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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Review of Elemental Tarot

This article was written by Barbara Moore on November 30, -0001
posted under Elemental Tarot

Summary: This eclectic, unique deck explores the world through the four basic energies of earth, fire, water, and air. The art creates a pleasantly chaotic feeling as it shows how these energies interact, creating our reality. Using this deck is a lush experience, resulting in bright jewels of wisdom to use in our everyday lives.

In-Depth Review

The Elemental Tarot is a surprising deck. It focuses on the four basic types of energy that makes up the world and has a Pagan flavor. So far, so good.

The Majors are, like most Lo Scarabeo decks, pretty traditional. Some are astoundingly lovely, like the High Priestess, the Empress, and Temperance.

The Minors are definitely not based on traditional RWS meanings or compositions. Instead, this deck takes a completely new and unique view of these cards, which is refreshing. The traditional suits are represented and incorporate the requisite common creatures associated with those elements:

Cups = water = undines

Pentacles = earth = gnomes

Wands = fire = salamanders

Swords = air = sylphs

For each suit, the main focus is narrowed down to one key word. We are used to thinking of cups as love, relationships, emotions, etc. In this deck, the keyword is love. For pentacles, it is a seed (from the ace of that suit…the potential awaiting manifestation). Swords are guidance, and Wands are inspiration.

In the beginning, I said this was a surprising deck. There are a lot of good ideas here. But there are a lot of flaws, as well. The court cards are weak. The art is sometimes inconsistent. The style and quality is great throughout. The difference is in the expression and type of composition, with some cards having a realistic feeling/setting and others having a definite artsy-collage thing going on. Many of the female figures look like they are in the throes of orgasm, which is kind of interesting.

But in spite of that, there is some strange, crazy wisdom in this deck. Maybe that’s its job: to shake us up enough and make feel just a bit off balance so that we are open to receiving a message. For a general reading deck, it takes a little work and study to use, but I found it intriguing and useful. Using it felt like stepping into another world for just a moment, seeing things that did not make complete sense, and coming away with a precious jewel of wisdom.

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Elemental Tarot

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo

ISBN: 9780738721835

Creator: Marco Turini

Name of accompanying booklet: Elemental Tarot

Number of pages of booklet: 63 (14 in English)

Reading Uses: General

Ethnic Focus: Pagan

Artistic Style: Illustration combined with decorative, eclectic

Tarot, Divination Deck, Other (if other, describe): Tarot

Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Somewhat

Does it have extra cards? If yes, what are they?: Yes, a Significator card

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 explore the universe through the four elements.

 

 


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