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Renaissance Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $14.40

ProductID: alt0602

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About this item
  • The Renaissance Tarot deck has gorgeous artwork with touches of gold. All twelve deities of Olympus and several
  • other Greek and Roman gods and demigods are pictured in the major arcana. The minor arcana are pips illustrated with
  • small scenes from Greek mythology.


Specifications
Name Renaissance Tarot
Creators Brian Williams
Publisher US Games 1988
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Rider-Waite-Smith
Minor Arcana Style Pips with Small Scenes
Suits Swords, Staves, Cups, Coins
Court Cards Page, Knight, Queen, King
The Fool is 0
Strength is 11
Justice is 8
Card Size 2.76 x 4.96 in. = 7.00cm x 12.60cm
Card Language Italian, English
Card Back Non-reversible
Back Design Line art, circles with figures
Companion Material Little white booklet in English.


Reviews
to me in a very magickal way - one of the members of a Tarot e-list that I am on had purchased them for herself, only to find that she did not connect with them in any significant manner. I was absolutely thrilled to take both decks off her hands!

The journey that is the Renaissance Tarot spanned a period of ten years - the results show the care, thought and nurturing that was taken every step of the way. Brian Williams had a life long interest in both classical and Renaissance art, which he has translated nicely into the Renaissance Tarot. After spending a year in studies at the University of Padua in Italy. Brian took the illustrations and theory that would become the Renaissance Tarot and used them as the basis for an independent thesis and project at the University of California at Berkeley.

One of the themes that run through this book and deck is the place that Tarot held in European culture. Brian's stated purpose with the accompanying book is to provide a complete guide to the cards, their meanings and their uses. He also goes into the historical significance of each of the cards, which is not something that I have seen done elsewhere. Each card, including the minors, has a bit of myth in it that explains the archetypal qualities of the card, For example, the Ten of Swords is the myth of Paris and Achilles, while the Chariot is the myth of Aphrodite and Ares.

Throughout the accompanying book there are a wealth of black and white illustrations from the Renaissance period. At one point we see the game of Tarot being played (as taken from a mid-fifteenth century fresco in the Sala dei Giochi in the Casa Borromeo in Milan. At another point we see a manuscript illumination of Mars (the God) from the fifteenth century. At yet another point we see an engraving of a Satyr family by Durer from 1505. The list is endless - and fascinating.

With each of the majors we are treated to a wonderful description of the card, quite an involved background into the archetypal myth, and incredible illustrations, as well as divinatory and reversed meanings. With the court cards and the minors we see a description of the card, an abbreviated version of the myth behind it, as well as divinatory and reversed meanings. Each section contains a black and white scan of the card.

At the end of the book Brian presents a section on Tarot spreads, including the Celtic Cross, Tetrasky (also known as the Pythagorean Tetrad) and the Twelve Houses spreads. An interesting aside on the Twelve Houses spread is that it is presented in a square format (referred to as a quadrilateral design), rather than the usual circular format.

The cards themselves are 2 3/4" by 5", on glossy card stock. The backs have a 1/4" white border, with a bisque colored center containing intricate work using triple circles resembling Celtic Knots, upon which reside the medieval symbols for the elements in the four corners, with four corresponding animals floating within them. A male and female figure recline in the center, with their hands held.The almost blandness of the backs acts as a kind of foil for the wonderfully rich colors of the card faces. Again we see the use of a 1/4" white border, followed by a 1/4" gold inner border. The top two corners of each of the cards contain figures (some animal, some human, some symbols) that are there for ornamental purposes only. The title for each card is across the bottom, in both Italian and English.

The overall coloring is a well done pastel, with the figures dressed, for the most part, in Renaissance fashion. The pips make basic use of the suit symbol, with animal and human figures added to them that are not integral to the understanding of the cards. Each suit has its own color: yellow for Swords, pink for Cups, green for Pentacles and blue for Staves.

There are two small changes in the titling of the Major Arcana: the Wheel of Fortune becomes Chance and Judgment becomes the Angel. Each time I return to this deck I find something new to intrigue me. The accompanying book has lessons of its own to give. I highly recommend this deck to all students at all levels of study.


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