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Celtic Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $16.63

ProductID: alt751

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About this item
  • Also known as i Tarocchi Celtici, Celtic Tarots


Specifications
Name Celtic Tarot
Alternate Names i Tarocchi Celtici, Celtic Tarots
Creators Giacinto Gaudenzi, Saverio Tenuta
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2000
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Rider-Waite-Smith
Minor Arcana Style RWS-Based Scenes
Chalices, Swords, Wands, Pentacles Court Cards
The Fool is 0
Strength is 11
Justice is 8
Card Size 2.60 x 4.72 in. = 6.60cm x 12.00cm
Card Language Spanish, Italian, German, French, English, Dutch
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Sepia-toned mirror image of the Celtic emperor.
Companion Material Little white booklet.


Reviews

The deck itself is a standard 78 card one, with 22 Major cards and 56 Minor cards. The laminated, good quality cards are 8 x 12 cm. The back of the card is brightly coloured, and has a symmetrically pleasing design with intricate knots, scrolls, and coils enclosed in a Greek key style border. The backs are not reversible, i.e. the reader would not know if the card was upright or not when viewed from behind.

All the minor cards have intricate backgrounds decorated with coils, knots and scrolls in typically Celtic designs, and are framed in elaborately patterned borders. The colours are pretty, and the patterns endlessly fascinating, but with the swords suit it is somewhat difficult to read the numbers as they are printed directly onto the background design. The other three suits have the numbers placed in breaks in the top and bottom borders making them clearly visible.

The pentacles suit, is referred to as “Coins”. Except for the Court Cards, all the pip cards are identical whether they are held reversed or upright, so if the reader normally uses reversed cards, they will have to use intuition to decide how to interpret these. The Six of Coins is very lovely, with the six coins formed into a rose hexagram, with a spiraling center. This rose hexagram is found again in the Ten, with a multifaceted center.

The Knight of Coins is an interesting card, his shield has the coins symbol, and his horse is brown representing the energy of Earth. Violets growing in the foreground indicate that he is on a spiritual mission. Many of the court cards feature characters from the Arthurian legends, and this knight is Sir Bors of the Round Table, who eventually found the Holy Grail.

The Queen of Coins is another gorgeous card. Clad in green, colour of the fertile earth, she wears a magical pentagram, symbol of Earth on her breast. Her flowing mane of golden brown hair is adorned with red roses, picked from the rosebush growing beside her. This card has an Art Nouveau feel, reminiscent of the art of Alphonse Mucha, whose beautiful work featured women and flowers within elaborate borders. The King of Coins sits on a throne decorated with the figure of a crouching man, described in the book as “zoomorphic”. I found it interesting that this figure has its legs crossed in the manner associated with the Knights Templar, echoed in many other decks.

The Cups cards are primarily in soft shades of blue, violet and gold. The Ace is particularly pretty, the single cup being enclosed in a Celtic cross. The Two shows the cups placed in another rose-hexagram, a recurring image in this deck.

The Page of Cups is another particularly pretty card. The page stands in front of a rose-hexagram window, playing a golden harp, whilst white doves flutter around him. At his feet, a dove is drinking out of a chalice, encircled in a silvery light emanating from it. The Page is Sir Tristan, who later fell in love with Queen Iseult.

The Knight of Cups clasps the Holy Grail. He is Sri Galahad, the most perfect knight in all the Arthurian world. His head is framed in a decorative circle into which his golden hair flows and blends. The beautiful, dreamy face is androgynous, and in its decorative circular frame is very similar in style to the Art Nouveau paintings of Alphone Mucha.

The wands suit is stunning: all these intricately decorated wands are placed against a variety of gorgeous sunburst designs.

The Page of Wands is sitting by a fire, watching two shooting flames that light the sky above him. He carries a hazel wand, a Celtic symbol of arbitration and wisdom. The rather grim-faced Knight of Wands is on a horse with thundering hoofs and rolling eyes, and conveys a veiled threat, a potential for violence. His shield is painted with a cross, indicating a crusade that perhaps he is willing to kill or be killed for. He is Sir Percival, another Knight of the Round Table.

The Queen of Wands holds aloft both a flaming torch and her wand, as she moves through a field of Sunflowers. Her long golden hair flows down her back like the mane of a lion, symbol of Leo. The card is alive with fiery energy as she strides towards her great destiny as the warrior queen, Boudicca. The King is Arthur, the great once and future Celtic King of Britain. He wears the purple cloak of royalty, and a deep blue robe, signifying mercy. He holds the book of Divine Law, and his halo of white light gives him an other-wordly wisdom.

The Swords cards have swirls and beams of energy flashing around them. With most of them, the upright or reversed position will be at the discretion of the reader, depending on whether you like your swords pointing away from you or towards you. With the 6 and the 8 there is no distinction at all . The Page of Swords is shown hiding in an orange grove, flowers growing at his feet. The book describes him as being angry, seeking revenge. I did not get this feeling from the card - to me he seems curious, watchful or wary.

The Knight is a rather somber figure. His hair sweeps across his sorrowful face, as chilling winds blow across the landscape. Symbols of death are around him: crows, hover above, and the flowers he holds are wilted. This is Balin, the Knight who killed the Lady of the Lake.

All the Major cards are characters from Celtic Mythology, much of which is not commonly known to people (like myself) with only a very average knowledge of the subject. I must therefore confine myself to commenting on the artwork and energy of the cards rather than the characters they represent.

The Fool is a beautiful card with great energy. The Fool, dressed in green, the colour of youth and springtime, races towards the edge of the cliff, a white rose held to his nostrils. The element of Air, symbol of Spirit is shown around him – more heavily on the ground in white swirls, and in an ethereally beautiful interlaced pattern above him.

Many of these Major cards have decorative circular wheels or windows above or behind the characters. The Magician stands in front of a zodiac wheel, its energies controlled by a Star of David, that holds within it his Cup, Coin, Wand and Sword. In The Star, this wheel is a cosmic mirror studded with seven stars. It holds a a pentagram, which in turn holds another pentagram. A white dove hovers over it. The naked woman draped in a purple cloak is a personification of Aquarius, symbol of universal consciousness.

In The Devil, the Wheel of Life holds the reversed pentagram, sign of evil. A demon dances gleefully around a naked couple, bowed in shame and degradation in the foreground.

The Chariot is another ethereally lovely card. The Charioteer hold a bolt of lightening, symbol of his power over his galloping steeds. They appear to have one body that branches into two front ends. One horse is purple, the other blue, their manes are entwined, in a delicate interlaced pattern sprinkled with stars. The Charioteer wears colours of blue, green and gold, representing Mercy and Strength.

The Hermit is Merlin. A solar disc lights the path in front of him. Ribbons of light from the lamp he holds, stream across his head symbolizing illumination. He bare feet show his humility, and he is supported by his staff, symbol of his faith.

The Moon is a visual feast. Its two interlocking circles correspond to the waxing and waning of the moon. The top circle, painted in vibrant colours, frames a beautiful young woman holding the full moon and the crescent moon. Her long golden hair flows around her, filling the entire circle. The lower circle in muted grey-blue shades, is embellished with ghostly running dogs. The crone is draped in a blue hooded robe, her lank brown hair hangs over her shoulders, her ancient face partly hidden by her arm. Two candles are melting down on either side of her, the smoke from their flickering flames floating eerily across her head.

The accompanying book by Helena Patterson was not well bound; the pages began coming out in clumps when I opened it. But I found her descriptions of various cards interesting, and her interpretations insightful and thought-provoking.


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