Alongside reading Tarot I also enjoy using other forms of divination such as Oracle cards, Lenormand cards, and runes. Earlier this month Dani’el Norman very kindly sent me her latest deck ‘Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale‘. This modern take on the traditional Tarot fuses two forms of divination, resulting in a bewitchingly beautiful blend of the runes and Tarot.
Odin’s Playbook (A
Norse Tarot Tale) is designed and created by Dani’el Norman. Dani’el is a self-taught designer, illustrator and writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Dani’el grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick – a place that she continues to refer to as ‘home’. She is a self-confessed energy worker, intuitive, crystal enthusiast, writer, light warrior, spiritual and affirmation junkie, mindful meditator, gym buff, yoga lover, and mother. Her main focus in life is to help her family, her friends, and those that she is attracted to throughout life by their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
Shortly after losing her Grandmother, Dani’el’s Mother was diagnosed with cancer. Already armed with books full of information on how to live a positive and healing lifestyle, Dani’el’s Mother began questioning the unknown – what happens to us following this life? In her search for information, Dani’el’s Mother purchased the book ‘Angel Medicine by Doreen Virtue and Dani’el found herself hooked, she then strove to continue learning within this area.
Dani’el and her Mum attended spiritual classes each week between 2005-2008 where they learnt about energy work, Tarot and Oracle cards, meditation, intuition, calling upon guides and how to speak to their higher selves. They found these classes to be hugely informative and Dani’el now refers to the sessions as her Spirituality 101 classes.
“The universe listened to my soul’s cries to learn even more. I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I asked the universe to provide me with a deeper understanding and knowing of who I actually was.”
Dani’el was unfortunately entangled in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship which she continued to endure until 2011 when she finally found the strength to leave. It was however this relationship that revealed to Dani’el who she was and the strength that she possessed. This was an enlightening time for Dani’el and though she spent years healing from that trauma, she took solace in her Mother – her spiritual teacher and her best friend.
Dani’el’s Mother was sadly diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2001 and was given between two to five years to live. Despite her diagnosis, Dani’el’s Mother battled on and proved to herself, and to her family and friends that ‘we are all our own ships master and she had cracked the code’. In January 2017 Doctors confirmed that Dani’el’s Mother had indeed beaten the disease though it was then revealed that she now had Leukemia and following contracting a virus, Dani’el’s Mum sadly passed away in Pembroke, Ontario on April 9th 2017.
Following the loss of her Mother, Dani’el created her own website as a dedication to her Mother’s spirit, and strength, and to continue channelling her knowledge to this physical world. She hopes that her website helps to motivate, enlighten, inspire, and offer knowledge to others as their souls awaken to cosmic shifts in consciousness.
Dani’el moved back from Australia to Canada with her eldest son in October 2022, this was the time she claims to be the start of her spiritual enlightenment into adulthood.
Dani’el has designed and produced two incredible Tarot decks (The Ascension Tarot published in 2020 and Odin’s Playbook Tarot released in early 2022) both of which are now available to view and purchase via her website.
Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale is neatly packaged along with a small guidebook in a stunning, sturdy, colourful cardboard box featuring earthy tones of orange, green, and brown. This beautiful box features awesome affirmations and handy thumb slots for easy access.
Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale comes with a ninety-six page, black and white printed guidebook that includes an introduction, information on the suits and archetypes, three spread examples, a key guide to each of the cards within the major and minor arcana, information upon each of the Elder Futhark runes, a recommended and inspired readings list, a thank you note, and further information upon Dani’el.
Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale was created in 2021 as part of a successful Kickstarter campaign and includes eighty standard Tarot-sized (4.75 inches by 2.75 inches), 350 GSM matt-printed (with Matte UV finish) borderless cards with striking, smooth, blue matt-printed dusting/ edging, and navy/ brown symmetrical imagery featuring Odin himself on the card backs.
Divinatory Differences – Tarot Cards VS Runes
Tarot, first known as Trionfi and later renamed as Tarocchi or Tarock is a pack of playing cards which was developed and has been used as a game since the mid-fifteenth century in various parts of Europe. By the eighteenth century, some Tarot decks began to be used for divination purposes via Tarot card readings and cartomancy, which later led to them being developed for occult purposes. Some believe that Tarot cards have esoteric links to ancient Egypt, Iran, the Kabbalah, Indian Tantra, or the I Ching, though scholarly research has demonstrated that Tarot was originally invented in Northern Italy during the fifteenth century.
Tarot decks traditionally consist of seventy-eight cards split into a major and minor arcana. Much like the common playing card deck, the minor arcana cards within the traditional Tarot deck are made up of four suits, each consisting of fourteen cards including court cards such as the Page, Knight, Queen and King.
Runes date back to ancient proto-Germanic traditions potentially during the 1st century AD. Runes are traditionally made from stone or wood and use the runic alphabet consisting of twenty-four letters. Runes were traditionally used as a method of fortune-telling and seen as a protective tool to ward away bad spirits.
The word ‘Rune’ means ‘secret’, ‘mystery’, ‘a whisper’, or ‘something hidden’. Though rune stones/ cards have just one symbol, each stone/ card actually represents a wide range of information.
Runes first stemmed from the German alphabet which was used by the Nordic Tribes of Northern Europe. The Elder Futhark (named after the initials of the first six runes in the alphabet) was in use up to the 8th century, when other runic symbols were later introduced and the language began to dilute.
Dani’el Norman cleverly combines Tarot cards with Runestones in this vibrant Viking age-style deck. Odin’s Playbook has been specifically created to assist readers in connecting with the energetic magic of the Norsemen and with Odin himself.
Whilst each of the major and minor arcana cards follows the traditional Rider Waite Smith Tarot setup, Dani’el has included visual references to the Elder Futhark runes throughout the deck to highlight their universal correspondence.
As a Norman (meaning North-man) derived from England, many generations of northern blood run through Dani’el. This presence helped her to feel into the energy of the creation of the cards along with connecting to Odin on a daily basis to create this deck.
The Major Arcana
Though the major arcana follows the traditional RWS titling and figures, this deck is far more age and gender-fluid offering a diverse and modern take on the traditional Tarot.
Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale deck includes an additional major arcana card – Odin (The AllFather) alongside a basic key to Odin’s Runes (which readers are to keep separate to the cards for guidance).
The Minor Arcana
Each suit represents a story about a certain individual and their journey as they become the ruler of their story/ suit. Each suit within the deck has been updated and altered by Dani’el; the Cups are now known as ‘Horns’, the Wands have been altered to Staves, the Swords have been changed to ‘Axes’, and the Pentacles have been renamed as ‘Rings’.
Dani’el’s intention was to place the reader directly into the deck in order to encourage them to understand that they themselves are the Tarot. Each court card, therefore, has its own unique stage backdrop with relatable objects surrounding them, and titles have been altered from Pages to Poets, Knights to Sheild-Maidens, Queens to Chieftains, and from Kings to Rulers.
Let’s Walkthrough Odin’s Playbook
In order to further illustrate and explain Odin’s Playbook (A
Norse Tarot Tale), I have put together a detailed walkthrough of both the guidebook and each of the cards within the deck.
Reading With Odin’s Playbook
I’ve spent the past fortnight reading and working with Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale and whilst I adore the artwork and love Dani’el’s idea of combining both the Tarot and rune stones, I just can’t seem to get along with this deck as well as I’d have hoped. Though I often combine Tarot cards, Oracle cards, and Runestones/ cards throughout my daily divination readings, I’ve strangely struggled to connect with a deck which does just that.
Though I greatly admire the quality of this deck and rather like the sensation of the silky, smooth, matt edging within my hands as I shuffle through the cards, the artwork just feels a little too masculine for my liking. Though I understand why Dani’el has chosen to alter the suits to relate to Viking/ Nordic history, I still find the alterations slightly confusing at times and have found myself referring back to the guidebook for reference now and then. Due to this, I would suggest that Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale is certainly not suitable for beginner/ novice readers.
Purchasing & Pricing Information
Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale is available to purchase online from www.danielnorman.ca for $66 (though is on offer from May 2022 for $52.80). Postage fees may vary according to location. However, if like me you are from the UK the deck and postage will set you back $102.87 (£63.85 GBP).
Suitable for advanced readers or Tarot collectors wishing to add something a little different to their divination tools, Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale is a modern, vibrant, bold, and a rather beautiful take on the traditional Tarot. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of this particular deck, I greatly admire Dani’el’s artwork and commend her on attempting to combine two completely alternative forms of divination, she’s certainly achieved a beautiful blend.
For further information on Odin’s Playbook – A
Norse Tarot Tale or Dani’el’s other publications visit www.danielnorman.ca
Disclosure: I was sent the above product for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.