Like a fun house mirror that changes and reflects an image, Tarot of Reflection reveals aspects of the reality in which we live. It is like a shamanic journey that is a bit frightening but also fascinating and certainly life changing. Tarot cards are doorways to insight. The Tarot of Reflection is a collection of doorways to worlds unlike any other, and by going through those doors you will find a part of yourself that you’ve never encountered.
Arielle Smith reviewed this deck on TarotPassages.com. She wrote, "The Aborigines believed that Dreamtime was real and what we consider real is actually dream time…what if they are right? What if none of it is real? What if all we believe is only an illusion?"
In order to understand this deck, you must embrace that concept and be willing to explore what you believe to be real. You need to consider that what you see isn’t the truth or the whole truth. Tarot in general does, ideally, help us do that. But this deck is designed to promote that sort of search and speculation.
Reactions and interpretations will, therefore, vary from reader to reader. The experience will mostly likely be intensely personal and reflective. For example, the Nine of Pentacles usually shows a woman in a garden with a hawk. This version shows a well-to-do man at a table piled with account books and ledgers, a basket of jewels, and a box of gold coins. He either has his eyes closed or is gazing at his treasure. His reflection is shown on the page of one of his open account books. The sense is not one of someone very contented with his accomplishments. Instead, it is one of someone who sees himself in terms of his accomplishments. Actually, it’s not even the accomplishments themselves but the money (and by extension, the status and power) generated by the accomplishments through which he sees himself. This image does not exactly change the traditional meaning; rather, it poses questions about the role your accomplishments (and their results) play in your life and your identity. What is the reality of the woman usually seen in the garden? What lies behind her (and our) evident satisfaction of accomplishment?
The Six of Cups shows happy children playing in a country lane with a house in the background. It conveys the same feeling as a traditional version of the card. The reflection for this card is the house, which is in the sky above the clouds. It brings to mind the notion of "castles in the air." Because the Six of Cups is often about memories, this poses a question about the quality of those memories. Are they romanticized or overly sentimental? Are they based on dreams of what you wished happened? Are they reflections of what you wish would happen now? How are these memories connected with your own castle in the air? Is the memory, or your idea of the memory, what is real? Even more important, what do we mean by real?
The Six of Pentacles shows a rich man in a tall, red hat (emphasizing his power and status) tossing coins at a beggar sitting on the ground. Again, this is very much like the traditional version. Here, the reflection is the tall, red hat, which appears over the head of the beggar. What questions or reflections this raises about the reality of the situation, I will leave for you to puzzle out.
And so it goes, card-by-card, interesting shadows, images, and reflections asking the reader to look at the card differently, to question interpretations that may have become rote or stale, and to look within.
The interpretations in the little booklet are more like bits of advice and opinion. For example, for the Nine of Pentacles discussed earlier, it says: Greater gain is obtained by investing money that does not exist yet. Know that the fear of risk could cause you to make serious mistakes." As you can see, this does not really connect with interpretation you could get from the imagery, as described above. This doesn’t make the booklet or the interpretation wrong. Rather, it reinforces the idea that the reflective aspect of this deck will be personal. It is a mirror that shows you what you need to see. The next time you look at the Nine of Pentacles, who knows what you'll see?
The included spread, "The Method of the Mirror," is very good. It has the reader separate the Major and Minor arcana, using the Majors for the reflection of aspects of the question and the Minors for the influences.
How does this deck play out as a reading deck? Because of its similarity (although it is not an exact clone) to traditional decks based on Ride-Waite-Smith imagery, it can work very well in readings. If a reader uses an interactive approach while reading for others, this deck can lend another layer of interest and complexity.
Name of deck: Tarot of Reflections
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Creators: Francesco Ciampi and Peitro Alligo
Artist’s name: Frencesco Ciampi
Name of accompanying booklet: Tarot of Reflections
Number of pages of booklet: 63 (14 in English)
Author of booklet: Giordano Berti
Available in a boxed kit?: No
Reading Uses: general, past lives, karma, spiritual seeking
Artistic Style: Surreal
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Somewhat; Justice is 8 and Strength is 11.
Does it have extra cards?: No
Why was deck created?: To explore the ideas of reflections and speculation and also of watching and being watched.
Book suggestions for Tarot beginners and this deck: 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer
Book suggestions for experienced Tarot users and this deck: 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card by Mary K. Greer
Alternative decks you might like:
Circle of Life Tarot
Da Vinci Tarot
Tarot of Metamorphosis
Tarot of the Secret Forest
Tarot of the New Vision
Tarot of the III Millennium
Tarot of the Sweet Twilight
Universal Fantasy Tarot