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Tarot Lukumi - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $14.49

ProductID: alt0924

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About this item
  • The Tarot Lukumi is dedicated to Santeria, the Afro-Cuban Orisha Spiritual system known to its practitioners as Lukumi.

Name Tarot Lukumi
Creators Caelum Rainieri, Ivory Andersen, Raphael Montoliu
Publisher Dal Negro
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78


This deck is a first in many ways. Unlike the Tarot of the Orisha's this is a full sized Tarot deck, and unlike the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot it deals specifically with the Afro-Cuban traditions of the Lukumi people in Cuba. Afro-Cuban Lukumi is in itself a mixture of influences which include the Kongo, Yoruba, Catholic and even some Arada or Vodoun influences.

This is a 78 card Tarot deck. The cards are standard size but perhaps a touch longer or taller than most decks. They are well crafted and laminated and shuffle well. The cards are titled in Spanish. The four suits are: Bastos for Wands, Copas for Cups, Espadas for Swords and Oros for Coins. The court cards are: Rey, the King; Reina, the Queen; Caballo, the Knight and Sota for the Page. The back of the cards is a brillant shade of ruby red and shows an image of a two faced Elegba, one side brown and smooth skinned and young and the the other side a gnarled and bearded black old man a row of cowrie shells runs like a river between the two faces. The back design is completely reversible.

The deck comes in a box which includes a good sized booklet. The picture and the colors of the box make it light, bright and attractive. The box has on its front one a beautiful image which is also the frontspiece of the deck and the booklet - a picture of the Elekes and the Warriors. The first initiation of La Regla Lukumi is the receiving of the Collares (Spanish) or the Elekes (Yoruba). The Elekes Warriors are received as a shield and the Warriors or Guerreros (Spanish) as a protection by one who enters into the Lukumi tradition. They serve to alert them to the the unseen forces as well as the obvious dangers in life.

The Major Arcana have changed their titles as they are in Spanish, but in general they stick to the concepts and to the format of traditional decks over which is superimposed and added to each Major, the visage and the symbols of the Afro-Cuban Orisha. The images depicted on the Minor Arcana are scenes from the pataki's, the stories of the Lukumi passed on by an oral tradition, it is here that the deck does not follow in any way the artistic format or content of Rider-Waite deck.

The overall beauty of this deck is the function it serves. This is a deck that was prayed for by the community of Spiritualists, priests and initiates of the faith who use the Tarot in their work with clients and each other. The need for this Tarot was great. It is not a Tarot to collect dust way up on a shelf. It is a Tarot that was made to be used. It was made because the practitioners and their Spirits though used to adaptation, did not feel really comfortable with the Tarot tools they were using.

The only short coming is that a full sized book was not released at the same time as this deck which though it contains a good sized booklet in the box, must use the majority of the space in said booklet to repeat the basic information on the background of the Lukumi faith and the cards in the three languages of Italian, English and Spanish which cuts down on the amount of actual space given to providing even a cursory meaning for each card.

When the deck was opened and asked to state its purpose in the world, it responded with Seis de Copas, the six of cups. This card shows a scene of the Eldest of the Orisha arranged around a Star of David, each drinking from a goblet shaped clear glass a red liquid. In the center of the scene is an alchemical pelican with six small chicks with open mouths taking in their food. As one can see this has nothing to do with the traditional 6 of cups meaning, so one must go to the booklet where according to the author of the deck this is said to be a card "about harmony and brotherhood."

Those who do not know the qualities of the Orisha and their stories which the booklet goes over all too quickly and briefly when at all, might find themselves at sea. They will not be able to interpret the cards based on the scenes on them, unless they reach down into their intuitive, imaginative or psychic selves. This is a new Tarot deck and each deck is a world unto itsef. New meanings need to emerge for each card in the Lukumi Tarot based on the principles of the Lukumi religion and culture.

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