Tarocchi dei Celti (Tarot of the Celts) – Majors Only Deck

Tarocchi dei Celti, or Tarot of the Celts, is a Majors only deck published in Italian. The artwork is done by Italian illustrator Antonio Lupatelli (1930 – 2018), “evoking the ancient people of the Celts, with illustrations that are full of humor and sweetness” (thank you, Google Translate).

Laughs nervously. Okay, I’m wholly unqualified to be reviewing this deck. I have no idea what any of the key titles say, and when I tried typing the words into Google Translate, for instance with “Fintan mac Bochra,” the application tells me this phrase doesn’t exist in Italian, and in Arabic, allegedly it means “Venta is not good.” Not only is there the language barrier, there’s also the cultural barrier– I’m not all that familiar with Celtic mythology.

Ah, wait a minute– now if I type in a whole paragraph, the translation result is better. For Key 0 (il Matto), it’s Fintan mac Bóchra, and that’s a name. He was a Druid known as “The Wise.” I like that play of Fintan the Wise on the tarot Fool card. The salmon pictured on the card is a reference to Fintan being able to shape-shift into a salmon, and a reference to the Salmon of Knowledge in Irish lore.

As for the artwork, there’s certainly a whimsy to these illustrations. Of what I can read, note Morrigan for Key III (The Empress card). You may need to click on the above image file for a zoomed-in close-up view. Oh, and I’m guessing Key II (The High Priestess) is Brig or Brigid.

Due to a severe lacking in my knowledge of Celtic mythology, I’m not going to comment on any of the associations, so whether The Morrigan as the tarot Empress card makes any sense… I have neither the information nor knowledge to offer intelligent commentary. =)

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