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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Review of the Universal Transparent Tarot

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

Summary: 

This unique deck allows you to create new “cards” that are also readings. The method of working with this deck also allows you to not only read your future but also to change your future.

 

In-Depth Review:

One of the great things about being a Tarot lover these days is that so many designers are pushing the boundaries of what Tarot has been, is, and can be. For example, the recently released Tarot of the Silicon Dawn really shakes up traditionally accepted Tarot correspondences and structure. Decks like that, as well as the Universal Transparent Tarot, are important because they add to the cumulative consciousness of what Tarot is. They also push us as individuals to expand our own horizons. These decks are not what I’d consider starter decks or even a primary reading deck. But for the experienced reader who is looking for something new or just wishes to keep up with Tarot’s evolution, these two decks are must-haves.

The Universal Transparent Tarot is based on Lo Scarabeo’s popular Universal Tarot, which is their version of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Each portion of the deck (the Majors, the court cards, and each of the four suits) is slightly different. Imagine a Tarot card made out of clear plastic. For the Majors, a miniature version of the full card is in the upper left corner and the rest of the card is perfectly clear. The court cards are on the lower left corner. The suits show a portion of the card in smaller spots along the side. If you select one card from each portion and layer them all together, the entire card space is filled in. In addition, across the top and bottom are the names and numbers of all the cards in the “spread.” This allows you to see at a glance any numerical trends and associations.

So to do a reading, one shuffles the piles separately and arranges the cards drawn into a complete, unique image. The resulting “card” is also the reading. It will have three images on top and three on the bottom. The top cards include a Major, cups, and wands and represent active forces in the querent’s life. The bottom cards are the court card, swords, and pentacles, and represent the passive forces. I think these pairings are brilliant, as we usually think of Majors as events or energies that occur and are beyond our control, while court cards are often thought of as aspects of ourselves or roles that we can play in order to affect change in our lives.

The directions for using this deck are quite specific and include another innovative technique that many readers will find very interesting. There are instructions for allowing the querent to move cards in the mosaic image in order to create one that pleases them more. There are specific rules for how to do this and each card moved must be accompanied by a corresponding action taken by the querent in their life.

This deck is fun and intriguing. Even if it does not become one you turn to often, what you learn while exploring it will stay with you and probably affect how you use your other decks. Learning the technique for changing cards in a reading is something that can really empower your readings and your life.

 

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Universal Transparent Tarot
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
ISBN: 9780738732213
Artist’s name:  Roberto De Angelis
Brief biography of artist: Roberto de Angelis is a popular Italian painter and comic illustrator. His Universal Tarot follows Rider-Waite imagery and esoteric symbolism but has its own style, differentiating it from the so-called “clone decks” such as the Albano.
Name of accompanying booklet: Transparent Universal Tarot
Number of pages of booklet: 95, 21 in English
Author of booklet: Pierluca Zizzi
Brief biography of author: Zizzi has designed board games and Tarot decks such as the 2012 Tarot of Ascension.
Available in a boxed kit?: No
Magical Uses: None
Reading Uses: General
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: (Yes
Does it have extra cards?: No
Why was deck created?: To explore the possibilities of reading through new printing technologies.
Book suggestions for Tarot beginners and this deck: Any solid beginner would be appropriate, such as Tarot for Beginners or Tarot Plain & Simple.


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