New Orleans Voodoo Tarot deck Review and Introduction

By insightful | Tarot Deck Reviews

by Louis Martinié and Sallie Ann Glassman; illustrated by Sallie Ann Glassman

published by Destiny Books: Vermont, 1992

Published as a book and card set; no pamphlet included.

Suits: Petro (Fire), Congo (Water). Rada (Air), Santería (Earth

Court cards: Houngan (drum), Mambo (snake), La Place (crossroads), Hounsis (calabash) for the Petro, Congo and Rada suits. Santero, Santera, Orianté, and Yauguó for the Santería suit.

Major Arcana:

0.World Egg
1. Dr John
2. Marie Laveau
3. Ayizan
4. Loco
5. Master of the head
6. Marassa
7. Dance
8. Possession
9. Couche
10. The market
11. Secret Societies
12. Zombi
13. Ti Bon Ange
14. Courir le Mardi Gras
15. Deluge
16. Z’Etoile
17. Magick Mirror
18. Gros Bon Ange
19.Ancstors
20. Canival
Wild card: The Barons Card

Reviews of this deck:

Absolutely one of my top 5 decks. Requires an affinity for the tradition & study of the great book that comes with the deck. The dedication of the deck as delineated in the can be quite an experience.


I primarily like this deck for the striking art work of Sallie Ann Glassman. To me it’s not really a tarot, but an oracle deck with 78 cards It does provide some very spot on readings for me.


I have used this deck with people that follow Voodoo,Voudoun Santeria,Palo Mayombe, Obeah, and such. A few of them had this deck! I have also used it with those that don’t follow those religions. I don’t remember if any were scared with it? I don’t think so. It’s one of my older decks, i do’t use it much anymore.


Well, it’s my favorite deck of all time, and one I use primarily for personal spiritual matters. It’s a deck that requires dedicated study to truly come to understand in its entirety because of the correlation with Voodoo and Santería. If you are a practitioner (or simply interested in it) and are familiar with the loa and/or orishas, it provides a rich, wonderful overlay to more traditional Tarot meanings. I agree that the book is great. I also have Sallie Ann Glassman’s book Voodoo Visions which is a lovely accompaniment to the deck (she wrote it to give more insights into each of the cards). Enjoy it!


I have this Deck. It is divided into different disciplines of Voodoo, as well as many of the “lowah’s” (guardian spirits) being expressed in the pip/court cards. Papa John is depicted as the Magician and Marie LeVeaux the High Priestess. I am a student of many different religions and love new orleans and have studied Marie LeVeaux. All that being said, I did not find this a good deck (for me) in learning anything about Voodoo , and I find the images a little too primal for my tastes, as such I do not use it for divination of any type.


I chose this deck on the heels of reading “Voodoo Dreams” (a novelized version of the life of Marie LeVeau-which I found quite captivating). At that time, I saw that Marie LeVeau was the High Priestess, and so, immediately ordered the deck. Which turned out to be an error on my part because I don’t conduct personal explorations, tarot journaling, I don’t read for clients with this deck. I got it…and ask they say in the recording business “It just kind of laid there”. I had thought, at some point I might utilize it at a “Theme” event or party where I was conducting readings. Recently I attended a party where the Theme was Mardi Gras…and this deck completely slipped my mind. I doubt very much I would have used it. Oh well.


I adore the deck. It’s a favorite and I love the unique art style of Sallie Ann Glassman, who also owns a botanica in LA. I find there is a watery aspect to the entire deck, and it’s one of two I use when I need to go deeper than usual. If you already love NoLa voodoo traditions, then you are likely to understand the deck easier. If you already know the basic tarot well, this still might be a deck one needs to take the time to get to know on its own merits, as it’s not just a redraw of Rider Waite


I’ve had it for a long time, though I’ve only just recently decided to start using it. The theme always seemed too complex until now; I’ve found that it actually parallels standard tarot motifs, once you get past the thematic alterations.
The imagery is very bold, dark, and powerful. I like that, especially since a lot of my other working decks right now are tending toward the pretty, light, and gentle end of the spectrum.


I own two copies (1 was a gift). Love it but you know those Vodou Gods- very demanding deck with a mind of it’s own! I agree with Tauni, there is some complexity to the deck and if I remember correctly it follows the Thoth in theme. One should really read the book that comes with the deck and not flippantly pick up the deck and start reading, IMO. The book doesn’t have regular meanings with the Vodou deites thrown in here or there as a gesture. The book has been thought out and deity meanings applied. Now whether one agrees or not with the book may be another matter but care has gone into this book. There are some exercises included such as a possession using the deck for a reading. Interesting and not run-of-the-mill. Some love this deck, others find it makes them uncomfortable. It’s a different deck/book with purpose. Hope this helps.


I used it a lot for few years. I really liked it. It is certainly the kind of deck that reaches back into your life when you work with it. Those spirits are close to this world and will answer if you start talking to them. Certainly not for everyone.


Questions and Answers:

Q: What’s the connection between New Orleans Voodoo and tarot?

A:  None what so ever.

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(2) comments

Gary Void

Since I’ve heard about the New Orleans Voodoo deck in its infancy, I finally got it. I’ve always felt attuned to New Orleans in fact and lived there for six months. What a wonderful city. I’m not disappointed in the deck either. I can tell, though I haven’t looked at it in it totality yet, that it is a well planned, well thought out deck and the book that the deck comes with compares traditional tarot with to the voodoo deck. I’m not into voodoo, but since I lived in New Orleans, Voodoo is part of that culture. I still feel called to go back there. I plan on buying a house there. I love that city. But for anyone interested in Voodoo or just want a non traditional deck, check it out. As I study it and work with the deck, my favorite is still the Thoth deck, I’ll keep you posted. The book does cover kabalah as well.

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Becky Rodriguez

This deck expands far beyond the traditional Rider-Waite deck to embrace the foundations of New Orleans Voodoo. I found the deck’s to be intriguing but very complicated. This deck is good for getting a good concept of the basic ideas surrounding the mysterious religious tradition of voodoo. I purchased this in a book/deck set and must say that while the images on the cards were not the prettiest in town, they invoked a deep curiosity. Some images, such as Madame La Lune card reminded me of Matisse’s La Musique. The structure of the deck is founded on the Tree of Life. As far as pulling the deck out and doing a reading, I wouldn’t be able too without a good study of the book that accompanies this deck. This deck’s colors are strong, and the deck itself feels strong.

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