The Witchling Academy Tarot by Pamela Chen

The Witchling Academy Tarot is a tarot deck based on the teachings of the Hagakure, the martial writings of Japan’s Samurai Warriors The Hagakure teaches that the best path to prosperity through peace is through a mastery of the three ways of the warrior: the Way of the Warrior, the Way of the Samurai, and the Way of the Ninja.

The Witchling Academy is a Tarot deck of 60 cards that are inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s work. The Tarot is a great way of opening a portal to dimensions unknown to you. The Tarot, or cards, have been used as a tool for divination for thousands of years.

This is a blog about Tarot, Witchcraft, and other odd concepts. Pamela Chen is the artist behind the Witchling Academy Tarot, and she has an interesting writing style.

Earlier this year, Llewellyn published the tarot deck The Witchling Academy, written by Pamela Chen and illustrated by Mindy Zhang, an anime illustrator whose primary medium is ultra-genre and kawaii digital art. Pamela Chen is also the creator of the Crystal Unicorn Tarot (which I will discuss shortly), a spiritual coach and energy healer. You can watch a great video interview with Chen on Wai Asks by another fellow tarot content creator, Wai Yim. word-image-1179 This game takes me back to my childhood, and it’s awesome. The result is a comic inspired by East Asian comic styles, featuring all of our favorite style characters from Witch School. A quirky homage to The Fool’s Journey, the theme of this game is a legendary academy student named Charlie and her adventures in a Harry Potter esque school of witches. She discovers her family history, duels with her nemesis from the wizarding school, learns the basics of spells, masters the elements, meets magical mentors, and makes unforgettable friends. word-image-1180 The guide that accompanies the deck is like an orientation book for newcomers to the Academy of Magic and Sorcery. It even begins with the Witch Academy Charter, which gives you an overview of the academy’s mission, vision, and structure, all of which are a metaphor for your personal spiritual journey as a witch in the real world. word-image-1181 The school (and bridge) offers a comprehensive magical education through four houses, each focused on a specific program. In the House of Wands, use fire magic; in the House of Cups, use potions; in the House of Pentacles, use healing and botany; and in the House of Swords, use combat skills improvement. word-image-1182 I have mixed feelings about the packaging. On the one hand, it’s charming, and I love the grimoire-like atmosphere and the way it opens like a book. But the glossy finish and the cut-out card room detract from the witch’s academy atmosphere, in my opinion. word-image-1183 The cards also slide in this space, so when I pull out a deck, a few always slip into the slots and I have to shake and stir the box to get them out. word-image-1184 Most tarot guides are designed as reference books, not necessarily books to be read from cover to cover. But you will want to read this manual from cover to cover. Chen has done a phenomenal job of immersing you deeper and deeper into the Witches Academy of Magic chapter by chapter. word-image-1185 To prepare the cards, place them on the altar and attach a clear quartz crystal to the top. This will help harmonize and bless your game. In preparation for the readings, the Academy recommends that witches anoint their third eye chakra with incense. word-image-1186 Next, the very first layout to read is the deck alignment, where you draw three cards: 1. What should this card game be to you, witch? 2. How best to learn and work with this game, and 3. What does this card game tell you about your life? I read this and for 1. I have the key XIX : The Sun. This deck will help me achieve my goals and everything around me will bring me joy. 2. The four of clubs. Do you remember the four houses of the Academy? As for me, I want to start the House of Wands training program, hone my fire magic skills, and focus on the wand as a sacred tool. И 3. Key 0 : You idiot! This game will teach me to be more adventurous! I love Chen’s masterful storytelling, which not only takes you into the world of great YA manga, but also teaches you knowledge about tarot that is transferable to other RWS-based games. Although most of the images on the cards show our main character, pink-haired Charlie, we are also introduced to other characters, such as… B. the headmistress of the witchcraft academy, Maria McNally, in Key II: High Priestess. word-image-1187 The guide divides each card value into an affirmation (mundane spell), a magic value, which is a reversed card, and a shadow magic, which is a reversed interpretation of the card. Throughout the pages are small advice quotes from magical mentors that are also woven into the story of Charlie’s apprentice. For example, in the image above, we learn about Charlie’s biological mother, who is a shadow witch and will teach him life lessons related to the tower map. word-image-1188 Each card is like a picture in a manga comic book In the case of the Death card, we see Charlie in the spirit world, where she meets her higher self after losing a magical duel against the Shadow Witch. When she meets her higher self in the spirit world, she is powerfully transformed. word-image-1189 Earlier in The Hermit Map, the illustration tells of the part of the story where Charlie goes to the forbidden section of the school library to find a hidden spell book and discover how to defeat the Shadow Witch. When the Hermit card appears in your readings, cast a spell on yourself: I’m ready to be led by my inner magic. word-image-1190 The aces for each color of the minor elements have a house pattern – a pet. The house of wands is guarded by a phoenix and the house of pentacles by a tanuki, a Japanese raccoon dog. The energy you learn to control in the House of Wands program is the passion with which you use your magical tool, the wand. The House of Wands has a growing line of light bearers. word-image-1191 Graduates of the House of Coins are cooks or guardians of magic or earthly beings. A note on the guide: To get the most out of it, it’s best to start by reading it chapter by chapter, like a novel, to get to know the characters. Otherwise, read the notes on the cards and familiarize yourself with names of characters for which you have no context. But if you read from the beginning, everything becomes clear (like in a comic book). For example, meeting Charlie’s pet, George the parrot. If you zoom in on the green lemniscate grape in Pentacles Two, you will see George sitting on the vine. word-image-1192 What I like about the glossy finish compared to most matte finishes on cardstock is how easily it blends. Therein lies a great mistake. I see Witch Academy Tarot as a cuddly game. A hug game is one you can always count on for uplifting, positive and rewarding messages. Chen’s Witch Academy manual will inspire you, get your motivational juices flowing, and give you a sense of confidence. word-image-1193 It’s not that the game is a game of love and light, not at all. You really have it. It’s like watching a children’s cartoon as an adult and seeing the depth of real life lessons that a two-year-old might miss. word-image-1194 I say it’s a calming and reassuring bridge because it really is like a school – a safe space to learn, to grow and where you can count on positive guidance when you make mistakes or stumble. word-image-1195 The Color of Swords highlights one of the most important storylines in Charlie’s history at the Witch Academy: his rivalry with another student, Lydia. Lydia is the leader of the evil witches and is jealous of Charlie. For example, in Ten Swords, after Charlie defeats Lydia in a sword duel, Lydia and the evil witches send ten swords to hurt Charlie. But with the magic, care and love of his friends, Charlie recovers. Professor Okamoto, a judge who tests swords at the Air Force Base is particularly helpful in Charlie’s recovery. word-image-1196 The court cards of the game are the rulers of each elementary house. The Witch Academy pages are magical creatures known to the High Witch Queens and possess a childlike curiosity. The Knights of the Academy are the hallway guards or controllers that freshmen look up to. Queens are the ultimate witches and represent the highest degree of ability and achievement of witches. The kings are the elemental gods and divine rulers of each house. Digging around a bit in the general commentary on tarot art trends I’ve noticed lately, I’ve come across many games released in the last two years, if not three, in which the traditional masculine energy of tarot has been transformed into a more feminine representation of the illustrations. I’m not saying it’s a new phenomenon – you can see it in the turntables of the 70s – but I think this trend has resurfaced recently. A recent example is the Tarot of Mystical Moments, but that’s just a name that came to mind. I have seen this in many files for 2020 and 2021. Is it just me? *scratches head* word-image-1197 In Tarot Witch Academy, the story of Charlie and the other characters – I’m just speculating here – seems intuitively autobiographical, at least on some level. The way the story is told, the specificity, the voice of the author and the way everything comes together in this tarot deck gives the impression of a memoir told through a fantasy inspired allegory. word-image-1198 This game belongs to a particular genre of manga, often called manga for girl mages or manga for girl witches. The style of the anime is a charming, feminine YA (Young Adult) aesthetic, eminently pink and pastel, but with a surprisingly intelligent, emotional and deep plot. I hope Llewellyn will translate and sell this deck and book set in East Asia, because I think they will get a much bigger market share there. In terms of commercial success, I think the Witches Academy tarot would sell much better there than here in North America. word-image-1199 Chen and Zhang’s Witch Academy Tarot contains more meaning and esoteric content than first impressions would suggest. After reading the entire manual, you’ll have the poignant feeling that Pamela Chen must have created the card game the same way a novelist creates a novel. There is world building here, this world has set magical rules, and the characters come alive through their familiarity. And all this comes on top of a well-written guide to the meanings of the tarot cards. The art of the game embodies all the recognizable RWS symbols and motifs that an RWS reader might find, while fully expressing Zhang’s artistic vision and creativity. A charming and magical pleasure! word-image-1200 FTC Notes: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, Guidelines for the Use of Endorsements and Reviews in Advertising, I have received this game from the publisher for review. Everything I’ve said here honestly and accurately reflects my opinion of the game.


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For most of us, our lives are full of normal. We study at school, go to work, then come home to check emails, spend time with our family, and maybe play with our dog. But for my character, the Witchling Academy’s main character, this is not her life. Being a witch is not a game. It is a responsibility that she has chosen to embrace. And as she grows in her powers, she realizes that she is not alone.. Read more about unique tarot decks and let us know what you think.

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