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Manga Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $14.41

ProductID: alt0338

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About this item
  • This Manga Tarot is a a deck connected with the Eastern imagination, as illustrated in the comics known as manga. It
  • has attractive artwork which is in the manga/anime style (but not exaggeratedly so), and the symbolism is fairly
  • recognisable. There is one significant change however - cards that traditionally showed a man now show a woman, and
  • vice versa.

Name Manga Tarot
Creators Riccardo Minetti, Anna Lazzarini
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2006
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Rider-Waite-Smith
Minor Arcana Style Unique Scenes With Suit Symbols
Suits Chalices, Swords, Wands, Pentacles
Court Cards Prince, Princess, Queen, King
Major Titles The Fool, The Sorceress, The Priest, The Emperor, The Empress, The Priestess, The Lovers, The Chariot, Justice, The Hermit, The Wheel, Strength, The Hanged Woman, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Stars, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, The World
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 Mirrored image of the Emperor.
Companion Material 64-page wide format booklet in English, Italian, Spanish, French and German.


The Manga Tarot is the brainchild of Riccardo Minetti at Lo Scarabeo, who came up with the truscan Tarot, ey Tarot, and othic Tarot of the Vampires, and new Tarot artist Anna Lazzarini, who is well known in the world of Italian comics.

The basic foundation of the cards is the imagery of the Rider-Waite, but the symbolism and concepts are more individual and have been interpreted in an Eastern manga/anime style. It’s a very human deck, with people on every card and a close-up feeling of involvement in the scenes, all surrounded by relatively unobtrusive black borders.

The traditional Tarot iconography has been inverted throughout the deck, so that cards that would have shown men now show women and vice versa. Some of majors have also been reordered to fit the gender changes:

0 – The Fool – Space
I – The Sorceress – Will
II – The Priest – Spirituality
III – The Emperor – Protection
IV – The Empress – Nourishment
V – The Priestess – Knowledge
VII – The Chariot – A Victory
VIII – Justice – Equity
IX – The Hermit – Meditation
X – The Wheel – Time that passes.
XI – Strength – Energy
XII – The Hanged Woman – Equilibrium
XIII – Death – The Threshold
XIV – Temperance – Purification
XV – The Devil – The dark side.
XVI – The Tower – Ashes
XVII – The Stars – Hope
XVIII – The Moon – Harmony
XIX – The Sun – Truth
XX – Judgement – The End
XXI – The World – Soul

I particularly like the Emperor/Empress pair in this deck. The Empress is a resolute mother wearing armour and shield, ready to protect any that threaten her brood, her creations. The Emperor, rather than being on a throne is seated on the floor, meditating, and has a sense of hidden power that is only used discriminately. (He also appears on the backs of the cards, mirrored in a reversible design on a black background.)

The minor arcana are divided into four typical suits of Wands, Swords, Chalices and Pentacles. The cards of each suit share a dominant colour that corresponds to the card’s internal theme – air/intellect, earth/nature, fire/personality, water/feelings - and also have a circular ’glyph’.

These glyphs are Japanese characters for the seasons, and indicate the timing and cyclical nature of the cards: spring as birth or beginning, summer as growth or maturity, autumn as decline or old age, and winter as death or minimum. Most but not all cards follow this structure - the Fool is outside of it with no glyphs; the Wheel has all four; Aces have all four; the Tens are missing one each of the seasonal glyphs; plus the World is the sum of all four seasons, so it has no dominant colour.

The court cards in this deck have been altered and reorderd to make the relationships between mother, father, daughter and son more obvious, and were also retitled to Prince, Princess, King and Queen. Princesses, in this deck, are the ones with the steeds – a horse, a whale, a dragon and a tiger.

Throughout the deck, there are also shifts in the imagery of some cards to bring a different facet of meaning to the fore. The Fool is the most obvious example, being a bleaker card in interpretation and colouring; a girl, wearing torn clothing, walks towards the cliff edge with her hand over her face. Of others, the Seven of Pentacles shows a woman admiring a jewel on her wrist, with more at her feet, with the written meaning of having and enjoying things. A man walks through the snow in the Eight of Chalices, interpreted as the need to admit mistakes.

The booklet first explains the deck structure, the colour system and the glyphs, and offers insight into the altered imagery and the concept in each card. The back of the booklet has information on using the Tarot, how to study the deck, and a six card relationship spread. In between are the meanings, the phrases and aphorisms unique to the cards in this deck. For example:

0 – The Fool – Space. A young woman dressed in clothes once lavish, now torn, moves closer to the edge a ravine. Flowers sprout where she walks. It is a the nature of things that space desires to be filled.

XV – The Devil. The dark side. Rage, violent or uncontrollable passions. Slaves of one’s own drives of fears. Inability to look inward. Meanness to others. No one is perfect.

3 of Chalices – Celebration. Cheerfulness, dance, energy, celebration. Temporary happiness. The harmony of dance is sharing.

Artistically, the Manga Tarot has attractive images and season symbols that are more decorative than distracting. It’s also not as ‘anime’ looking as one might think, having a more realistic illustrated style (except where children are illustrated). It does diverge from the traditional enough to be more difficult for a beginner, but has new ideas, interpretations and perspectives to offer a more experienced Tarot reader.

Combine shipping is possible.

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