Summary: A brilliantly drawn deck using images of contemporary Pagans in ritual and everyday situations. For Wiccans and Pagans who have some knowledge of Tarot this deck is perfect. Also ideal for professional Tarot readers who are giving readings for Pagans or who are looking for a deck that has Rider-Waite-Smith meanings combined with contemporary imagery.
When you look at the cards you're going to be stunned. The artwork is simply brilliant. Following in the comic book tradition, the lines were drawn by Luca Raimondo. They depict people of all ages and appearances doing things that Wiccans today might do, from shopping in a grocery store (4 of Pentacles) to playing with your daughter in the backyard (6 of Chalices), from working at a computer (3 of Wands) to curling up hugging your legs because of a broken heart (3 of Swords). All of the lines are very realistic, and they’re brought to life by the coloring of Cristiano Spadoni, whose use of shadows is striking, giving very clear indications of where the light source is. The result is incredibly dramatic, adding to the realism of the imagery. In short, the art is striking, realistic, and involving.
Let’s examine some of the scenes on the Major Arcana. Here, The Fool shows a woman in a white robe, groping in the dark with her familiar, a cat, at her feet. It has the same meaning as the RWS version of the Fool, but it is different in appearance and modern Pagan in its feeling. The Magician shows an outdoors scene at night. A robed figure is on the ground, casting a spell, with tools all around. The High Priestess shows a white-robed woman leading a coven outside at night. In the distance is a shadowy face of the Goddess. Perhaps the High Priestess is about to (or already has) Drawn Down the Moon and invoked the Goddess. The Empress shows an older woman watching and sharing wisdom as her daughter works in a well-tilled garden and a granddaughter plays/assists. In the background is a statue of the Goddess. The Lovers shows a robed woman with two paths in front of her. One leads to a similarly robed coven and the other leads to a figure with a child. The Chariot shows a young woman sitting on the bumper of a dirty, well-packed station wagon. The Wheel [of Fortune] shows a woman at a computer with a pie chart on the monitor. The Hanged Man shows a woman being blindfolded and having her hands tied in preparation for her being led to initiation into a coven. The Tower shows what appears to be a sexual orgy with one woman in the foreground walking away. The Sun has a woman at the beach casually drawing a pentagram in the sand. Judgement shows a woman in a trance with another leading her to experience a past life. In the background is a scene from that memory, with Witches being hanged.
The deck appropriately uses lots of earth tones (It’s a Pagan deck). It also uses the feeling of shadow and darkness (in the sense of shade). That was necessary to allow for the exaggerated use of shadow. You don’t have long shadows at noon. This deck is creative and clever. It’s absolutely perfect for anyone involved in the study or practice of Paganism, especially Wicca. It is excellent for giving general readings to people who have Pagan interests.
Name of deck: Pagan Tarot Publisher: Lo Scarabeo ISBN: 9780738702438 Creator’s name: Gina M. Pace Brief biography of creator: Ms. Pace, also known as "Wicce," is a Wiccan who has been reading and teaching the Tarot for over 25 years. Her popular wicce.com website is a focus for many people seeking reviews and information on the Tarot. Artists’ names: Luca Raimondo, coloring by Cristiano Spadoni Brief biography of artists: Luca Raimondo illustrated Tarot of Casanova, Olympus Tarot (with concept by Manfredi Toraldo) and Pagan Tarot. Artist and comic book illustrator, he is renowned in Italy and France for his historic reconstruction and stories. Cristiano Spadoni has worked on numerous Tarot decks and was the costume illustrator for the film, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou." Name of accompanying booklet: Pagan Tarot Available in a boxed kit?: Yes. If yes, are there extras in the kit?: Yes, a full-sized book by Pace and a beautiful bag to hold the deck. Reading Uses: All general purpose readings. Artistic Style: Realistic Theme: Wicca in modern life. Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes in name, if not in image. Does it have extra cards?: No Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: Just the standard Lo Scarabeo differences: The Wheel of Fortune becomes The Wheel, and The Star becomes The Stars. Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: Cups are called Chalices. Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: Yes. Instead of Page, Knight, Queen, King they are Elemental, Novice, Initiate and Elder. Why was deck created?: The Tarot was designed to depict the life of a contemporary Witch dealing with modern issues but who allows her spirituality to flow in harmony with common events in daily life.
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