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Tarot of the Sacred Feminine
A product by Lo Scarabeo Tarot of the Sacred Feminine

By: Floreana Nativo, Franco Rivolli
Imprint: Llewellyn
Specs: Boxed Deck | 9780738741161
English | 3 x 5 x 1 IN
Pub Date: May 2014
Price: $22.95 US,  $26.50 CAN
In Stock? Yes, ready to ship

Product Summary
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The Tarot of the Sacred Feminine traces female archetypes through time and place. Featuring goddesses from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Arabia, Tibet, Israel, Christianity, Greece, Rome, and Celtic mythology, this deck is feast of feminine power and wisdom. This deck would be, especially, a treat for those looking for a challenge and way to stretch their divinatory experience.

Full Review:

Some decks offer up their wisdom easily. They are accessible, comfortable, familiar. Some decks provide tantalizing glimpses of wisdom that seem to dance on our periphery. Or they present a key to a very rusty lock and heavy door. They require us to work for their treasures. They give a challenge and an opportunity to grow. The Tarot of the Sacred Feminine is definitely a challenging deck.

Most of the cards in this non-Rider-Waite-Smith deck are goddesses, although not all. Intellectually, it has some really interesting organizational ideas. For example, the court cards have the following associations:

Knaves (Pages): Goddesses with their sacred birds
Knights: Animals dedicated to the goddesses
Queens: Goddesses who are both virgins and mothers
Kings:Goddesses with their spouses

The Suits also have specific associations:

Wands: The crescent Moon and peoples of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Arabia, and Tibet
Chalices (Cups): The full Moon and people of Hebrew and Christian connections
Swords: Waning Moon and the Greeks and Romans
Pentacles: The New Moon and the Celts

Because the deck draws from such a wide range of cultures, readers would either have to be very familiar with a broad range of goddesses or have the desire to want to research and learn on their own. The booklet is, by necessity, quite brief. If you don't know who Layla, Ishtar, or Allat is, you won't learn much about them in the booklet. As I said, this deck is a key, a tease, a challenge. You'll have to be very motivated to get the most from this deck.

While there is much to admire here, there are some weaknesses. In the Major Arcana, there are some cards not connected to goddesses but to a kind of generalized "woman." Some don't make much sense to me. The Fool looks like a young woman with long hair running across a snow-covered field. The booklet says that this card is, "a Greek crone, a follower of Dionysius. Fanaticism, a lack of rationality." The Empress is a nude woman holding a naked baby, milk pouring from her breast over her hand to the ground, where is it being drunk by a snake. The booklet says, "Woman as the source of life and triad of the lunar star. As the 'world's vessel,' she nourishes the Son, the earth, and the animals. Like the Moon she creates the tides." The meaning is clear, though general. However, as a divinatory meaning, which this is supposed to be, it is not very useful.

Interestingly, the for the Devil card, which shows a woman with a mean expression holding up a mirror that shows her face with a pleasant expression, the booklet only says, "falsity, duplicity, the illusion of happiness." Every other card is associated either with a specific goddess or a general characteristic of women or female archetypes. Every card except the Devil. I just find that interesting.

This deck is a fascinating achievement and would be a great challenge and opportunity for anyone immersed in goddess studies or who desire to be. For the general diviner or beginner in tarot, there are definitely better choices available.

Deck Attributes
Name of deck: Tarot of the Sacred Feminine
Reviewer's Byline: Barbara Moore
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
ISBN: 9780738741161
Creator(s) name(s): Floreana Nativo
Artist(s) name(s): Franco Rivoli
Name of accompanying book/booklet: Tarot of the Sacred Feminine
Number of pages of book/booklet: 63, 12 in English
Author(s) of book/booklet: Floreana Nativo
Magical Uses: None
Reading Uses: General

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