I Cani Originali (Dogs) Tarot Deck
by Osvaldo Menegazzi
The card featured on the cover of this delightful Majors-only set is number 19, "Il Sole," portraying a bright, sunny dog that reminds me of my Sheltie, Suki, who just recently passed away. If I had to choose a card to represent her, it would indeed be The Sun, as she was always smiling, enjoying life with boundless energy.
All of the images on these cards are straightforward in meaning. A puppy in a jester's cap looks excitedly at a blanket decorated with cats in "Il Matto," or The Fool. He is poised in playful readiness, for whatever adventure or encounter might await. "Il Bagatto," The Magician, performs a trick, demonstrating an uncommon mastery of skills. The Empress and Emperor are crowned, regal dogs, The Lovers a close, furry couple sitting upon a be-hearted floor. Long fur shades the eyes of "L'Eremita," The Hermit, giving him a solitary, withdrawn look, and in "La Forza," or Strength, our pooch proves his strength with one paw placed powerfully on a big bone.
I love all of the cards in this limited edition, collector's deck, but of course, I love dogs! One would find readings with this set a little strained, not necessarily by expecting more meaning from the images, but simply because the images are all so sweet! Even 13, "La Morte" - Death, brings a smile with its Doberman wearing a spiked collar. He stands in an intimidating manner and though he doesn't hold a scythe, one does appear against the clouds behind him. Still, although the meaning is rather clear (and ominous), the card portrays a lovely dog, more than anything else.
The cards are of heavy ivory paper, very artfully produced, and packaged in a hardcover case that ties with a ribbon. As a collector's set for lovers of tarot and of dogs, I Cani
is wonderful, and would make a terrific little gift. I keep mine on a shelf above my dresser, where Il Sole can remind me of Suki, and the spirit of dogs.
Note: the ribbon on my deck is pale pink. The cards are small in size, at 2" x 2 15/16".
Card artwork by Osvaldo Menegazzi
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2020