Oak, Ash and Thorn Tarot Deck Review
Do you love magical forest creatures and nature? What about beautiful artwork that feels like a fairytale come to life? Today I am exploring a stunning tarot deck that delivers on all your forest magic needs, Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot.
Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot
Disclaimer: This article may contain commission or affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Back in early 2020 as the world was turned on its head, many of us sought the guidance of tarot to help us through a wild and crazy time. Personally I was also struggling with grief after he loss of my father, adding to the tumultuous time for me. It was during this period that I turned to tarot in a big way. I joined many online tarot groups and started to really dive into the world of tarot.
Although it had been 30 years since I bought my first tarot deck, I quickly realized the world of tarot has changed a lot and there were so many amazing new decks available. It was very exciting seeing tarot being reimagined in so many different ways.
It was during this time that I started hearing about a Kickstarter for a tarot deck that had a lot of people talking – Oak, Ash & Thorn or OAT. Although I didn’t join the Kickstarter the artwork struck a cord with me and I often thought about the deck. I followed the creator on social media and even joined their mailing list.
It wasn’t until they came out with a second deck, Smoke, Ash & Embers, that I finally took the leap. This second deck was teased when OAT was released with the Possibilities’ card, which was a bonus card featuring a dragon.
I am dragon obsessed! So I was excited to see the second deck was completely dragon themed.
As soon as they were available on the special preorder, I ordered both Oak, Ash & Thorn and Smoke, Ash & Embers from the UK.
And when the decks arrived, it was so worth it! Today I will explore Oak, Ash & Thorn, but soon I will also share my thoughts on Smoke, Ash & Embers.
The creators of the deck are Stephanie Burrows and Adam Oehlers. Both reside in the UK with Stephanie being the creator and Adam the artist behind the gorgeous images.
Stephanie’s inspiration for this deck was the English countryside including the beautiful old trees and woodland creatures. She grew up with her mother reading tarot for friends and family, but Stephanie’s own passion for tarot didn’t start until the passing of her father.
This really resonated with me. I dabbled with tarot on and off since my teen years, but it was the passing of my father that really drew me to the cards.
Adam is the artist behind the bespoke and beautiful artwork in this tarot deck. According to Kickstarter, he loves classic illustrations, old stories and fairy tales. His goal is to tell a story with every illustration. His work is truly magical.
The combination of Stephanie and Adam has produced a truly unique and special tarot deck.
Tarot Deck Flip Through
If you are anything like me, you love to see all the artwork before committing to a deck. So I created this video showing you all the gorgeous cards.
About Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot Deck
Drawing from local English folklore, it is said that when an oak, ash and thorn tree grow entwined on a hillside, it marks a portal to the otherworld or the dwelling of spirits. The magic of these three trees inspired the name of the company that created this deck, Three Trees Tarot.
OAT is based on the popular Rider, Waite, Smith format, making it easy for anyone familiar with Tarot to use, and you can use most Tarot books to help with understanding the cards and their meanings if needed.
Instead of providing a large guidebook, which does not align with the minimalist, eco-friendly approach the deck creators have embraced, there are two additional cards included with the deck. They are double-sided reference cards featuring keywords for each card. These simple prompts work with the art to help you read the cards intuitively.
Due to the incredible, detailed, and well thought out artwork, it is very easy to read these cards. Each one does a beautiful job of telling a story and evoking the spirit, wisdom and nature of each card in a traditional RWS deck. All with stunning, mystical art. However, if you need additional help, a PDF guidebook is available with the purchase of the deck.
Tarot Deck Specs
The tarot cards are standard sized at 70mm x 120mm (2.75″ x 4.75″), with white borders and rounded corners. The cards are a nice thickness and have a wonderful feel. I have very small hands and do find it difficult to shuffle the whole deck at once, but this is a common problem I have with a lot of tarot decks. So I simply adjust my shuffle techniques.
The back of the cards are not reversible due to the medallion in the middle which includes the creatures from each suit. It is a fairly small detail though, so I feel the deck can still be used if you read reversals.
For me, one of the draws of new tarot decks is stunning artwork. Oak, Ash & Thorn delivers in a big way when it comes to the art.
The illustrations are so magical and transport readers to a whimsical woodland filled with creatures to inspire and share wisdom. There is an old vintage feel to the art, which is comforting and feels incredibly familiar and safe. I realize safe might be a strange word to use when talking about a tarot deck, but that is the word that comes to mind when I look at this artwork. The messages are being delivered with a beauty and warmth that makes it feel safe to open yourself to what you are being told by the cards.
When I use this tarot deck, I feel like I am in the arms of my grandmother, listening to her tell me stories and sharing her wisdom and knowledge. It is that kind of warmth and safety that I feel from this deck.
The Major Arcana
The major arcana in Oak, Ash and Thorn is filled with an entire forest of magical creatures. Each card is beautifully represented by this collection of woodland animals, from the spindly legged fawn for the Fool Card to the stag presenting a glowing world to his new fawn, the journey is perfectly presented.
I pulled a few of my favourite Major Arcana Cards from OAT. The artwork on the Hierophant Card and the Wheel of Fortune Card are particular favourites of mine.
The Minor Arcana
The minor arcana continues with the rich messaging and powerful imagery. Each suit has an animal theme, with the animal chosen embracing the spirit of the suit.
- Hares for Pentacles representing the material world and a grounded, bountiful spirit.
- Squirrels for Cups representing feelings, emotions and relationships with a heart-centered spirit.
- Ravens for Swords representing intellect, thoughts and state of mind, with a logical and intelligent spirit.
- Foxes for Wands representing creativity, inspiration and passion with a bold and adventurous spirit.
A Tarot Deck that Cares for the Environment
When looking at tarot decks, the environmental impact of your deck may not be something that comes immediately to mind. But it is a very important part of this deck, which aligns beautifully with the nature based nature of OAT. Oak, Ash and Thorn Tarot is printed sustainably on 400 GSM, FSC accredited, carbon balanced paper with veggie inks. The cards are also protected by matte, anti-scuff laminate which gives the cards a wonderful feel in the hand.
Tarot Greeting Spread
When I get a new tarot deck, after cleansing and getting to know the deck, I like to do a Greeting Spread. I did a three card pull and thought it would be fun to share it as part of this review.
- What should I know about this deck?
- How can I best work with this deck?
- What can I expect from working with this deck?
- Ten of Pentacles – Security and Family Matters. This deck is going to focus on what truly matters, those we love and helping foster those important lifelong connections. It will help build a strong foundation upon which I can grow. This will be done in a secure and safe way.
- Two of Cups – Sharing and Togetherness. OAT is going to work best for me if I put in as much as I want to get out of my time with the deck. The more time I spend together with this deck, the more little details and messages pop out. Connections are key and I need to focus on building that connection with the deck to gain the most from my practice with it.
- The Magician – Influence, Resourcefulness, Opportunity. This card is all about learning to tap into our tools, our powers, our talents, and learn how to use what we have to create those opportunities that will aid us on our journey. The Magician speaks to using our tools to manifest our dreams and desires into reality. Through working with this deck it will help me become stronger, better, more in tune and ready when those opportunities come. Working with OAT will help me manifest my dreams and desires. Talk about an amazing card pull!
When I revisited this this reading after using the deck for a few months, and thought about the cards, it was exactly what I should have expected from this magical deck that provides such a safe space for learning and growth.
Oak, Ash & Thorn is a truly unique tarot deck. It is inviting, it is whimsical, and it has a special magic that makes you want to dive into the world of the woodland creatures featured on each card. This tarot deck is ready to take readers on a wonderful journey and provide a truly joyful experience.
If you are interested in buying Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot, you can purchase it directly from the creator on the Three Trees Tarot website.