Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

The Legacy

This article was written by Barbara Moore
posted under Tarot

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot is the latest (and, according to the artist, the last) tarot deck created by Ciro Marchetti. He sees it as his legacy to the tarot community and the culmination of his own spectacular journey.

The journey began in late 2002. Back in those days, artists sent portfolios to the art department. The portfolios were kept in boxes, which we called the “slush pile.” The art director and her staff would periodically go through the slush pile looking for new artists to create cover art, illustrations for book interiors, or images for our calendars. These days almost all portfolios are sent in electronically, so the slush pile doesn’t really have the same feeling. It used to be like a treasure hunt, searching through the boxes and finding so much amazing art.

One day Hollie (then the art department assistant and technical genius) brought a portfolio to me. She said that although it wasn’t tarot art, it somehow felt like the artist had a feeling for tarot. And there were, if I remember correctly, some astrological illustrations. She thought I might like it. She was right. I loved it. magician

So, out of the blue, I called Ciro and asked him if he would consider making a tarot deck. He did. Like The Fool, he jumped right in, immersing himself in the world of tarot. The resulting deck, the Gilded Tarot, has been printed in many languages and has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.

After that experience, Ciro realized how much he didn’t know when he created the Gilded Tarot. So he set out to create another, the Tarot of Dreams, self-published in 2005.

But Ciro’s tarot journey wasn’t over yet. As he increased in tarot understanding and artistic skill—both of which were already considerable, he had a vision, a dream, and he knew he had to create one last deck: the Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

Many of us in the tarot community watched this deck come into being as Ciro posted images on his website and on community boards and showed them at tarot conferences, such as the Readers Studio. Last year, Ciro created a special edition package of this deck, with a hard cover book and many wonderful “extras.” It is indeed a treasure and has a cost worthy of such a treasure. The special edition kit was beyond the budget of many, and so most of us waited, with varying degrees of patience, for the affordable Llewellyn edition.

faithThe wait is over and people are starting to receive their copies. The overwhelming consensus is that the wait was worth it for so many reasons. Let’s take a look at a few of those reasons: the concept, the book, and the cards.

Perhaps paying homage to the stories of tarot originating with the ancient Egyptians or the people of Atlantis, or perhaps based on an actual experience, or maybe it was just a dream—or perhaps all three, the Legacy of the Divine Tarot is based on the idea that an evolved civilization knew of its own impending demise and wanted to leave of message to any future beings, a collection of what they achieved, knew, believed, loved, and feared—their Legacy.

There is something about this approach that strikes me as very brave. The recent trend has been toward insisting on historical accuracy (in terms of the tarot’s origin), psychological and empowering methodology (in terms of usage), and practical, cognitive design (in terms of themes and structure). In short, a lot of the mystery has been removed from the theory and practice of tarot. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I just don’t think it should be the only thing. Because of this, I love the fact that Ciro has presented us with a tarot deck that starts, as they say, “shrouded in mystery,” which nicely leads us to a discussion of the book.

The book begins with the beginning of a story: “I assume that at some time in our lives, most of us have experienced a dream so vivid and in such detail that when we wake up we question if it was just a dream or if it was perhaps something more…. Unless, of course, you actually experienced a dream like I did, a dream that left my rational thoughts and logical arguments in disarray. A dream that led me to the only conclusion possible: that it actually happened.”

I remember the editorial board meeting when we discussed this book. People were asking me all sorts of questions. Shouldn’t we have an introduction where Ciro sets things up for the reader? Shouldn’t we say who the narrator is? Is it Ciro or is it some other character? Shouldn’t we say that this is a section of fiction? It is a section of fiction, isn’t it?

It didn’t take much to convince them that all this was part of the experience, that tarot, story, myths, mystical experiences, encounters with the Divine are, by their nature, ambiguous. To insist on imposing clarity would be to destroy the magic. We needed to lead with the story and let each reader define the experience for him or herself.

After the story, the rest of the book provides the clear guidance that most of us expect from a companion book to a tarot deck. But even here, Ciro has done something unique. For each card, he gives his thoughts and notes. In addition, we get insight on each card from four other tarot scholars: Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone (founders of the Tarot School), James Ricklef (author and deck designer), and Leisa ReFalo strength(host of the Tarot Connection and publisher). Leisa also shares her wisdom and experience in a section that teaches how to do readings as well as five new spreads designed for use with the Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

And now, at long last, the cards! The cards are probably the most exciting part of this wonderful package, and yet, I hardly know what to say about them. Every once in a while, you come across something that has a certain something, a certain life, a certain magic that goes beyond knowledge and skill. The Legacy of the Divine Tarot has that. They are beautiful to look at. They are easy to get lost in. They contain esoteric symbolism. They evoke immediate reactions. Some decks do one or some of these; it is a rare instance when a deck does them all. Maybe I should just let the images speak for themselves. It was so difficult to select just a few. Can you feel the intense focus of The Magician, the complexity of the idea of Faith?

Seven years ago Ciro sent a portfolio to a publisher, hoping to design a book cover or two, and began a journey he could never have foreseen. Kind of makes you wonder what sort of journeys you’re starting today.

Barbara MooreBarbara Moore
In the early 1990s, at a party, someone put a tarot deck in Barbara's hands; she's held on tightly ever since. Tarot provides just enough structure so that we don't get lost as we explore the mysteries, plumb our dark corners, and locate our North...  Read more


Easy Tarot
Over 200,000 sold!
Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!
Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
$19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
Four Mysterious Monsters of Which You've Never Heard
Four Powerful Ways to Live a Joyful Life Today
A Tarot Built for Magick: Modern Spellcaster's Tarot
Exercise: How to Feel Good
Investigating Haunted Bridges

Most recent posts:
This Samhain, Visit the Cemetery and Make a Gravestone Rubbing to Honor Your Ancestors
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Natalie Zaman, author of Magical Destinations of the Northeast. One of my favorite sections of...

The Biggest Challenge
Psychic Tarot by Nancy Antenucci and Melanie Howard In Psychic Tarot, Antenucci and Howard tell us that integrating the wisdom from a reading...

Author Michael Newton Has Passed
Today we sadly mark the passing of author Dr. Michael Newton, who authored several bestselling books, including Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls,...

Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar
84th Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $18.99 CAN
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN