythical Goddess Tarot - Sage Holloway and Katherine Skaggs
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess Deck (Majors Only) - Pamela Wells
Quantum Tarot - Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Tell-Me Tarot - Arik Eyal and Nir Cassuto
Trump L’oeil: Tarot of Portmeirion - Craig Conley
Pirate Tarot - Lucas and Carrie Amodio; Liz "Galindorf" Harper
Dark Grimoire Tarot - Michele Panco
Deviant Moon Tarot - Patrick Valenza
The Alchemical Tarot Renewed - Robert M. Place
Faerie Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
The Truth-Seeker's Tarot - David Fontana
Dark Grimoire Tarot - Michele Panco
Undersea Tarot - Frank Fradella
Dark Grimoire Tarot - Michele Panco
Deviant Moon Tarot - Patrick Valenza
The Alchemical Tarot Renewed - Robert M. Place
Pearls of Wisdom Tarot - Roxi Sim and Caeli Fullbrite
Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot - Graham Cameron
Tarot of the Angels - Arturo Picca & Giordano Berti
Circle of Life Tarot - Maria Distefano
Pictorial Key Tarot - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Pirates - Bepi Vigna, Michele Benevento, & Arturro Picca
Lo Scarabeo Tarot - Mark McElroy and Anna Lazzarini
Fantastical Creatures Tarot - Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway
Sorcerers Tarot - Antonella Castelli
Jean Noblet Tarot - Jean-Claude Flornoy
Sharman-Caselli Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Universal Fantasy Tarot - Paolo Martinello
Vanessa Tarot - Lynyrd Narciso
Mystic Faerie Tarot - Linda Ravenscroft and Barbara Moore
UFO Tarot - Arturo Picca
The Arthurian Tarot (2007 Version) - Caitlín and John Matthews
Forest Folklore Tarot - Kessia Beverley-Smith
Napo Tarot - Betty Lopez and Napo
Easy Tarot Kit (Gilded Tarot) - Josephine Ellershaw
Crystal Tarot - Elisabetta Trevisan
Universal Fantasy Tarot - Paolo Martinello
Fantastical Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
Fenestra Tarot - Chatriya Hemharnvibul
The Instant Tarot Reader (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Tarot Discovery Kit (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Medieval Enchantment - The NIgel Jackson Tarot
The Victorian Romantic Tarot – Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
The Tarot of Oz - David Sexton
Tarot of the Dead - Monica Knighton
The Tarot of Prague - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of the Spirit World – Robert De Angelis
My Tarot: Colour Your Own Deck - Juliet Sharman-Burke
The Llewellyn Tarot - Anna-Marie Ferguson
The World Spirit Tarot - Lauren O'Leary and Jessica Godino
Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Animals Divine Tarot - Lisa Hunt
WorldTree Tarot - Ann Cass
Tarot of Reflections – Francesco Ciampi and Pietro Alligo
Tarot of Metamorphosis – M. Filadoro and L. Di Giammarino
Fairytale Tarot - Karen Mahony, Alex Ukolov, and Irena Triskova
Transformational Tarot - Arnell Ando
Da Vinci Tarot - Mark McElroy, Iassen Ghuiselev, and Atanas Atanassov
Rohrig Tarot - Carl-W. Rohrig
True Love Tarot - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
Babylonian Tarot - Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Pagan Tarot - Gina Pace
Golden Tarot of Klimt - A.A. Atanassov
The Bright Idea Deck - Mark McElroy
Archeon Tarot - Timothy Lantz
Housewives Tarot - Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards - Corrine Kenner
Tarot of Dreams - Ciro Marchetti and Lee Bursten
Revelations Tarot - Zach Wong
Tarot of the Four Elements - Isha Lerner and Amy Ericksen
DruidCraft Tarot - Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm; Will Worthington
Gilded Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Oracle Tarot - Lucy Cavendish
Golden Tarot - Kat Black
Tarot de Paris - J. Philip Thomas
The Quest Tarot - Joseph Ernest Martin
Learning Tarot Spreads - Joan Bunning
The Everything Tarot Book (2nd Edition) - Skye Alexander
Tarot Discovery Kit - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
The Instant Tarot Reader - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Llewellyn's 2007 Tarot Reader
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Mary K. Greer
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Mark McElroy
Tarot Tells the Tale - James Ricklef
Tarot Journaling - Corrine Kenner
Everyday Tarot: A Choice Centered Approach - Gail Fairfield
The Encyclopedia of Tarot Volume IV - Stuart Kaplan and Jean Huets
The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor - Wilma Carroll
Seeker: The Tarot Unveiled - Rachel Pollack
Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader
Tarot Workbook - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Tarot for Life - Prospero
Tarot Tips - Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone
What's in the Cards For You? - Mark McElroy
Power Tarot: More Than 100 Spreads - Trish Magregor and Phyllis Vega
What Tarot Can Do For You: Your Future in the Cards - Barbara Moore

Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.