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Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $14.48

ProductID: alt0473

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About this item
  • Also known as Ceccoli Tarot

Name Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot
Alternate Names Ceccoli Tarot
Creators Nicoletta Ceccoli
Publisher Lo Scarabeo 2014
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Suits Cups, Swords, Wands, Discs
Court Cards Knave, Knight, Queen, King
Card Size 2.60 x 4.72 in. = 6.60cm x 12.00cm
Card Language None
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Design of a leaf pattern with red berries,
Companion Material 64-page booklet with instructions by Lunaea Weatherstone in English, Italian, Spanich, French and German.


This deck utilises pre-existing artworks by Ceccoli, that have been recast sometimes rather forcibly, as tarot cards. Some of the image choices are very clear, especially for the Major Arcana and suit of Swords. Other choices remain fairly obscure until you match the little white book (LWB) description to the picture. It is in relation to the meanings ascribed in the LWB that the potential (and charm) of the cards becomes apparent. Take the 4 of Cups - a snow dome encases a rather indifferent mermaid lounging in a shell - the LWB advises “You have shut out the pleasures of the world…Discontent, isolation, ennui, petty desires.”

The little white booklet is written by Lunaea Weatherstone, and she offers beautiful interpretations and advice founded on fairly standard tarot meanings. It is obvious that the explanations she gives have been written to suit, sometimes even justify the chosen artwork. However there are occasions where this system fails and the image gives no hint or link to the assigned meaning (much of the suit of Discs, the 7 of Wands, the 8 of Cups). This is a real failing. While Ceccoli employs strong imagery and some peculiar archetypes, they are not endemic to tarot systems. To my mind the image should stimulate the psyche and lead us on a path toward interpretation, not leave the reader grasping to find an inner meaning. Tarot cards are doorways to understanding, not doorways to a mystery destination.

Ceccoli’s palette is muted and a little sombre, like a faded picture book. Her paintings are usually focused on young girls in surreal storybook or fairytale settings. Some are touchingly naive and innocent, others are dark and violent - that peculiarly bloodless violence endemic to children's stories. There are recurring themes that are the quintessence of childhood - candy, ice-creams, toys, insects, mermaids, cupcakes, rabbits, Alice (in Wonderland)…often taking on nightmarish qualities and proportions. In the entire deck there are only two cards which human males, boys, are depicted; The Emperor, and the 7 of Swords. There are other nonhuman figures that are masculine such as the Hierophant (monkey), the Devil (an insect), and the 7 of Wands (a bug-eyed imp). The entire court, including Kings, are all depicted by girls.

The cards are a standard size for Lo Scarabeo decks (66 x 120mm), fantastic for people with small hands, like myself. The card stock is good and heavy, smooth and lightly glossy on the face, slightly toothy on the back. The images are clear and vivid, the design on the back is fully reversible. The Major Arcana are identifiable only by Roman numerals, no names. The Minor Arcana are designated by small symbols at the top of the card and a number at the bottom. The suits are cups, wands, discs, and swords. The court cards are identified by a helmet (page), a horse head (knight), and differing crowns for the Queen and King.

Without these denotations there would be no means of identifying which suit the images depict, or what number they rank in the suit – since the pictures contain no traditional tarot symbolism whatsoever. This is perhaps the Ceccoli deck's biggest weakness - without the suit indicators and numbers this would simply be a beautiful collection of Nicoletta Ceccoli's artwork.

I must admit to being quite a fan of Nicoletta Ceccoli’s illustrations so I find this deck utterly irresistible. I love her poisoned-sugar confections of sweet-faced little girls who meet the enchantments and terrors of an often puzzling world with their arsenal of artless curiosity, destructiveness, and ingenuity. Overall this is a beautiful and unique tarot deck, best suited to an experienced reader.

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