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Contemplative Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $15.59

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About this item
  • The Contemplative Tarot is a thoughtful deck influenced by the works of philosopher P.D. Ouspensky. It has Pagan-inspired, lifelike, three- dimensional major arcana cards, while the minor arcana owe their basis to the el Gran Tarot Esoterico and are in a flatter, less-detailed artistic style.

Name Contemplative Tarot
Creators Adriano Buldrini
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2008
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Mixed
Strength is 8
Justice is 11
Card Size 2.60 x 4.72 in. = 6.60cm x 12.00cm
Card Language Spanish, Italian, German, French, English, Dutch
Card Back Variously coloured
Back Design Card backs come in a range of colours.
Companion Material Little white booklet in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.


The booklet of instructions provided with this deck also make its purpose clear and give more than enough information to allow the seeker of self knowledge to begin their inner journey. A brief introduction explaining some of the symbology used is followed by a short guide on how to begin meditating with these cards, an explanation that while brief is also precise and easy to follow. Lastly the booklet goes through all 78 cards suggesting questions that may be asked of each image and giving ideas and suggestions to aid meditation.

The images that grace the faces of these cards is lush, detailed and colourful and although there is a significant difference between the art styles of the major and minor arcana both are equally lovely in their own way. The pictures on the major arcana follow, on the whole, the Rider Waite standard and their iconography will therefore be familiar to most readers. The uncluttered white borders do not contain titles, only the number of the arcane, a Hebrew letter using the system of Levi rather than the Golden Dawn, and a simple designation that groups the cards into three groups of seven relating each one either to the individual, the world of matter or to the divine, while the XXI arcana is designated separately as a synthesis of the three groups. The simplicity of the borders focuses attention upon the rich colours and detail of the art allowing the seeker to concentrate their mind up on the images and symbols in order to find the answers they seek.

The minor arcana do not follow the figurative tradition of the Rider Waite deck, instead the relevant number of the suit signifier is shown woven into a symbolic picture or landscape reminiscent of the Vaschetta deck, Crowley’s Thoth or the geometric and symbolic simplicity of the decks of the Spanish school such as the Balbi. The suits are clearly tied to the elemental system where Wands are fire, Chalices represent water, Swords signify air and Pentacles are earth. These attributions are followed through in the art work, Chalices featuring an abundance of water; Swords are set against airy skies and so on. The suits are also assigned to the letters of the Tetragrammaton using the same system as the Golden Dawn where Yod, He, Vau, He are Wands, Chalices, Swords and Pentacles respectively. Once again the borders are kept very simple, showing only the Hebrew letter of the suit and the number allowing little distraction from the image itself. The lack of human figures on the minor cards mean that the seekers mind will not be constrained as they would on a differently designed deck by the presumed intention and personalities of the characters on the cards; but instead is allowed to freely explore the symbols in order to achieve wisdom.

The courts follow the traditional ranks of Knave, Knight, Queen and King, each card showing a distinct individual clearly displaying their suit symbol. The borders match those of the 40 minors, showing only the Hebrew letter and a simple symbol designating rank similar to those used for chess pieces. The distinct individuality of the characters portrayed on these cards, the difference in costume and apparent time period seem designed to make it easy for the seeker to differentiate between them during meditation, to draw from them the answers they are designed to give.

Overall this is a fascinating and unusual deck produced to the high quality one would expect from Lo Scarabeo. Its stated purpose as a tool for meditation and self exploration and not as a divinatory device, and the clear, uncompromising way this purpose has been followed through in the execution of this deck set it firmly in the forefront of the modern conception that seeks to make tarot a tool for guidance through the inner, spiritual journey rather than the mundane province of fortune tellers.

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