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The Tarot of Durer Cards – September 8, 2002
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About the Author
Lo Scarabeo's Tarot decks have been acclaimed all over the world for originality and quality. With the best Italian and international artists, each Lo Scarabeo deck is an exceptional artistic value.
Commited to developing innovative new decks while preserving the rich tradition of Tarot, Lo Scarabeo continues to be a favorite among collectors and readers.
Llewellyn is the exclusive distributor of Lo Scarabeo products in North America.
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Look at each trump. At the base of the imagery you see a Latin motto. Don't gloss over it! Take a moment and follow in the lwb ("little white book") and read the English translation for the phrase. Latin, in its lovely concise way, conveys the wisdom of ancient times, and that's the big payoff with this deck. These well-known Latin quotations (present only on the trumps) give a quick and very helpful insight into the card's message. It's really more a key-word effect; that is to say, it does not give all the interpretations of the card. It is a beginning. And it's also, I find, a great mnemonic device to start your interpretational juices flowing.
Many tarot decks are collectible for various reasons, be it special art, symbolism, historical significance, eclecticism, or what-have-you. This Tarot belongs on the shelf of people who love their Tarot and read it and appreciate the many forms this fascinating tool has taken.
The art style is saturated water colors, and the deck itself very much reminds me of the Alchemical Tarot by Robert Place, currently about to be printed in a Third Edition. There are lots of symbols to use and read, and lots of freedom within the structure of the deck to read the way you choose to. There are 78 cards, with the 22 Major Arcana labeled normally, Strength at 11, Justice at 8, with Latin phrases inscribed on each of the Majors. The structure is loosely based on the Waite Smith deck, but there are some cards that go a whole new direction, and that is absolutely all right with me. When I first began using the deck, I was bothered by the titles going vertical on the left side of the card, in multiple languages, but as the days passed it was less bothersome. I feel this deck is a great candidate for trimming, and may get around to lopping those titles right off soon. The colors are already gorgeous, and trimming the deck would only make them pop even more.
The deck itself is about 2.75" x 4.75" and packaged in a tuck box with the ubiquitous Little White Book, which does little to explain the thought process behind the choosing of the images, but does translate the Latin better than Google Translate, I found to my chagrin. The card stock is lightly varnished and shuffles quite easily and smoothly. The backs are ivory with a green reversible pattern from one of the cards.
I do not think everyone will enjoy this deck, as it is a bit snarky in readings, and both the easy nudity in cards and the small amounts of blood could be disturbing to some. The deck has a Renaissance flair to the art, and would work well for people who like their readings a little humorous and who like allegorical stories to tell. I have found it to be a keeper in my collection, and I will reach for it when I find myself getting a little full of myself, because it seems to have a pretty good ego deflater built in. The cards flow together easily and offer great readings, as I did several on Aeclectic Tarot this week, as well as using it at Denver Tarot Meetup for the readings I did there.
Two thumbs up for a historical looking deck (artfully speaking, not tarotfully speaking) that carries itself lightly through the world while maintaining a none too careful dignity as well!
So many decks go directly into a drawer for storage as soon as I open & examine them . . . but not this one. This is, for me at least, a serious, surprisingly rich, & above all else usable deck . . . the deck which, ever since aquiring it (granted, this hasn't been long) my hand gravitates intuitively toward, whenever I develop a--you know--a truly SIGNIFICANT question.