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Tarot of the Celtic Fairies Deck
A product by Lo Scarabeo Tarot of the Celtic Fairies Deck

By: Mark McElroy, Eldar Minibaev
Imprint: Llewellyn
Specs: Boxed Deck | 9780738721811
English | 3 x 5 x 1 IN
Pub Date: September 2010
Price: $22.95 US,  $26.50 CAN
In Stock? Yes, ready to ship
Qty:

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Summary: A beautifully illustrated deck that perfectly melds the traditional legends of the Celtic fairies with the symbolism of the Tarot. Although it is surprising to find such elegant matching, the Celtic imagery adds much to the traditional RWS symbolism and meaning, making this an ideal deck to learn the Tarot, learn about the Celts, and give readings. 

In-Depth Review

One of the wonderful things about Tarot is that once you know its structure, you can use it to learn so many different things. You may not know who Gwyn ap Nudd is, but if you know something about the Devil card, which is the card featuring Gwyn ap Nudd, you'll automatically know something of the nature and role of this character in Celtic Fairy mythology. And this is precisely the purpose of this deck, to combines the folk wisdom of traditional Celtic fairy stories with the structure and symbolism of contemporary tarot.

Mark McElroy, a prolific and skilled deck designer, beautifully blends in a very Temperance-like way the idea of Tarot structure and the deck's theme.That is, the theme is not diminished or “forced” into the Tarot structure and traditional Tarot meanings are not stretched to the point of meaninglessness in order to accommodate the theme. In this deck, the blending of both creates something more magical than the parts. 

The artist was a perfect choice. His rich, painterly style creates a deep and colorful world that feels both familiar and magical. It appears to us like our world viewed through special lenses that reveal the fairy realm that exists side by side with our world.

Unless you know Celtic Fairy lore very well, it is strongly suggested that you get the kit. The kit includes a full-size book to more thoroughly explain the images. Many make sense without knowing the story behind them, but some, like Temperance for example, take an explanation. Temperance shows a crazy, jolly leprechaun-like creature riding a bucking sheep while holding aloft two chalices and spilling liquid out of both. Upon reading the story, we learn that this is a cluricaun and that Mark has, in his words, “cheated a bit here, for in this deck the Temperance card has been inverted a bit: if you can’t self-moderate, this is what you’ll become: a plump little figure, sitting astride a frightened sheep, with no idea at all where you’re going.”

Or Strength, which shows a woman spinning. She is Whoopity Stoorie—the Celtic Rumplestiltskin. “Her frightening exterior conceals her secret strength: the ability to spin unlikely raw materials into exquisite goods.” There is more about this character that adds even more depth and interest to the card. You should definitely get the book and read about it yourself.

This deck is enchanting from the start, and in usage it will not disappoint. It reads like a dream even if you do not consult the book for the background stories. But do get the kit so you can consult the book; the stories add so much nuance to the meanings and besides, who doesn’t like a good story?

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Tarot of the Celtic Fairies

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo

ISBN:

Kit: 9780738721859

Deck only: 9780738721811

Creator: Mark McElroy

Brief biography of creator: Mark has designed many Tarot decks and written many books on the subject, such as the Da Vinci Tarot, Mona Lisa Tarot, Lo Scarabeo Tarot, Bright Idea Deck, Putting the Tarot to Work, and Lucid Dreaming for Beginners

Artist:  Eldar Minibaev

Name of accompanying book/booklet: Tarot of the Celtic Fairies

Number of pages of book/booklet: 63 (14 in English); full book, 158 pp.

Author of book/booklet: Mark McElroy

Available in a boxed kit?: Yes. The kit includes the full-size book.

Reading Uses: General

Ethnic Focus: Celtic

Artistic Style: painterly illustration

Theme: Faires of the Celts

Tarot, Divination Deck, Other (if other, describe): Tarot

Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes

Does it have extra cards?: No

Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: no

Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits? If yes, what are they?: Yes

Wands = spears

Cups = cauldrons

Swords = swords

Pentacles = stones

Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: no

Why was deck created?: to create a deck that combines the folk wisdom of traditional Celtic fairy stories with the structure and symbolism of contemporary Tarot.




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