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  • Writer's pictureJW

Pagan days

The "Wheel of the Year" is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, inspired by those of the ancient peoples of Europe. The festivals take place at the solstices and equinoxes, and at the mid-points between them. They are the inspiration for a card deck series of eight by publisher Jocu Playing Cards and artist Evgenia Zhade. The first two decks, Beltane and Lughanasdh, are on Kickstarter right now and the campaign will run until June 28.

Beltane, or May Eve, celebrates fertility and the world getting green again. The card backs of this deck show maypoles and swallows, while the court cards are inspired by love stories like Blodeuwedd and Goronwy Pebr or Culhwch and Olwen. Story booklets are available in the campaign but it's also nice to look them up on the internet right away. I like to read old myths.

Goronwy Pebr and Blodeuwedd
Goronwy Pebr and Blodeuwedd

Lughanasdh is the Harvest festival. The card backs show a bountiful harvest, while the court cards are inspired by Irish mythology. You'll find the God Lugh, his wife Taitliu, the cyclops Balor and more.

Taitliu - All images taken from the Kickstarter campaignn

I liked these cards enough to back the campaign, even before I realized Evgenia Zhade is also the artist of my current favourite deck, the Dark Kingdom. It has recently been added to the campaign as an add-on, though I am not sure how many copies are left.

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