The Goblin Market Tarot: In Search of Faery Gold
John Matthews, art by Charles Newington
Watkins Publishing (Dec 14, 2021)
Reviewed by Wendy Stokes

This tarot deck is loosely inspired by the dreamlike poem The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (sister of Dante Gabriel) and was written in 1862 when she was 32 years old. It is a poem of innocence, temptation, indulgence, redemption and sacrifice. You will find it rich in wild abandon, naked naughtiness, witchy wonder, charms, spells, mystery, mischief, strangeness and forbidden secrets, with fruits, vines and flowers, in mossy glades and forest streams, and with enjoyable, witty and sometimes tricky and fancy characters that are easy to bring to life in your readings!

Instructions are provided on how to work with this deck with examples of spread readings. Meanings are provided in 200 words for Majors and 100 for Minors, with upside and downside keywords. There are, in addition to the 78 Tarot Cards, The Sisters which are 2 Wild Cards: The One Who Went into Faery and The One Who Stayed at Home.

Trump archetypes are retitled to set the scene of faeries of all kinds, taken from this poem and other folklore traditions. The Court Cards of Porter, Knight, Lady and Lords of Platters, Crowns, Cups and Wands. Suggested spreads are The Goblin Market Stall (11 Cards), The Four Fruits (4 Cards), The Goblin Market Exchange (2 Cards), Counting Out the Cards (a chant), and The Sisters (4 Cards).

Excellent card stock, first class illustration reproduction even under a magnifying glass. Recommended for the quirkiest of readings!

There is an abridged and adapted CD ‘The Goblin Market Album’, by Julian Littman of Steeleye Span, with Caitlin Matthews, Jane Milligan and other artists.