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The Easy Tarot … by Josephine Ellershaw with Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti
Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All! is a tarot kit with the Gilded Tarot and a different companion book by Josephine Ellershaw. Especially for beginners, including a quick guide to card meanings; sample readings, safeguards, and ethical guidelines; tips on keeping a Tarot diary; and troubleshooting advice for situations that readers come up against in a reading.
This beautiful set was imported from US. The set includes 1 deck of Ciro's Gilded Tarot, 1 companion book and 1 Celtic spread giant poster.
Are you ready to learn to read
the Tarot? Perhaps you've seen other people read the cards and been amazed at
what they revealed. Perhaps you thought you needed some sort of special
psychic abilities or magical powers to understand their symbols. The truth,
however, is that anyone willing to spend a little time with a Tarot deck and
the right teacher can learn the Tarot. You can read the cards!
On to the cards! The "Gilded Tarot" is based on the Rider-Waite tradition, with stunning imagery from graphic designer Ciro Marchetti. Intense colors, combined with a sense of mythical, faery tale imagery. Every time I use this deck, I experience something new and different. Note the inclusion of animals in the cards - sometimes their role is intentionally that of observer, and sometimes they are there to draw your attention to the action within the card. In his foreword, Marchetti also reminds us that the animals themselves have meanings and associations attached to them. An example of this would be the Owl in the Nine of Swords that serves as a catalyst for the reader to ask questions, but also reinforces that the scene is a night scene. In the Two of Wands the deer are pointing out that a decision needs to be made, while in the Ten of Wands they seem to be acting as observers.
The traditional titles of the Major Arcana have been retained, with Strength as VIII and Justice as XI. The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. The Court Cards are King, Queen, Knight, and Page.
Unlike most decks, the "Gilded Tarot" did not come out with a LWB (Little White Book) - there was only the companion book, "The Gilded Tarot Companion" (by Barbara Moore). The same thing is happening here, with the companion book being the "Easy Tarot Handbook" (by Josephine Ellershaw).
The artwork in this deck is digitally created, with a recurring theme coming from his personal work - that of mechanical devices, which he sees as bridging the worlds of science and magic. This is evident, for instance, in the Wheel of Fortune, where a mechanical base if moving the wheel, and in the Star, where we see a mechanical base upholding a globe of the world.
The cards are approximately 2 3/4" by 4 1/2", which make for an excellent size for small hands to work with. They are of good quality, glossy cardstock. The backs have a black background, with an inner 1/4" gold frame surrounding a jewel-toned inner setting, with the four corners marked off and a middle "flame" on a blue background. It would not be possible to tell whether the cards had been dealt upright or reversed.
have a black background, with the same gold border acting as a frame
(approximately 1/4" in from the edge of the card). Centered at the top
of the deck the is a gold framed oval. With the
Major Arcana, this oval is black, bearing the Roman
Numeral for the card. With the Minor Arcana, the
oval is colored, to represent each individual suit: Red for Wands,
In the middle of the gold frame on each side of the card we see a blue-toned circle. At the bottom we have a gold plaque, with the card Title in black (for the Major Arcana), the number and suit in black (for the Minor Arcana), and the title and suit in black (for the court cards).
All of the cards in this deck are outstanding, but I have chosen a few to examine more closely that really drew me to them. The first card would be the literal "first" card of the deck - The Fool. Marchetti has depicted the Fool as a Court Jester, rather in what we might consider the "Carnivale" mode. This is also the first card in which we see one of the dominant themes in this deck - Astrology. The Fool is juggling the twelve signs of the zodiac, with the moon behind him. He dances with one foot in a gold hoop, and appears to have just stepped over a gold wand with colored ribbons on one end. From the book:
"0 -The Fool The Fool is at the beginning of his journey. All possibilities and seeming contradictions exist in this moment. The signs of the zodiac that he so carefully juggles indicate both the science of the heavens and the vastness of human imagination. These symbols represent all types of personality traits. Which one will he end up with? Will he make this important choice or will the choice be made for him by chance? Is he playing when he should be serious, or is his play filled with wisdom? Speaking of playing, is that gold hoop at his feet something he should be paying attention to, or is it a possible distraction? The Fool does not know, nor doe he much care. He lives in the moment, filled with wonder and curiosity, not worried about where the journey will end. The Fool's message is one of unconventional choices. Take a leap of faith. Adopt a playful attitude in a serious situation. You are at a crossroads, and you have no way of knowing where each road will end. Pick one that strikes your fancy and set out with courage and a light heart. Prepare to meet all challenges with confidence. Be aware of carelessness and folly. There is a difference between taking a risk and plowing headfirst into danger. reckless behavior can lead to a long path of unhappiness."
The High Priestess is shown between two pillars, with a quarter moon in the background. The pillars stand in water, and the female figure is shown wearing a transparent gown, arched back over the waters of the unconscious with nine glowing orbs (representing the nine planets) hovering around her head.
The Hanging Man (Hanged Man) is shown suspended by chains from what appears to be the Wheel of Fortune. To me, he appears to be flailing, as his hands are free and out at his sides - one arm hanging down, the other bent up at the elbow.
Death has to be one of the most stunning cards in this deck. In the middle of the card we see a blue/gray mask. A banner featuring a white pentacle (with a white flower superimposed on it) flies to the right hand side of the card, while under the mask is a shield with a Unicorn on it.
The Ten of Cups shows the typical family scene - but only the mother and daughter, and family cat, are shown sitting in front of the family home. Instead of a rainbow, ten cups are arched over the house. Marchetti mentions that this would be the view of the head of the household coming home to his wife and child.
The Queen of Swords is my favorite Queen in this deck - and I generally do not like Swords in any deck! Her costume is medieval in nature, as are all of the court card costumes. This Queen stands, in her blue and purple gown, with her sword upraised - not in intimidation, but in readiness should she need to defend herself. Light glints off both the sword and her crown, to show the relationship between truth (the light of the Sun), her thoughts (the crown) and her actions (the sword).
The Gilded Tarot is a wonderful example of traditional structure with non-traditional imagery. It is a deck that anyone and everyone can use for any purpose that they wish. There is some nudity in this deck, so it may or may not be appropriate for use with children. IMHO, the "fact" of the nudity is overcome by the mythical/nagical setting in which it is presented. There is an extra card with this deck, showing the format for a Daily Spread. All levels of Tarot students/readers will find joy in working with the Gilded Tarot.
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