Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights Walk-Through

The Tarot of the Thousand and One Nights was published back in 2005 by Lo Scarabeo, with the artwork collection edited by Pietro Alligo. It’s art deck featuring the works of the late 19th and early 20th century French painter Léon Georges Jean-Baptiste Carré, living around the time Waite and Crowley.

Carré moved to Abd-el-Tif, Algeria and concentrated his body of work on Orientalist subjects. (Orientalism is the European and Western study and commentary on Middle Eastern culture.)

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The Mystical Tarot by Giuliano Costa

I am absolutely charmed and captivated by the Mystical Tarot, a deck by Giuliana Costa and published by Lo Scarabeo in 2017. The artwork is going to be reminiscent of the art style in the classic Sola Busca Tarot, timeless, painstakingly detailed for maximum sign and symbolism intuitive work, and just all around an incredible deck to work with. It lends itself perfectly to a professional tarot reader’s go-to “workhorse deck,” and essentially reads like a Rider-Waite-Smith.

The artwork is magnificent to behold. At the bottom of the Majors, as you can see in the photograph above, are glyph references for the astrological correspondences. The world that these characters in the cards inhabit is both familiar as our world but…also not. It seems to be an other-world as well. The above glimpse of Key IX starts to give a hint as to what I’m talking about (look up in the sky), but as we progress along, you’ll see exactly what I mean.

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The Golden Botticelli Tarot by Lo Scarabeo

There is a tarot deck that has become a prop in my front sitting room. I leave it out on an end table and most of the time, a guest will reach for it and flip through the cards. I always know when that has happened, even if I am in a different room, because immediately thereafter I hear the squeal. “Oh my god! What is this deck? It’s gorgeous!” Then there’s a range of follow-up commentary, from those recognizing the art of Sandro Botticelli, to those who are either “Now this is the most fascinating deck of playing cards I’ve ever seen” to “So is this like a tarot deck, like the psychic fortune-telling cards you use?”

That deck is the Golden Botticelli Tarot designed by A. A. Atanassov and published by Lo Scarabeo. I love the reversible card backs and the ornate design that, to me, captures the Florentine Renaissance.

The cards are a mosaic of imagery from Botticelli paintings piecemealed together digitally. And it’s done with such seamless mastery that you almost can’t tell.

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Triple Goddess Tarot by Jaymi Elford and Franco Rivolli

If you haven’t watched the episode of ArwenTalks where Arwen Lynch interviews author and deck creator Jaymi Elford about the Triple Goddess Tarot, then do so right now. It’s a fantastic interview and Jaymi gives you incredible insights into her deck creation process. I count Jaymi as one of the tarot community folks I’m closest to, so I’ll disclose the potential bias upfront. I adore her, so it’s going to be a bit hard for me to not by extension naturally adore everything she does. However, I’ll try my best to remain neutral and objective. I’ll even throw in some criticism. Promise.

The deck is produced by Lo Scarabeo with art by Franco Rivolli, an Italian illustrator who produces some of the world’s best pagan-inspired art. So the Elford-Rivolli team is going to be a powerhouse. The color palette was well thought out, as you can see above, and I love how Triple Goddess uses the structure of tarot to tell the story of the Triple Goddess, an archetypal motif found across many cultures, East and West, and not just in specific strands of pagan faiths.

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The Infinity Tarot: Deck Review

Infinity Tarot - Box and Cards

One of my favorite tarot bloggers, Ethony, did a great review on this deck. Like Ethony, I thought I might find this deck kitschy, but I didn’t. Even after the initial awe for the pretty shape wore off, I still liked this deck and found it a substantive one to work with.

Infinity Tarot - 03 Card Backs

The Infinity Tarot is named for its lemniscate cutout shape and I confess that the unique shape of the deck is what drew me to it at first. The card backs are reversible and I found the deck quite easy to work with both upright and in reverse.

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Review of the Night Sun Tarot

Night Sun Tarot 01 Cover Carda

Fabio Listrani’s Night Sun Tarot is one of those decks I couldn’t wait to get my little hands on. I would consider this an esoteric tarot deck. On the Majors, you have the astrological, elemental, and Hebrew letter correspondences in the card corners. In the Minors, you have the elementals and decanates. I usually have to hand-write these onto my working decks, but here on the Night Sun, the work is done for you, and done beautifully.

Night Sun Tarot 02 Set

There is a strong Modern Age comic book art style to the Night Sun Tarot, with digitally rendered illustrations. Fabio Listrani, the brainchild behind this exquisite deck, is an Italian artist and graphic designer whose work tends toward the science fiction/fantasy genres of art. He seamlessly blends Eastern and Western esoteric symbolism and cultural references, and updates esoteric tarot for the 21st century with this very original, insightful, and groundbreaking new deck.

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XIII Tarot by Nekro: Deck Review

XIII Tarot - 01 Box Cover

The XIII Tarot by Nekro, published in 2014 by Fournier/Lo Scarabeo (and distributed in North America by Llewellyn) is a Gothic-inspired art deck with ornamental detailing, intense, evocative emotion, and a macabre motif. The art is in grayscale, with select sections of each card digitally enhanced a brilliant red.

The audience for the XIII Tarot deck is going to be aficionados of dark/gothic tarot decks, though without illustrated pips, it’s going to be better suited for Marseille readers.

XIII Tarot - Unillustrated Pips

Many of the reviews for the deck that I read on Amazon complain about the non-illustrated pips, but that didn’t bother me. You just have to know what you’re getting, as a deck buyer. In the context of Nekro’s highly detailed artwork, I like the non-illustrated pips. Illustrated pips, given Nekro’s highly detailed art work, along with the already highly detailed Majors might have been overkill.

Notice how the Majors stand out in a reading spread with the XIII Tarot.
Notice how the Majors stand out in a reading spread with the XIII Tarot.

When the cards are set out in spreads, the images on the Majors step forward beautifully, the Courts speak to us in their respective voices, and the pips provide supplemental information. For me, the deck reads quite well, but I see how visual-spatial-right-brained readers are going to prefer the illustrated pips that you might find in other Gothic decks like the Dark Grimoire Tarot by Michele Penco also by Lo Scarabeo, or the Bohemian Gothic Tarot by Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahony, which sadly, is now out of print (I believe).

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Golden Tarot of Klimt: Deck Review

Klimt Tarot 01 Deck Box

One year in high school I had a spiral bound day planner I bought at a museum gift shop that featured Klimt’s artwork. I carried Klimt around with me everywhere that year and afterward, cut out the full-color prints that appeared in the day planner, framed and placed them around my room. An art poster print of “The Kiss” was hung up in my bedroom through my adolescence and young adulthood. Currently in the halls of my day job office hangs a really nice framed print of “Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” [Also, tell me it isn’t just me– is there or isn’t there something very Nine of Pentacles about that painting.]

Klimt Tarot 19 Card Backs Closeup

Like many artists of his time (Pamela Colman Smith included), Klimt was influenced by Japanese block art. Klimt’s art is bold, sensual, deeply ornate yet symbolic, and iconic of the Art Nouveau and Symbolist Art movements, with mystical tendencies. His art was controversial for its time. Klimt would have been about 50 years old around the time Waite and Smith created their tarot deck.

Klimt Tarot 04 Box and LWB

The Klimt Tarot or Golden Tarot of Klimt by Lo Scarabeo and Llewellyn is one of the most well-done collector’s art deck I’ve seen. There on the box cover you see one of Klimt’s iconic paintings, “Judith I.” The cards are 2.5″ x 4.6″, which fits comfortably in my hands and the smooth texture on the cardstock renders the deck very easy to shuffle and fan for reading purposes. There isn’t much to the Little White Booklet (LWB), as the text in there is short and sweet, and in those few pages, is packed with 6 language translations.

Klimt Tarot 02 Box Side View

On the side of the box pictured above, the top image is from one of my favorite paintings by Klimt, “Medicine (Hygieia),” which so perfectly appears on The Magician card in the deck. While more and more decks are moving to China for printing and manufacturing, these decks are still made in Italy. The box and packaging is finished beautifully and is part of what renders this deck such a rewarding collector’s item. It was first published in 2005 and the brainchild of the Bulgarian-born Atanas Antchev Atanassov. Continue reading “Golden Tarot of Klimt: Deck Review”