Once upon a time, Pietro Alligo, the artistic director for Lo Scarabeo, saw the beautiful artwork of Mara Aghen and talked to her about making a deck. She was eager to take on the task, but knowing nothing of Tarot, she wanted help. Pietro asked Riccardo Minetti, a talented Tarot deck creator, to work with Mara. Riccardo and Mara got on famously well and together created something truly unique.
The Fey Tarot is based on the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition but is not strictly speaking a clone. For those very familiar with the RWS images, it will be easy to see similar meanings in these images, and you'll enjoy stretching your understanding and perceptions using this deck.
The creatures pictured in this deck are not like traditional English fairies. These fey creatures have more of a fantasy and alien feeling to them. They inhabit different worlds and places and times. Their pursuits appear at times epic and at other times very simple. And yet, despite the unusual beings and settings, the feelings evoked by these cards are familiar. You'll easily relate and gain new insights.
The Wheel card is amazing. It shows an aerial view of a young fey in a wonderful pink gown with purple opera gloves and an older, white-haired fey woman. They sit opposite each other and are playing some sort of game. It uses pieces like arches and houses and barns and animals and trees. The pieces are set in a spiral and these fey women are playing by moving the pieces around.
The Death card is amazing. Riccardo wrote: “The face of Death was greatly influenced by Sandman by Neil Gaiman. When this card was still in progress, I asked Mara to give it a face I could fall in love with.” She certainly succeeded. In the fey Death card, a young purple fey with red hair and one green eye and one red eye sits at a round table. She rests her face on one hand while she seems to be either looking right at you or staring off into space. On the table in front of her is an unusual chessboard (it is round) and on it are chess pieces. Some look familiar, such as the Rook (which looks like a little like The Tower) and the King, but there are also snails, angels, stars, dragons, and wheels.
This deck is filled with images the easily evoke feelings and insights and meanings. It incorporates plenty of symbolism, both traditional and personal. Anyone, from a novice to a well-seasoned, open-minded reader could read with this deck as is. The kit, however, includes a full-sized book that contains the fascinating story of a deck from concept through development and into the final images. Riccardo saved every sketch and doodle that Mara did and many of them are in the book along with notes from Riccardo. In addition to the creative journey, it is very interesting to read about all the surprising symbolic touches Ric and Mara hid amongst these delightful images.
This is a great reading deck, particularly for spiritual questions and insights. It will inspire your imagination and creativity like no other deck.