March / April 2014 Issue
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Review of Shining Angels Tarot
This article was written by Barbara Moore on November 30, -0001
Let the comforting presence of the angels surround you. As you shuffle and deal out these round cards, you will find power and wisdom and guidance from loving beings who have existed from before the beginning of time, freed from the pages of ancient texts, they are brought to life in these images.
This is no fluffy bunny feel good angels deck. This is the real deal. Giuditta did not order up 78 pretty cherubs or even use the angels associated with the kabala. Instead, for the Minor Arcana, she researched lesser-known scriptures to find other angels for us to meet, learn about, and work with (archangels are included in the Major Arcana).
Guiditta is a passionate expert on the topic of angels. She tells us that when we write or say their names, we beckon these powerful beings to us, bringing their intense ability and nature and light to bear on our situation. Guiditta’s knowledge and passion gives this deck a feeling of power and authenticity. In truth, just looking at it brought a sense of comfort, of not being alone.
Each round card bears the name and number associated with it as well as the name of angel. The LWB [Little White Booklet that comes with the deck] interprets the name (example: 5 of Swords, Emschi El, the Angel of the Night) and gives the divinatory meaning for the card. The names and their meanings were incredibly helpful, although I didn’t always use the given divinatory meaning, preferring to rely on the angel’s name and the image to shape my interpretation.
For example, the 5 of Swords, mentioned above, showed up in one of my readings. Before checking the LWB, I decided the picture of the smiling angel standing in the center of a pentagram created by five swords hanging miraculously in the air combined with "the angel of the night" meant that my confused thoughts would soon right themselves into an order that made sense—both with my deepest thoughts and feelings as well as physical reality—as I experience it (because of the pentagram shape). Imagine my surprise when I read in the LWB that it meant "unfavorable situations, insufficient energies, hidden adversaries." I like my interpretation better, so I’m sticking with it. I think Emschi El likes it, too.
Whenever I come across a deck that does not follow the RWS structure, I look for an alternate underlying structure. Usually I don’t find one—that doesn’t mean it’s not there, just that it eluded me—and I’m okay with that. However, with this one, for some reason, I really wanted structure. I searched in vain. I did find that all the fives have a pentacle featured prominently in them. And all the sixes have Stars of David. Besides that, I didn’t find much consistency, even in the Aces, which are almost always consistent. This one had four very different types of Aces. In one, the angel held the object. In another, the object floated above the angel’s head as she gazed at it. One was held by a disembodied hand. And in one, the object floated between the angel’s out-stretched hands.
This deck seems well-suited to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of angels. Admittedly, my knowledge is very, very slight. So I could be wrong, but I did not realize that most angels were young and female and quite pretty. At least, they are in this deck. Although that doesn’t bother me (why wouldn’t an angel be young and pretty?), I suspect it may bother some who know more about such things.
Name of deck: Shining Angels Tarot
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Creator’s name: Giuditta Dembech
Brief biography of creator: Giuditta is a lively radio personality in Italy; she is an expert on angels as well as other metaphysical topics.
Artist’s name: Federico Penco
Name of accompanying book/booklet: Shining Angels Tarot
Number of pages of booklet: 63 (14 in English)
Available in a boxed kit?: No
Reading Uses: All
Artistic Style: Illustration
Original Medium: Watercolor
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes
Does it have extra cards: No
Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: No
Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: No
Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: No
Why was deck created?: To study and combine the meanings of the Tarot archetypes with angels from lesser known scriptures and texts.
Alternative decks you might like:
Voices of the Saints
Tarot of the Angels
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