The Gilded Tarot
by Ciro Marchetti and Barbara Moore
Let's just get right to it: this is a very attractive, easy-to-use tarot, designed by accomplished visual artist Ciro Marchetti and backed up by the expert writing of Llewellyn's tarot authority, Barbara Moore. It is sure to become the primary deck for many readers, as it offers everything a reader could want - beautiful and inspiring artwork; meaningful symbolism; a joyful feeling; a sense of mystery; and intuitive, wise instruction and guidance. Also important to many, it strongly follows the Rider-Waite-Smith design while bringing to it a distinctly modern vision.
Moore's companion book is remarkably well written and helpful. It offers a brief introduction to tarot that explains everything very neatly; shares Moore's own personal experience of tarot (which is nice, simply because she seems to find it delightful), and takes the reader through each card of The Gilded Tarot
with insightful interpretations that are often uniquely Moore's own. Reversals are expressed as "dangerous extremes" of the cards' meanings. Also provided are exercises that will effectively create a relationship between reader and cards, and help the reader to gain greater understanding of tarot in general, as well as The Gilded Tarot
specifically. A good variety of spreads is given, though Moore also encourages readers to design their own.
The artwork combines elements that feel both old and new, lending the deck a sense of timelessness - which is sort of a cool thing when reading tarot. People in the cards look like medieval princesses or modern magicians; they resonate with an eternal awareness of life. Ancient symbols - such as the signs of the zodiac on certain cards - are embellished with the shiny, smooth lines of digital art. The rich colors and gold tones are striking, and the creative inclusion of animals adds friendliness and warmth. The Major Arcana is designated by a black oval at the top of each card, within which is the number of the card, and the suits of the Minor Arcana are designated by different colors - Wands by red, Cups by yellow, Swords by blue, and Pentacles by green.
Straightforward but exciting, The Gilded Tarot
is highly recommended, and would be quite suitable to give as a gift to any tarot enthusiast, with a special emphasis on those just starting out. It would be a superb first tarot, a terrific deck to read for others with, and a fine addition to anyone's collection.
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Card artwork © Ciro Marchetti
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2021