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.
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.
This deck is enchanting from the start, and in usage it will not disappoint. It reads like a dream.
Name of deck: Tarot of the Celtic Fairies
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
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
Reading Uses: General
Ethnic Focus: Celtic
Artistic Style: painterly illustration
Theme: Faires of the Celts
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: 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? Yes
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.