|A Card A Day|
|Circle of the Year|
|Universal Fantasy Tarot||| Print ||
Universal Fantasy Tarot
A tarot deck illustrated by Paolo Martinello, inspired by the famous Rider-Waite but re-elaborated in a fantasy style. The LWB in the box was written by Bepi Vigna.
From the LWB, p. 3, regarding Fantasy Fiction: "Fantasy is one of the many narrative genres, consisting of adventure stories in settings that, while they contain elements of our Middle Ages, are actually outside of time, in a dimension that is extraneous to history. This fictional world is dominated by magic and populated by extraordinary characters and creatures: dragons, witches, invincible knights, demons and gods."
And speaking specifically about this deck, in p. 4, the LWB continues with: "In these tarot cards created by Martinello, the ancient symbols are reinterpreted, using the imaginary world of Fantasy literature. Every icon refers to a universe where elements of the medieval world merge with others that belong to myth and fantasy, taking on new meanings, but maintaining ancient content and symbolism."
This deck's Wheel of Fortune, which we also find in the back of the cards in four mirror images, doesn't have the traditional look, rather it's a mechanical device reminiscent of those that can be found in the Gilded Tarot and Tarot of Dreams and Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.
Of course, just like in any other deck inspired by the RWS, we can note some differences in comparison with the images we're accustomed to. In this case, the cards that differ the most are the Court Cards and several Wands cards (especially the Ten of Wands: do you get the idea of an overburdened person by looking at it? ^_^;), as well as some others here and there. By studying the images, and already knowing the traditional ones, you can get to the meaning of this fantasy version of the card, but the process is not always immediate. Obviously, the LWB is not helping (I say "obviously" because it's a rare occurrence when a LWB is of any help, except in some brief excerpts, but this is not the case, not even when presenting the spread, which is quite fuzzy).
It is not an ugly deck, don't get me wrong! Simply, sometimes the images are a little too ‘charged'... and I still remember the exaggerated reaction a friend of mine had as I was reading for her with this deck; in other words, it's not a deck for any mood, and if you're consulting Tarot while you're undergoing an emotional rollercoaster, you'd better choose a more serene-looking deck. Ultimately, of course, and like always, it all depends on personal tastes and sensibilities.