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Published August 24, 2023 Updated October 12, 2023

Disney Villains Tarot Deck

The Disney Villains tarot deck by Insight Editions emphasises iconic villains, merging traditional tarot with Disney narratives, making it an approachable blend of pop culture and modern mysticism.

2021 USA Insight Editions Disney Ellie Goldwine Animation Movies & Film Pop Culture Tarot Add to Collection

Disney Villains tarot deck produced for Disney by Insight Editions offers a tarot experience centred around well-known Disney villain characters such as Maleficent, Ursula, Captain Hook and Jafar, among others. Drawing from Disney’s vast intellectual property, the deck leverages iconic villains from various animated films such as 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and more. The focus on villains instead of the customary heroes, princes and princesses is a fresh take on the tarot, adding a layer of familiarity with a unique twist.

Above: a selection of cards from the Disney Villains Tarot includes: The Queen of Hearts from "Alice in Wonderland" representing Judgment; the Wicked Witch from "Snow White" as the Seven of Wands; and Captain Hook from Peter Pan as the King of Cups.

This intertwining of popular culture with tarot signals an interesting shift. The Disney Villains tarot pack emphasises the darker aspects of each card due to its villain-focused theme, such as Mother Gothel (the main antagonist of Disney's 2010 animated feature film Tangled) capturing the Empress's more malevolent traits. Though offering a unique perspective, the emphasis on darker elements may limit its appeal for those seeking a broader perspective from tarot.

Ellie Goldwine's captivating illustrations paint prominent Disney villains in rich shades of purple and green. The packaging includes the comprehensive Disney Villains Tarot Deck Guidebook, a full-colour book to understand each card's meanings, and includes creative Disney-branded tarot spreads such as "Ursula’s Cauldron Tarot Spread" (see sidebar below).

The Disney Villains tarot pack could be seen as a "Disneyfication" of the traditional mystical tarot experience, replacing tarot's complexity with narratives younger audiences can relate to. This modification makes the deck approachable for mass consumption, taking a practice that can appear intimidating and making it more relatable without overwhelming newcomers.

Above: the Ursula's Cauldron Tarot Spread, inspired by the infamous sea witch Ursula from Disney's "The Little Mermaid". In the movie, Ursula is a manipulative sorceress known for granting wishes at a high price. This spread, however, empowers you to create your own fate, illustrating your current dilemma, goal, obstacle, means to overcome it, and the ensuing transformation and "create your own happily ever after".

The guidebook, written by Minerva Siegel, is entirely “Disneyfied”, introducing basic tarot concepts cleverly woven into the Disney universe. This modern framing of the tarot aligns with the broader trend of the Modern Esoteric Lifestyle. Disney's approach reflects the younger generations' personal identity, transforming an esoteric and occult practice into a more relatable, mass-consumable product.

By portraying the villains as positive cards, this deck acknowledges the complex nature of human nature itself, exploring not only the darker aspects but also finding empathy in traditionally negative traits. This stands as an example of how contemporary cultural products can be integrated into historical spiritual practices, bridging the gap between the mystical and the familiar.

In the “Caring For Your Deck” section of the guidebook, Disney encourages owners to “energetically cleanse your deck regularly,” and suggests “placing your deck in moonlight overnight can cleanse and refresh your cards” and to “use crystals; selenite and black tourmaline make wonderful cleansing tools”, thus encapsulating modern mysticism with pop culture. This fusion shows how tarot's evolution mirrors societal shifts towards individualism, self-expression, and personal exploration, reflecting a trend of branded spirituality that is accessible and personally relevant.

The Disney Villains deck adds to the expanding selection of individualised and commercialised tarot, where personal meaning and connection are paramount. Its modern adaptation may lead to increased engagement and understanding, demonstrating how tarot continues to adapt and resonate with modern beliefs and desires. Additionally, it acknowledges a playful aspect of tarot, where decks like this one can also be used simply for fun, not only for introspection and self-discovery. It represents a shift in what was traditionally a mystical practice into an experience accessible and appealing to all, while maintaining the spiritual connection that tarot offers


Major Arcana


Minor Arcana: Coins


Minor Arcana: Cups


Minor Arcana: Swords


Minor Arcana: Wands

References

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3 Articles

By Jinny Wintle

Member since August 02, 2023


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