From board games to calendars, magnet sets and dolls, to blankets and, of course, t-shirts, among so many other things, The Golden Girls have now inspired more merchandise than you can shake your vertubenflugen at. I’ve featured lots of the items that are out there and reviewed a few, but there’s one I’ve been waiting for that finally hit the shelves: tarot cards!
With 78 cards in a typical tarot deck I’ve always thought that this medium would be such a fun and creative way to showcase the Girls along with scenes and references from the show. So I was super excited when I was searching for other Golden Girls stuff a couple of months ago on Amazon, like you do, and found one. I contacted the publisher, and they kindly sent me a deck to review. Sometimes a blogger’s dreams really do come true, folks! Read on for my review of the cards, spreads inspired by the show, and even a sample tarot reading.
The Golden Girls Tarot Cards Review
The cards come packaged in a sturdy paper box with a flip top. This gives the deck a great vintage appeal while also allowing you to keep the cards in the original box. I really appreciate this feature since a lot of decks come in flimsy boxes that you can’t really use in the long term. Each card is fully illustrated in color detail by Chantel de Sousa. The imagery is based on the most well-known tarot design, the Rider-Waite deck. So if you’re familiar with it then you’ll feel right at home here. If you’re new to tarot or just here for the Girls, you’ll still find so much to love about the scenes on the cards, several of which reference specific episodes.
Where this deck truly shines is in the Major Arcana, or the 22 cards that represent the larger, archetypal themes of life. It opens with Rose as The Fool in her CATS costume, which is just too perfect. The three cards above are also stand outs for me, especially Shady Pines as The Tower. I also love Dorothy on the Death card since this is the card that represents my zodiac sign as a Scorpio. It’s one of the cards in the deck that can carry a negative connotation on first glance, but it’s really all about transformation and the never ending quest to learn more about yourself. And Blanche with two buff men in her “Yippee-aye-oh…K-Y!” cowgirl outfit as The Chariot is the best. Gold star! Sophia as The Hierophant and Stan as The Hanged Man also work really well here. Fashion from the show is also well represented throughout the deck. Many specific outfits and costumes are depicted and others reference the 1980’s along with the overall color scheme of the cards.
Since there are four suits that make up the remaining cards, known as the Minor Arcana, it only makes perfect sense for each of the Girls to represent one. Sophia is Wands, Blanche is Pentacles, Rose is Cups, and Dorothy is Swords. I think these were all great choices, and I absolutely love the episodes that are referenced on these cards, like “The Competition” and “The Actor,” as seen above. The men of The Golden Girls aren’t left out, either! There’s Stan, of course, along with George, Big Daddy, Miles, and even Max Winestock, among others. One card I particularly love, too, is the Ten of Cups which shows Rose and Charlie hugging with their backs turned and looking at a little girl in the distance. I think it’s such a sweet way to depict a character that we never see but a relationship that figures prominently in Rose’s life and stories.
Details like that one and others, like Dorothy sitting with a portrait of Stan with swords stuck in his face for the Ten of Swords card, really elevate this deck. It would’ve been easy to create a deck based on the show in a fairly basic way, but this one goes above and beyond. I notice something different every time I look at these cards. Even cards like the Aces that are harder to translate into something related to the show include a Miami-style building and other cute little touches in the background. The Ten of Pentacles in Blanche’s suit is also shown as a peach tree. There are tons of tarot decks on the market now, from the artistic to the esoteric, and pop culture-themed decks have become increasingly, well, popular. Some of these decks are better than others and many can be hard to actually use for readings but, just like I’ve always thought it would, the show translates beautifully into the world of tarot.
Overall, this deck is perfect for new and experienced tarot readers alike. Readers who are fans of the show will also connect with the images in a deeper way to bring out new aspects in the cards. The Golden Girls Tarot Cards is truly a deck that doesn’t disappoint!
Using the Cards
Many tarot decks come with a little white booklet that briefly explains what each card means along with a spread (usually the Celtic Cross), and it would’ve been fun if this deck had included one with references to the show. The deck does include one card with some basic info about how to use the cards, but since I have some experience with tarot myself, I just couldn’t help but to design some spreads based on the show!
There are lots of ways to do tarot readings and many websites and books that you can consult if you’re interested in learning more. I recommend taking a look at this Instructables page if you’re new to tarot. You can use my specially designed spreads with any tarot deck, but obviously you’ll have the most fun using them with The Golden Girls Tarot Cards.
Out On the Lanai
Having trouble accomplishing a goal or feeling stuck? This is a great general purpose spread for gaining insight into one’s life.
- Card 1: An unresolved issue
- Card 2: How to resolve it
- Card 3: Something positive coming your way
- Card 4: A negative aspect to be aware of
- Card 5: What needs work
- Card 6: What you can brush aside
- Card 7: A possible general outcome
- Card 8: Advice for moving forward
Questions about your love life or a relationship? This spread can be used as a reading for yourself or one other person.
- Card 1: Your past
- Card 2: Your present
- Card 3: Hidden agendas
- Card 4: Advice
- Card 5: Possible outcome
Thank You For Being A Friend
What would The Golden Girls tarot cards be without a spread to use with friends? Get the cheesecake and find out what’s special about you and your friends!
- Friend cards: Assign each card in the middle to a different friend. If there are more than 4 friends in the group, simply add a card for each one to the middle, or remove one or two as needed (recommended to use with 2 to 6 friends). You can also include yourself or do this reading for an outside group.
- What Brings You Together: This card reveals the aspects that bring you together as friends and, along with the next card, may be influenced by the friend cards.
- Group Goal: This card closes the reading by giving the group something they can focus on or improve together going forward.
Hi. It’s me, Stan.
This one doesn’t require a spread because it’s just one card! Shuffle the cards and then turn over the top card. Reflect on the symbols on the card and use them as inspiration for your day. You might choose to put the card in a place where you can see it throughout or the day or you could journal about it. Approaching the tarot in this way is great for beginners because it frees you from feeling burdened by the whole deck, which can seem intimidating at first. It also works well for experienced readers if you don’t have time for a whole spread.
I have a very special group of friends who have become an invaluable support system for me over the past year. We stay in touch in a group chat, but we also meet up every couple of months for dinner or lunch (usually pizza), so I thought it would be fun to do a reading for all of us. No thanks to the coronavirus for interrupting our semi-regularly scheduled outing, so I had to do this reading from a distance. This reading was also the inspiration for the Thank You For Being A Friend spread.
The only fair thing to do in this case was to assign the friend cards alphabetically: Arthur, Claire, Lety, Nicole, and Walter. Right away I thought it was interesting that the two guys in the group showed up as the Major Arcana cards in the friend sequence. Both are perfect representations, though. The Devil shows Arthur’s humorous yet sometimes petty nature and, even though this card is associated with Capricorn in the zodiac, the red brings to mind his sign of Cancer and the crab, further emphasizing the pettiness. The Magician makes sense for Walter since we always joke that he has anything you might need at his house and is always ready to lend a hand for a friend in need. Next, I thought it was funny and sort of strange that Nicole showed up as the Knight of Cups and Dr. Jonathan Newman, but it made total sense to me once I gave it some thought. Like him, Nicole is funny, self-deprecating, and knows herself well. This card also represents creativity and moving forward: perfect for Nicole since she’s an artist who’s always working on her craft. I love Lety as the Page of Cups because it looks like Rose is on vacation, and Lety loves to travel! This card also represents trusting your intuition and having a curious nature, both of which make sense for Lety as the resident astrological expert and Internet detective of our group. I show up here as the Page of Swords, which works for me because Dorothy is the one that I’m the most similar to of the Girls. It also represents the quest for knowledge and new ideas which, like myself as a librarian and writer. But I absolutely love that The Star showed up for what brings us together! It’s a happy yet contemplative card that represents how we all support each other while appreciating what makes each of us unique. It also shows how we’re not afraid to go deep in our conservations and tackle tough subjects with compassion. Finally, the Queen of Swords bestows a group goal upon us. She represents communication and being direct about one’s needs. We don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other in person again and we’ve discussed a FaceTime lunch, so we should probably get on that…
I consulted the beautiful Biddy Tarot website for this reading and highly recommend her informative and easy-to-understand interpretations of the cards.
I really hope you enjoyed this post and learning more about tarot! And if you get yourself a deck of The Golden Girls Tarot Cards I also hope you’re inspired to try one of the spreads above.
Support independent bookstores and purchase the deck on Bookshop.org.
The tarot spreads above are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
14 thoughts on “The Golden Girls Tarot Cards”
I gotta get those!
These are so cool.
thanks so much for reviewing the tarot cards. I had a lot of fun working on these and a lot of sleepless nights trying to think of ways to get as much Golden Girls elements in to the cards. I really think you’ll have a lot fo fun just flicking through the cards again and again as there’s a lot of symbolism in them.
Did you notice the Brooklyn Tenement ( where Dorothy lived when she was young ) on the left hand side and Mansion in Georgia (when she leaves the Girls ) on the right of Queen of Swords? What about Stans ‘Dorothy substitute’ Fifi, next to his Emperors throne? Lots to check out!
Hi Chantel! Thank you so much for stopping by! I did notice the mansion in Georgia and Fifi! I’ll have to go back and look for the Brooklyn tenement. Thank you for designing such detailed cards! ❤
I just received my deck today and I am over the moon! Is the King of Cups Dr Jonathan Newman? Thank you so much for creating these. I am a beginner and these definitely give me the spark to learn and grow with the tarot,
I also agree, that a booklet would have been helpful regardless if one has worked with tarot before or not. The majority of decks do have explanation booklets. However, they are beautiful cards. Mine did not include the one explanation card. The cards came from China, which is interesting. The cards are the perfect size for hands for shuffling and not too slippery, bends easily.
The cards you bought from China are counterfeit cards and not published by smith Street Books. They are smaller than the original cards and the card and print quality is inferior.
I just went back to reading the article and it is Dr Newman! Nevermind :D.
My mum just got these for her 80th birthday but was very disappointed to find no booklet for meanings for the cards! I have tarot cards and they have booklets!
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I agree that including a booklet would’ve been a nice touch! The cards are heavily based on the Rider Waite, though, so that info will work, too.
My names Chantel de Sousa, I illustrated the Golden Girls Cards. The illustrations are heavily based on the Rider Waite cards, so if you have a booklet for those you will easily understand the cards.
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Does anyone have a picture of the information card? My deck did not come with one.
Hi there. 🙂 The deck doesn’t come with an information card, but it closely follows the Rider-Waite imagery so any information cards or books that explain that system will work.