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The Enchanted Tarot

This is an early Lo Scarabeo offering which went through numerous different incarnations. The art work is by Giacinto Gaudenzi (The LS Celtic Tarot designer) and exhibits his remarkable attention to detail. It bases all its imagery on the many types of being said to exist in the Land of Faerie – imps, elves, fairies, and watchers. It was last published under the title Tarot of the Hidden Folk.

The Enchanted Tarot

Though at first glance this deck may appear to follow “sweet fairy tarot” lines, be warned, in fact the images carry a fair bit of salacious and quite explicit eroticism on some of the images. Justice, for example, shows a near-naked female figure, longsword between her legs, poking a tiny figure straddling her outstretched thigh. Though the familiar scales are still there, you somehow get the sense of wandering away from justice into some other realm from the image.

The Suit of Chalices, which we are told “represent the vital moist current which dominates fertility, productivity and beauty” is probably the most sensuous of the four suits, and an interesting correlation emerges here when you study the information on the small (but surprisingly useful) information sheet – the Minors are named in a fashion which closely resembles that used in the Thoth deck – the 6 for example is known as Lord of Pleasure.

The info sheet is as scant as is usual with Lo Scarabeo decks, but the material suggesting uses for the deck is quite handy, and original. Even the sub-titles allocated to the Majors give us a new approach to interpreting the cards. The Wheel is dubbed Opportunity, Temperance Metamorhpsois and so on. Mind you to define Temperance as meaning “Mood changes which can be frightening” would probably be horribly confusing for a reader just beginning to try to get to grips with this deck.

While, if you already have some knowledge of tarot, you would probably find the illustrations close enough to their more traditional counterparts, if you were new to tarot altogether, I doubt this would be a good starting point, unless you supplemented what you learned here from other sources.

The 7 of Wands really made me laugh though – the definition here is given as “He mainly dedicates himself to absolutely futile and insignificant things” and the card shows us an imp, lying legs akimbo, in a leafy hammock. He takes aim, with a catapult, at a hapless bee which is unfortunate enough to be flying in front of him.

I like this deck. The images tend to gradually assume greater importance as you study them – they have that fascinating way of letting a little bit more surface at a time, which I always enjoy.

Review by Jan


Purchase the Enchanted Tarot Deck or see more pictures here.

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"The Works" Spread

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©1997- Angel Paths Tarot and Healing. All material contained within this website is the copyright of Jan Shepherd and may not be reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the author. Any problems, corrections, or suggestions, contact our Webmaster, Liam Wickham. All Thoth tarot cards displayed are copyright US Games Inc.