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Crystal Tarot (Tarot Card Deck) by Lo Scarabeo (2001-09-01) Cards – 1800
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The deconstructed approach she takes to rendering reflected light and planar forms (for example, in her renderings of folds in clothing,) is just incredible! She has an amazing sense of pattern, and how to use pattern to "sculpt" her figures into being.
The Trumps are beautiful, and like the rest of the deck, each has a rich, jewel-like feel. They tend to follow the generally accepted conventions for representing the characters of the trumps, but their rendering is opulent and spectacular.
However, i think this tarot really shines when it comes to its Pips.
Now, i am reading on this comment section that some folks dont like the pips, since they only show the general suit symbol, and multiply these as per the number on the card. I dont think that criticism is really fair to the deck.
Because the thing is, Trevision embedded those suite symbols in some wonderfully rich landscapes with dream like arabesques of scenery woven all around the suite symbols. The landscapes tend to be secondary to the suite symbols, but they curl around the composition in mysterious vine-like spurts. Personally, I think they are some of the best pips I have ever seen! (But that's just my taste.)
The ONLY complaint I would have about this deck is that the cards have bright white boarders. I dont think that was a good choice for them.
The stark color of the white fights against the bold, saturated colors of the cards. It would have been better to use a black or grey border color. If Lo Scarabeo ever reprinted these, it should be with black borders to really set the images off!
That being said, this deck is an absolute visual delight... 5 STARS!
The only reason I've given it a 4 and not a 5 ☆ rating is due to their unfortunate borders.
There is so much depth to the Majors--I feel I could step right into the card and enter this unusual world created by Ms. Trevisan. One of my favorite cards is Justice, where a stunning robe of electric magenta cascades over the Lady holding the sword and the scales. And the Strength card? The patient, persevering woman--both hands on the head of a feisty lion-- looks at us as if to say "I'm tying to hold this together--but how much longer?!"
Imbued with personality, the Court cards are exceptional. The King of Pentacles sits among craggy rocks, almost at one with the cavernous landscape. I especially love the Knave of Swords, who rests his hands on the hilt of his weapon, looking downward at the chessboard upon which he stands.
I bought the Crystal Tarot based on an online review that showed only four Majors and two Aces. While the Majors are stunning, my heart fell when I saw the Minor Arcana. While a few of the Minors are quite clever--the 3 of Pentacles portrays glyphs of the three Earth signs (Virgo, Taurus and Capricorn) embossed on the coins--most of the numbered cards are unremarkable. In fact, the 7, 9 and 10 of Cups are *identical* except for the additional cups--which seems unfortunately lazy to me.
Some elemental motifs pop up unexpectedly, without seeming rhyme or reason, such as water/Moon symbols among the Swords Courts and butterflies among the Chalices Courts.
As you may know, most LWB are practically useless, but this one is especially confusing. For example, the Majors aren't named beside the brief interpretation, but rather a keyword (e.g. Will for Magician, Stability for Emperor, Prudence for The Hermit and Energy for The Wheel), and some of the phrasing--enigmatic. For example, the introduction to the Swords states: "Faced with Swords, we are in the cold world of the mind and intellect where everything is connected to something else until magnificent but sad geometries are formed."
Suffice to say, the Crystal Tarot is not a good deck for beginners!
If you like the Art Nouveau style, you may want to add the Crystal Tarot to your collection as an art deck. It's regrettable that the Minors aren't fully illustrated, but if you like Marseilles-like decks, you may not mind this at all.
(To see 10 card images from the Crystal Tarot, visit the Reviews--Decks section at [...])
Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)